Introducing Security Cameras To Your Smart Home
After spending some money on smart home devices, I realized that my home is turning into a candy store for burglars.
As you’ve invested in smart home devices, many of them which have high value, you will have to start thinking more about home security.
Related Product: I personally have several Blink Mini cameras (click to view on Amazon) in my house
There are many ways to secure your home. There are motion detectors, complex locks, alarms, security cameras, and the list goes on. When you think about it, having the option to monitor your house when you’re away is the best way to make sure that your home is secure.
If you are looking for indoor security cameras for your smart home, you should consider looking at the compatibility with your other smart home devices.
This is where we’re heading for today’s article, what are the best security cameras that work with Alexa and other smart home systems?
Security Camera Reviews
You might be thinking about routers or smart home devices when you see TP-Link products.
The Kasa Cam is actually the first security camera from TP-Link and it’s their introduction to home security systems apart from their previous products.
Like many of today’s security cameras, the Kasa Cam come in a cylinder shape along with a little adjustable stand. You can change the direction of view to point up or down, this can help a lot if you want to install in on the wall or in the ceiling.
In terms of video quality, this camera allows you to see video footage in 1080 HD from a 130-degree field of view. This is slightly more than the Amazon Cloud Cam and should be wide enough to cover most rooms of your home.
Apart from this general information, you’ll also find motion detection with push notifications, night vision, as well as two-way audio.
Smart home compatibility
To connect the Kasa Cam, you will have to download their free app through Android or iOS. This will be the same app for all TP-Link devices if you’re already familiar with it.
By setting it up with your app, it will guide on how to connect it to your Wi-fi to be able to take part in the notifications and see the live video feed through the app.
The Kasa Cam is also compatible with Alexa as well as Google Home.
The Kasa Cam comes with a 30-day trial of the Kasa Care Premium Plan. After that, you’ll be limited to the free plan.
There are four different plans, including the free one.
- The Free plan includes (FREE/FREE) includes 2 days of cloud storage (for each camera)
- The Extended plan ($4/month, $40/year) includes 14 days of cloud storage (for each camera).
- The Premium plan ($7/month, $70/year) includes 30 days of cloud storage (for each camera)
The subscription plans might seem pretty cheap but take into consideration that the subscription plans are for each camera. That means if you’re planning on installing more than one camera and want to use the Premium plan, that $7/month can increase quite rapidly.
Apart from that, the Kasa Cam is an affordable option that still has the main features you would want in an indoor security camera.
Along with the general features, it gets a few more points since it’s not solely compatible with Alexa but also Google Home.
- Good free plan
- Good video quality
- Good smart home integration
- Subscription plan limited to one camera
Since Google took over Nest a few years ago, they have released many home security systems of high quality.
The Nest Security Cam for indoor use is not different and shows great promise, although with a price tag that might be a bit high for some. While the price is a bit higher than the others mentioned, if you are going for a set, you’ll save a pretty big chunk of money by going for the 3-pack.
This camera is similar to the others in terms of video quality being at 1080 HD and the field of view at 130-degrees. There is the usual two-way audio included as well as night vision.
What makes the Nest Security Cam my choice is because of the increased intelligence that adds on to your current smart home. If you’re going for the Nest Aware subscription, you’ll get additional services for an affordable price but it can get quite expensive for the premium plan.
Among the services included in the Nest Aware, you’ll have the motion detection that can see a difference from your pet and a burglar. This is something that many other security cameras lack which makes it a great choice if you have pets at home and keep getting the motion alert.
Something that makes this camera stand out is that it can respond to sudden sounds like glass crashing, notifying you through to app so that you can see what is going on on live feed.
Also, like some others, you can also choose specific areas to blacklist from notifying you, such as a fan or window.
Smart home compatibility
As it’s a Google product, it will, of course, be compatible with your Google Home. However, the fact that it also is compatible with your Alexa devices gives me a fresh breath of air, as Google and Amazon generally seem to close off to themselves.
Apart from smart home compatibility, you can also view live feed and get notification from your Android or iOS device.
The Nest Security Cam comes with regular live feed monitoring. Besides that, you’ll have to go for the subscription plans for actually recording the footage.
There are three different plans.
- The 5-Day plan includes ($5/month, $50/year) includes 5 days of cloud storage (for each camera)
- The 10-Day plan ($10/month, $100/year) includes 10 days of cloud storage (for each camera).
- The 30-Day plan ($30/month, $300/year) includes 30 days of cloud storage (for each camera)
The Nest Aware also provides you with additional usage options for your camera. Also, if you choose to go for more than one camera, you’ll get 50% off for all additions.
The Nest Security Cam is an intelligent camera, no question about it. It is, however, a bit disappointing that the free plan does not provide any recorded footage and that you have to have a plan for it. However, if you are going for a security camera at this price, I do believe it’s worth to use the plan.
Since the 5-Day plan only costs $5, it isn’t really that bad and I believe that you don’t need more unless you are constantly away from your home.
Other than that, I am very pleased with this Nest product and it gets my vote for a few reasons. One is the smart home integration as I mentioned since Google and Amazon generally tend to have their own products without integrating with each other.
In terms of design, they have stepped up their game and it makes it easy to place it wherever you like in your house.
With these things in mind together with the smart intelligence included, I believe that the Nest Security Cam is a great choice for your smart home.
- Good video quality
- Good smart home integration
- Complex motion detection
- No free included storage
What is two-way audio?
Two-way audio is the term generally used for being able to communicate from both sides, including a speaker and a microphone. This is a great thing to have in a security camera as you can talk to your pets or family through your phone.
Even better, yell at an intruder to get out of your home!
Why is it necessary for a camera to work with Alexa or Google?
This goes back to the whole aspect of having a smart home.
We as smart home users know that there are certain things we do better than machines.
However, we enjoy being able to automate our homes and live more passively, even if it means something as simple as dimming the lights.
In terms of security cameras, it can be comfortable to be able to ask Alexa to show you the live feed on your tv when you’re sludged down in the couch. It’s all about comfort and productivity.
Even if you’re not a smart home user, you can still do these tasks by using your iOS or Android device as well.