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Home Security / Surveillance: How do you record video while gone?

Home Security / Surveillance: How do you record video while gone?

Old Apr 26, 2023, 9:23 am
  #1  
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Home Security / Surveillance: How do you record video while gone?

We've been longtime users of Eufy's camera systems. Recent hardware/software failures and the corresponding lack of sufficient support have us shopping around.

We originally went with Eufy because:
1. Cameras are wireless and have 4-6 months of battery life;
2. No remote/cloud storage
3. No subscription fees

We have a need for 4 cameras with night vision and motion detection. We don't use the "talkback" function as much as we thought. I'd prefer to not have to pay a monthly fee to anyone, but if it gets better support, I'd be open to it.

I really like wireless since they can be repositioned and I don't have ugly cables running everywhere. But, for reliability and the opportunity to not have to get on a ladder periodically, I'd be open to wired cameras.

Who do you use? Why? Would you recommend them?
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Old Apr 26, 2023, 9:37 am
  #2  
 
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Google/Nest and Amazon/Ring are the two big ones.

I use Ring, and mostly satisfied with it, although it seems of late that the response time for motion detection has gone up significantly. If I was doing it all over again, I'd probably do Nest solely because I use Google products and services for other things, so the integration would be great. I think Ring hardware is a little cheaper to purchase as well.
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Old Apr 26, 2023, 10:23 am
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I use Eufy for the wireless cameras and the doorbell. For the wired cameras I use
Riolink Riolink
, but I have never needed technical support.
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Old Apr 26, 2023, 10:45 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by mike_la_jolla
I use Eufy for the wireless cameras and the doorbell. For the wired cameras I use Riolink, but I have never needed technical support.
Thanks. We can't use the Eufy Doorbell cam because we have a low-voltage doorbell which doesn't support PoE or 110V power. We have a camera over our porch, so a doorbell cam isn't a priority.

Riolink appears to be a competitor to Amcrest which we're considering. Thanks for the additional info!
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Old Apr 26, 2023, 12:41 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by aww3583
Thanks. We can't use the Eufy Doorbell cam because we have a low-voltage doorbell which doesn't support PoE or 110V power.
The doorbell isn't PoE or 110V. It's typically 6-30 VAC (mine was 6 VAC). For the doorbell camera, you replace the doorbell switch with the button/camera unit and then connect the unit to your wireless. I live in an old building, and one of the doorbell wires was broken, so I use a battery-based unit. I have to recharge every 6 weeks or so. If your doorbell VAC is too low, you can change the transformer. The Riolink cameras are PoE or 110V.

I understand your frustration with technical support. Setting up non-cloud based units is non-trivial and companies such as Eufy don't charge enough for the units to walk you thru the issues. I suspect your issues weren't HW, but wireless reliability and internet. Thinking about paying Nest/Ring/Eufy for cloud storage gives me hives.
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Old Apr 26, 2023, 5:50 pm
  #6  
 
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I'm personally using five WyzeCam V3sright now and have a couple more to put up. They're not fancy and they are USB powered except for the floodlight cam which is hardwired like a normal light fixture. For two of my cameras I have them powered off a 5v/5A power supply that I terminated with female USB-A plugs. The others are powered off their included AC adapters. One of them is indoors pointing out the window and the other I drilled a small hole to run a longer USB cable out to the camera.

A couple things about the WyzeCam V3s.

The good:
- they have a starlight sensor that gives excellent color video provided you have some ambient light around. The more the better.
- the 128GB cards I have hold about 12 days worth of video. They can use up to a 2TB card IIRC.
-They are eligble for Wyze's CamPlus Lite which gives you person notifications and 12 second clips of motion events. For eligible cameras it's a name your own price per month including zero. Personally I pay 2 bucks a month which I think is reasonable. I've honestly been considering switching to the full CamPlus which is 99USD/yr for up to 99 cameras.
-They're cheap but decent camera IMO and have worked well IME.

The bad:
-Require AC power which is nice because no battery swapping or charging is needed but in the event of a power outage they won't work unless on a UPS or generator.
-Without CamPlus Lite they're not that useful unless all you want is something that records that you can pull video from later.
-mSD card is in the camera so without the basic (free if you select 0 dollars) if someone steals or destroys the camera so is your video.

Overall I've had very few issues with my cameras. The most common issue I've had is one will drop off the network and will need a hard power cycle to fix. I actually had this happen today while checking in on the house while traveling. Luckily someone else was at home and power cycled it for me. I bought some wifi smart plugs to be able to power cycle them remotely but I didn't have time to install them before leaving. I'm sure I've forgetting some pros and cons but in 2 years of service dealing with temps reaching 100+f in the summer and -25f before windchill is factored in and they're still going strong. If one fails they're like 35 bucks new. I picked up a four pack of factory refurbs last spring so I have a couple extras after installing a couple others elsewhere on the property.

Last edited by LtKernelPanic; Apr 26, 2023 at 6:11 pm
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Old Apr 26, 2023, 10:49 pm
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I will be travelling next month and will be away for the entire month period. I also purchased Eufy camera for stable wifi connection and low latency. I was thinking of purchasing Google Home or Ring but I think it's an overkill for me.
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Old Apr 27, 2023, 9:20 am
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I’d go with ARLO cameras.. they pioneered the entire wireless and battery operated camera space and I think continue to be a leader in quality and function. I’ve used their cameras, and the prior VUE cams for over 15 years now - and test most others from Google, Eufy (failed now in my opinion) and Ring. Search around for some coupons, they ran a promo trying to migrate users of older cams to newer cameras so there are 25-50% off coupons out there. Strong ecosystem as well with doorbell cams, flood lights, security, etc.

Battery life is between 3-5 months I would say. They only activate when we are NOT here, for motion and video capture. I use a base station, so all the video is recorded locally AS WELL as in the cloud - but that can of course be turned off. There is ~ 7 days or cloud recording that is free, more can be purchased for ~ 7$ a month. I haven’t paid for any services since inception.

I don’t use the two way audio features at all, but I sometimes use the listen audio to hear what might have trigger a motion/audio sensor on the cameras, sometimes it picks up the gardener when we are away and they are right up against the house. Sometimes it picks up the doorbell, if someone rings it - most couriers just drop packages. Sometimes it picks up the monthly google NEST smoke/co2 monitor sound test when we are out of town, etc.

One of the things I like is that I can setup other 3rd parties to be alerted even if they don’t have the app installed or credentials. Often, we’ll be 12 times zones away from home and an alert in the middle of our night, or when we’re out of coverage in a far foreign land isn’t going to help anyone. but, it can alert a local relative or friend to the motion/audio alerts and they could take some police action.

Last edited by nmenaker; Apr 27, 2023 at 9:27 am
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Old Apr 27, 2023, 9:24 pm
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by LtKernelPanic
I'm personally using five WyzeCam V3sright now and have a couple more to put up. They're not fancy and they are USB powered except for the floodlight cam which is hardwired like a normal light fixture. For two of my cameras I have them powered off a 5v/5A power supply that I terminated with female USB-A plugs. The others are powered off their included AC adapters. One of them is indoors pointing out the window and the other I drilled a small hole to run a longer USB cable out to the camera.
I have v2s, all indoor, but they work. I don't need anything fancy. I just purchased the floodlight version but haven't installed it yet. I do have the CamPlus subscription as I will soon have close to 8 cameras (monitoring two different locations). The detection is a little better than what it was a few years ago. Local storage is helpful, I just wish they would email me clips and I could direct the cameras to store data within the network but on a separate device (eg, NAS). But for the price, it's already worth it.
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Old Apr 27, 2023, 10:07 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by lokihardt
I will be travelling next month and will be away for the entire month period. I also purchased Eufy camera for stable wifi connection and low latency. I was thinking of purchasing Google Home or Ring but I think it's an overkill for me.
I have a substantial collection of Ring, Arlo, Eufy and Asus wireless security cameras (among a bunch of others). Mostly collecting dust.

Ring I sort of dislike the most. They force firmware upgrades, and if those firmware upgrades fail for whatever reason the devices are bricked and Ring support only offered a discount on buying new ones from them. They have latency and connection issues. And they toyed with things so those without their paid subscription plans are now worse off than they were at this time in 2021.

When sticking to wired-power Wi-Fi security cameras, I found that the cheap TP-Kasa Wi-Fi cameras do the job more reliably than Ring.
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Old Apr 30, 2023, 7:55 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
I have a substantial collection of Ring, Arlo, Eufy and Asus wireless security cameras (among a bunch of others). Mostly collecting dust.

Ring I sort of dislike the most. They force firmware upgrades, and if those firmware upgrades fail for whatever reason the devices are bricked and Ring support only offered a discount on buying new ones from them. They have latency and connection issues. And they toyed with things so those without their paid subscription plans are now worse off than they were at this time in 2021.

When sticking to wired-power Wi-Fi security cameras, I found that the cheap TP-Kasa Wi-Fi cameras do the job more reliably than Ring.
I had no idea that Ring doesn't offer free replacements if the camera becomes bricked due to failed firmware update. That's poor customer service! Is there lag because it's a wireless camera?
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Old May 1, 2023, 2:49 pm
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Not proud of it, but I have a mixture of Wyze and Blink cameras. LtKernelPanic did a nice summary of the V3s and mirror my experiences with them. I've been using them since the original V1 cameras. The V3 do have a nice picture in low light. A neighbor had a 2am home invasion on Friday and we gave the police copies of the SD cards, which captured the suspect's car and suspect doing the deed. They came by on Saturday after reviewing the footage and were very thankful for it.

I did have a firmware update brick a Wyze cam and Wyze did ship me another one without hassle..BUT... that camera was 5+ hours away from me when this happened, so that camera was useless until I was able to return. I've learned to avoid doing firmware updates unless I'm near the camera for a few days in case this happens again.
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