In this post, I compare three security cameras.
The Arlo Pro 2 vs Nest Indoor Cam vs Amazon Cloud cam.
The Cloud Cam is Amazon’s first wi-fi camera and sees Amazon extending their reach in smart home technology.
Read this post to see if anyone can stop the Amazon juggernaut.
1. Pros | Cons | Verdict
Let’s get straight to the point.
My chart below gives you the essential details for each of these wi-fi cameras.
2. Basic Specifications
All three of these cameras look very different although the Cloud Cam and Nest Indoor both have a “flower” shaped design.
The Amazon Cloud Cam has a cylindrical head that sits on top of a stalk which connects to a circular base. It stands about 10 cm or 4 inches high. And it has a depth of just over 4 cm.
In looks, it could almost be the twin brother of the Nest IQ or Nest Outdoor Cam, with its clean white looks with black detailing.
The Arlo Pro 2, is exactly the same as it’s older brother the Arlo Pro. It is a sleek white bullet, that is about 11 cm high. It’s shape reminds me of a small video camera.
Unlike the other two cameras in this comparison, the Arlo Pro 2 doesn’t need a stand- although there are some available.
And finally, is the Nest Indoor Cam. Daring to be different with its all black design. Like the Cloud Cam, it has a cylinder shaped head, although the camera is much deeper than the Cloud Cam.
It’s shape is very similar to the Arlo Q camera.
The camera sits on a stalk and stands just over 11 cm high and has a depth of just over 7 cm.
The Nest camera is the heaviest camera by some margin. But the weight shown for the Arlo Pro 2 is without its rechargeable battery.
What is interesting here is that two of these cameras (Amazon Cloud Cam and the Arlo Pro 2) were launched at the end of last year in October and yet the Nest Indoor Cam was launched over two years ago in 2015.
All three of these cameras use 8 Infrared LEDs for their night vision. These LEDs are placed in a ring around the camera lens as close to the frame as the design would allow.
The Arlo Pro 2 has a range of about 25 feet (7 metres) whereas the Nest camera has a range of about 6 metres.
Jason Carpenter’s review of the Nest Cam, praised the quality of its night vision. As do lots of other users.
Many reviews that mention the night vision capabilities of the Arlo Pro 2, say how poor it is in relation to the Arlo Pro’s capabilities.
And it is the same for the Amazon Cloud Cam- with many comments describing the night vision as “cloudy”!
Person detection is the ability of a camera to detect when a person comes into view.
You will receive a notification when any person is detected by a camera
It is different to facial recognition which identifies individual people, such as family members.
None of the cameras in this comparison use facial recognition software (which is used by the Nest IQ) but the Cloud Cam and the Nest Indoor do use person detection.
Unfortunately, in order to use this feature you will need to sign up to either an Amazon or Nest cloud storage plan.
All three of these cameras offer basic motion detection- and will send a notification via the app to let you know.
The Arlo Pro 2 and the Nest Indoor will send you an email notification as well.
If every time that your camera detects motion you receive a notification, you need to make sure that the sensitivity of the detection is perfect for your home.
Otherwise you might be constantly bombarded with notifications or get nothing at all.
The Arlo 2 and Amazon’s camera have adjustable motion detection settings, which range from low to medium to high.
Adjust these settings so that they work for you.
In busy areas you will want to sensitivity needs to be low (otherwise you will get notification overload) and in quieter environments, the setting can be high.
Motion detection is further enhanced by zoning.
Zoning is the ability to mark an area within the camera’s field of view that you want to be excluded or included from motion detection alerts.
For the Nest and the Arlo cameras, zones are created in order to receive notifications of any motion within the zone.
For the Cloud Cam, it is the opposite- zones are created as areas that can be ignored if any motion occurs in there.
For all cameras there are some limitations on these features.
The Arlo Pro 2 can only use zones when the camera is powered by the adapter and not when it is running on the battery.
Whereas for the Cloud Cam and Indoor Cam, zones can only be used if you have subscribed to a cloud storage plan.
An additional motion detection “power feature” that only comes with the Arlo camera is that if the camera is plugged in, when it detects movement, it will send you a clip of that event that includes 3 seconds of video before the motion.
Online reviews show that the motion detection features for all three of these cameras work very well.
One owner of an Amazon Cloud Cam, reported that his motion detection alerts saved his dog when his house caught fire!
Only the Arlo Pro 2 has a siren, which is built into its base station.
Because the Cloud Cam and the Nest Indoor Cam connect directly to wi-fi and not to a base station, they don’t have a siren.
Continuous Video Recording (CVR)
The Arlo Pro 2 and the Nest Indoor Cam have CVR.
CVR is the ability of a security camera to continuously record and never stop.
The Arlo Pro 2 needs to be powered via the power adapter and not by battery in order for CVR to work.
You also need to subscribe to a specific CVR plan from Arlo’s cloud storage.
CVR is part of all standard Nest Aware plans- Nest’s cloud storage subscription plans.
The Amazon Cam don’t have a CVR option at the moment. It only records short clips of videos around motion detection events.
Buyers are unimpressed with the Arlo Pro 2’s CVR feature, mostly because it is only available via a paid plan and because it can’ t be downloaded onto a local hard drive instead.
3. Smart Video Features
Field of Vision
All three of these security cameras have a great field of view.
This is the distance from left to right that the lens can “see”. It is measured by degrees.
The Amazon Cloud Cam’s is 120°, whereas the Nest’s and the Arlo’s is 130°.
Many other security cameras only have fields of view of 100° or thereabouts.
This is pretty much the gold standard for smart home security cameras.
People have had it on their TVs for years and now they expect it from their cameras.
Of course, just because a security camera can record footage at such high resolution, doesn’t mean to say that it will consistently.
That the depends on the quality of the link between the camera and your wi-fi router (in the case of the Amazon Cloud Cam and the Nest Indoor Cam) and the raw speed of Internet that is coming into your house.
And to be honest, neither factor is totally consistent for any of us.
Your Internet speed needs to be at least 1mbp.
And because we are greedy although most of us are happy with 1080p now, we won’t be for long.
The future can be seen with The Nest IQ, the Indoor Cam’s baby brother.
This behemoth has capability to show footage in 4K, although currently is is throttled back to 1080p
And if you don’t know, and I don’t want to bore you senseless about vertical and horizontal lines, 4K is four times the quality of 1080p.
The trouble is with a super-charged 4K sensor is that is it comes with a super charged price tag.
And in the case of Nest IQ, that is $299 as I write this review.
And although all the cameras record at 1080p, what is the picture quality like in the real world?
Cloud Cam, Arlo Pro 2 and the Nest Indoor Cam users are over the moon with their camera’s image quality. Of course, there are a few nay sayers but they are very much in the minority.
2 Way Audio
All three cameras have 2 way audio.
This means that the cameras have a microphone and speaker built in.
In practice, the Amazon Cloud Cam’s 2 way audio worked very well and was very sensitive to picking up quiet sounds.
The Arlo Pro 2’s audio in testing was very responsive and works very well as long as there isn’t too much background noise.
The Nest camera’s audio is frequently slow (with a “lag”), no matter where I was using it.
The microphones in the cameras also means that any footage that you watch has sound, which is very important.
This is the ability to connect to a camera live via an app or (sometimes) via a browser on a PC.
For the Amazon Cloud Cam, a real advantage of this device (over the Nest or Arlo) is that you can watch live view on your all of your other Amazon devices that have screens; Fire TV, Fire Tablet, Echo Show and Echo Spot.
Not only that but live view works or many Apple or Android smart phones or tablets- more precise details are discussed later.
Unfortunately, you cannot connect live to the Cloud Cam via a browser.
In testing, the Cloud Cam streamed very well. It connects consistently,
4. Power and Storage
The Arlo Pro 2 is the only camera of the three that can be powered by a rechargeable battery.
Its battery’s capacity is 2440 mA, which will last on average for 6 months.
However, how long your battery lasts depends on how “active” your camera is.
This camera is designed to work in the outdoors as well as it does the indoors.
But if the Pro 2 is powered by battery, then some of its features will not work.
These include Live View, Activity Zones (for motion detection) and continuous video recording.
The Amazon Cloud Cam and the Nest Indoor Cam can only be powered by an AC adapter.
The Cloud Cam and the Nest Cam come with a 3 metre or 10 foot long micro USB lead.
As mentioned earlier, the Arlo Pro 2 can be powered by an AC adapter or by its rechargeable battery.
Its micro USB lead is 2.5 metres or 8 foot long.
The Arlo Pro 2 is the only smart camera in this comparison that is compatible with a solar panel because it is the only camera that can be used indoors or outdoors.
The solar panel is a perfect solution for Arlo Pro or Arlo Pro 2 owners who want a continuous power supply to their camera and who haven’t got easy access to a electrical socket!
I have written a very detailed post about the cloud storage plans offered by all the main smart security camera manufacturers.
These three cameras have very different cloud storage plans.
The Amazon Cloud Cam and the Arlo both have a free option and the Arlo’s is a whooping 7 days!
Arlo and Nest offer a CVR option, which the Amazon Cloud Cam doesn’t.
None of these three cameras use microSD cards as a form of storage.
Local USB Storage
Only the Arlo Pro 2 offers local USB storage as a back up option.
However, as an option it is very limited because, it will only work in parallel with one of Arlo’s cloud storage plans.
You cannot store footage to an external USB without subscribing to their cloud storage service.
These three cameras all connect to your home wi-fi in slightly different ways.
The Amazon Cloud Cam will connect directly to any 2.4 Ghz wi-fi router that allows for an “n” connection.
The Nest Indoor will connect directly to 2.4 Ghz (with an “n” connection) and 5 Ghz wi-fi routers (with an “a” or an “n” connection.)
The Arlo Pro 2 does not use wi-fi.
The Arlo camera is the only one in my comparison that uses an Ethernet connection.
The camera’s base station connects to a wi-fi router via an Ethernet cable.
The Arlo Pro 2 is the only camera that connects to its own base station. Up to 15 cameras can connect to each base station which is very good news.
Two of these smart security cameras use bluetooth to connect to a smartphone but it is only used in the set up process.
The cameras are the Amazon Cloud Cam and the Nest Indoor Cam.
This describes the level of protection that these companies use as your footage is moved between your cameras and their cloud storage services.
Arlo and Nest both use 128 Bit encryption.
This level of encryption is called “bank” level because it is the same high level of encryption that banks use in order to keep our data private and secure as it is being moved around.
I could not find any precise details on the level of encryption used by Amazon.
6. Design and Warranty
The Amazon Cloud Cam is only available in white and the Nest Indoor is only available in black.
The Arlo Pro 2 is only available in white but different color silicone skins can be bought to “jazz” it up!
The Amazon and Nest are only designed to be used indoors.
The Arlo Pro 2 is designed to be used indoors or outdoors.
The Amazon and the Arlo Pro 2 come with a 1 year limited warranty, but the Nest comes with a 2 year limited warranty.
All three of these cameras offer the same types of customer support- freephone, online chat and forums (where you can ask questions of other people.)
7. Home Automation
The camera that has the most varied and flexible home automation options is the Nest Indoor Cam.
It will work with; Amazon Echo devices, Google Home and Wink smart hubs.
It also has a IFTTT channel (find out about IFTTT here.)
The Arlo Pro 2 comes a close second.
It does not work with Google Home at this time, but it is compatible with SmartThings.
The Cloud Cam is the perfect option if you are a huge fan of Amazon and have lots of Echo devices- particularly devices with screens.
8. Remote Access
These three cameras all need slightly different versions of iOS.
The Cloud Cam needs 9.3 or later, the Pro 2 needs 9 or later and the Nest needs 10 or later.
For Android phones, the Amazon Camera needs version 5 or later and the Arlo 2 Pro needs version 4.1 or later.
The situation is more complex for the Nest Indoor Cam as the version of Android needed to run the Nest app varies depending on the device that you want to use.
None of these cameras have apps for Windows 10.
The Arlo camera and the Nest Camera allow a user to connect to their device using a browser and an online account.
9. Box Contents
All of these cameras come with pretty much the same accessories in the box.
Apart from the camera itself, each box contains a USB cable, power adapter, mounting kit or bracket and a quick start guide.
The Arlo camera also includes a battery.
10. Similarities | Differences | Verdict
To end this comparison I have created a chart that highlights the main features of the Amazon Cloud Cam, the Arlo Pro 2 and the Nest Indoor Cam.
The chart shows quickly and easily how these cameras are similar and different.