Choosing a wifi security camera
I’ve recently been on the lookout for a security camera.
Someone I know recently had a break-in at their apartment in Spain and wanted to increase their security by adding surveillance. Not only this, but sometimes they have crazy storms roll in from the sea and they want to know whether they need to visit to do any maintenance in the wake of the storm.
My experience with home cameras is limited. In 2012, I bought a Storage Options SON-IPC1 for around £60. It had the ability to pan and tilt, but, the wifi has since ceased working and (somewhat ironically) video isn’t stored anywhere.
I did setup the iSpy video recording software on my PC and later, Zoneminder on my network attached storage, neither solution is perfect and requires some operating maintenance to keep everything going.
Since buying this camera, the market has exploded with various cameras, ranging from action cameras like GoPro, to dash cams, driving forward the technical capabilities of what a camera can do.
Having bought a Nest Thermostat earlier this year, I thought a good place to start would be with their range of cameras.
Starting at £159 the Nest Cam Indoor boasts 1080p video quality. However, the main benefits of the camera are only available with Nest Aware, which starts at £80 per year and gives you 10 days of video history and intelligent alerts. Totalling in at £239, this was really a non-starter for me.
Next, after having had success with their MiFit band, I decided to look at what well known Chinese brand Xiaomi had to offer.
At a fraction of the price of the Nest Indoor Cam, there’s the Xiaomi mijia 1080P Smart IP Camera (sometimes branded as YI 1080p Home Camera) normally costing around £30-40, this is similar in look to the Nest Cam Indoor. Storage of video is an SD card or NAS cloud storage. It will also send intelligent security alerts.
The question is, with this being a Chinese product, is the app any good? I downloaded the MiHome app to check it out. The app seemed pretty simple and easy to use with helpful guides. There wasn’t really a lot I could do without pairing a camera.
Although they also offer a camera with tilt and pan at extra cost, I decided that I didn’t need this feature as once it’s fixed into position, it’s very rare that it needs to move remotely. It’s main features are:
- 10m remote control
- Dual-band WiFi: 2.4GHz / 5GHz Night vision
- 1080P FHD resolution, get high-quality image and video
- 130 degree wide angle FOV, detect wide area
- IR night vision distance is up to 10m Remote control
- Built-in mic and speaker, support two-way intercom
- Motion detection, up to 15m distance
- Partition hierarchical detection, reduce the nuisance alarms
- Floating windows of the APP, convenient for watching
- WDR and BSI technology
- Smart recognition, automatically sleep Storage
- Supports up to 64G micro SD card (not included)
- Supports NAS cloud storage
After reading the reviews, I also found out that it will work anywhere in the world, including the UK and Spain and it can record for about 72 hours with a 32GB SD card.
Happy with the reviews, I decided to order one.
Next time: Xiaomi mijia 1080P Smart IP Camera Review