Home security webcam recommendation
January 6, 2017 10:24 AM   Subscribe

My partner and I just moved into a new condo in the city, and the added foot traffic in the hallways seems to be driving our dog crazy. We are looking for a wireless webcam security solution that will allow us to check and see how he's doing while we're out, as well as provide a bit of extra security, as a secondary priority. Researching the options on Amazon is totally overwhelming. Requirements within.

Note to mods: I see a few similar questions but I am assuming there may be more options available since they have been asked.

Mandatory
-Ability to "live-stream" to view our pup throughout the day.
-Ability to watch the stream via iOS app that has above-average usability and design.
-Two cameras or possibly even three cameras, as the condo consists of two larger living areas and separate entryways connected by a long, skinny hallway.
-Battery-powered, with batteries that actually last a decent amount of time. Outlet availability will be limited, and frankly, I'm not thrilled about the idea of running cords all over the place. Our ceilings are pretty high so having to switch the batteries out every couple of months would be a PITA.

Nice to have
-Under $300, or even under $200.
-Range of motion, or ability to move the camera remotely to view different angles.
-Night or low-light vision. We're primarily concerned with what's going on while we're at work, but it'd be nice to see that all is well at home while we are out at night, too.
posted by lieber hair to Technology (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Netgear's Arlo cameras give you everything you want except the range of motion. I spent a bunch of time looking at this last year, and at that time at least, they seemed to be far and away the best battery powered option. Batteries have lasted 4-6 months.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:37 AM on January 6, 2017


re: security - not sure how you plan on maintaining the footage, but I've used AngelCam and they're reasonably priced.
posted by pyro979 at 10:43 AM on January 6, 2017


Wired power is definitely the way to go; to save power, the battery-powered cameras are all view-on-demand. That means that if you look at the camera and see your house has been broken into, there's no way to rewind and get images of who did it. And the lifespan of the batteries is all based on just a few minutes of viewing a day. If you view, say, an hour a day, you will get a couple of weeks out of the batteries rather than six months.

The power cable for a camera of this sort is low-voltage and the wire can therefore be run inside walls without needing a conduit without violating code. You can also, say, mount the camera in a corner and use trim pieces to hide the wire if you don't want to get inside the walls.
posted by kindall at 10:57 AM on January 6, 2017


That means that if you look at the camera and see your house has been broken into, there's no way to rewind and get images of who did it.

Recording is motion-activated.

And the lifespan of the batteries is all based on just a few minutes of viewing a day. If you view, say, an hour a day, you will get a couple of weeks out of the batteries rather than six months.

This is certainly the case. Battery is no good if you're going to be running the viewer watching what goes on all day.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:08 AM on January 6, 2017


Recording is motion-activated.

Fair enough, but activating this will also reduce your battery life. Especially if you've got a dog so there's lots of motion...
posted by kindall at 11:15 AM on January 6, 2017


MANY THING on a plugged in unused smartphone or tablet is AWESOME for this. It tells you if the recording was triggered by motion or sound, if anything, I need to go in and tweak the setting for the sound recording trigger because it's a little too excellent. The live picture is great. I'm really happy with this after researching, using, and returning tons of options. Seriously. I love ManyThing, the interface is super easy. It's great.
posted by jbenben at 12:13 PM on January 6, 2017 [6 favorites]


My experience with Arlos were that they were very flaky and the battery lasted from days to weeks, not months. YMMV, but I found that the "battery operated" aspect was not possible for me with any of the current offerings.
posted by primethyme at 12:30 PM on January 6, 2017


The people behind the incredible and top rated Cloud Baby Monitor App have just launched an app called Pet Monitor: Dog and Puppy Camera, which looks like it would meet all your requirements. I use the baby one and it would too - looks like the pet one is the same thing just rebranded.

You would need an iOS device(s) that you're not taking outside the house with you. Said iOS device doesn't need to be wired necessarily but you'll get a lot longer out of it if you just leave it plugged in. For €3.99 you could just try it out by leaving one of your current phones at home (if you don't have a spare) and see what you think - it's 1% of your budget.
posted by bimbam at 2:49 PM on January 6, 2017


We have two Arlos, both set up outdoors. The batteries lasted from May through December. (We do not connect to watch live action.)

For ease of use, they can't be beat. Every time a cam is activated by motion, we both get a message including a link to the clip. On the possible downside, each clip is only 10 seconds long. Resolution is good but not great, less good in the dark. (But we did easily ascertain that the kid who rang our doorbell at 1am was not someone we know.)
posted by Short Attention Sp at 12:57 AM on January 7, 2017


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