Arlo is well-known as a security and smart home technology company, making some of the best cameras available on the market. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll have the easiest time learning to set up when you buy a new Arlo camera. Particularly if you aren’t necessarily tech-savvy.
This guide will help with the process and explain the steps and actions you need to take to set up your new Arlo camera.
But first some caveats
First off, the only real caveat to discuss here is that some cameras, including Arlo cameras, require a 2.4GHz network to set up. So you’ll likely need to use a smartphone or other Android device on a 2.4GHz WiFi connection to set up your Arlo camera too. Otherwise, the setup will fail.
There will also be plenty of differences in how you set up your Arlo camera, depending on your exact camera and features — as is the case with many of our guides. The camera we’re using for this guide, for instance, has a privacy shutter. So you’ll see images in this guide relating to that. But you may see different features discussed during your setup on your device instead.
Finally, this guide is intended to be a general setup guide, rather than an in-depth one. Primarily because of those features. Setup for special features will require extra steps that will vary depending on the camera. So we’ll cover those elsewhere in our guides list.
How to set up your new Arlo camera
First and foremost, following the installation of the camera, you’ll need to download the Arlo app. That’s fairly easy to spot since it’s simply called “Arlo” and has the same icon as on the camera box. Open the Arlo app, once installed.
Next, you’ll need to log into the Arlo app. If you already have an Arlo account, you can simply “Log In.” Otherwise, select the “Create Account” option. As shown in the images below, you’ll be presented with a standard account creation form. Including the ability to sign up for alerts from Arlo about its products and services. You can deselect that option if you’d like. But you’ll need to agree to terms and conditions prior to signing up.
Fill out the form, then select “Continue.” You’ll see a message informing you to check your email for verification.
Navigate to your email and open the new email from Arlo. It may be in your Spam folder. So be sure to mark it as “not spam” if it is. Then select the link to verify your account, as shown below.
You’ll see a message confirming verification. Now you can return to the Arlo app, where you’ll be presented with options for authentication. As shown below, we selected text confirmation. You can also choose to associate each individual device as a “trusted” device. Once you’ve decided, select the “Secure my account” button to continue.
Regardless of the security method chosen, you’ll first be asked to verify your phone number.
…and then to verify whether Arlo should trust the device you’re currently on. Followed by the option to give the trusted device a name.
On the next screen, you’ll see confirmation that your account was created. That’s followed by an option to select the device you’ll be using with the account. If you already have an Arlo account, the option to add a device will appear near the top left-hand side of the UI. Accompanied by a “Plus” icon. Select that, if the options aren’t already available. Then select the “Cameras” device category.
After selecting the device category, select the model category and then the exact model of your camera. In our example, we’re setting up an Arlo Essential Indoor Security Camera. As shown below.
The guide in the app will walk you through some basic introductory pages for your new camera. If you need to install a hub, it should be at this point that you see any information about that process. You’ll only need to use hubs for older Arlo cameras.
You’ll also see a pop-up, following those pages, requesting access to your location.
The Arlo app will need permissions, at the very least for setup. So be sure to select an option that allows location access. Then enter your WiFi security credentials before continuing.
Follow the on-screen instructions, ensuring your camera is powered up and that the shutter has reopened before selecting “Continue.”
Press and hold the sync button — the on-screen instructions will show you its placement — for approximately one second to turn on the indicator light. Hold your smartphone or tablet in front of the camera, as described in the app, to get the camera connected.
Now, if your camera isn’t connecting, you may see a message about connecting to a 2.4GHz network instead of a 5GHz network. If that happens, you’ll need to troubleshoot your router to ensure you’re connected to the appropriate type of network. In my case, I switched to a tablet that only supported 2.4GHz networks and switched my entire network to 2.4GHz.
Once connected, the display will change to indicate that the connection has been successful. And the app will ask you to rename your camera. Enter a name and press “Continue.”
Next, wait for any software updates and internal setup processes to finish. The app will then take you to a camera preview screen. Use the screen as a guide to adjust the position of your camera as needed. You’ll also see a descriptor of your connection strength. So you can move your camera to improve that, as needed, as well.
Finally, you’ll see a screen in the setup that confirms that you secessfully added the cameras. You’ll then see several pages explaining the features of the camera, as found in the menus shown in the gallery below. You’ll also see a brief description of your free three-month trial to Arlo Secure for even more features. And any hardware-specific features for your own camera.
Now you can move on to add your camera to your existing ecosystems, such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa if you have that already set up. And set up any additional features, as shown in the final pages of the setup process.