Our Top GW Camera Picks

Over the last few years the GW brand has come a long way. They once started out being a Chinese while-label manufacturer that produced very run of the mill products. However, even though they still manufacture in China, they have a base in the US and even offer a US warranty. The cameras have greatly improved and are now some of the best affordable products on the market. 

This article will take you through the top selling GW Cameras - their features, the good points and more importantly their bad points - so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you.

GW Security 5 Megapixel 2592 x 1920 Pixel Super HD Security IP Camera with 2.8-12mm Varifocal Zoom Len

GW Security 1080p HD Security Camera
$99.00
19 Reviews
$99.00
19 Reviews

Key Features of This GW Camera:

  • There is a 5 megapixel camera which shoots at 2592x1920 high resolution.
  • There is a built-in 12mm Varifocal HD zoom lens with IR-CUT to allow you to adjust the angle of view.
  • Three different quality modes - 5MP 1920p @ 15 FPS; 3MP 1536p @ 30 FPS; 2MP 1080p @ 30 FPS.
  • The ability to program motion detection emails and alerts.
  • Power over Ethernet allowing for super easy setup.
  • Remote viewing on PC or Smartphone.
  • Can be used both indoor or outdoor and is fully waterproof.

What we like about this GW Camera:

There is no doubting that for the price this is a great quality camera. It has many of the features you would normally find on much higher priced models.

We like that is has the ability to shoot in super high quality 2592x1920 resolution - super important for identifying faces if you ever need to. We also like the fact that is has a decent 12mm zoom lens, however this is operated manually so is limited to its uses.

A great feature is the ability to record at different quality and FPS levels. Most people using this camera around the home would record at the highest level, however if you are using it for a business or larger property then storage space maybe a issue. You can sacrifice some of the quality to trade off against space.

All good cameras should have a motion detection sensor and the ability to send alerts. Again if you are short of storage space, or you don't want to watch through hours of footage when reviewing the video then this feature is a must. 

The last great feature we want to mention is that it is a POE (power over Ethernet) camera. This means that when you install it, you only need to run 1 wire. 

What we don't like about this GW Camera:

Firstly the PC mobile viewing software is only available for Windows - if you are a Mac user then you will have to use a virtual machine which is a pain.

The second thing is that even though it is nice to have a decent zoom lens, the actual zoom speed is very slow. It not really an issue if you are setting the camera up and zooming to get the framing correct, but it is an issue if you want to zoom in live on some suspect activity.

Finally, the build quality of the camera isn't comparable to some of the more expensive cameras. However when you think of all the good features you get for the price, then really its pretty decent.

Overview of this GW Camera:

Overall this is a good entry level camera. It has the basic features you would expect all cameras to have - 5 megapixel and decent resolution, remote viewing etc. However it also has things like POE which are usually found in more expensive cameras. 

If you are looking for a decent camera which takes a decent quality video for a decent price then this is for you.

GW Security 5 Megapixel 2592 x 1920 HD Security IP Camera with 2.8-12mm Varifocal Zoom Len

GW Security HD 5MP 2592 x 1920 Security Camera
$109.00
7 Reviews
$109.00
7 Reviews

Key Features of This GW Camera:

  • There is a 5 megapixel camera which shoots at 2592x1920 high resolution.
  • There is a built-in 12mm Varifocal HD zoom lens with IR-CUT to allow you to adjust the angle of view.
  • Three different quality modes - 5MP 1920p @ 15 FPS; 3MP 1536p @ 30 FPS; 2MP 1080p @ 30 FPS.
  • The ability to program motion detection emails and alerts.
  • Power over Ethernet allowing for super easy setup.
  • Remote viewing on PC or Smartphone.
  • Can be used both indoor or outdoor and is fully waterproof.

What we like about this GW Camera:

This GW camera is pretty much just a dome version of the camera above. As such almost all of the features we like are the same.

One feature we didn't mention above is the night vision. As you can see in the photo there are 30 infrared LED's that provide decent vision in low light conditions. GW state that you can record video in the dark at 80ft, however most reviews say that it is more like 30-40ft.

The obvious benefit of this GW camera over the one above is the design. It looks much nicer for indoor use and is a lot more discreet. Given the choice, as the features are pretty much the same, I would opt for this one.

What we don't like about this GW Camera:

Again the PC mobile viewing software is only available for Windows. This is the same for all GW cameras. It's not a massive issue as most people use a PC, however if you use a Mac then you may have to rely on the smartphone app.

The build quality is similar to the above camera, however our preference is a dome camera. Mainly because if it is placed outdoor, it is more discreet and less likely to be vandalized.  

Overview of this GW Camera:

Overall this is a good entry level camera. It has some great features for the price. However the same issues are present as the camera above. The build quality isn't as high as more expensive models, but you do get some nice features.

GW Secuiryt WiFi Smart Video Doorbell Camera With 1 Indoor Chime

GW Secuiryt WiFi Smart Video Doorbell Camera

GW Secuiryt WiFi Smart Video Doorbell Camera With 1 Indoor Chime

Table could not be displayed.

Key Features of This GW Camera:

  • 720p @ 30 FPS HD Video with 166 degree field of view.
  • Connects via WIFI.
  • Motion detection and automatic recording.
  • View and interact with visitors through the Smartphone app.
  • Get push notifications via the Smartphone app.
  • Easy to install as it is battery powered.
  • One year warranty and free technical support.

What we like about this GW Camera:

We thought we would add this GW Camera Doorbell in this article as it is a little different that the other two types of typical security cameras.

So as the name suggest's this is a doorbell and camera rolled into one product. It not only allows you to record video, but you can also speak and interact with visitors via the smartphone app.

The main player in this market is Ring (you can read our Ring Doorbell Reviews here). However lots of other players have brought out competing products and GW's is pretty good. 

Firstly, compared to most other doorbell cameras, this one is prices very competitively. A standard Ring product will cost you upward of $170. The features are pretty much exactly the same, you are just paying for the name.

Secondly, we love how easy this GW camera is to install. As it connects via WIFI and runs on battery power, there is no need to run any wired. The downside to this obviously is that you need to recharge the battery once a month.

Finally we love the smartphone app. It is easy to install and connect the camera, and is very intuitive so you don't spend ages trying to figure out how it works. 

What we don't like about this GW Camera:

As with all GW products, the price is super cheap so the build quality isn't as good as higher priced competitors. When you hold it in your hand, it just doesn't feel sturdy - however neither to actually doorbells and they seem to last a lifetime. 

The product only comes with 1 chime, which if you have a small house is fine. However if you have a larger house you are going to want to purchase more. You can always use the smartphone notification, but it is easy to miss.

Overview of this GW Camera:

Overall this is a pretty competent doorbell camera. It is super cheap and is a great entry model if you want to dip your toe. Even though it is cheap it comes with a good quality and well though out smartphone app. It's easy to install and the battery lasts around a month so it doesn't get too annoying having to charge it constantly. 

GW Camera Summary

GW manufacture an awful lot of different cameras, however most of them are very similar. We decided to review their top bullet, dome and doorbell camera. We have concluded that the bullet and dome camera are pretty much the same, except they are in a different casing. If we had to choose, we would pick the dome camera purely based on the fact that is it more discreet and less likely to get vandalized.

Doorbird Doorbell Review

Yet another video doorbell offering to let you answer your door from anywhere in the world. A cool promise but does the Doorbird Doorbell live up to this promise as the Ring doorbell we earlier reviewed or does it offer less than the regular Ding-dong doorbell? This review provides answers and you can then decide if it will be next to your front door.

The Doorbird doorbell is manufactured in Germany, a brainchild of the Bird Home Automation Group located in Berlin and San Francisco. Well-crafted and sturdy in appearance, the Doorbird looks the part of a technologically advanced gadget that is pleasing to the eyes and not tacky in design.

Specifications & Features Recap

The Doorbird doorbell specifications

  • HDTV 720p dynamic Camera
  • Two-way Audio with microphone and speaker. Smart noise and echo cancellation
  • 180-degree horizontal, 90 degree vertical wide viewing Angle
  • Passive Infrared motion sensor
  • 12 infrared led for clear night vision
  • IP65 weather proof rating
  • Connects with up to 8 devices
  • IOS and Android smart-device compatibility (free)

A look into the good and bad 

Full packed specification sheet, let’s see the pros and cons of a Doorbird doorbell

Pros
  • Easy to install (DIY)
  • Different designs and colors to choose from
  • Stainless steel finishing
  • Two-way audio
  • Multi connectors available
  • Temperature proof
  • Cloud recording (optional)
  • Customized Self-design feature available (Architect service)
Cons
  • Pricey ($378+) Most expensive of all top security doorbell cameras
  • Not easy to install for everyone
  • No inbuilt storage
  • Only 16 reviews on smartphone app total

Design

At present, there are about 6 different designs to choose from when considering the Doorbird doorbell. This is in a bid to meet different aesthetic need and purpose. Carefully crafted and manufactured in Germany, each unit makes use of stainless steel faceplate and polycarbonate housing to give a strong and sturdy appearance that is IP65 certified. The dimensions of each design differs but they are nevertheless not too heavy or light as the strato-silver edition displayed below weighs 290g.

Performance

The doorbell delivers on its promise of HD video with its clear video quality and two-way audio, this means you get clear video and audio to easily interact with whoever is at your front porch. Night vision isn’t a write off either as the night vision is decent up to about 30 feet.  The draw back though is no inbuilt storage which means you don’t get video recording out of the box, what’s available on newer models though is a cloud storage and the ability to take pictures with a push of a button on the app.

Getting the Doorbird Installed

Doorbird assures users that they do not require professional installers or any special tool to install their video doorbell unit. From users reviews and experience, we can state that the regular installation of a Doorbird unit should take an estimated 20-30 minutes max.  Simply follow the instruction manual found in the box or the simple steps listed below.

  1. Detach your existing doorbell
  2. Locate the wiring in the wall, typically two or more.
  3. Connect the wiring to the wires of the Doorbird doorbell to power the unit.  (Make sure you turn off the power to your front padio during the wiring switches!)
  4. Proceed to mount it with the screws contained in the box at a minimum height of 154cm from the floor.
  5. Connect the Doorbird doorbell via Wifi or Ethernet to your internet router
  6. Voila! You are done, proceed to receive push notifications with real-time video and audio feeds when a visitor approaches or ring your doorbell.

Available Add-ons

To further enhance user’s Experience, the Doorbird doorbell offers some add-ons available as separate purchase to ensure users get the full functionality of the unit. These add-ons include:

  1. The Birdguard: An indoor/outdoor camera unit that enables you see what your visitor is up to when they gain entry into your home. It comes complete with a siren blaster of up to 100Db to scare intruders if and when necessary.
  2. The Doorbird door chime: for homes without a door chime, this Wi-Fi enabled door chime enables you know when someone is at the door especially when your phone isn’t close by.
  3. Door and window sensors: Available for doors windows and gates, these sensors help you know if your doors or windows are left open when you leave the house by the touch of a button on the Doorbird app. Battery powered, it also sends notifications when someone opens your door or windows when you are not home.

These addons essentially helps to better the user experience of the video door bell.

Support

Doorbird doorbell provides support for virtually every facets of usage of its doorbell. Well detailed and elaborate guide are available on the support page and also for download. Categories covered include:

  • Installation guides (sorted out by models)
  • Online connectivity check
  • Application user manual for both iOS and android devices
  • Quick start guides to get started.
  • Installation video for those who prefer visual guides
  • Drilling template guide

FAQ: There exist a different category of FAQ with answers to possible questions that users or intending buyers may like to ask.  No call in customer support.

Our final thoughts before ‘flying away’…

Having a Doorbird doorbell installed on your front door might make you wonder how you ever got by without it. With the numerous features it boast of and the variety of models available, Doorbird gets a pass mark as it hold its own against the competitors.

Other articles you may be interested in:  Ring doorbell reviews & Zmodo Doorbell camera

How to Install a Security Camera System

Quick Guide for Getting DIY Security Cams up and Running

Security cameras come with all form of specifications. They differ in types; your unit may be made of dome shaped cameras or bullet shaped, made for indoor or outdoor, they could be wired or wireless camera systems. others may be a single unit or multiple channels with up to 16 cameras. Others may be designed to be easily installed by every Thomas, others call for professionals to get it in place.

Installing a security camera does differ depending on the form and specification of your unit. Usually most producers add a detailed instruction manual that tries to lead users on the easiest way to have their security unit running, others might not be so detailed. There are a few things all security cameras have with respect to installation and this article focuses on them with regards to installing security cameras.

Camera installation comes in two forms as mentioned above

  • DIY (DO IT YOURSELF) installation
  • Professional installation

DIY installation

Security companies like Nest pride themselves in making DIY install-able security cameras. These types of cameras are usually wireless Wi-Fi enabled camera units. They do not require lots of wiring and wall drilling and all the extremely intense engineering work as you could simply plug and play.

You do not need much tools for the DIY mode but you will require a screw driver to screw the cameras in place in your desired location. If you don’t know where to install your camera. Check out our post on where to install your security camera.

In your choice for DIY Units, be sure to install your security camera away from a light source glare so it doesn’t affect the field of vision. If you still can’t set it up, you could call in the professionals to do it for you.

Here is a in depth video for more help:

Professional installation

This option is reserved for wired security cameras. Large security camera system like those produced by Uniden and Hikvision requires professional installation.  You would require a NVR or a DVR with dedicated storage to save your video feeds, this usually comes with your camera units. Depending on the location you have opted to install your cameras, you would require lots of cable to link them to the central monitoring unit.  Other requirement for this method of installations include:

  • A power source to power up your camera
  • Screws (different sizes to hold the cameras in place)
  • A power adapter (which should come with your camera units)
  • A screw driver (your installer would have this tool)
  • A measuring tape (to measure the cameras distance from the central monitoring station and also the wires.)
  • Concealers for your wiring (a handyman or a carpenter can get this done)
  • A power supply box especially if you have multiple cameras and a few wall socket.
  • Siamese cables

Despite the name professional installation, if you like trying your hands out, you can also successful get these systems installed within a few hours and save some money. An instructional manual usually come with the box or you could inquire for an installer at your point of purchase. Chances are they are installation videos available on the website of the manufacturers or YouTube. There are tool kits available for purchase if you intend to try it out yourself, you can always call the customer service if you run into any difficulty.

Conclusion

While it’s good to try installing complex systems yourself, know your limit and call a professional installer if you cannot get it done. We do advice buying all cameras as a unit than purchasing separately as it save cause and prevent compatibility issues. Get started.

Zmodo Greet Video Doorbell Camera Review

Hello Stranger at the Door, Care to Chat?

Yes, You can talk to people at the front door through your phone via the Zmodo app

A few decades ago, the idea of a security video doorbell might have been a hard sell for home owners but right now the video doorbell is fast becoming a regular add-on in the homes of modern home owners. One company that has jumped on the bandwagon to provide this seemingly essential home gadget is Zmodo. Known for their other technologically eccentric home-video gadgets like the Zmodo Pivot and the Zmodo Beam, the Zmodo greet is the company’s own idea of what a video doorbell should function and look like.

The second generation Zmodo Greet brings to live a few needed functions like two-way audio initially absent from its initial design released in 2014. These features would be further highlighted as the article progresses. This review focuses on the pros and cons of the Greet, our own ratings on the appearance and design, features and functions, installation and ends with a conclusion. It might interest you to take a look at our other video doorbell review like the Ring doorbell and the Doorbird doorbell.

Let’s dive into the good and the bad

Pros
  • 720p HD video
  • Wide viewing Angle
  • Motion activated video recording
  • Weather resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Lowest cost doorbell cam coming in at $79.99
  • Two-way audio capability
  • 256 bit SSL security
  • Local storage available
  • Personalized voice message for when you don’t want to answer the door.
Cons
  • Cloud storage not yet available
  • Night vision range can be better

Design

The design of the Zmodo Greet gets a good rating as it fully maximizes its size to offer both video and audio. More visually appealing than the initial Release, the newly released zmodo greet v2.0 has been redesigned from the inside out. though not available in numerous color schemes or design like the doorbird doorbell, the design of the greet is lighter and very attractive.

The Zmodo Greet comes with a shade of white and black. The black color taking up two-third of the front surface with the remaining one-third being white. The black portion houses the 720p HD camera and the motion detection sensor while the lower one third contains the audio compartment (speaker and mouth piece) and the bell. The back is entirely black. The Zmodo Greet is not battery powered, it requires connected to the wiring of the doorbell outlet for its functionality.

Features

The Zmodo greet is packed with features some of which are lacking in other more expensive doorbells that we have reviewed. The motion sensor would automatically make and send a 30 seconds video when it detects someone at the door even if the person is yet to ring the bell. The free Zmodo greet app is available on both IOS and android devices and can be accessed from anywhere once connected.

Another interesting feature of the Zmodo Greet is its multiple user ability which means the video can be simultaneously accessed by more than one user at a time. The ability to prerecord voice messages when you are not available is an added advantage.

The Zmodo App – Available on Android and iOS

Other features of the Zmodo greet include:

  • IP 51 Weatherproof rating
  • Night vision up to 10 ft.
  • 155-degree wide viewing angle
  • 3 years’ warranty
  • Inbuilt 8GB storage
  • Integration options with other Zmodo home automation gadgets like the Zmodo beam.

Want to see how Zmodo stacks up against the current leader, Ring? Read this review.

Getting it up and Running – Installation Review

Finishing touches on the Zmodo Greet

Needed:  Drill, kit, the product and the guide that comes with it.

Self-installation otherwise known as do it yourself is the installation mode available for the Zmodo Greet. Designed to be easily installed without any problem. The doorbell can be ready for use within 20 minutes from unboxing. It doesn’t require any advanced technical know-how. For people who require video tutorials, a couple of installation videos of the greet are available on YouTube.

Support – Do they care?

Strongly believing that a company without a support team for their product is a poor quality company, we give Zmodo a fair rating on the customer support available for the greet.

FAQ: there is a detailed FAQ for the greet with variety of questions that users or intending buyers may have.

Phone: zmodo support can be easily reached on phone on 217-903-5037. Available Monday- Friday 8am-8pm

Contact them by email at the following:

Tech Support: [email protected]

Sales Support: [email protected]

Ding Dong, I can See You.  Our Final thoughts on Zmodo Meet and Greet

The modern home continually seeks technological solutions that makes it easier to carry out basic activities like answering the door from anywhere in the world. Zmodo greet seems to meet this need convincingly. Although there’s room for improvement, the Zmodo greet is an ideal choice for a home video doorbell.

Will you be putting it on the front of your home?  Let us know your thoughts and any reviews you have of this product below.

Hikvision Security Cameras Reviews

Time to Watch; Catch the Bad Guys

In an earlier review of the best CCTV cameras for your home and office, the Hikvision camera did not make the cut into our Top Ten Choice although they are a recognized manufacturer of quality security video surveillance equipment. This is an in-depth review of the top 5 Hikvision cameras and how they compare to the lot of security cameras available for installation in your home or office.

As you can tell, Hikvision has a lot of equipment to choose from and can be a complicated setup

Our review centers on the bestselling Hikvision cameras with the highest specifications.

The HIkvision cameras up for review are:

  • Hikvision DS-2CD2685FWD-IZS
  • Hikvision DS-2CD2085FWD-I
  • Hikvision DS-2CD2T85FWD-I5/I8
  • Hikvision DS-2DF8836IV-A EL(W)
  • Hikvision DS-2TD2166-15(25 35)

 

 1. Hikvision DS-2CD2685FWD-IZS

The Hikvision DS-2CD2685FWD-IZS (crazy model number, we don’t expect you to remember this!) is an 8MP vari-focal network camera that is both weatherproof and vandal-resistant. It utilizes a unique compression modality to reduce bandwidth while maintaining high quality video fields. It has a wide angle coverage and an IR of up to 50m. it is perfect for outdoor use.

Out of the box specification
  • 1/2.5″ Progressive Scan CMOS
  • 8-megapixel high resolution video
  • 3840 × [email protected]
  • 8 to 12 mm focal length
  • 265, H.265+, H.264+, H.264 codec
  • 120dB Wide Dynamic Range
  • 3D Digital Noise Reduction
  • IR range: up to 50 m
  • Support on-board storage, up to 128 GB
  • IP67 weather rating
Pros
  • 4K video resolution
  • Special features such as motion activated recording, intrusion detection object removal detection etc.
  • Face detection
Cons
  • Pricey
  • No two-way audio

2.  Hikvision DS-2CD2T85FWD-I5/I8

Hikvision designed the Hikvision DS-2CD2T85FWD-I5/I8 as a network bullet camera with an 8 MP video quality providing 4K video resolution. The Night vision is achieved by the use if EXIR IR bulbs for crisp video at night up to 80M.

Specification is similar with the two other security cameras reviewed thus far.

Specifications & features
  • Up to 8-megapixel high resolution
  • 3840 × [email protected]
  • 8 mm/4 mm/6 mm/8 mm/12 mm fixed lens, optional
  • 265, H.265+, H.264+, H.264
  • 120dB Wide Dynamic Range
  • 3D Digital Noise Reduction
  • IR range: up to 30 m
  • Support on-board storage, up to 128 GB
  • IP67 weather rating.
Pros
  • Sleek design
  • Weather proof
  • Large Storage Compatibility
Cons
  • Poor night vision depth
  • No inbuilt storage out of the box

3. Hikvision DS-2DF8836IV-A EL(W)

The Hikvision DS-2DF8836IV-A EL(W) is a dome camera that is parked with lots of premium features. It offers 36 X optical zoom, true 4K Video resolution 8MP camera with an IR range off over 200M.  Coming in at a price tag of over $3000, it is one of the most expensive/high end security cameras available on the market.

Specification/features
  • 4K 8 Megapixel (4096 x 2160) Resolution
  • 36x Optical Zoom
  • 120 dB True WDR
  • Smart Suite Analytics
  • Smart Tracking
  • Smart Recording
  • 650 Feet (200 Meters) IR Range
  • Hi-Poe/24 VAC Power Supply
  • 3-year Manufacturer Warranty
  • IP 66 Weatherproof rating
Pros
  • Tilt and Zoom (240 °)
  • High zoom value
  • Good IR range
  • Weather Resistant
  • Perfect for both outdoor and indoor use
  • True4K resolution
Cons
  • Pricey
  • No free storage out of the box
  • No 2-way Audio

 

4. Hikvision DS-2TD2166-15(25 35)

The Hikvision DS-2TD2166-15(25 35) is a thermal bullet camera that utilizes Vanadium Oxide Uncooled Focal Plane Detectors as an image sensor, it has a low image resolution and does not offer full HD video although its weather proof.

Specifications
  • Maximum resolution:  640×512
  • 264 video compression
  • Support shutter adjustment in various modes 3D DNR,
  • 14 adjustable colors
  • Image detail enhancement
  • Support mirror image 15mm, 25mm and 35mm lens optional
Pros
  • 5 Smart detection ability: intrusion detection, line crossing detection, region entrance detection, region exiting detection, audio exception detection
  • High sensitive sensor
  • Smart recording
Cons
  • Poor video quality
  • No storage option
  • Night vision range unknown
  • Set up requires professional installation

5.  Hikvision DS-2CD2085FWD-I

The Hikvision DS-2CD2085FWD-I camera is also an 8MP camera that offers superior night vision wither outdoor or indoors up to 30M. It is an IP camera that is IP 67 weather proof rating. They boast about an onboard storage of up to 128GB.

Specifications
  • 8-megapixel high resolution video
  • 2048×1536 @30fps
  • Ultra-low light Dark Fighter technology
  • 120dB Wide Dynamic Range
  • Support on-board storage, up to 128 GB
  • Smart Detection: Line Crossing, Intrusion, Object Removal, Unattended Baggage, Face Detection, Behavior Analysis
  • 3D Digital Noise Reduction
  • IR range: up to 30 m
  • 3-Axis Adjustment
  • IP67
Pros
  • Full HD video resolution
  • Smart features
  • Low lighting technology
Cons
  • Night vision penetration could be better at the same price
  • Can only buy this directly from China
  • Low quality and can break
  • No inbuilt storage

Recap on Hikvision Security Camera Systems

Demonstration on best places for security cameras on a home – image credit WikiHow

Hikvision has been providing security cameras since 2001, a Chinese company, Hikvision focuses on designing and manufacturing high resolution cameras that are innovative and durable. The above reviewed cameras are some of the best Hikvision cameras currently in use.

Let us know if you have used an Hikvision camera and your thoughts about them.

Top 5 Uniden Security Camera Reviews

Buying Uniden?  Start with these Reviews First

Uniden corporation is a Japanese company with a large presence in America. They are producers of a wide range of video surveillance systems aimed at bolstering security for both home and offices. They are producers of the Guardian range of wired security camera systems as well as WIFI cameras and wireless security systems.  The Uniden security cameras cut across a wide range of functions to fit different security needs. This review cuts across some of the latest Uniden security cameras, their specification and pros and cons.

Up for review are the following security cameras:

  • Guardian G71644D3 Wired Video Surveillance System
  • Guardian UDR780HD Wireless Security Kit
  • Uniden UDS65
  • ULC58 LightCam
  • AppCam26 PT

First up – Their Guardian HD Kit

The Guardian G71644D3 Wired Video Surveillance System is a complete video surveillance system by Uniden. It boasts an array of features to make a great tool for home and office surveillance.

Out of the box features include:

  • 1/2.7″ CMOS Sensor
  • Dome cameras for indoor use, bullet cameras available also
  • Night Vision up to 100′
  • Watch All Your Cameras on Your Smartphone or Tablet
  • 16 channel
  • Up to 6TB storage, 3TB preinstalled
  • Weatherproof rating of IP66
Pros
  • Night vision range optimal compared to other surveillance cameras with same price range
  • Video field is adequate. Offers 1080p resolution
  • Motion detection and mobile alert functions available.
Cons
  • Pricey compared to others
  • No instant customer support

Next, we have the Guardian UDR780HD

The Uniden UDR744HD is a video surveillance system comprising of a 7inch HD touch screen display and 2 outdoor cameras. This surveillance system finds use in homes and small businesses where there isn’t need for too many cameras. Installation of the Uniden UDR7444HD is easy as it doesn’t require any professional installation.

Out of the box features include:

  • 8GB SD card included. Expandable up to 128GB
  • 2-way audio
  • IP66 weather rating
  • 1020 x 600 video resolution
  • Comes with 2 cameras, expandable up to 4 cameras
Pros
  • Remote access on mobile devices both iOS and android and alerts.
  • Installation is easy. Set up is DIY and takes less than 15 minutes typically.
  • Portable monitor gives you access to live video from anywhere
Cons
  • Sub-optimal night vision of 40 ft.

For the third ‘best of’ Uniden choice, we suggest the ULC58 ‘LightCam’.

This is a outdoor camera by Uniden that functions differently from the already reviewed security cameras unit. The ULC58 functions as both a spotlight with its built it LED lights and a security camera. The night vision feature provides clear video up to 45 feet. The ULC58 is compatible with the UDR780 security kit.

The ULC58 LightCam boast of features such as

  • Built in LED light
  • Two-way audio
  • 1080p HD video resolution
  • Timer and Dimer feature
  • Night vision up to 45 feet
Pros
  • Easy to setup
  • Accessible via the free mobile app, available on both Android and IOS.
  • Motion sensor
Cons
  • No storage out of the box
  • Requires the UDR780 security kit for full function.

4 – Similar to other models, our fourth on the top list is Uniden AppCam26PT

The Uniden AppCam 26PT is a different type of WIFI camera that is intended for indoor use. The camera offers a pan tilt and zoom functionality and also offers HD Quality video. While the AppCam might support memory card storage up to 32GB, there is none included in the box so users have to purchase that separately.  It comes with a built-in microphone and provides night vision up to 20 ft.

Additional features include

  • Video quality of 720p @ 15fps
  • Manual/Motion recording
Pros
  • Not pricey
  • It can take video from any angle
  • With the free AppCam app, you can remotely access video feeds and take snapshots while recording.
Cons
  • Specification seems obsolete as more cameras are available with better spec.
  • No SD card in the box
  • Night vision is suboptimal @ 20 ft.

Last on the lineup of Uniden Security cameras is the UDS65 Unit

The Uniden UDS65 camera system is similar to the UD780 in that it offers a 7-inch capacitance display and 2 cameras out of the box, where they differ is that the UDS65 is a rechargeable camera system that offers up to 3.5 hours of battery use and 8GB SD card that offers up to 40 hours of recording.

Features include:

  • Night vision up to 40 ft.
  • 2 cameras but upgrade-able up to 4 cameras with simultaneous recording from all 4 cameras
  • IP65 weather rating
  • Two-way audio
  • 4GB Memory card included
Pros
  • Recording options available
  • DIY installation that isn’t complicated
  • Rechargeable power option
  • Portable 7-inch mobile display
Cons
  • Night vision can be better.
  • Better options available at the same price.

Final Verdict on Uniden Security Cameras

Uniden is a leading provider of security cameras; the newer camera systems they offer comes with the best of specifications.  Customer feedback show the systems are durable. If you have used any of these systems or any of Uniden security cameras, tell us about it in the comment section below.

Ring Doorbell Review

What is the Ring Video Doorbell?

You can think of the Ring Doorbell as a high-breed between the traditional doorbell and a sleek security camera. The Ring is a growing number internet-enabled devices known as 'the internet of things'. Basically this means that it is Wi-Fienabled and can be controlled on any internet enabled device - think smartphone, tablet or PC.

There are 2 ways the Ring is activated - via the motion detector or if someone presses the bell. When activated, you will get a notification on your phone meaning you will never miss a visitor again. You can also install multiple extra bells around your home if needed.

Probably the best feature of the Ring is the ability to actually talk back to visitors through your phone. This is super handy and means you can leave instructions for couriers or let friends and family know where you are and how long you will be. It is also a great security benefit, because if you are notified via the motion detector then you are able to shout at an intruder and tell them that you have informed the police.

This is the official Ring video on how the doorbell actually works:

Ring provides three different models - The Ring Doorbell, The Ring Doorbell 2 and The Ring Doorbell Pro. Each of them have the standard core features mentioned above, but are slightly different in their quality and extra features. This product guide will take you through each one and point out the differences to help you make the right choice when buying one.

Before we get into the differences, if you are still undecided on which brand of camera you need - you should read our great best security camera brand guide. It covers the top camera brands and a short review of their top 3 products.

Let's start with a comparison table highlighting some important differences:

Model
Ring Doorbell
Ring Doorbell 2
Ring Doorbell Pro
Dimensions
4.98 x 2.43 x 0.87 inches
4.98 x 1.85 x 0.80 inches
5.1 x 2.5 x 1.1 inches
Resolution
720p
1080p
1080p
Field of View
180 degree
160 degree
160 degree
Custom Motion Zones
Power Options
Battery & Hardwire
Hardwire Only
Battery & Hardwire
Video Storage
Colored Night Vision
Amazon Rating
Model
Ring Doorbell
Dimensions
4.98 x 2.43 x 0.87 inches
Resolution
720p
Field of View
180 degree
Custom Motion Zones
Power Options
Battery & Hardwire
Video Storage
Colored Night Vision
Amazon Rating
Model
Ring Doorbell 2
Dimensions
4.98 x 1.85 x 0.80 inches
Resolution
1080p
Field of View
160 degree
Custom Motion Zones
Power Options
Hardwire Only
Video Storage
Colored Night Vision
Amazon Rating
Model
Ring Doorbell Pro
Dimensions
5.1 x 2.5 x 1.1 inches
Resolution
1080p
Field of View
160 degree
Custom Motion Zones
Power Options
Battery & Hardwire
Video Storage
Colored Night Vision
Amazon Rating

Now let's go through each one in turn and dive deeper into their features, benefits and pitfalls.

Ring Video Doorbell

Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell
$99.99
27073 Reviews
$99.99
27073 Reviews

Ring Video Doorbell - Design and Installation

When it comes to installation, Ring makes it super easy. You get a very nice installation pack that contains literally everything you need.

ring-video-doorbell-7-3

Included in the pack is a full selection of tools and accessories for installing and mounting your new doorbell. You get the correct screws and matching raw-plugs, a two-headed screwdriver, a small spirit level and even a masonry drill bit to fit the screws. Literally the only thing you will need is a drill - Please Ring, include a drill and make this even better 🙂

As you would expect from a company that includes all of this, the actual installation is pretty straightforward. If you already have a doorbell that is powered by the mains, then you can simply replace it using the old wiring - that is assuming it is connected via a standard 8-24VAC supply!

If you don't already have a doorbell then you can purchase a doorbell transformer and install that - this is a pretty good guide. The alternative is to simply run the Ring off the battery. Now the battery isn't like an iPhone which needs charging every day - you can run the Ring for around a month before it needs a charge.

Charging the Ring is very simple via a microUSB port (the same charger as most Android Phones). You simply remove the Ring from it's base plate by undoing two screws and sliding it off - it is simply a 2 minute job.

ring-video-doorbell-3-3

There is an obvious downside to having the Ring so easily accessible - it is easy to steal (assuming they covered their face obviously). Unlike more traditional security cameras which are placed in hard to reach locations, the Ring is usually placed at eye level. This makes it not only easy to steal, but easy for someone to break.

To combat this, if your Ring is stolen and you submit a Police report then the company will replace it free of charge! 

call the police

Also, important to note is that early versions of the Ring contained information that would allow someone to hack into your Wi-Fi. However the company has since updated the firmware and this is no longer possible. 

There is no denying that the Ring Video Doorbell is very pleasing on the eye. The bottom half is covered in a nice sandblasted metal which comes in multiple metal choices, while the top half is a high-end glossy plastic. It is a little larger than a usual doorbell, which is to be expected considering the technology that it packs - 12.65 x 6.17 x 2.21 cm.

The standard Ring camera has a resolution of 720p at 15fps. I know what you are thinking - wow that's quite low compared to most outdoor cameras. However the Ring has been designed for up-close surveillance and this resolution is perfectly adequate. If you want something a little higher then the Ring Video Doorbell Pro offers a resolution of 1080p at 30fps.

ring-video-doorbell-2-3

What the Ring lacks in resolution, it certainly makes up in the field of view. The lens is ultra-wide angle resulting in a field 180 degrees horizontal and 140 degrees vertical. The drawback to such a large view is the footage looks quite rounded and 'fish-eye' however I think the trade-off is well worth it. 

Aside from the camera, the other only external feature which is visible is the actual doorbell button. The sleek plastic above the camera hides an array of inferred LED's that allow you to see who is calling in the dark.

When someone presses the doorbell, the button flashes thanks to its surrounding blue lights. The Ring itself will then ring, and you can also purchase extra chines, which connect via Wi-Fi, to place around the home if needed. Also you can set it so that your phone will also get a notification.

Setting up the Ring

Setting up the Ring is really simple. On the camera itself you simply slide it off the mounting place and press the Orange setup button. 

ring-video-doorbell-5-3

You then download and install the Ring app and connect to the Ring via it in-built Wi-Fi signal - it's really easy adding it to your network. Then you will need to sign-up to the Ring service online and provide an email address and password (there is no fee for the Ring service) and you are up and running. 

Honestly, this is one of the easiest cameras to install.

Ring Video Doorbell - Image Quality and Easy of Use

Not only is the Ring really easy to install, but its a doddle to use. The app is really clear and simple and makes the whole process of adding the camera to your network painless. The other important job of the app is connecting the device to the Ring cloud storage. This enables you to record any clips captured via the motion detector or ring and play them back later (you get 1 month free then there is a small fee for this cloud storage).

Probably the most crucial function of the app is to provide notifications when the bell is pressed or when the motion detector is triggered. Through the app you can then view the camera and speak to the visitor - no matter where in the world you are. Let's be honest, this is probably the main reason you are thinking of buying a Ring in the first place.

ring-video-doorbell-9-3

As mentioned above, the resolution is on the low side compared to most outdoor cameras. However it is plenty good enough for use as a doorbell camera. It does a pretty decent job of showing close-up detail combined with an excellent field of vision.

The motion detection feature is what turns the Bell from a doorbell into a security camera. On this model you are not able to set up specific zones for the camera to ignore (think a road with passing traffic) - this feature is available on both the Ring Doorbell 2 and Pro. However, everyone I have spoken too say that the zoning is a little hit and miss and tend to leave the default mode where everything is recorded.

ring-video-doorbell-10-3

The Ring has a great night-vision mode thanks to the in-built IR LED's just above the camera. As you can see above, even in a low light garden are the quality is still pretty impressive for 720p.

Should I Buy The Ring Video Doorbell?

The Ring is an amazing piece of kit. It provides you with a one-stop home security device - replacing the need for an outdoor camera and allowing you to monitor and interact with visitors. If you have a large house, it is also really easy to extend to range of the doorbell via the Wi-Fi chimes. 

Sure you can find cheaper IP cameras, however you will usually need separate software to make them work - and they are usually a pain to get working correctly. 

For the price the Ring comes with its own dedicated app, a cloud storage app and it's setup and ready to go in a matter of minutes - if this isn't worth the extra then I don't know what is.

The only thing stopping me from giving the Ring an outstanding review is the fact that is it easy to steal / break. However the Ring promise to replace the camera if this happens is a nice touch.

Ring Wi-Fi Enabled Video Doorbell
$99.99
27073 Reviews
$99.99
27073 Reviews

Ring Video Doorbell 2

Ring Video Doorbell 2

Improved battery charging, full HD video and interchangeable face-plates makes the Ring 2 a far better and more flexible model that the original.

$194.00
2998 Reviews
$194.00
2998 Reviews

Ring Video Doorbell 2 - Design and Build

Just like the Original Ring Doorbell, Ring provide you with literally everything you could possibly need to install your new device (still no actual drill mind grrrr haha). The pack includes screws, raw plugs, spirit level, two-headed screwdriver and masonry drill bit. 

Ring-Video-Doorbell-2-1-of-12-920x518

With the Ring 2 you get more mounting options. The doorbell comes with three mounting brackets. One which allows you to angle the doorbell down if you want to mount it higher than the recommended 4ft. One which is a corner bracket to allow you to mount the doorbell on a wall that's at 90 degrees to your door. And the final bracket is a modification for Original Ring owners. It allows you to replace your Ring with the new model without having to drill new holes.

Also included in your pack is 2 different fascias - black and silver. This is a nice little touch so you can select the one which blends in most with your home.  

Ring-Video-Doorbell-2-5-of-12-920x518

As with the original Ring, there are a few options when it comes to installation. The first option is to install a doorbell transformer and hardwire the unit to the mains. Even though this option will take the most time, once done you can forget about it. The second option is to run the doorbell on the battery. The original Ring batter lasted around a month before a recharge, however this new improved batter will last between 6 and 12 months - I don't know about you, but I personally think this is pretty amazing. You can purchase a spare battery if you want to simply swap them out. I've even found a cool solar panel which you can use to continuously charge your Ring - Check It Out Here.

Ring-Video-Doorbell-2-3-of-12-920x518

As you would expect, the Ring 2 still has the same issue of being easy to steal or damage. However Ring have extended their promise of a free replacement if you file a police report.

Once you have finished installing the Ring Video Doorbell 2 then you need to connect to to the smartphone app - this will then get the device added to your home network. If you want to get technical, the Ring supports 2.4GHz 802.11n networks.

Once you have got this far, you are pretty much setup. If you have hard-wired the Ring then a white light will surround the ring button. If you are using it on battery power then this won't be lite up to save power. However if someone presses the button, no matter if you are wired or using battery, the same blue lights will activate around the button.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

$249.00
11982 Reviews
$249.00
11982 Reviews

Piper Home Security Camera Reviews

piper security camera

Piper nv Smart Home Security System with Night Vision, 180-degree Video Camera Review

Introduction

Safety and security are one of the most essential things that all of us desire to have at our home and office.  When you are gone out of your home for personal or professional reasons, someone’s got to be taking care of your home. These days, you got plenty of options in the form of security video camera devices that are simple to use, easy to install, and extremely versatile. One of the security cameras that can take care of all your security requirements is this Piper nv Smart Home Security System with Night Vision, 180-degree Video Camera

In this review, we will read about the Piper security camera with Night Vision, 180-degree Video Camera, which has been manufactured by iControl Networks. The portable security device does what it has to, which is to take care of your home without any monthly fees. The HD camera is day and night functional, also, come with optional wireless accessories.  With these features, you can easily hear and see what is happening around your home from the comfort of your office or wherever you are located.

You are alerted by text, phone, emails, and push mail notifications. That ensures that you are always updated on the surroundings, which is a splendid thing as it gives you the peace of mind. One thing you would really admire about Piper camera is that, the makers have very thoughtfully designed it in such a way, that it can avoid the pitfalls that normally other security systems fails to deliver.

Let us find out what else it can do for your home.

Piper Camera Reviews

Piper NV Night vision security camcheckout-amazon

The Piper Security Camera with 180-degree Video Camera, Night Vision comes with a wide range of features that ensures your family is safe.

You have pets, no issues

Many of you have pets including dogs, cats, birds, etc., and you need to leave them at home while you are on your official duty.  When you are concerned about your pets and want to make sure that they are doing well all you need to use your smartphone or tablet and say hello.

Isn’t that awesome?

There is a real time built in audio speaker in Piper camera which comes with the security device through which you can talk to your beloved pets. You can also record and see up to what mischief your pets are up to all day. You are alerted if there is any activity on your doors or windows.

Ideal for all kinds of homes

Whether you are residing in your own home or rent; you need not worry about drilling holes or having wires installed. There are no monthly subscription fees required compared to most other security systems costing $30-60/mo.

It is versatile as you can use it for Z wave products to control your door/window sensors and lighting. However, for a better camera for night vision and fast processor, you will need to shell out $67. Setting up is not difficult. You need to follow the instructions and follow accordingly. Once you have set up the Piper home security camera you need to download the app from Google play or iOS app store.

Piper camera

The Piper camera comes with four easy modes. These modes are; vacation, stay, and off. You have to set the choice of features on the camera depending on your requirements. The alarm sounds are loud enough to get the attention of those living nearby. A 105 decibel (dB) siren is blasted when your home security is breached. You can use the microphone to communicate with anybody in your house.

The app is extremely useful, with notifications sent regularly. This feature will be solely loved by frequent travelers or those who have a sick person at home, who needs constant attention. You just know that the individual is doing well as you can keep track of them. However, you will want to ensure that you glue your sensors properly. Otherwise, they will keep falling off and cause constant alarms, much to your annoyance.

The Z wave is certainly another indispensable feature of Piper security camera. The 180 degree night vision is a very excellent feature that lets you see at night. When you want to monitor your children, pets, and elderly, then the 180 degree view camera helps you easily. Here are your system requirements which enable the security device to work. You have to keep the internet on always with Wi-Fi of minimum upload speed of 0.8 Mbps. You will require an iOS running with least iOS 7 (iPhone, iPod Touch. iPad).

The power source includes 3AA battery backup and 7.5Watts AC or DC adapter which comes with every Piper camera.

Highlighted Features

No fees:  There are any contracts or monthly fees required for this home security system. So this will reduce your initial cost of investment on activation.

Night vision: The Piper security camera comes with an immense view lens that has 180 degree HD resolution; night vision, and recording features. This is also helpful when there is insufficient light in the room, and you want to monitor what is happening indoors.

Motion detection: There is 2 way audio, motion detection sensor that can detect changes in humidity, temperature, light, etc.  The camera is further supported with a 105 dB siren. Whenever a motion is detected, immediately you are alerted through your handheld device.

WiFi: It can easily connect through WiFi, high grade SSL video encryption, battery backup, which is compatible with Z Wave wireless accessories.

Advantages

  • The security device is cost effective as it does not require you to sign up any contract or monthly fees.
  • It comes with extremely powerful HD camera that provides you with an 180-degree view of your property including night vision.
  • It is very simple to use as you are alerted through notifications and emails.
  • Wide angle lens is enough to give you good coverage.
  • Motion detect alert is supported with mobile alert and also 105 dB siren.

Disadvantages

  • The video quality of the device is a lot left to be desired. Probably this was one of the biggest complaints, with several customers whining about it.
  • You will want to know that this system works only if your router is working. If it is not, then your home is vulnerable. There should be a solid connection with your router.
  • Finally, it is not a complete security solution as described.  You also must self monitor it.

Product ranking and rating

piper z wave camera

The Piper Home Security Camera with night vision, 180-degree Video Camera has got an excellent 3.8 out of 5 stars. They have also received 359+ customer reviews, most all positive which is good.  Simple and easy operation features improve its customer acceptability.

Click here for more the best deal on the black Piper security camera

For the white Piper camera click here.

To sum up, the Piper NV Smart Home Security System with Night Vision, 180-degree Video Camera does an excellent job of protecting your home. Right from the time you install and shutdown Piper camera, you feel a bond with the device, which is a very good thing. After all, it is going to take care of your home, when nobody is inside.

However, you will want to know that you have to spend extra money to have the same kind of security features that are available on the market. Worse, it does not come with an IFTTT channel and does not have partnerships with third-party services apart from the Z Wave integrations.

Conclusion

The Piper Security Camera is worth buying and using yourself.  It is not a complete ‘all in one’ security system as described but a good alternative to some of the top home security cameras. As you get use to it, you will understand to work out the limitations. When you are looking for a simple device that comes with strong automation integration and gives you with endless home security options, you have a winner here.

Buy-Now-Button_Amazon

5 Different Z-wave Compatible Home Security Cameras

What is Z-wave and why do you need a Z-wave compatible home security camera? The simplest way to explain Z-wave technology is to say that it allows you to protect your home or business via remote video surveillance. Anywhere you have a connection to the internet, you are able to monitor your security camera feed. The advantages to this are obvious; you can monitor who is in your home, keep an eye on your children activities and be altered instantly in the event of a break-in.

Privacy is an ever increasing concern and it's important to understand that that the images you are sending are kept secure. It doesn't work over your WIFI so even if that is compromised, your data remains secure. You can read more about the Z-wave technology on their website. However I have taken their '8 reasons why Z-wave is #ONE' and summarized them here.

Z-Wave Home Security

1. Easy to install and does not require any rewiring of your home's current electrical.

2. Affordable. You can get started with a minimal investment and easily add more smart products.

3. Reliable. Having been on the market for over 10 years, Z-wave has proven to be the top home automation solution on the market.

4. Secure. Z-wave technology uses the same encryption as online banking making it the safe choice for your smart home.

5. Trusted. The biggest brand names on the market use Z-wave in their smart home products.

6. Experienced. There are already 50 million products in smart homes worldwide.

7. The smart home leader. 9 out of 10 leading security companies use Z-wave.

8. Provides choices. With other 2,100 smart home automation products on the market, Z-wave products provide many choices to suit your needs.

If is easy to see why Security Camera System Pro recommends a Z-wave compatible home security camera, and we have reviewed the top 7 to make it easier for your to choose the one that is right for you.

Top Pick 1: Nexia Home Outdoor Camera

Nexia Home Outdoor Camera

Product Highlights

Wireless access from your device.

Storage for your videos.

Live video feed anytime.

Place anywhere in the home with a wireless transmitter.

Inferred for night time videos.

The Nexia Home WCO100NX N N SL Outdoor Camera has built-in Z-wave technology via its Nexia Home Intelligence system, making it our number 1 rated Z-wave home security camera. Being an outdoor camera, it is both sturdy and waterproof which is essential. The good quality build, coupled with the excellent range means you can feel safe placing this camera literally anywhere around the outside of your home. Because of the Z-wave feature you can view the video feed on any internet connected device - most people use their smartphone. This is great because it allows you to know when the children come home from school, view any pets in the garden and generally know who comes in and out of your house. The inferred feature is pretty good, especially in the winter as the nights get dark a lot quicker, as you don't require any external lighting to view what is going on. 

Summary

Overall, we feel this camera is one of the best for the money. It is connected via Z-wave which allows you to view the feed anywhere. It also has a record and playback function so you can view the footage at a later time. This camera is a must, not only for home security but also for families with children and pets.


Top Pick 2: Nexia Wireless Indoor HD Camera

Nexia Wireless Indoor HD Camera

Product Highlights

Wireless or hard-wired.

Indoor or outdoor video.

Live video feed anytime.

Access to your video feed anytime you want.

Great 3rd party monitoring.

Like it's outdoor counterpart above, the Nexia WCW200 Wireless Indoor HD Camera is also Z-wave compatible via the Nexia Home Intelligence system. Even though it is an indoor camera, it can technically be mounted outside the home as it is waterproof and has an outdoor setting. When it was first released the camera was only capable of 640x480 resolution, however a recent software update now allows you to record at 1280x720 HD which provides amazing quality. There is a 'no-contract' pay-as-you-go subscription available from Nexia to provide you with 3rd party monitoring of the system. It's not particularly useful for the home but is invaluable for business users. The device comes with a 1 Year Limited Mechanical and Electronics Warranty which is very handy, especially if you are placing it outside. The Z-wave technology allows you to view the live video feed from any internet connected device such as your phone, tablet or laptop and is a great way of keeping an eye on your kids while they play in another room for example. It's also great if you go out and leave the children with a child minder. Another great use is for families with pets, to ensure that they are ok while at work. As it can be mouted on the wall vie the mounting bracket, you could also use it as an alternative to the Ring door system - viewing anyone who comes to the front door (however, unlike the Ring system, you are unable to speak to that person). 

Summary

Overall this is a great camera and the recent software update to the resolution makes this out second best pick. It's a must if you have children or pets and it easy to install and setup.


Top Pick 3: Fortrezz Siren/Strobe Z-Wave Alarm

FortrezZ Siren & Strobe camera

Product Highlights

Easy to install.

Wireless transmitter.

Live video feed anytime.

Siren and Strobe alarm to notify you of intruders.

Great 3rd party integration.

The Fortrezz SSA-01 Siren is a complete home security system - and in our option, it is great. Usually when you purchase a security camera, you literally get a camera. With the Fortrezz you get the holy trinity of security - camera, siren and strobe light.

As this is a  Z-wave based camera, you have the luxury of viewing the feed from any internet connected device, which is really handy when you are out and about. Not only can you watch the feed live, but the camera stores the footage for playback later. We like the Fortrezz because with just a camera, you are only able to see what happened after a break-in, but with the additional sound and light, an intruder is more likely to be scared away - averting the theft all together. Also if your neighbors hear the siren, they can contact you and the police, and you are able to watch live what is going on. 

Summary

Having a Fortrezz in your home will give you total security. It's super easy to install and use, and being Z-wave based you can view the feed anywhere. Overall this is a great combination camera and anti-intruder device.


How does the Z-wave technology work?

Z-wave technology is an efficient and low-energy protocol or technology which is using for communication between smart devices. It is mainly using in home automation, and it uses RF for controlling and transferring signals. When Z-wave technology is added to the design of any household product, they start to communicate by exchanging signals and messages and perform the desired function. Z-wave makes use of your Wi-Fi network so that you can easily control security systems through your PC or smartphone. Z-wave will not interfere with your Wi-Fi connection or Bluetooth as it works on a different frequency of around 900 MHz.

Buyers guide and tips for buying a security camera

As there are a lot of models out there, you need to purchase a camera which suits your taste and need. Certain factors need to be considered when you buy a Z-wave camera, which is discussed below.

Different types of security cameras

There are several varieties of security cameras available on the market, and each has its own features and purposes. As there are a lot of security features in Z-wave cameras, you need to choose according to your needs. Some cameras are good for monitoring alone, and some have the features which allow you to notify in case of any threats. Before choosing a camera, be aware of the features you need to your home. After reading these 10 categories if you still have questions check out Z-wave's FAQ database.

Here are 10 of the common categories of security cameras available

  • Basic security camera

This is a very basic form of security camera which is fixed and cannot change its position.

  • IP camera

An IP or Internet protocol camera is a type of digital camera which can receive and send data through a computer network or an internet connection. Surveillance cameras are also called as IP cameras.

  • Night vision camera

If you are choosing an outdoor camera, night vision facility is a must. Night vision cameras make use of Infrared technology helps to record clear clips at night without the help of a flashlight. The Schlage WCO100NX N N SL Home Outdoor Camera and Piper nv Smart Home Security System have this feature. Both these cameras are have Z-wave features available.

  • Pan and tilt and zoom camera

These type of cameras have the ability to change direction, pan, tilt and zoom to various degrees. Pan and tilt cameras can also spin and rotate at a specific angle, and it is possible for you to control the camera remotely. The Piper nv Smart Home Security System discussed above is a camera having this feature. If you want to monitor specified area at an angle rather than in a single position, you need to look for this feature. Some pan, tilt, and zoom cameras have the ability to lock-in an object and follow it even if crosses the specified monitoring area.

  • Motion detection cameras

Motion detection cameras are smarter versions which start recording or take pictures when they sense any kind of movement. So with this Z-wave camera, you can avoid recording lengthy unwanted footages. Certain motion detection cameras have the ability to lock-in moving objects and follow it. The Schlage WCW100 Home Indoor Camera with Nexia Home Intelligence is a motion detection camera.

  • Outdoor cameras

If you want to monitor an outdoor space, you need to buy an outdoor camera because it is specially designed for outdoors. Most of the outdoor Z-wave camera will be having facilities like light vision and will be weather-proof. These types of cameras are important when you want to monitor who is outside your house without actually opening the door. The Schlage WCO100NX N N SL is an outdoor camera. Here's some tips when shopping for the best outdoor camera.

  • Durability

This is one of the important factors to consider while buying a security camera with Z-wave features. You must make sure that the camera you buy is weather friendly and durable. Being weather-friendly is also important because you might be placing the camera outside the home. Some people go as far as to buy fake security cameras because it is a deterrent. This can be a good choice for people on low income and in a dangerous city.

  • Price

Do not judge a product by its cost. Don’t think that the camera which is highly priced is better than a low priced one. It should be judged considering the features and services it provides rather than its price. But generally, superior cameras with rich features cost more than inferior ones. While setting a budget, you need to think about the features that you need so that you get the quality service for what you pay.

Conclusion

As you know, no security system is perfect, because technology is growing day by day. There are a lot of innovations happening in the area of home automation and security. So you need to keep yourself updated with the latest surveillance and security technology to choose the right camera with Z-wave technology for your home.

Piper 180-degree Video Camera Review

piper security camera

Piper 180-degree Video Camera Review With Night Vision – Should You Install it in Your Home?

Safety and security are one of the most essential things that all of us desire to have at our home and office.  When you are gone out of your home for personal or professional reasons, someone’s got to be taking care of your home. These days, you got plenty of options in the form of security video camera devices that are simple to use, easy to install, and extremely versatile. One of the security cameras that can take care of all your security requirements.

In this review, we will cover the Piper security camera with Night Vision, 180-degree Video Camera, which has been manufactured by iControl Networks. The portable security device does what it has to, which is to take care of your home without any monthly fees. The HD camera is day and night functional, also, come with optional wireless accessories.  With these features, you can easily hear and see what is happening around your home from the comfort of your office or wherever you are located.

You are alerted by text, phone, emails, and push mail notifications. That ensures that you are always updated on the surroundings, which is a splendid thing as it gives you the peace of mind. One thing you would really admire about Piper camera is that, because the makers have very thoughtfully designed it in such a way, that it can avoid the pitfalls that normally other security systems fails to deliver.

This ‘all-in-one’ security system and camera is very similar to the Canary security camera.  Let’s find out what else this can do foor you and your home.

Product features

The Piper Security Camera with 180-degree Video Camera, Night Vision comes with a wide range of features that ensures your family is safe.

You have pets, no issues

Many of you have pets including dogs, cats, birds, etc., and you need to leave them at home while you are on your official duty.  When you are concerned about your pets and want to make sure that they are doing well all you need to use your smartphone or tablet and say hello.

Isn’t that awesome?

There is a real time built in audio speaker in Piper camera which comes with the security device through which you can talk to your beloved pets. You can also record and see up to what mischief your pets are up to all day. You are alerted if there is any activity on your doors or windows.

infographic of piper security products

Ideal for all kinds of homes

Whether you are residing in your own home or rent, you need not worry about drilling holes or having wires installed. There are no monthly subscription fees required to have Piper camera.

It is versatile as you can use it for Z-wave products to control your door/window sensors and lighting. However, for a better camera for night vision and fast processor, you will need to shell out $67. Setting up is not difficult. You need to follow the instructions and follow accordingly. Once you have set up the Piper camera, you need to download the app from Google play.

Piper camera

comes with four modes which include away, vacation, stay, and off. You have to set the choice of features on the camera depending on your requirements. The alarm sounds are loud enough to get the attention of those living nearby. A 105 decibel (dB) siren is blasted when your home security is breached. You can use the microphone to communicate with anybody in your house.

The app is extremely useful, with notifications sent regularly. This feature will be solely loved by frequent travelers or those who have a sick person at home, who needs constant attention. You just know that the individual is doing well as you can keep track of them. However, you will want to ensure that you glue your sensors properly. Otherwise, they will keep falling off and cause constant alarms, much to your annoyance.

The Z-wave is certainly another indispensable feature of Piper security camera. The 180-degree night vision is a very excellent feature that lets you see at night. When you want to monitor your children, pets, and elderly, then the 180-degree view camera helps you easily. Here are your system requirements which enable the security device to work. You have to keep the internet on always with Wi-Fi of minimum upload speed of 0.8 Mbps. You will require an iOS running with least iOS 7 (iPhone, iPod Touch. iPad).

The power source includes 3AA battery backup and 7.5Watts AC or DC adapter which comes with every Piper camera.

Highlighted features

No fees:  There are any contracts or monthly fees required for this home security system. So this will reduce your initial cost of investment on activation.

Night vision: The Piper security camera comes with an immerse view lens that has180 degree HD resolution, night vision, and recording features. This is also helpful when there is insufficient light in the room, and you want to monitor what is happening indoors.

Motion detection: There is 2-way audio, motion detection sensor that can detect changes in humidity, temperature, light, etc.  The camera is further supported with a 105 dB siren. Whenever a motion is detected, immediately you are alerted through your handheld device.

Wi-Fi: It can easily connect through Wi-Fi, high-grade SSL video encryption, battery backup, which is compatible with Z-Wave wireless accessories.

Advantages
  • The security device is cost effective as it does not require you to sign up any contract or monthly fees.
  • It comes with extremely powerful HD camera that provides you with an 180-degree view of your property including night vision.
  • The product is very simple to use as you are alerted through notifications and emails.
  • It is not priced very high.
  • Wide angle lens is enough to give you good coverage.
  • Motion detect alert is supported with mobile alert and also 105 dB siren.
Disadvantages
  • The video quality of the device is a lot left to be desired. Probably this was one of the biggest complaints, with several customers whining about it.
  • Finally, you will want to know that this system works only if your router is working. If it is not, then your home is vulnerable. There should be a solid connection with your router.

Product ranking and rating

This security camera compared to others has got an excellent 3.8 out of 5 stars. They have also received 359 customer reviews through Amazon, which is pretty good.  Simple and easy operation features improve its customer acceptability.

Click here for more information on the product, price and offers.

To sum up, the Piper nv Smart Home Security System with Night Vision, 180-degree Video Camera does an excellent job of protecting your home. Right from the time you install and shutdown Piper camera, you feel a bond with the device, which is a very good thing. After all, it is going to take care of your home, when nobody is inside.

However, you will want to know that you have to spend extra money to have the same kind of security features that are available on the market. Worse, it does not come with an IFTTT channel and does not have partnerships with third-party services apart from the Z-Wave integrations.

Conclusion

The Piper Security Camera is worth recommending, and as you get use to it; you will understand to work out the limitations. When you are looking for a simple device that comes with strong automation integration and gives you with endless home security options, you have a winner here.

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