I have the earlier generation of Arlo Pro also, so I'll cover the differences as well.
The Arlo cameras are unique because they can run for months on batteries, no cables whatsoever.
This kit includes: One base station, two cameras with Li-Ion batteries and one charger.
The base station is required for the cameras to work. The cameras are paired to the base station that is basically a custom Wi-Fi router dedicated for the cameras. It also has a 100db siren built-in, so consider where you'll be placing this. Also it needs to connect to a home router via Ethernet cable (not Wi-Fi), so in most cases ends up being next to the home router. The base also has two USB ports for local storage.
The cameras are small, weather proof, have a motion detector, night vision, sound detection, speaker and mic. The batteries are replaceable and it's charged via a standard micro-USB cable. The charger supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3 (Like some Android phones, it can recharge the batteries in minutes).
Initial setup is extremely easy. Once the base station is connected to the router, go to a web page or start an app (on the same network as the base), go through a simple registration and will show you how to pair the cameras (it's just pressing a button on the base and one on the camera).
Then the web page or app, which are very similar, lets you configure the names for the area, name of the base station, and for the cameras, motion detection and night vision settings, etc.
The cameras have a strong magnet on the rear and it comes with a metal half-sphere that can be mounted on the wall, and can optionally be mounted with a standard camera mount. Remember that unless the camera is connected via USB, you'll need to re-charge them every few months, so the magnetic mount is handy, possible.
The cameras can be 'armed' based on a button on the app/web, a schedule, alexa, google voice, IFTTT or geo-fences.
Once a camera is 'armed', it starts recording whenever it detects movement. It sends a push notification to the phone and/or email where you can see the video, and if you want, put the camera in live mode, which shows audio and video, and has a push-to-talk mode so you can talk though the camera (it might have a delay of one or two seconds).
The app is very easy to use. There is no subscription required if, like me, are happy with one week of storage, it keeps the videos it makes for 7 day, and then it rotates (deletes) them out. Other plans seem reasonably priced, which can include continuous recording and advanced detection patterns.
The base station can also, simultaneously record to an USB memory or hard drive, and cloud storage is the primary method of accessing recordings.
There is a 'live' mode that can be triggered from the web site or apps. Note that it will stream to only one device at a time, but multiple cameras can display video.
The cameras support integration with home automation systems like wink or smartthings, and through IFTTT, integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to arm/disarm and initiate a recording. The platform isn't open so you cannot just record from a web link like on other IP cameras.
Also note that although the cameras use Wi-Fi, they need the base and use their own Wi-Fi network with its base. The security on these cameras appears to be solid. A network scanner shows no open ports on the base, which is good, and the cameras are not directly connected to the network, they go through the base station.
The images are clear in both day and night modes.
Besides the web page, there are apps for iOS (phone/tablet), Android and Amazon fire. Also there is an app for Apple TV that works great to see recordings, arm/disarm. Fire TV and Echo Show can also show live video.
While the cameras work great with iOS and Apple TV, there is no Siri/HomeKit integration. In over a year of using a system, it's not something I really miss.
Comparing to the Arlo Pro system:
- The base is the same , so if you already have an Arlo Pro base, it works the same. Having multiple bases can be useful to extend the Wi-Fi range of the cameras (Pair them to the closest base).
- Pro records at 720p, Pro 2 records at 1080p.
- Both Pro and Pro 2 are the exact same size. The only exterior difference is that the outer part of the front rim is white on the Pro 2 and black on the Pro. Mounts, sleeves and batteries are interchangeable.
- Pro 2 can record continuously (24/7), but only when plugged in and with a paid storage plan.
- When plugged in, Pro 2 is always recording, so when it detects movement, it also saves the three previous seconds.
- When plugged in, Pro 2 supports detection zones. This is very common on other cameras. From the app, drag rectangle(s) indicating which areas of the image trigger motion detection, ignoring the rest.
Overall, if looking for a reliable system with no monthly fees, and the minimum amount of fuss, this a system to get. Pro 2 brings welcome improvements on an already solid system.
The free storage offers unlimited recordings for the past week and up to five cameras. Longer retention time, continuous recording or advanced detection require fees. (Detection zones, when plugged in, on Arlo 2, is free).