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akirby

Security Cameras/Doorbells

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Time to put up some security cameras at the new house.  Need a couple for the driveway, a couple for the front porch and a couple for the rear patio and pool.

Would prefer wireless but I have attic space to make them wired if necessary.

What do you guys have and what do you recommend?

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Overall, we are pretty happy with our Ring doorbell.  It hasn't been flawless, but their customer support is great.  It has been replaced free of charge 3 times, twice outside of warranty.  The issues were with the power from our doorbell transformer.  We have two doorbells (only have the Ring on one) and the transformer wasn't big enough to run them both, even though the voltage was within Ring's spec, so it was causing the Ring to fail.  I bought a bigger transformer and it fixed the issues.  Ours is wired into the doorbell so we don't have to worry about battery, but I believe they have a wireless option.  Network connectivity is WiFi.  Cost is $30/year/device for cloud recording (though I think more than 3 is $100/year total no matter how many).  You can get the free option, but then you only get live and can't go back and view your videos, so it's rather pointless without cloud recording.

We are looking at adding a couple of the spotlight/cameras for the back of the house as well, and we will likely go with Ring there too.

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Thanks!   Ring was probably my first choice but I wanted to make sure I wasn't overlooking other potentially better options.

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I went with the Skybell doorbell camera.  I get the past week of cloud storage for free. 

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I have Panasonic HomeHawk with front door wide angle 172° camera plus 2 peripheral cameras. Video quality is excellent. It uses Micro SDHC card for storing video, no need to pay anyone for "cloud" recording. A 32 GB card is included.

Costco (where I bought it) is still offering a $100 discount on this product this month. https://www.costco.com/Panasonic-HomeHawk-Front-Door-%2b-2-Outdoor-Home-Monitoring-Camera-Kit.product.100415921.html

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I have an Arlo camera setup-wireless and the charge on the battery roughly lasts 3-4 weeks depending on how much motion they “see”. The base station can control up-to 4 cameras. I use the free plan and have a 32mb memory stick on the base station to backup videos. Can access via my cell phone and configure it to send notifications to your phone. 

Arlo Pro - Wireless Home Security Camera System with Siren | Rechargeable, Night vision, Indoor/Outdoor, HD Video, 2-Way Audio, Wall Mount | Cloud Storage Included | 1 camera kit (VMS4130)

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LR8PG52/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_LZhZCb0S3H452

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I saw those at Costco.   But 3-4 weeks on the battery and then you have to recharge it?  Are they all like that?  If so I'm going wired - I have access to do that if necessary.

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I have Ring Camera's, along with the Ring Alarm. Some Cameras are wired, some are battery with a solar panel, cost is $100 for alarm monitoring and unlimited storage for the year.

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56 minutes ago, jasonj80 said:

I have Ring Camera's, along with the Ring Alarm. Some Cameras are wired, some are battery with a solar panel, cost is $100 for alarm monitoring and unlimited storage for the year.

That's looking like my best option.

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I have four different Ring cameras at my house. The doorbell cam is battery-powered,  but it draws enough from the doorbell circuit that it only uses the battery as a backup.

I have a floodlight cam on the garage side of the house. It uses a wireless connection, but pulls its power from the lighting circuit. The sensor for the light isn't the same as the sensor for the camera, so you can have the lights be more sensitive without throwing an alarm every time it lights up.

The camera that the squirrel knocked off was a battery-powered camera. It uses the same battery packs as the doorbell cam, but it has slots for two of them so you can take one out to charge. (I bought a third battery pack, so I always have one ready.) The charging circuitry is built into the battery packs, so they charge with micro USB cable. They also have an optional solar panel for this camera,

The cam on my back deck is basically the same as the squirrel cam, but it has a permanently attached, really long 120VAC power cord.

For $100/year, you get unlimited storage for your security footage with access via the Ring app. I have it on my iPhone and iPad, and there's a Windows 10 app you can get from the Microsoft Store (which I also have).

You can also get an actual alarm system from Ring. I'm pretty sure the monitoring service for the alarm is included in that $100/year,

Ring also has a Neighborhood feature, where people with Ring cameras near you can post videos their Ring cameras have taken. I've seen quite a few; sometimes it's suspicious people, but just as often it's found pets. Heck, not long ago, someone posted a Silver Alert, which turned out to be a former coworker. (That was bizarre, let me tell you.)

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I have tried many of the Cams  out there.  Before you buy, you should ask a few questions  1. Do I have or want an automated house?  This is important if you want to integrate things.  Amazon (alexa) Google (Heygoogle) Microsoft (Cortana) are the major interfaces, then you have Hubs from Samsung, Honeywell, D-Link and others.  You have to plan, most questions I get are from people who want to know why this doesn't work with that, even though the box says they will.  It gets really tricky when you mix more than three major vendors.  Currently, I have two ring door bells, a ring spot light cam (I use the rings with Amazon Show) Note, My house has a Alexa in almost every room.  I also have a Honeywell security system with cameras, an older Samsung HD wired security system with DVR, Several Battery powered Blinks, A wireless Samsung indoor cam to watch the dogs, Furbo has a camera, I guess you could use it for security. (I use it to give the dogs treats when they encourage delivery people not to peer in the windows.  Yes, with cameras get ready to be amazed at what your neighbors and delivery people do when you are not home.  By the way, cameras do not stop thieves, they only record them.  If you have a cam like ring and catch a thief in the act, you might get the chance to see how efficient your local police are as I did.  I give mine an A+ across the board.  That brings up the next question, what do you want the camera to do?  record, alert, email, two comms, just listen?  The third question is where are you going to place it?  Ring cameras are great unless you put them in a low light porch area looking toward bright light, then you will hate them.  Placement is very important for good recordings and weather protection.  If you want just a video doorbell, ring is the best thing out there as far as price and service.  If you are going beyond that or expect to grow your automation in the future, you should develop a plan first.  If you want to go professional, ONSSI, Speeco, Bosch are decent.  I do the engineering on the hardware side for Fire, Security Alarms, Access Controls and building integration.  I work with the software and design folks a lot.  Integration is the biggest headache. 

Edited by mustangchief

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Thanks guys

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