Smart home security system

((╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻) #1

I’m now in the market for a smart home security system and it would be great to have it play nicely with all my other devices :slight_smile:

I was pretty much sold on the the Arlo pro 2 system because:

  • Alarm siren
  • 2 way communication
  • Motion tracking
  • Geo-fencing
  • 3 second look back so they’re not always recording and wasting power
  • Pair with security lights
  • Free 7 day cloud storage
  • Can be used in or outdoor (I mostly want outdoor)

Then I found the downsides:

  • Most functionality can’t be used unless hardwired in - cabling not supplied.
  • They’re mounted magnetically so easy to steal
  • Someone suggested putting them high up which then means the 2 way audio won’t work and it’s more of a hassle to switch the batteries
  • The alarm only comes out of the hub, which won’t be heard in some areas of the property.

Now I’m stuck with what to go with :sob: The Nest ones seem very pricey and they need a subscription :grimacing:

Has anyone any suggestions or feedback from using some?

I found this 8 month old topic but it’s mainly for IP cams and 8 months is a long time in technology terms :slight_smile:

(Lord Chimpington.. the 3rd) #2

I looked at Arlo and a few colleagues have it. One has no issues, the other has problems with the delay between movement and camera recording the clip (usually misses stuff)

So I bought Nest.

Nest hello on the front (wired doorbell), nest cam on the garage looking at patio and utility doors (has quite a wide angle).

Pricey upfront, yes, but it works! For the 5 day sub for both cameras, it’s £7 a month.

They’ve not missed a thing and the door bell has proven incredibly useful.

((╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻) #3

Nest would make sense, since I already have their thermostat and smoke alarm (nest protect).

Looking at their range to compare with the Arlo I’d need the Nest IQ, which for a 4 camera system would be over a £1,000 :scream: which have you got?

(Lord Chimpington.. the 3rd) #4

I opted for nest cam, didn’t see the need for the IQ. Quality is pretty good


I started with Cocoon, but soon moved to Arlo. The geofencing on Arlo doesn’t work if you have more than one phone (i.e. you’re not single), but other than that, it’s pretty good. If a camera gets stolen, it doesn’t matter hugely, because the pictures are already in the cloud. It is a shame it isn’t constantly recording so that it can splice the run-up to events on the start of the video, but that’s how they make the batteries last so long (literally about six months!). The wireless nature means you can put them literally anywhere (my neighbour has one in a tree). The siren on the base is very loud. You’d need a very big house not to hear it.

It’s nice not having to pay a retainer too, but…pros and cons…

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(Gordon Dack) #6

I currently use iSmart Alarm with 3 cams included, no outdoor cam yet. Alarm is controlled via mobile phone or supplied fobs, cams only record when triggered and you get free storage of up to 30 clips. You can install a micro sd card for continuous recording.

Works well for me :slight_smile:

((╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻) #7

I live in a bungalow so I imagine that if (for example) someone tried breaking in at the front and the base was at the back - there are a lot of rooms and walls it would need to travel through and it would be muffled? Ie. not as effective as an outdoor one. Just as if I placed the base in the ‘middle’ of the house. :thinking:

I’ve seen that I can order a Arlo system on Amazon from the US for cheaper (even with the ridiculous shipping fees) and they have added extras. Do you know of an external alarm by Arlo or one that would play nicely with it via IFTTT for example?


In my experience, no-one pays attention to external alarms because of all the false alarms. The real point of it is to scare them away, which I think Arlo would do. You also put the stickers on your windows so they know they’ll be filmed, and you’ll be watching on your phone, as soon as they get in.

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(Dan Mullen) #9

I have two Nest Cam Indoors and recently added three Outdoor cameras. Very happy with Nest, the quality is excellent.

(Jon Moss) #10

Agreed. Excellent quality and the app is well thought out.

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(Jonny Wilson) #11

I cannot recommend Nest highly enough.

I have an indoor cam and two outdoor cams at my house and they’re awesome.

One thing to consider when using these types of cams is the available bandwidth on the installed broadband. They’re steaming (usually) HD footage so make sure you have sufficient bandwidth for the cams you’re using.

IP Cams (home security)
((╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻) #12

Good point about the bandwidth, I’m quite rural so I don’t have the best speeds

Does this matter if they’re not always recording - i.e. on motion detection only


I use Humax Eye cameras myself, never had an issue with them.

((╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻) #14

Are they indoor only and do they have an alarm?

I’m looking for a whole security system with alarm, 2 way audio and expandable with other smart devices such as security lights etc :slight_smile:

(Lord Chimpington.. the 3rd) #15

With nest, you can control the bandwidth quality.

You can also tell the cameras to turn off when you arrive at home!

Motion detection only, does have the potential to miss stuff.

(Jonny Wilson) #16

It’s more about how well they can push the stream. Take Nest for example, their cams stream 24/7 to the Nest platform where the footage is stored for X days, then when I watch the footage in real-time, it’s actually pseudo real-time because it’s streamed from their servers. This means the load from the live views is removed from the cameras and my broadband as it’s served from their media servers.

You can get cameras such as Hik Vision that record to an internal SD card then when you watch the footage from your camera, it’s streamed directly from the camera itself and you have the SD card footage stored. This loops recording also so you don’t need to keep swapping the card out.

The only potential issue there is if there is a break in, and they steal the camera or SD card, you could lose footage. I believe some of these cameras take a photo when triggered and push the photo to the Hik Vision :cloud: cloud. I don’t think they push the video to the cloud however. But this will give you some fallback and hopefully an image of the bad guys.

If you are wanting to check in every now and then, then maybe the Hik Vision or similar is the best option.

Either way, you need to check your upload speed as this is always lower than your download speed (unless you have a synchronous line) and it’s this that will affect your stream.

If you opt for a 24/7 recording, ensure you have sufficient bandwidth availability on your plan because most cams these days are HD (720p or 1080p) and these eat bandwidth. This is my last 30 days usage, streaming 3 Nest cams.

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Mine are indoor only. I do have one that is situated in my conservatory and it covers the French doors and also the back door to my garage, but essentially as it is inside, it is completely protected from the elements. Recordings are stored for free on a 7 day rolling program, so no expensive contracts. I get instant alerts of any movement via the app to my smartphone. They do have full audio. I can sit on a beach in the Caribbean and have a quick gander on the house if I want to, as long as I have a wifi connection of course!

I have an independent whole house wired alarm. It’s years old now. Save from having two replacement back up batteries installed in the main panel, it has never once failed on me. I’ve only had the system serviced/checked twice in 17 years. It just works. Most systems I believe are wireless these days.

I’m into Hive in quite a big way, so I have lots of Hive lights that I have set up to come on at all sorts of times of the day and night. I was looking at a Hive camera…I’m still looking…:joy:

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((╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻) #18

Hmmm yeah it’s the bandwidth that might be an issue for me. It’s not so much the amount of data (I get unlimited) but it’s the speed. I fear it will grind everything to a halt such as Sky TV.

Again, this is why I liked the Arlo system because you can plug in an external drive. I already have a NAS drive so I can connect it to that and I can access the recordings from anywhere and I have more than 1 copy.

Why is it so hard work :weary:

I’ve just had a quick look at HIK vision cameras and they seem ok, but not very “smart”. For example I’d like to trigger my security lights to come on if motion is detected or turn on the hallway lights.

(Jonny Wilson) #19

It’s a mine field. It took a lot of asking people and research to get what suited me.

In theory, your Sky shouldn’t be affected as this is your down stream, the cams will be pushing to the up stream. That said, it COULD slow your WiFi traffic.

With all my devices plus three HD cams, my router traffic was moving like a herd of stoned sloths. I ended up upgrading to Google Mesh and it flies now.

You’ll hit these problems because you’re using Wifi. I cable as much as I can and if I had that option on the cams, I’d wire all of them.

(Gordon Dack) #20

Sky TV is delivered via Satellite not broadband, except for on demand. So not likely to affect Sky TV. The issue will be wifi traffic and the upstream

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