Reolink PoE cameras vs Arlo

The Reolink camera system is likely one of the most versatile and reasonably priced house safety techniques in the marketplace. With a single plug-and-play system, you’ll be able to combine and match PoE cameras and wi-fi cameras.

Reolink’s NVR can also be well-designed and straightforward to make use of, plus there are a number of choices so as to add extra cupboard space. On high of every little thing else, Reolink’s software program presents a easy interface together with nice free apps for Home windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

I’ve spent the previous month extensively testing the Reolink RLK8-800B4 4K PoE safety camera system (test the most recent costs). On this review, I’ll cowl all of the issues that make it excellent for each skilled customers and safety camera novices. I’ll additionally focus on the system’s shortcomings, in addition to different choices it is best to contemplate.

RLK8-800B4 4K PoE Dwelling Safety Digicam System

Score: 4 Stars

This Reolink camera system is ideal for individuals who need highly effective PoE cameras which might be straightforward to arrange. The included 2TB NVR has a easy however versatile interface, and Reolink’s apps are nice. Plus, you’ll be able to simply broaden your system with extra PoE cameras or with Reolink’s wi-fi cameras.

BGR could obtain a fee

BGR could obtain a fee


  • Very cheap in comparison with rivals
  • No month-to-month price
  • Easy setup and easy-to-use apps
  • Clear 4K video
  • Versatile system with many customization choices
  • Straightforward to broaden with PoE or wi-fi cameras


  • Nighttime video readability is common
  • Very restricted smart home integration

Reolink vs. Arlo

Earlier than I get to the meat of this Reolink camera system review, I need to cowl an enormous query that I see requested on a regular basis: How does Reolink evaluate to Arlo?

I’m uniquely positioned to reply this query as a result of I’ve been an Arlo person for a few years. I’ve completely examined Arlo wi-fi camera fashions starting from entry-level cameras to the flagship Arlo Professional 4.

Whereas I do proceed to make use of Arlo cameras inside my house, I made a decision to do away with all of the Arlo cameras outdoors my home. As a substitute, I’ve changed them with Reolink cameras from the Reolink RLK8-800B4 4K PoE safety camera system.

Indoors with restricted use, Arlo wi-fi cameras are nice. However outdoor in hard-to-reach spots, Arlo generally is a big ache.

I had a number of totally different fashions unfold across the outdoors house, together with Arlo Professional 4, Arlo Professional 2, and Arlo Important Highlight cameras.

At finest, I discovered that battery life lasts between 1.5 and a couple of months. For hard-to-reach spots, that meant hauling a ladder round my home each couple of months to recharge them. As a result of tree cowl, photo voltaic panels weren’t an possibility for me.

I additionally discover the Arlo app to be buggy and unreliable. I bumped into issues on a regular basis with failed alerts, scheduling points, phantom alerts, connectivity points, and extra. That’s simply the tip of the iceberg. Even now, all my cameras seem offline each time I open the app. I would like to attend 5 seconds for them to attach so I can begin streaming video or alter the settings.

For sporadic use inside my house, Arlo is a greater possibility. I don’t hold my indoor cameras armed on a regular basis. As a substitute, they activate after I’m away so I can test on issues after I must. Consequently, I can go for 4 months or extra with out having to cost them. I additionally don’t should take care of dragging a ladder throughout my property.

Why is the Reolink camera system higher than Arlo?

There are a number of vital factors to contemplate when evaluating Reolink and Arlo.

Initially, the Reolink RLK8-800B4 safety camera system is a PoE system. PoE stands for “energy over ethernet,” which means the cameras draw energy instantly from the NVR over Ethernet cables. Or, if you’d like, you’ll be able to join cameras to a DC energy supply and document instantly onto a reminiscence card as an alternative of working Ethernet cables and utilizing an NVR.

Right here’s a take a look at the multi-connection cable on every Reolink camera:

Reolink Camera Connector CableReolink B800 safety cameras are manufactured from sturdy metallic and are IP66-rated. Picture supply: Reolink

Irrespective of the way you set them up, Reolink PoE cameras by no means should be charged. Reolink does supply battery-powered Wi-Fi safety cameras as effectively below the Argus model. I didn’t check any of these fashions for this review, nevertheless.

Another excuse I favor Reolink cameras to Arlo cameras is the NVR. Not like Arlo and different comparable choices, this Reolink camera system provides you 24/7 recording as an alternative of solely recording when movement occasions are detected.

The setup I examined comes with the most recent Reolink RLN8-410 NVR. NVR stands for “community video recorder,” and it’s the small field you see with the cameras in footage. This mannequin is an 8-channel NVR, so it helps as much as eight related PoE cameras. Reolink additionally makes a 16-channel model referred to as the RLN16-410 that helps as much as 16 cameras.

Reolink NVR Connections DiagramReolink’s NVR is straightforward however highly effective, and there are each 8-channel and 16-channel variations out there. Picture supply: Reolink

As a substitute of recording to the cloud like Arlo, Reolink cameras document to a neighborhood exhausting drive contained in the NVR. Some individuals may say this resolution is safer. It additionally means you don’t must pay a month-to-month price, which Arlo requires.

Arlo does supply native recording choices in case you plug a flash drive into your hub. However the bulk of the service continues to be cloud-based. It additionally nonetheless gained’t document 24/7, and you might want to pay a month-to-month price to make use of any of Arlo’s newer camera fashions. Whereas Reolink does supply a cloud service with 30-day cloud video historical past, it’s inexpensive and isn’t wanted with PoE cameras.

Reolink Cloud plans & pricing

As I discussed, there’s an non-compulsory Reolink Cloud service if you wish to subscribe to it. This service isn’t geared towards Reolink PoE camera techniques just like the RLK8-800B4 setup I reviewed.

As a substitute, Reolink Cloud is supposed for Argus cameras and different Reolink cameras that work with out an NVR. In the event you’re all for these fashions, listed below are the principle pricing tiers for Reolink Cloud:

Fundamental Plan: Free

  • 7-day cloud video historical past
  • 1 camera supported
  • 1GB of cloud storage

Normal Plan: $3.49/month

  • 30-day cloud video historical past
  • 5 cameras supported
  • 30GB of cloud storage
  • Wealthy Notifications

Premier Plan: $6.99/month

  • 30-day cloud video historical past
  • 10 cameras supported
  • 80GB of cloud storage
  • Wealthy Notifications

Enterprise Plan: $10.49/month

  • 60-day cloud video historical past
  • 20 cameras supported
  • 150GB of cloud storage
  • Wealthy Notifications

You’ll be able to be taught extra about Reolink Cloud on the corporate’s web site.

Arlo options that I miss

I undoubtedly favor Reolink cameras total for outside use round my house. However there are a couple of Arlo options that I undoubtedly miss.

First, I miss wealthy notifications with animated previews. This characteristic is obtainable with Reolink Cloud, however not with a Reolink PoE camera system just like the RLK8-800B4.

A wealthy notification exhibits you a fast animated clip of the movement that triggered an alert. Wealthy notifications didn’t at all times work as they have been presupposed to with my Arlo system, however it’s undoubtedly a pleasant characteristic when it does work.

The opposite factor I miss is the flexibility to mute notifications for a sure time frame.

With Arlo cameras, you’ll be able to rapidly and simply mute notifications for a interval of half-hour, 1 hour, 3 hours, or 24 hours. For instance, you may need to mute notifications for an hour if in case you have landscapers at your own home. In any other case, you must take care of incessant notifications as they work round your house.

This isn’t an possibility with a Reolink PoE camera system. Fortunately although, I did provide you with a good workaround.

You probably have an iPhone, you should use Apple’s Shortcuts app to create a easy shortcut that opens on to the Reolink notifications web page within the Settings app. That method, you’ll be able to rapidly and simply toggle notifications on or off.

Mute Reolink Notifications ShortcutPicture supply: Maren Estrada for BGRI adopted this information to create the shortcut. If you wish to do the identical factor so you’ll be able to mute your Reolink notifications simply, I’ll prevent a while by providing you with the textual content string for the Reolink app:


Whenever you’re finished, your shortcut ought to look precisely just like the screenshot above. Then, you’ll be able to merely faucet a Shortcuts widget or use Siri to open the Settings app on to the Reolink notifications web page.

I’m positive one thing comparable is feasible on an Android gadget.

Reolink camera system highlights

Now that you realize why a Reolink PoE camera system could be higher than Arlo cameras, I’ll shift focus to a few of my favourite options.

Firstly, organising a Reolink camera system is really easy. It’s plug-and-play within the truest sense of the time period. As quickly as you first join a Reolink camera to your NVR, it instantly begins recording and is able to use.

After all, you’ll must run all of your Ethernet cables and mount your Reolink cameras earlier than you get to that time. The identical is true of any PoE camera system. In the event you’re a do-it-yourself kind prepared to spend time working cables between flooring and thru your inside or exterior partitions, that’s nice. I selected to make use of an organization that installs safety techniques for this review.

Relolink B800 camera high quality

On to the system itself, the included Reolink B800 cameras supply crystal-clear 4K video throughout a lot of the day. You’ll be able to simply make out faces and small particulars within the video. I used to be even in a position to zoom in and clearly learn the license plate variety of a slow-moving automotive.

My solely criticism concerning daytime video is that components of your image can get blown out a bit relying on the place the solar is.

For instance, two cameras in entrance of my home have some bother at occasions within the late afternoon on sunny days. That’s when vivid daylight displays off the pavement on the road in entrance of my home. The remainder of the picture continues to be clear although, and so are individuals so long as they’re not on the street.

Additionally of observe, movement generally is a little bit of an issue at evening. The general image may be very clear with Reolink’s evening imaginative and prescient. However there’s undoubtedly a little bit of blur on individuals and objects transferring rapidly by way of the body.

Reolink RLN8-410 NVR options & apps

Reolink’s software program is unbelievable. In truth, the pc and smartphone apps are so good that the majority customers won’t ever even have to attach a monitor or mouse to the NVR.

Every thing you might want to arrange your Reolink camera system is obtainable within the cell apps or the desktop apps for Home windows and Mac. You’ll be able to tweak most settings as a lot as you need. You can too in fact view reside camera feeds and play recorded video footage.

Of observe, Reolink is a reliable firm that has been within the enterprise since 2009. Reolink protects all information with 2048-bit RSA and 128-bit AES-GCM encryption. Video feeds are protected with SSL encryption.

You’ll be able to simply toggle between high-quality 4K video and data-friendly low-quality video when viewing reside feeds or recordings.

To entry your recordings, merely faucet the Playback button on any camera web page within the app. You’ll be able to scrub by way of every full day’s recordings or slender issues down in order that solely movement occasions are proven.

Beneath, you’ll discover a screenshot that exhibits movement occasions unfold throughout the day on considered one of my cameras. Clicking on any of these blue notches will begin taking part in the related recording. You can too additional slender issues right down to movement occasions triggered by individuals or autos.

This screenshot is from the Mac app, however Reolink’s different apps have the same UI.

Reolink Motion EventsNavigating by way of recordings and taking part in again movement occasions is fast and straightforward. Picture supply: Maren Estrada for BGR

One factor you’ll need to do instantly is alter your movement zones and notification settings. In the event you don’t, you’ll get movement notifications each few seconds all day lengthy because of issues like wind blowing by way of leaves or bugs flying round at evening.

Professional tip: in every camera’s settings part, go to Push Notifications > Schedule. In there, you’ll be able to select to obtain notifications for “any movement,” “particular person,” and “automobile”.

Disable “any movement”.

That method, you’ll solely get notifications when the camera’s AI identifies an individual or a automobile. In the event you don’t, the fixed notifications will seemingly drive you loopy. Bear in mind, your Reolink NVR information 24/7 even while you don’t get movement notifications. You don’t want a notification each 10 seconds as leaves shake and vehicles drive previous your house.

Reolink’s apps additionally allow you to make changes to movement detection sensitivity and even object dimension, in case you need a threshold in order that small objects don’t set off movement notifications.

There are different methods to tweak alert settings, too. For instance, you’ll be able to set a time delay of as much as 8 seconds for particular person and automobile movement alerts. That method, you’ll solely get a notification if the movement lasts for the period of time you set.

Upgrades I made to the Reolink RLK8-800B4 system

Out of the field, the Reolink RLK8-800B4 camera system features a 2TB NVR and 4 4K PoE cameras. For many individuals, that gained’t be sufficient.

I needed a couple of extra issues with my set up, and I’m going to debate them on this part.

Upgraded cameras

Firstly, the RLK8-800B4 comes with 4 Reolink B800 cameras. You’ll be able to learn in regards to the B800’s specs and options beneath, however it lacks a few key options that I needed in some areas outdoors my house.

So, I bought a few Reolink RLC-811A PoE cameras along with the RLK8-800B4 bundle that Reolink despatched us to review.

The RLC-811A seems to be similar to the B800, however it has two key options that make it a big improve. Initially, the RLC-811A has 5x optical zoom as an alternative of the 4mm mounted lens on the B800. Additionally, it has 5 extraordinarily vivid LED spotlights that assist allow full-color evening imaginative and prescient.

One other large improve is the Reolink RLC-823A camera. I didn’t get one, however it might be of curiosity to some customers on the market. Along with 5x optical zoom and LED spotlights, it has mechanical pan and tilt options plus auto-tracking to comply with any movement. So, for instance, it might robotically pan as an individual walks from one aspect of your yard to the opposite.

Reolink NVR upgrades

Subsequent up is the NVR, which undoubtedly wants some upgrades.

Initially, Reolink ships the RLN8-410 NVR with a 2TB exhausting drive. 2TB could be high-quality for a laptop, however it’s not a lot area for a 4K NVR. With 5 cameras feeding 4K video to the NVR all day lengthy, 2TB was about sufficient area for 5 days’ price of video. After that, the NVR begins overwriting the oldest recordings.

I needed to have the ability to look again a lot additional than that. Fortunately, there are two methods to improve the RLN8-410 NVR’s storage.

First, you’ll be able to improve the interior exhausting drive that comes within the NVR. Reolink says this NVR mannequin helps as much as 6TB, and it lists really useful exhausting drive fashions on its website. I selected the Seagate SkyHawk 6TB HDD, which has been working nice.

Directions for the improve are on Reolink’s web site. It’s an easy process that may take most individuals about 5 minutes to do. Then you definitely simply must format the brand new exhausting drive, which can also be fairly easy.

Subsequent, you’ll be able to add an exterior HDD as much as 6TB and join it utilizing the eSATA port on the again of the NVR. I did this too, utilizing a second Seagate SkyHawk 6TB exhausting drive and a StarTech exterior drive enclosure that prices about $57 on Amazon.

These two new exhausting drives give me a complete of 12TB of storage as an alternative of 2TB. That’s sufficient area for a few month of 4K recordings from 5 Reolink cameras.

Reolink storageReolink’s 8-channel NVR helps a 6TB inner HDD and a 6TB exterior HDD. Picture supply: Maren Estrada for BGR

Of observe, the 16-channel model of this Reolink NVR helps as much as three exhausting drives. It has area for 2 HDDs contained in the NVR, plus an eSATA port for an exterior exhausting drive.

Final however not least, I added a fan contained in the Reolink NVR to assist cool it down a bit. The RLN8-410 NVR has area, vents, and a connector port for a fan, however it doesn’t really ship with one inside.

I purchased a Noctua NF-A4x10 FLX fan on Amazon for $14 and adopted the directions on this video to do the set up. It really works nice and it’s very quiet. I can’t hear it in any respect, even after I’m just some ft away from the cupboard that holds the NVR.

It’s a quite simple process that anybody can comply with. The set up took me about 8 minutes, although 5 minutes of that point was spent making an attempt to work the included screws into the NVR case. They don’t match completely, so you must apply some power to screw them in.

Issues with Reolink cameras

I already talked about a couple of shortcomings of this Reolink camera system. Examples embody the shortage of wealthy notifications and the lack to simply mute notifications for a short while. However there’s one other difficulty that’s way more vital to me.

Reolink’s PoE house safety camera techniques actually fall quick in the case of smart home integration.

The one smart home integrations at the moment supported by Reolink’s PoE system are Amazon Alexa and Google Dwelling. That’s completely not adequate in any respect.

In the event you use a extra complete smart home system, Reolink merely gained’t combine with it in any respect. For instance, I take advantage of SmartThings. My outside Arlo cameras was deeply built-in with my SmartThings setup, triggering all types of automations. Now, all that comfort is out the window.

Many techniques that don’t help large smart home platforms like SmartThings supply a workaround by integrating with IFTTT. Dangerous information: Reolink doesn’t help IFTTT both.

It’s a bummer, however it’s definitely not the tip of the world. You’ll discover workarounds for many issues in case you’re prepared to get artistic. For instance, I added a couple of Philips Hue Out of doors Movement Sensors round my house to deal with a lot of the automations that was triggered by my outside Arlo cameras.

Reolink camera system value

Reolink presents so many alternative bundles, so costs fluctuate. However the Reolink RLK8-800B4 PoE camera system is likely one of the firm’s hottest choices, and it’s the one I examined for this review.

The Reolink RLK8-800B4 system retails for $529.99, which is already a discount in comparison with comparable techniques from different manufacturers. It goes on sale on a regular basis although, so it’s unlikely that you just’ll pay full value.

On the time of this writing, this Reolink PoE camera system was on sale for simply $449.99 on Amazon and from different retailers.

REOLINK 4K Safety Digicam System, 4pcs H.265 4K PoE Safety Cameras Wired with Sensible Individual V… Listing Worth:$529.99 Worth:$449.99 You Save:$105.00 (20%) Purchase Now Accessible from Amazon, BGR could obtain a fee

By comparability, a 3-pack of Arlo Professional 4 cameras retails for $549.99. One extra camera prices $199.99.

Meaning you’ll must spend $749.98 to get a 4-camera system just like the Reolink RLK8-800B4. Plus, you’ll be able to’t use your Arlo cameras with no $9.99/month subscription to Arlo Safe.

Reolink PoE camera system specs

The Reolink RLK8-800B4 camera system comes with two important parts. First, there’s the Reolink RLN8-410 NVR. Then, you get 4 Reolink B800 cameras.

The NVR has 2TB of capability and the cameras are all 4K cameras with 8MP sensors. Listed below are the total specs:

Reolink RLN8-410 NVR specs


Video/Audio Enter

  • IP Video Enter
  • PoE IP camera x 8

Audio Enter

  • Cameras with built-in mic

Video/Audio Output

Show Decision

  • HDMI: 4096*3072, 3840*2160, 1920*1080, 1440*900, 1280*1024, 1280*720, 1024*768
  • VGA: 1920*1080, 1440*900, 1280*1024, 1280*800, 1280*720, 1024*768

Audio output

Included storage

Expandable storage

  • As much as 6TB inner HDD
  • As much as 6TB extra storage through exterior HDD (eSATA connection)

Reolink B800 camera specs

Picture Sensor

Video Decision

  • Default: 3840X2160 (8 megapixels) @20FPS


  • f=4.0 mm mounted, F=2.0, with IR reduce

Video Format

Subject of View

  • Horizontal: 87°
  • Vertical: 44°

Day & Night time

  • IR-cut filter with auto-switching

Night time Imaginative and prescient

  • 30 meters (100ft) (LED: 18pcs/14mil/850nm)

Body Fee

  • Mainstream: 2fps – 20fps (default: 20fps)
  • Substream: 4fps – 15fps (default: 10fps)

Code Fee

  • Mainstream: 4096Kbps – 8192Kbps (default: 6144Kbps)
  • Substream: 64Kbps – 512Kbps (default: 256Kbps)


Sensible Alarms

  • Individual detection/automobile detection/movement detection

Recording Modes

  • Movement-triggered recording (default); scheduled recording, 24/7 recording

RLK8-800B4 4K PoE Dwelling Safety Digicam System

Score: 4 Stars

This Reolink camera system is ideal for individuals who need highly effective PoE cameras which might be straightforward to arrange. The included 2TB NVR has a easy however versatile interface, and Reolink’s apps are nice. Plus, you’ll be able to simply broaden your system with extra PoE cameras or with Reolink’s wi-fi cameras.

BGR could obtain a fee

Reolink Camera System

BGR could obtain a fee


  • Very cheap in comparison with rivals
  • No month-to-month price
  • Easy setup and easy-to-use apps
  • Clear 4K video
  • Versatile system with many customization choices
  • Straightforward to broaden with PoE or wi-fi cameras


  • Nighttime video readability is common
  • Very restricted smart home integration

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