Can you use Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera without subscription? We get asked this a lot.
It’s a reliable security camera for your home and business that offers HD video, color night vision, two-way audio, an integrated spotlight, and more.
But what if you don’t want to pay for a monthly subscription?
Yes, you can use your Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera even if you don’t have a subscription. However, there will be some limitations regarding the camera’s functions and features.
We’ll explain more in detail below!
Sp, Can You Use Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera Without Subscription
Whether you have a subscription or not, you’ll still be able to use your camera.
Either way, you’ll still have access to the Arlo app, allowing you to view live video, receive motion and sound alerts, and customize your camera’s settings.
Understanding Arlo’s Subscription and Free Plans
Can you use Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera without subscription?
Now that you know you’re able to use it let’s find out the different plans that Arlo offers and compare them.
Each tier comes with various features.
Here are some of the plans they offer:
- Arlo Free Plan
- Arlo Secure
- Arlo Secure Plus
- Arlo Safe and Secure Pro
Comparison Between the Different Arlo Subscription
To give you a better idea of the differences between these Arlo plans, we’ve created a table that summarizes the main features.
You’ll be able to use this table to decide if you want to upgrade from the free plan.
|Safe and Secure Pro
|Up to 1080p
|Up to 2K
|Up to 4K
|Up to 4K
|Up to 5
Note: As you can see, you still get the basic features with the free plan without paying a monthly fee.
Using Your Arlo Essential Spotlight Without a Subscription
If you decide to use your Arlo Essential Spotlight without a subscription, you will still be able to use some of the functions and features of your camera.
However, there are also some limitations and drawbacks. Let’s find out what you can and can’t do with the free plan.
Functionalities and Features You Have
With the free plan, you’re still able to enjoy some of your camera’s important features and functions.
Let’s find out what these are:
- Live video: View live video from your camera anytime using the Arlo app or the website.
- Motion and sound alerts: Get alerts on your phone when your camera detects them.
- Cloud storage: Access and download your recordings from the cloud for up to 7 days.
- Custom modes and rules: Create these for your camera to give better control over it.
- Smart home integration: Connect to Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit.
Note: If you’re not planning on getting the more advanced features, the free tier should be enough.
What You Can’t Do with the Free Plan
Now that you have a good idea of what functions you have access to with the free plan, let’s compare it with what you can’t do.
These features are certainly nice to have, but if you don’t want to spend on a subscription, it won’t make or break your Arlo camera experience.
If you have the free plan, you won’t be able to do these things:
- Access to 2K or 4K video recording. The free plan only allows you to record in 1080p.
- Receive smart notifications. With the free plan, you’ll get all alerts, even false alarms.
- Create activity zones. The free plan relies on your camera’s default motion detection.
- Emergency response service. You’ll have to call emergency services yourself.
- 24/7 continuous video recording. The camera records when it detects motion.
Tip: As long as you’re aware and ready to deal with some of these limitations, you can use your Arlo Essential Spotlight camera without a subscription.
How to Use Your Arlo Essential Spotlight Without a Subscription
Method #1: Using the Basic Features
One of your primary options to use your Arlo camera without getting a subscription is to use the basic features of the free plan simply.
It will not hinder the functions of your camera, as you’ll still be able to use it as a security camera.
These features are usually enough for people who want to monitor their property and get notified of any activity within the camera’s field of view.
To use the basic features of your Arlo camera, follow these steps:
- Get the Arlo app on your device.
- Create an Arlo account or sign in to your existing account.
- Tap the + button in the top right of the screen.
- Select Add Device.
- Choose your Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera from the list.
- Add the camera to the app.
After adding your camera to the app, you’ll have access to these features on the app:
- Live view: Tap the “Live” tab in the app.
- Two-way audio: Tap the “Microphone” icon in the live view feed.
- View recorded clips: Select the “Library” tab and choose the camera you want to view.
Method #2: Using Local Storage
If you did not get the Arlo subscription, your cloud storage capabilities are limited.
However, if you want to store more video clips, there’s a way, but you’ll have to go the local route.
This means that you will rely on local storage with the help of an Arlo Base Station and an attached storage device such as a USB drive or an SD card.
Doing this allows you to avoid the limitation of the 7-day limit on your Arlo cloud storage.
Here’s how to use local storage:
- Connect a USB device to one of the USB ports on your Arlo Base Station.
- Open the Arlo app on your device.
- Tap on Settings.
- Select My Devices.
- Choose your Arlo Base Station from the list.
- Tap Local Storage to enable local recording.
- Select the USB device name and choose Overwrite.
- Tap on Save.
To view your videos, open the Arlo app and tap on your USB storage device to manage and view your clips.
Note: If you’re using more than one USB storage device, you will need to repeat these steps for each one.
Tips for Using Your Arlo Camera Without a Subscription
Since you’re not going to have all the extra features that come with an Arlo subscription, it’s important that you optimize your setup.
There are tips that you can utilize so you’ll be able to take full advantage of your Arlo camera.
Here they are:
- Use high-quality and high-capacity USB storage for your local recordings.
- Use a fast and reliable WiFi connection for your camera and base station.
- Use WiFi with a strong and secure password to not compromise your security.
- Use a surge protector and backup battery for your camera and base station.
- Use smart home integration to enhance your camera’s functionality.
Note: These tips are easy to follow and won’t cost you extra, and they will provide more value for your setup, so you won’t think about getting a subscription.
Subscribing to an Arlo Plan vs Free: Is It Worth It?
The final question that’s on your mind is whether it’s worth it to subscribe to any of the Arlo plans or not.
The basic features are enough to keep a robust security system that will sufficiently protect your property.
Using local storage is going to give you more capacity than the cloud. It does take some manual work on your end to maintain and manage your system.
However, if this doesn’t bother you, sticking to the free tier is great. In the end, it’s all about convenience.
If you don’t have the time to set your system up and manage it, you can subscribe to an Arlo plan. You can also opt for their free trial period to try out any of their subscriptions.
- Create an Arlo account if you don’t have one yet.
- Add your Arlo Essential Spotlight to your Arlo account.
- After adding your camera, you’re automatically enrolled for the 3-month trial.
Note: The plan you will have access to is the Arlo Secure plan.
After your trial ends, you will automatically be switched to the Arlo Basic Plan, the free plan.
If you have questions about their subscriptions, contact Arlo Support and upgrade to a paid plan anytime.
Can you use Arlo Essential Spotlight Camera without a subscription? Yes, you’ll be able to use your camera even if you don’t get a subscription.
You’ll get the basic features, which are more than enough to keep your home and property safe.
For more information and troubleshooting guides about your Arlo cameras and system, visit our blog!
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