Home security cameras are one of the most popular smart home products available. Not surprisingly, large companies like Samsung, Google, and Logitech have now jumped on board to offer security cameras for indoor and outdoor use.
Before discounts, manufacturers have priced most home security cameras at around $200. At that price, you typically get real-time video monitoring, plus motion-triggered video recordings. It’s that last point where it’s best to read the fine print. While most companies provide video recordings at no extra cost, those clips are only available for a short period, usually 24 hours. Want more time? It’s probably going to cost you.
In this article, you’ll learn more about the hottest home security cameras on the market today and the type of premium subscription plans they offer, if any. In the end, you’ll have a better understanding of whether these plans are worth it for your situation.
Home security cameras have improved considerably in recent years as technology has matured. Today, most cameras provide HD video, and thanks to a faster internet, viewing and transferring those videos have become easier than ever before. Because of these advances, the cameras aren’t just being promoted as security devices anymore.
For example, a home surveillance camera might capture a child’s first Christmas or that moment when someone you love blows out the candles on their birthday cake. Companies hope that saving these type of moments are enough to persuade you to spend extra money on a monthly premium plan.
Premium Packages Are Not All the Same
Google Nest, Canary, Withing Home, and Logitech Circle are four of the most popular home security solutions currently available. Each offers free and premium packages.
A Nest Cam With Nest Access subscription saves your videos to the cloud for 10 or 30 days, depending on the package. The premium package also adds the ability to share your live streams with family and friends, and create clips and time lapses.
To enjoy 10 days of video history, Google charges $10 per month for your first camera and $5 a month for each additional camera. The 30 days of video history package is $30 per month for the first camera and $15 a month for each additional camera. You can bring these prices down through yearly subscriptions.
For most folks, 10 days of video history should suffice. At $10 per month, this sounds reasonable. The 30-day package, however, can quickly add up, depending on the number of devices you own.
A basic Canary subscription gives you 24 hours of shared video history plus unlimited data and downloads. Strangely, this 24 hours is divided up as you add more Canary cameras to your household. For example, two devices get 12 hours of shared video each, while three devices get just eight hours. When you have four cameras, you only get six hours of shared video history for each camera.
Canary Membership takes off the limitations by providing 30 days of video history, a two-year extended device warranty, and incident support. Membership packages begin at $9.99 per month.
Because of the way Canary divides shared video history, it’s almost required to purchase a membership subscription when you own more than one camera. Otherwise, a basic plan should be sufficient.
With the indoor Withings Home, you get 24 hours of time-lapse animations, a two-day diary of events, alongside 24/7 live streaming. To watch, download, and share HD videos you’ll need to purchase a premium plan, which also provides access to continuous recordings of your video stream.
Two Cloud Video Recording plan options are available:
- Seven-day continuous recording, seven days worth of timeline items, and seven days worth of time-lapse playback for $7.95.
- 30-day continuous recording, 30 days worth of timeline items and 30 days worth of time-lapse playback for $19.95.
Each additional camera is $5 per month.
Withings seems to want it both ways. On the one hand, its seven-day plan is among the least expensive offered. However, at $19.95 per month, the company’s 30-day program is the most expensive. Add to this the cost of each additional security camera and these costs steadily rise.
Logitech Circle HD
Out of the box, the Logitech Circle HD provides 24 hours of video history. With Circle Safe Storage, that number increases to 31 days. For this, Logitech charges $9.99 per month for each camera.
Logitech’s premium plan sounds steep considering that other companies tend to charge less per month for more options. Nonetheless, Circle Safe Storage is the newest premium package on this list, so don’t be surprised if more options arrive.
No Monthly Costs
Rather not get tempted into paying for a premium subscription plans? Two popular camera systems come with zero subscription fees or data storage charges.
The folks over at Piper take a unique approach when it comes to marketing the Piper nv home security system. It’s the highest priced camera on this list. However, all of its features are available at no additional cost.
With the Piper nv, you’re able to store up to 100 35-second videos with Piper’s free cloud storage. These videos are shareable through the free Piper app. You just have to save the clip to your mobile device’s photo gallery or camera roll first. From there, you can share the files via email, text message, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
Over at Blink, you can freely store up to 7,200 total seconds of videos on the Blink servers. These video clips cannot exceed 10 seconds in length, however. If you reach your storage limit, your oldest alert clips are overwritten by the newest. Each video is accessible via the Blink app, and you have the ability to download a clip or clips from the server and save to your preferred location.
Like all of the other cameras on this list, Piper and Blink also provide live streaming video.
On the most basic level, home security cameras all perform the same task. They each provide real-time video streaming to help protect your home from intruders. Where they differ is in the handling of recorded video and whether they charge for the service.
Before making a camera purchase, think about your goals short- and long-term. Are you only buying a camera for security purposes, or do you hope to capture some of the special moments too? Are you willing to review your recorded videos immediately, or might you need up to 30 days to review them? Once you answer these questions, you can make a more informed decision.
Do you own a home security camera? Which one did you purchase and why? Leave your comments below.