May 2016 | Helen

Home security cameras

There are a multitude of reasons you might want a security camera or system set up in your home or office, almost all of them completely normal. To improve security, to check on your kids, or just for some good old-fashioned snooping. Whatever your reason, there are a ton of high quality, indoor, smart security cameras available these days that are easy to install, don’t cost an arm and a leg, and are pretty discrete.

As ever, we have scoured the market to find which cameras are rated the best out there…

 

Wifimypad’s top pick is…the Y-cam HomeMonitor Indoor

Why we bought the Y-cam HomeMonitor Indoor:

Excellent reviews from tech site after tech site

 Allows you to access footage anywhere, anytime

Offers free unlimited online video storage

 93% of HomeMonitor owners would recommend the camera to friends and family

For us there is no other choice for The Wifi Pad

Price at time of writing – £121.07 (Amazon.co.uk)

YCam HomeMonitor

Why did the Y-cam HomeMonitor Indoor tick our boxes?

The Y-cam HomeMonitor Indoor’s simple set-up, quality images day and night, movement detection notification, and free 7-day cloud storage with the option to upgrade for more makes it a slick, and effective product.

While it’s safe to say that the tech uber-geeks out there could set up a home security system for somewhat less than the Y-Cam HomeMonitor costs, for the rest of us with the tech skills of a regular person, the Y-Cam is a fantastic product.

Functionality – what can it do? Does it cover the basics well and give you any notable extras?
Unlike some other home security cameras, the Y-Cam is motion and sound activated so you won’t be recording hours of absolutely nothing, making it easier to review footage taken on the camera should you want to. It can record day or night, using infrared night vision to record in the dark producing images that are of a reasonable quality for both.

If a recording is triggered, you will receive notification to your phone that the camera is recording and you can view the footage in real time via your mobile. It can also be used as a regular web-cam.

The Y-cam indoor HomeMonitor stores videos safely in your own cloud-based online account provided by Y-cam, and you can record up to 7 days of recording for free. If you want to keep it for longer you can, but you’d have to pay for that.

And you needn’t worry about any extra equipment you might need for installation. Y-cam have thought about this, so you will be able to find a stand/wall/ceiling mount, power supply with UK/US/EU plug attachments, network Ethernet cable, screws, and wall anchors. Basically you’ve got it all from the beginning no extra shopping required.

Connectivity - is it compatible with Apple and Android? Does it use a wifi or Bluetooth connection? How reliable is the connection?
A Y-Cam HomeMonitor app is available both for Apple and Android users. Y-cam customers rate the wifi connection and IP setup highly and say it is especially user-friendly with easy to follow instructions. Also on the plus side, recording quality is clear and stable as long as the power supply is constant. Even if there are interruptions, Y-Cam HomeMonitor can still send you a notification before its last breath just to alert you that something’s wrong and you’ll need to check it out.

As all footage is uploaded to the web Y-Cam HomeMonitor does suggest an upload speed of at least 0.5Mb which will be fine for the majority of you, however if your internet connection or wifi is especially slow you’ll either have to find an alternative camera or speed up your wifi – see our top tips on how to get faster broadband.

Usefulness of app(s) - a bad app can turn a great product into a dud pretty fast, does this one cut the mustard?
The app provides instant access to all your Y-cam security cameras for watching live footage, turning your camera on/off, and controlling recording and notification schedules. The app requires 29MB of space on Android and 52.6 MB on iOS which may put some people off. You will need at least Android version 4.0 or up in order to be compatible. You do want to pay attention to this as the features of the Y-cam HomeMonitor will only function at their best when working with the associated mobile application.
Does it look good? Ok so you are not wearing it, but it may be visible in your home, so how does it look?
Unlike many security cameras which look like a machine gun mounted on your ceiling, the Y-cam HomeMonitor has a slick and subtle, all-white, cube-shaped body. It can either be hung from the wall or ceiling, or be placed on the shelf with the additional stand which will hold it securely. This is the ultimate professional wireless cameras which you can install anywhere indoors, and work with multiple wifi cameras around your house, all under one account without any additional setup.
Value for money – is this product a positive steal or a purchase to make your eyes water?
We think you get a lot for your money with the Y-Cam. It’s a tidy little camera that packs a high quality punch in its HD footage. The free cloud storage and mobile notification of a recording being triggered are an added bonus.

The Y-Cam HomeMonitor is mid-range price-wise (priced at £119 on Amazon at the time of writing). While it is certainly possible to install a home security system for less you would need a fair amount of technical know-how to do it. The Y-Cam on the other hand is an absolutely doddle to set up, even for an amateur.

The home foot spa test – Is this a genuinely useful product, or one that you will only use once before relegating them to the back of the cupboard?
However much we love our tech here at wifimypad, we are willing to admit that it’s unlikely we would ever truly rue the day we neglected to install a smart kettle or smart plant feeder in our home. Unfortunately though, this could be the case with installing a home surveillance camera – one of the truly useful smart gadgets currently on the market. As a result, there’s virtually no chance this one will end up on the junk pile.

And from our extensive research, opinion on the Y-Cam HomeMonitor seems to be unanimously positive too. Both tech critics and customers alike are glowing in their reviews – an unusual occurrence when it comes to any wifi-based technology.

What do others have to say about the Y-Cam HomeMonitor Indoor?

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Videos about the Y-Cam HomeMonitor

Y-cam HomeMonitor - 60-second setup & overview

BBC - catching a burglar with the Y-Cam HomeMonitor

Which other home security cameras did we check out?

ANNKE Sparkle 1 IP Camera

The Annke is an entry-level security camera for the home. It features H. 264 compression – making it more bandwidth friendly than other cameras – and allows HD quality video with smaller file sizes when recording. It has advanced motion-sensing technology to detect movements, two-way voice reception, and ability to connect via wired and wireless connections. You can also sync multiple cameras to the app. This camera scores well with customers and is cheaper than the Y-Cam but it doesn’t offer cloud-based storage of footage.

Dropcam Pro

From price of this security camera (£189.99 on Amazon at the time of writing), you may have higher expectations for performance. However, reviews are not so supportive. The biggest complaint is that the only option to record video footage is a constant 24/7 upload from your router to DropCams, which uses up a ton of bandwidth and is very unpopular with users.

D-Link HD Outdoor Cloud Camera

Especially designed for outdoor use, D-Link Wireless Day/Night Outdoor Cloud Camera is programmed to function during any season. Features include high resolution (720p), micro SD card slot, wireless access and Ethernet port for internet connection. It seems that many users are not satisfied with it because of the poor night recording quality, the high price and difficulties to setup initially for non Internet Explorer users.

Frequently asked questions:

Is the Y-cam HomeMonitor suitable to use indoor AND outdoors?

The Y-cam HomeMonitor is for indoor use only as it doesn’t come with advanced protection from water, sunlight or strong winds. Some users have simply set it up right under the roof and claimed that it functions well, but careful consideration is advised for outdoor use. There is a separate Y-Cam model suitable for outdoor use.

Do all wireless home security cameras allow you to view footage on your smart phone?

No, it depends on the model. Commonly, security cameras will usually be accessible to view from PC or notebook, but not all the companies have invested extra in an associated mobile app or interactive product website, therefore you should check the model you are interested in if this functionality is important to you.

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