Ring Indoor Cam vs. Arlo Essential Indoor Camera

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If you’re looking for a reliable indoor security camera, it’s hard to go wrong with the Ring Indoor Cam or Arlo Essential Indoor Camera. Both can capture crystal clear footage, are highly customizable, and sync with smartphone apps so you can review all your notifications. Amazon recently launched an updated version of the Ring Indoor Cam — but is it better than the aging Arlo Essential Indoor Camera?

Here’s a closer look at the Ring Indoor Cam and Arlo Essential Indoor Camera to help you decide which is best for your smart home.

Video quality and cost

Arlo Essential Indoor Security Camera on table
John Velasco / Digital Trends

The Ring Indoor Cam costs $60 and captures 1080p footage. It also uses color night vision to produce surprisingly great images in the dark. The Arlo Essential Indoor Camera costs $100 and records in black and white at night. Both products are regularly on sale for less than their suggested retail price — so if don’t need an indoor camera right away, consider holding off a few weeks, as a discount is bound to appear.

Winner: Ring Indoor Cam

Feature and spec list

The Ring Indoor Cam mounted on a wall.

Beyond filming 1080p footage with a 115-degree field of view, the Ring Indoor Cam uses Advanced Pre-Roll to capture footage a few seconds before a capture event occurs, includes a manual privacy shutter, allows for instant notifications to your smartphone, and comes with a mount that allows you to install on a wall or simply place it on a table. It also features two-way audio so you can chat with family members while away from home.

It’s a similar story for the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera, as it offers two-way audio, a 130-degree field of view, smart alerts, and a mount that can be installed on a wall or placed on a shelf. The biggest difference is with Arlo’s privacy shutter — unlike the Ring Indoor Cam, Arlo allows you to remotely toggle the privacy shutter using the smartphone app.

Winner: Arlo Essential Indoor Camera

Monthly fees and what you get

Arlo Essential Indoor Security Camera privacy shutter closed
John Velasco / Digital Trends

To get the most out of your cameras, you’ll need to pick up a monthly subscription. For Arlo, this comes in three formats. Be sure to learn more about Arlo Secure before making a purchase, but you’ll at least want to pick up the basic plan that costs $5 per month and gives you access to smart interactive notifications, 30 days of cloud storage, and video object detection with AI.

For the Ring Indoor Cam, you’ll want a Ring Protect Plan. This comes in three formats, with the Basic Plan costing $4 per month and offering person alerts, up to 180 days of video history, and support for Home and Away modes. It’s very similar to the Arlo plans, but since Ring’s cheapest plan is more affordable than Arlo, it narrowly wins this category.

Winner: Ring Indoor Cam

Ease of use

Arlo Essential Indoor Security Camera back view
John Velasco / Digital Trends

Whether you opt for the Ring or Arlo product, you’ll be treated to a simple installation process. Once you’ve installed your camera, operating it is just as simple. Both products use an accompanying smartphone app that allows you to access your notifications, view your recording history, customize your alert zones, and access a live stream. Both products also work seamlessly with Alexa for voice commands.

Winner: Tie

Which is best?

Thanks to its lower price, more affordable monthly subscription, and support for color night vision, the Ring Indoor Cam is the better option for most smart homes. The Arlo Essential Indoor is no slouch, however, and if you’re concerned about privacy, it deserves a closer look. Ring doesn’t let you manipulate its privacy shutter remotely — which might be a dealbreaker for some households.

However, keep in mind that the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera is typically $40 more expensive than the Ring Indoor Cam. That’s a hefty premium to pay for a remote-controlled privacy shutter, as that’s one of the only key differences between these two impressive products.

In other words, opt for the Ring Indoor Cam unless privacy is a major concern, in which case the Arlo Essential Indoor Camera is a wise purchase.

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