I feel like Apple has come a ways since this was last discussed, and i am considering moving away from the Synology surveillance station setup I could never get to stabilize.
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with homekit-ready cameras to monitor the house while I’m away? I’d be interested in hearing about the setup, hardware and overall experience.
Anyone have anything on the go?
I’ve had a Logitech Circle 2 for the last couple of years and have been happy with it. Setup was simple, the hardware is reliable (sits on my garage door window in -30 degree F temps just fine).
I don’t pay for their subscription and haven’t set up the Apple camera monitoring yet. The camera does the job, though, notifies me of activity, and there haven’t been any ridiculous privacy concerns with it to date.
Thank you. Just the kind of review I was hoping for. The Circle camera is the one that’s unofficially endorsed by Apple as it’s available through their store, so I assume it’d work well with the iCloud service. Pretty pricey, but honestly, paying for a camera and having it not work is worse than paying twice as much for one that does.
Thank you very much for talking the time to write out this review for me. Good to know all of that. I’ll probably wind up going this way, although the eve camera sounds intriguing. I don’t know how long it’ll take to get to where I am, but the wait might be worth it–even to see if it may be a little less pricey.
Well, that’s a little discouraging. I’d hoped it would be better by now. Maybe if I wait to see what Eve does in the spring, it will improve a little. Failing that, I might take another run at keeping my surveillance station camera happy. I couldn’t ever get it to behave like I want, but I have a feeling that could be PEBKAC more than anything amiss with the hardware.
I have the Logi Circle 2 using HomeKit Secure Video and have had a wonderful experience with them. I’ve been using them for about 18 months with one exposed to the elements 24/7 and have had no issues with them. I actually, just today, rebuilt my wireless network with a new SSID meaning that I had to do a factory reset on all of my devices. After switching the Logi Circle 2 firmware to support HomeKit Secure Video, the Logi Circle app will no longer function with these devices. Surprisingly, after properly resetting the cameras, they connected to HomeKit straight away without any issues. I can’t recommend the Logi Circle 2 highly enough.
That’s good to hear! I should give it another run.
I have a couple Wyze cams also. One outside shooting across my front yard in a little “bird house” type cover, which has attracted a couple frustrated birds. It’s also under my roof overhang which helps. It has survived the outdoors for 18 months now with no issues.
We just bought another one for our laundry room to keep an eye on the dog while we are out of the house. And talk to him if needed through the two way communication feature. Spent a total of $65 on both cameras, the cover and a longer USB cable.
I’ll probably buy another one at some point for the front door.
We also use the Wyze Sense contact sensors on our front and garage doors that will alert me if they are open for a certain # of minutes. Very handy for not much $$.
Lots of good information here. Thank you, one and all.
I didn’t mention that I was hoping to avoid using anyone else’s cloud storage, and it looks like the Wyze cameras record to their own solution (although I don’t know enough to know if this can somehow be circumvented to disallow the camera from phoning home).
Ideally, I’d like a camera that simply saves to either the home network (via NAS-which is probably most secure, but still in-house, making it less than ideal for physical security–I’m thinking if someone breaks in and steals the NAS, well, that’s that) or iCloud (which may be better for keeping things offsite, but may also come with its own concerns as pointed out by @SpivR above).
I’m thinking I may take another run at the synology surveillance station solution. When I actually had it working for a week or so, it was pretty cool as it would send me a photo via email of the scene immediately and at programmed intervals when it detected motion, which is pretty cool. And the Wyze camera, assuming it can be lobotomized, apparently is compatible with the NAS. It could be the issue is just that I don’t have enough geek cred to get the NAS to do what I want. It seems nontrivial to me, anyway.
Thank you again for all the thoughts!
Bringing this thread back to life a bit after the WWDC announcement.
Currently, I have…
Ring Floodlight Camera
1 indoor camera.
I have Unifi setup for my networking needs.
- To get or not get Unifi Protect and going with their cameras.
- Continue purchasing Ring cameras
- Swap everything out and take advantage of HomeKit and all the upcoming OS updates.
However, if I do swap out everything…Any recommendations? I need to purchase overall at least 4 additional cameras to cover the perimeter of my home.
Which ones are you using?
So, just to add my two cents here, since we started this thread, I have purchased the new Circle View camera. I decided I’d give the Apple ecosystem a try, and overall, I have to say that I’m happy. While the capabilities of the camera aren’t necessarily the best, the new enhancements coming in the fall bring it to the level where I need it to be for basic home use. I’ve been using it for a week now, and it’s rock solid, does not appear to have any kind of glitches and the setup was about as easy as I could imagine.
Downside is that the camera totally stinks at night if you point it through a window to monitor your front stoop, which I’ve done because I still can’t get past installing an expensive camera outside where it would be trivial to steal it. That said, it still picks up enough, and during the daylight hours, there’s no issue. I honestly want to get another one just to monitor the inside of the house, and with the HomeKit implementation, I could get another four and it’d still not cost more than the price of the hardware.
As soon as there’s an apple-centric doorbell solution that works with HomeKit I’ll see about getting that for the outside.
It sounds like I will continue to have to piece-meal things in the house.
Keep the Ring Doorbell Camera/Floodlight.
Consider the Unifi Protect system with a separate app for outdoor?
Consider Eufy/Arlo for indoor?
Ugh. I hate multiple platforms/apps.
I have recently dived in with the Eufy range and I have to say I’m impressed. Wireless, battery powered so no cable issues and works with HomeKit and Alexa. Finally, no cloud storage fees (unless you count the iCloud storage I was paying for anyway) and it’s all held locally if that’s you thing.
Only downside is you seem to need to buy a second base unit if you want the door bell. This seems dumb and I’m waiting to see if they launch a doorbell that interstates.
Overall though I’m pretty happy
Me too…waiting for the freestanding door bell.
Interested in AI/ML box you mentioned. What are you running?