Nest, Ring, Arlo... Security Cameras

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
8,995
Evans, Georgia
#1
Ok, whose got'em and which ones do you like? What should I know about to shop for??

Looking for outdoor camera for backyard/pool security. I'm leaning towards Ring at the moment and know that when sitting outside my Wi-fi on the laptop reaches all the way down to the pool so hope a camera could pick up the wi-fi and would work there too?

Maddie :flower:
 

woodyp

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 18, 2010
10,206
East Texas
#2
I got Arlo. One Q model, one original outdoor (replace batteries), and 2 Arlo Pro with audio and talk back (rechargeable battery packs). My base for them is attached to my router which is in my office built onto the back of my house. One of those cams is outside my front door and another is in a front bedroom window. Wifi coverage is no issue. Drops signal ocassionally though. Probably cause I have a network traffic jam with Sonos and such! Luv'um.

Netgear makes Arlo and they been around forever. The new bases have a built in siren too. The Arlo Pros can work and stream a constant signal plugged in inside too, which is why I bought the Q model before those came out. All have good infrared and adjustable sensitivity. The one I leave plugged in in the front bedroom window has a nice little "I'm watching you" blue light on the front I leave on too.

I only use the basic free cloud service which rolls over recordings every 7 days on up to 5 cams. Police # is in my phone. They all push emails, texts, or both. Nice clear vids too. Works with Smarththings and I can have them wake me up if anything detected at night over my Sonos speakers or turn on lights, a siren, or such. Bought mine before the base units had a siren in them.
 

Rollercoastr

Gold Supporter
May 18, 2016
800
West Bloomfield, MI
#3
I have Nest thermostats and Drop-Cams as well as Ring doorbells. It wasn't a conscious choice to split like that. The t-stats came first, then Drop-cams, then a regular Ring doorbell and then a Ring Pro doorbell. I will add some outdoor cameras at some point, but I'm not sure which.

It's nice to consolidate the apps, so if you have or might add a smart thermostat, that's a reason to lean toward Nest cams. The same goes for the doorbells, which I can't believe I ever lived without! One of my doorbells failed, and Ring was very responsive in replacing it for me. The Pro is a bit finicky about the power supply, so I wish I could get the quality of the Pro with the reliability of the regular.

The nest Drop-Cams (indoor) can get on my nerves. They don't have as many options for target areas and sensitivity as I'd like, so they alert me when trees throw a shadow in the living room, or when the sun starts to set...

I haven't played with Ring's outdoor cameras (non doorbell), but the doorbell cameras have good and excellent zone/sensitivity control (std/pro), so my guess would be that their outdoor cams are similar.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#5
I know there have got to me more TFP'ers with security set-ups out there. Chime in please! I'm in the market for a new outside system as well. Not hung-up on wifi only as I am comfortable hard wiring my cameras (i.e. bullet/dome) if needed. But every time I think I have a system narrowed down, the reviews on Amazon make me concerned. I've reviewed Arlo, Nest, Ring, Swann, etc, etc. Reliable connections to the app and notifications while away are a big one. Many of these companies have overseas customer service which seems to be a significant drawback for some. But I would like to hear for more of you in TFP land..... or should I say water? :swim:
 

Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Mar 25, 2018
1,134
Chandler Arizona
#6
Pat, it all depends on what you want out of it, and what your budget is. If you don’t mind pulling cable, then look into systems that run POE over cat5/6e, that way you don’t have to be close to a power source.

For me, I didn’t want to pull cable, so I went 100% wireless. I went with Lorex as they have some really good consumer products.
You can see the system I went with here....https://www.lorextechnology.com/hd-...echargeable-wire-free-cameras/LWF2080B-63-1-p
 

woodyp

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 18, 2010
10,206
East Texas
#7
.............
Reliable connections to the app and notifications while away are a big one.
If that's you're #1.........Arlo does a great job with that. They are releasing a new camera first quarter that incorporates a light. It will require the new base station as well. They are still far from working the bugs out of their smart premier package package which allows you to frame in zones for alerts, rich text messaging alerts, and e911 calling. I still have 4 legged "people" alerts! Netgear takes their sweet time on fixing bugs for sure. Just got a solar panel I'm gonna hook up to a Pro model on the garage to minimize ladder climbing.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
3,423
Fletcher, OK
#8
I went at it a little different.. I wanted the camera's and video but did not want it monitored because of recurring cost monthly or yearly... the problem I see is it is never ending and you will always have to pay and they can raise the price any time they want...

The system I went with you can keep the videos as long as you want, can be viewed anywhere in the world and you can set up alerts/emails/text... it all depends on how much you want to put into it... My video setup was done a couple years after my initial purpose of wanting a Network Attached Storage (NAS) to store all my data, videos, audio, security, web pages you name it, it will do it...

Equipment:

Synology NAS: I bought the DS413 in 2013 and it still works flawlessly, My recommendation today is the Synology 4 bay NAS DiskStation DS418 (diskless) Amazon.com: Synology 4 bay NAS DiskStation DS418 (Diskless): Computers Accessories


NAS Disks: I have 3 4TB drives right now and have room for 1 more, In 5 years I have filled 1.9TB out of the available 7.3TB... it is 33 cents per GB for 4tb drives, 32 cents per GB for 8tb drives and 32.8 cents per GB fro 10TB drives... You really need 2 drives to start out with and they have to be the same company and size, so 2 4TB drives will cost you $240 and 2 8TB will be $500... It really depends on how much data you have and will need in the future. Always get NAS or Video surveillance drives, the NAS will kill desktop drives really fast. Amazon.com: WD Red 4TB NAS Hard Drive - 5400 RPM Class, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64 MB Cache, 3.5 Accessories

Cameras: I wanted small 1080P cameras and these fit the bill and work great.. Amcrest ProHD Outdoor 1080P POE Bullet IP Security Camera - IP67 Weatherproof, they are 2 MP/megapixel cameras. Amazon.com : Amcrest ProHD Outdoor 1080P POE Bullet IP Security Camera - IP67 Weatherproof, 1080P (1920 TVL), IP2M-842E (Black) : Camera Photo
They have new ones at 2MP, 3MP and 4MP cameras, all are power over ethernet, I wanted direct CAT5 connections that have no way of being hijacked via WIFI..
Amazon.com : Amcrest 3MP Outdoor POE Security Camera - ProHD IP Camera POE Bullet, 98ft Night Vision, IP67 Outdoor, 2048 TVL, IP3M-954E (Black) : Camera Photo
Amazon.com : Amcrest ProHD Outdoor 4 Megapixel POE Bullet IP Security Camera - IP67 Weatherproof, 4MP (2688 TVL), IP4M-1026E (Black) : Camera Photo

Synology NAS comes with 2 IP camera licences for free, if you want more cameras you will need to buy a license, it depends on how many cameras you want or need, I only needed 3 so I bought 1 more license.. they have 1, 4, or 8 license add ons.. Amazon.com : Synology IP Camera License Pack for 1 (CLP1) : Vehicle Backup Cameras : Camera Photo

power over ethernet switch: I bought this one and connected into my home WIFI/Router... I connected the NAS directly to this switch so all data goes from the cameras to the NAS without hitting my router..
Amazon.com: Linksys Business LGS116P 16-Port Desktop Gigabit Ethernet PoE+ Unmanaged Network Switch I Metal Enclosure: Computers Accessories


This system is a little more expensive to start out but it will serve you better in the future, It has so many options its crazzzy.. want to watch a video in 4K on your phone, tablet, computer, TV no problem, Itune server, computer backup device, web page server, VPN, file server, and the list goes on.. Here is everything you can use or load right now Packages | Synology Inc.

Hope this helps :)

Here is a video from my system..
[YOUTUBE]WErNIlXuPBc[/YOUTUBE]
 

cdchris1

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2016
71
SW Chicago/IL
#9
I have a NAS system very similar to what cowboycasey described above as well as Arlo Pros and a Ring. If running cable is not a problem, the Synology NAS is the way to go. The Arlos and Ring are nice, but they are not as reliable and I have difficulty finding sensitivities that do not give me false triggers or miss things. They are more of a toy than a true security system. The NAS can be used for a lot more than the security cameras as well.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#10
I appreciate the input everyone, and of course Yippee for starting this thread that I hopped-on just a little late. :wink:. Casey and Chris, to be honest, I never considered building a system myself until recently. I became exhausted with all the over-the-counter options out there today. Between the expensive (per camera) cloud-based products (Ring, Arlo, Nest, etc) and the pre-packaged camera systems (Night Owl, Swann, etc), I found myself exhausted with contradictory info and never thrilled with the customer reviews. In addition, many of these companies have their customer service based outside the country which can complicate communication exchanges - a major item of contention with homeowners.

After reading-up a bit on the NAS system and how it all works together, I see that as a very good way to go. I especially like the software that is loaded in the Synology (and probably in the QNAP) NAS's which makes them user-friendly and secure. Sure, some of the costs add-up a bit, but you have flexibility and know you are also getting top of the line equipment built specifically for that purpose - and more. I'm looking to support about 8 cameras in all (so far), so I'll begin laying out my parts "wishlist" and use the info you noted above to help get me started. Thanks a bunch!
 

paddle

Silver Supporter
May 7, 2015
44
Chapel Hill, NC
#11
We have 2 Arlo Pro's facing the pool and spa. I can login from anywhere and see how the pool looks and monitor the robot or spillway if they are running. I also use the motion detection to email me if someone goes into the backyard while we are at work. We have a more complex camera/recording system for the front of the house and to be honest, the Arlo's have been very easy to work with around the pool and we haven't had any issues with them.
 
Mar 26, 2018
13
South Texas
#14
I have the old Arlo's that used 123 batteries. I hate 123 Batteries, so i switch to Ring and haven't looked back. I also pay the $3 a month fee to have their cloud services.
 

cdchris1

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2016
71
SW Chicago/IL
#15
Make sure to get the Alro Pro or Pro 2 if you go that route. They have rechargeable batteries and they do last for quite a while. I have three outside and one inside that I keep plugged in. That way I can just swap out the depleted battery with the one that is plugged in. You can buy extra batteries and chargers, but it is almost as much as an entire camera.

Results might vary, but I have had instances where the Arlo or Ring trigger too late or the person or critter is too fast, and all I get is a blur or their back. My hardwired system to the NAS that has continuous recording gets them every time. It all depends on what your needs are.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
2,785
Northern NJ
#16
I use a combination of Dropcam/Net and Blink cameras. I used to have all Dropcam's but got tired of their monthly storage fees. Blink stores 24 hours worth of records in the cloud at no charge.

I also wanted to monitor a few areas outdoors where running power would have been difficult. The Blinks are battery powered with replaceable lithium AA batteries that last months. The way Blink is efficient with battery is they only record when they sense motion and record clips between 5 seconds and 60 seconds long. Also Blink night illumination is by turning on a white LED rather then using infrared emitters.

Blink cameras can also be powered through a USB cable. Indoor cameras with access to power are plugged in and outdoor cameras run on batteries.

Blink has a decent IOS app that gives notifications of motion and viewing the clips. You use the app to arm and disarm the cameras so that you are not generating alerts and storing clips when around the house. You can also turn on a camera and view the video live through the app.

I use the Dropcam in areas like monitoring my driveway where I want to record any motion 24/7 and don't want to be bothered with alerts. I can use the Nest app to review all movement for a 7 day period anytime I want. Also the Dropcam has better resolution and distance then the Blink.

I have a strong Wifi system in my house and very high speed connectivity to the cloud. I have had no problems relying on Wifi and streaming of the cams.

A wired camera system to an in house NAS can provide higher resolution and better reliability if you are willing to install and manage it. You need to decide what feature set best fits your situation.
 

drewhiggs

Silver Supporter
Jul 10, 2017
62
Georgetown, TX
#17
I dove into the Nest family and I absolutely love them. I originally bought the Arlo cameras, but took them back and bought Nest in favor of cheaper 24/7 recording.

I have 2 outdoor cameras and 1 doorbell camera. I plan to buy the thermostats at some point, but I haven't bit the bullet yet. The Nest doorbell cam is nice, as it includes facial recognition. When my daughter walks home from school, I get an alert that says "Daughter's Name" - Front Door.

The only con is that they need to be plugged in. The doorbell camera uses voltage that is already run to the doorbell. The outdoor cameras come with a 25ft power cable, so you will need an extension cord of cable management if you want to go further.

The other day, I caught a coyote wandering by. (Excuse the mess, I'm in the process of putting my yard back together ;-) )

tempsnip.jpg
 

HeyEng

Silver Supporter
Nov 7, 2018
43
Oklahoma City, OK
#18
I use a combination of Dropcam/Net and Blink cameras. I used to have all Dropcam's but got tired of their monthly storage fees. Blink stores 24 hours worth of records in the cloud at no charge.

I also wanted to monitor a few areas outdoors where running power would have been difficult. The Blinks are battery powered with replaceable lithium AA batteries that last months. The way Blink is efficient with battery is they only record when they sense motion and record clips between 5 seconds and 60 seconds long. Also Blink night illumination is by turning on a white LED rather then using infrared emitters.

Blink cameras can also be powered through a USB cable. Indoor cameras with access to power are plugged in and outdoor cameras run on batteries.

Blink has a decent IOS app that gives notifications of motion and viewing the clips. You use the app to arm and disarm the cameras so that you are not generating alerts and storing clips when around the house. You can also turn on a camera and view the video live through the app.

I use the Dropcam in areas like monitoring my driveway where I want to record any motion 24/7 and don't want to be bothered with alerts. I can use the Nest app to review all movement for a 7 day period anytime I want. Also the Dropcam has better resolution and distance then the Blink.

I have a strong Wifi system in my house and very high speed connectivity to the cloud. I have had no problems relying on Wifi and streaming of the cams.

A wired camera system to an in house NAS can provide higher resolution and better reliability if you are willing to install and manage it. You need to decide what feature set best fits your situation.
A quick note on the Blink cameras...we have used them as well and do like them. HOWEVER, it is not easy to monitor from a desktop/laptop computer as it runs on an app based program. That isn't a big deal for some folks, but for me...it was *almost* a deal breaker as I needed 24/7 access to the video which included being able to see it on a desktop computer. Good news is that if you are half way decent w/ computers, you can use an app emulator that you can run on your "conventional computer". They are very good w/ the motion sensing as well.

We have also used the Dropcam and it worked fairly well, too. However, it is a bit pricey for just one camera. Our Simplisafe alarm system has similar camera and although we have just installed the camera option, it seems to work well, too.

Lastly, in our last house, we had a traditional system of hardwired cameras that had a 30 day DVR. Installation can be a huge pain and getting the software to work well (for internet access) was a huge pain. As mentioned earlier, the customer service folks tend to be overseas and while they were good at helping me w/ issues...communication could be an issue. Also, out of 8 cameras, we had 3 of them fail over a period of about 6 years. They aren't too expensive, so that wasn't a huge deal. One thing I did like with them is you could modify the "area" of motion sensitivity to a very high degree. It wasn't very easy to configure, but it was very good at "looking" for motion in only the areas you wanted covered. As an example, we had one the covered much of the front yard, but I only wanted notification when someone approached the mailbox and not the 200+ squirrel crossings that occurred throughout the day and the customization of the motion zone made that possible. I *think* Dropcam has a similar feature...but I haven't looked at configuration settings in a little while.

Bottom line for me, if you don't require "constant stream" monitoring, I would highly recommend the Blink system.
 

KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
294
Palm Desert, CA
#19
I have the Arlo Pros (3) mixed with my 3 year old original Arlo HDs (2). The Pros’ batteries are a huge leap in convenience. A 3 pack was a Black Friday deal at Costco for $300, $160 off, and we purchased the solar panel chargers with the savings.
I immediately was going to return the panels, until I had to replace a battery (not a huge hassle, but as mentioned the cam is the charger) and decided to give them a try. They work great. 2 main outdoor cams have solar panels attached and run at 100% battery all the time now.
Good to note that the Pro/Pro2 cams have audio detection and are much more responsive compared to original Arlo HD cams. It’s a huge deterrent. My neighbor was complaining that someone stole a package (no one did actually) and asked the mailman. He knew we had an Arlo, and recommended it. She wanted our footage, that kinda catches her front, but declined. To each their own, I recommend making a policy as it’s not so easy for someone to say ‘Gee, can you review footage from 6am to 10 pm?’ —and they always do. Get your own camera and search—it’s time consuming and pointless. Also, what are you going to do with it? If the police ask, that’s who I’ll look for and give it too. I digress.
 

JoeSelf

Gold Supporter
Jun 18, 2014
444
Glassboro NJ
#20
I just got a Ring Doorbell 2. Didn't have the option for POE. I have Ubiquity AC-Lite Access Points for WIFI and do not have a problem with losing signal. Was the easiest to install.

Now if I can keep MY GMG Daniel Boone WIFI connected to the AC-PRO in the garage, I'd be golden.