You’d think combining a DIY home security system with a camera would be commonplace.
Although there are systems that do it, it isn’t what most systems do – they are either a security system or video surveillance or video monitoring system.
The advances on the internet and mobile technology are now making it possible to combine the 2 and also be able to control with your smartphone any where you can get a signal.
We’ve investigated the systems available and spent a number of hours assessing them by checking their specifications, reading through the manuals, product listing and checking customer reviews to understand everything about them.
We then compared them side by side to come up with our short list.
The criteria we used to do this are:
The criteria we used to do this are:
Cameras. We went for systems with reasonable quality video cameras rather than crystal clear because we didn’t find any in our search that meant that criteria
Video Storage. There needed to be a simple solution for storing video that was easy to access and made searching through it simple and quick.
Sensors. These play an important part for home security systems to work completely. We looked for systems that had both motion and entry sensors. This eliminated some of the newer systems such as Canary, Dropcam Pro or Arlo as they don’t include entry sensors.
Remote Monitoring It is important that the App you control and monitor the system is easy to use. Also you need to be able to view the video and control the system from anywhere in the world.
Notifications. The system needs to send out notifications to people who are monitoring the system when there is a security event. There needs to be the facility to add multi-people to the system to receive notifications and monitor the system.
Price. We looked more at the overall quality of the system rather than price to include a system on our best of list but have included a more affordable option but it doesn’t meet the criteria on storage.
Secure. The systems selected use best practices to ensure you data and video is secure. You do need to ensure you use secure passwords and change them as with anything to do with the internet. You also need to be careful who you give access to your account.
Oplink TripleShield Security
To start with the negative – the biggest drawback on this system is that you need to pay a monthly fee to be able to see recorded video of security events on your phone. If you don’t pay the monthly fee you will still receive notifications of them and can view a live feed.
In this kit you receive 1 Oplink Process Unit, 2 Wireless IP Cameras, 2 Door/Window Sensors, 2 Remote Controls, 1 110 db Siren and 1 Motion Sensor.
The cameras have 640 X 480 resolution with field of view of 66 degrees. It is a fixed view so you aren’t able to pan or tilt. When a security event is detected by the camera’s motion sensor or the other sensors a 30 second video is recorded (5 seconds before the event) and stored on a local flash drive that you access with your phone. It stores the videos for up to 7 days.
The App is easy to use. It gives you access to all you need to control and monitor the system. You can view up to 4 cameras at one time. You can have up to 8 cameras on one Oplink Process Unit but you can control more than Oplink Process Unit within the same App.
It contacts you by push notification, email or by phone. With the free service you can have 1 owner and 1 authorised user. To add more people you need to upgrade to the paid service. The owner is the only person that can make changes to the system.
This is an easy system to set up and use. It comes with reasonable video quality.
This is camera system that you can upgrade to include entry sensors that work with the camera.
The camera is a 1080 HD camera with a 180 degree view. It gives a fisheye view of a room where you can see everything that is going on in one view. This does distort the quality of the video and means it has a grainy appearance. It includes a 105 db alarm and motion detector within the camera housing.
It can store up to 1000 35 second videos on the company’s cloud servers that are the result of an event – such as motion detected, loud noise detected. There is no charge for this. You can’t store locally and if you want to download the video it you need to contact Piper.
The door/window contacts work on any type of door or window and are easy to install and sync up with the camera.
The App is straightforward to use and can use it anywhere you can access the internet to view live video feed and speak to people at home.
You can add as many people as you want to your account to view, monitor and receive notifications. You can decide when you receive a notification and the type from by push notification (the app sends a message to your phone), email, text message and phone call.
The highlights of this system are 180 degree camera view and the free storage of 1000 video clips.
This is a functional looking system. It does what it is supposed to and does that well. As standard it comes with a control hub. 2 door/window contacts, motion sensor and remote key fob for under $150. You can add up to 100 sensors and 10 cameras to it. The IP camera are priced below $90.
The camera is HD camera with 1280 X 720 resolution. It can pan 355 degrees giving virtually full coverage of any area it is placed in. It can work up to 800 ft away from the control hub.
The camera doesn’t start recording automatically, you need to initiate a live feed from your phone. You can then record the feed on to your phone or other compatible devices.
When the sensors detect movement or entry you receive a notification by way of the App push notification. You should receive it within seconds of the event being detected as long as your phone has a signal .
The App itself is basic and not feature rich but give you what you need for monitoring your home.
You can add as many people to your account that you want to monitor and receive notifications
This is a good system for those who are wanting a budget priced system that can be relied on when it is needed. It can also be used to set up a home automation network
The quality of the video is good when there is sufficient light but at night it is very grainy. It have 30 degree field of view with the ability to pan 350 degree and tilt 130 degrees.
When there is an incident it can text up to 3 people and send push notifications to as many people as you want.
The App is well laid out and from here you can view the camera, pan and tilt and save snapshots to the cloud server.
There is no battery backup to the system so when the power is out the entire system is down too.
There are no fees to use the system and there are plans for it to be used as a home automation hub as it can control unlimited number of devices. There are no fees to pay. It is reliable and easy to use system.
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a DIY wireless home security system with camera that doesn’t have something that needs improvement. The good thing is these systems are being improved to provide more and be better on regular basis.
Having said that, these systems can provide the basis for a good security system for the home where you’ll be alerted if an unauthorised person enters your home and then see what is going or be able to see what is happening at home anytime you want.
Filed under: Buying Advice
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