Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

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MortgageOnBlack
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Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by MortgageOnBlack » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:45 pm

I currently have a NEST In-Door cam (bought 2 years ago) which we use as a Doggie Day Cam for the house. I also have other NEST products: Nest Protect (Smoke Detector) and Nest Thermostat. Not including a Doorbell camera which we plan to buy this year (unsure on which brand), we believe we need 3-4 outdoor cameras to monitor the outside of our house.

Personally, I'm not a fan of subscription products/services if there is an alternative I can manage/monitor myself. Example: I have a self-monitored home alarm system which I own outright (Abode). Although, I find value in the monitoring service on occasion which we use (when my fiancee and I took a cruise, we used it), I prefer purchasing device outright and configuring them myself.

As mentioned, I do own the indoor NEST cam, but we don't have the NEST AWARE subscription service. We have been using the limited functionality of the camera, but I wish we had the full features of the Nest AWARE service; to be blunt, I'm just too cheap and refuse to pay even the $5 a month for the minimum service. To me, it's the principle; I absolutely despise recurring costs if there are non-recurring alternatives available.

With this being said, any recommendations for my sweet spot for outdoor cameras? I have spent plenty of time searching and came across the IP CAM TALK forum, but all of the solutions seem like overkill to me for my minimalist/boglehead attitude towards purchases (example: dedicated Blue IRIS computer/server). I am open to re-selling my NEST In-Door Cam and switching to another platform which is accepting of my non-subscription mindset.

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fortfun
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by fortfun » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:50 pm

Do you live in an area that really requires them? I sort of thought we needed them when we moved into our home about 15 years ago but never ended up getting any. Here we are 15 years later and we've never really had any situation that would have warranted them. For now, it turns out they would have been a waste of money and time (spent monitoring and installing). Sometimes, I think the news/media is designed to make us all paranoid, it sells more advertising. Of course, your area/situation could be different.

mortfree
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by mortfree » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:04 pm

I have the same mindset when it comes to the outdoor camera(s).

Have you looked at Blink Home Security camera system?

One of my neighbors recommended it as that is what they use.

I am still waiting to make a decision since it would be more of a fun tech toy.

amindu
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by amindu » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:11 pm

I have the Ring floodlight Cams...usually places like Home Depot run a special and you can pickup 2 for $345. You don’t have to pay for the monthly subscription unless you want access to live recording and to save all recorded events. That being said the basic plan per camera is 30/year or $100 for the protect plus which Includes as many units as you have for the year.

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MortgageOnBlack
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by MortgageOnBlack » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:13 pm

fortfun wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:50 pm
Do you live in an area that really requires them? I sort of thought we needed them when we moved into our home about 15 years ago but never ended up getting any. Here we are 15 years later and we've never really had any situation that would have warranted them. For now, it turns out they would have been a waste of money and time (spent monitoring and installing). Sometimes, I think the news/media is designed to make us all paranoid, it sells more advertising. Of course, your area/situation could be different.
Very fair statement. I don't think we "need" them, but it is a nice toy to have. The only real urge I've had for them is to monitor the animals which like to walk up our carport (skunks, raccoons, stray cats). At this point, it's been more to catch these culprits and anything else that might come up. It would also offer additional peace of mind for any vandalism, strange events, etc...

Perhaps I can start with with another cam to monitor the carport traffic... :confused

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MortgageOnBlack
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by MortgageOnBlack » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:14 pm

mortfree wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:04 pm
I have the same mindset when it comes to the outdoor camera(s).

Have you looked at Blink Home Security camera system?

One of my neighbors recommended it as that is what they use.

I am still waiting to make a decision since it would be more of a fun tech toy.
I have not heard of blink. Outside of the higher end stuff in the IP CAM TALK forum, c :? ame across Nest, Arlos, and Ring. I will check into them.

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MortgageOnBlack
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by MortgageOnBlack » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:16 pm

amindu wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:11 pm
I have the Ring floodlight Cams...usually places like Home Depot run a special and you can pickup 2 for $345. You don’t have to pay for the monthly subscription unless you want access to live recording and to save all recorded events. That being said the basic plan per camera is 30/year or $100 for the protect plus which Includes as many units as you have for the year.
I would like to recall an event for up to 24-48 hours. Being able to export/save the event to an VIDEO file would be nice. Anything outside of that is dead-noise to me. For my needs, I think 24-48 hours would be max. Even on vacation, if I had an adequate app and phone service, I could save/export events remotely. I do like the feature of "motion/sound detected" on the NEST; I just don't like feeling conned into the subscription service.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:36 pm

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:13 pm
fortfun wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:50 pm
Do you live in an area that really requires them? I sort of thought we needed them when we moved into our home about 15 years ago but never ended up getting any. Here we are 15 years later and we've never really had any situation that would have warranted them. For now, it turns out they would have been a waste of money and time (spent monitoring and installing). Sometimes, I think the news/media is designed to make us all paranoid, it sells more advertising. Of course, your area/situation could be different.
Very fair statement. I don't think we "need" them, but it is a nice toy to have. The only real urge I've had for them is to monitor the animals which like to walk up our carport (skunks, raccoons, stray cats). At this point, it's been more to catch these culprits and anything else that might come up. It would also offer additional peace of mind for any vandalism, strange events, etc...

Perhaps I can start with with another cam to monitor the carport traffic... :confused
It sounds as if you are looking for cameras for the same reason that I was. I had no desire for annual subscriptions, police notifications, identification of any intruders, etc. I expect no intruders, but you never know. I simply wanted to see what traffic we had near our entryways without having to get up and look. I finally settled on three of these: https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/ ... ity-camera

They do exactly what I wanted, but if there isn't much ambient light they may need night-time assistance from something like a LIFX+ light bulb that emits an infrared beam. I didn't want to fool with batteries so I have two cameras mounted in pre-existing floodlight fixtures (patio and door near driveway) and another mounted inside a bedroom window to view the front door and length of the porch. Daytime viewing is great. Nighttime depends upon ambient light and/or LIFX+ etc assistance. They do require an AC outlet or battery power as well as wifi signal. They are by no means perfect, but they meet our needs.

One of the first things I do every morning is breeze through the activities of the night to see which stray/feral cats, possums, dogs, etc paid us a visit. So far no people at night. Also can easily review the actions of delivery people during the day. One camera has a great view of our driveway but the real time viewing is delayed by 1-5 seconds, depending upon the wifi connection to Logitech's server, I presume. That delay is my biggest disappointment with these cameras.

bampf
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by bampf » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:03 pm

I am terribly cheap when it comes to this sort of thing. I have probably been so cheap that I wasted hundred upon hundreds of $$ trying to avoid subscription costs. I hate subscriptions. And i love nest and pay for nest protect.

Why?
1. The video is stupid easy to watch and find events that I care about.
2. Facial recognition, focus on movement, email me when power goes out. So features.
3. Cost. I pay $100 a year or so. That works out to not a lot per month for world class security. I mean world class.
4. I can look at it on mobile, on laptop, etc etc.
5. Stupid simple to set up and manage. Literally.

So, I understand your desire to be frugal. I am over the top cheap on things.It's totally worth it to me to pay the subscription. Totally. To be clear I have used three other security systems and none of them were near as good.

armeliusc
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by armeliusc » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:38 pm

You want minimalist solution, with full feature like Nest Aware, but refuse to pay for subscription? A possible analogy is trying to find a full feature electric car like the Tesla that costs like a used Corolla.

If you want full feature without subscription then provide your own hardware: that means server, disk space, facial / motion recognition software, perhaps some machine-learning capable algorithm, alerting system (mail server or else), router set up for you to access your videos from outside your network, etc.

There's a reason for you to pay subscription: it's for Nest to provide all of the above.

I am a tech geek by most standard, who runs Linux server, and build my own hardware, and write software. But I pay for Nest subscription. The cost is much less than trying to provide my own hardware and likely it would be no where near the capability I get software-wise (let alone the time requires to maintain all that).

S_Track
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by S_Track » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:29 pm

armeliusc wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:38 pm
If you want full feature without subscription then provide your own hardware: that means server, disk space, facial / motion recognition software, perhaps some machine-learning capable algorithm, alerting system (mail server or else), router set up for you to access your videos from outside your network, etc.

There's a reason for you to pay subscription: it's for Nest to provide all of the above.

+1, I have the Ring Stick Up cam, run it over POE, $30/year works for me.

OP, if you want something without a monthly fee, there are solutions from Ubiquity, Reolink and others, but as armeliusc pointed out, you will need a certain lever of IT competence and time commitment for setup/maintenance. Accessing your vids from outside your network in particular is where I read most folks find difficult. If you want something a bit easier to setup you may want to look at the Arlo Pro 2, I believe their basic setup comes with free cloud storage and alerts for 7 days of video. Their new Ultra, (which had a very rough start) offers or will offer an internal solution where you store your vids locally. Also keep an eye on Wyze Cam, I have read they will have an outdoor cam soon. They also offer free alerts and cloud storage and their hardware is much less costly compared to other brands.

nfs
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by nfs » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:18 am

We use Blink inside out home (haven't purchased any outdoor ones). I really like them they are easy and meet our needs of counting times and numbers of kids in and out our doors.

student
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by student » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:18 am

I have read good things about www.wyze.com. One time cost with cheap cameras.

Carl53
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by Carl53 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:04 am

SIL alerted us to this deal on blink. Ordered a set.

https://www.qvc.com/Blink-XT-3-Pack-Wir ... sc=NAVLIST

TLC1957
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by TLC1957 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:28 am

student wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:18 am
I have read good things about www.wyze.com. One time cost with cheap cameras.
I have 8 Wyze cameras 2 are outside very happy with the performance. I purchased 2 cameras about 14 months ago and have added the additional cameras once I saw how they operate. The cameras are not rated for outdoor environment but they do sell 3rd party outdoor mounts on amazon. My outdoor cameras are located under an eve and are shielded from the rain. I have 2 cameras located inside pointing outdoor through a window only downside is they can not be used at night because of the night vision technology reflects off the glass. Wyze is developing an outdoor rated camera which should hit the market soon.

$20 for the camera, $10 for a micro 32 mb card to hold a few days of video plus tax and shipping and you are good to go. They have cloud storage for 14 days of 12 second alerts for each camera. No monthly or annual cost for the cloud storage. They do need AC power outlet to operate and within range of your WiFi network. I can view the live video on my iPad and iPhone and get Tex alerts when movement or sound is detected.

When we travel it is nice to know what is going on at home. My inside cameras I have thermometer in the video so I can see if the heat is working. I also put a thermometer outside probe in my freezer so I know if my refrigerator is working as the temperature is noted. The camera will detect smoke and CO detectors sound and notify you. I have water detectors by the hot water heater and washer and they will also alert the Wyze camera via sound if activated.

GatorFL
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by GatorFL » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:17 am

Blink user for the last 6 months. I wanted something simple with no subscription fees. I also didn't want to replace my doorbell as it on the side on my entryway alcove and I didn't want to have to run new power. The Blink fit the bill, it has a self-contained battery and connected easily to WiFi.

My only concern would be battery life. Blink states that the battery (which is replaceable) lasts approximately 2 years. I'm pretty sure mine will get close to that as I am in Florida, but my buddy in Michigan had to replace his batteries after about 1 year of service. I believe climate has a lot to do with it as well as the number of events.

Also, one other difference is that Blink only has one-way audio, you can hear who is at the camera, but you cannot talk to them like you can with the Ring.

All in all, it really works well, the video quality is good and it has been super reliable.

That 3 camera deal on QVC is a great price by the way...
Gator

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Summit111
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by Summit111 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:35 am

I have a professionaly installed FLIR, 1080p, POE 8 camera system, with remote access. Also have a dedicated 32” monitor in the center of the house...

Cloud and local storage storage. We tried DIY systems, but our present one is heads and shoulders above. $2200 installed. Very pleased...

Summit
“Got my mind on my money, and my money on my mind!” Snoop Dog

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AstroJohn
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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by AstroJohn » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:59 am

For our weekend home, I started with a game camera that I could review whenever we were at the home. Inexpensive, but died after a few years. Now we have an Arlo, which is fantastic. It is battery powered, so can be placed anywhere near the house. I get an email notification and a ten second video clip whenever it senses motion. Great way to monitor animals around our house, visits from repairmen, and the occasional stranger walking through the property. It also has a built in microphone and speaker that allows me to interact with someone it notices. Also a great way to see if the house is snowed in so that I can decide not to visit on a winter weekend.

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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by lthenderson » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:22 am

I have no idea if it is the Boglehead approach to home tech since John Bogle has never said anything on the subject, but I have a 4 camera Hikvision POE system that is hard wired to a DVR mounted in my basement. I went with them since they have very good resolution but are very unobtrusive on the outside of the house. In fact, most people that have visited have never even noticed them until it was brought up in conversation. Since they hooked to a DVR, there is no subscription and with four cameras, I can keep around two weeks of videos.

The hardest part was getting the cables run from the basement to the attic and after that, they were just plug and play. I installed them myself in a few hours one morning. I spent more time setting up the alarm settings and becoming familiar with the software in general. I have an app on my phone so I can view the cameras or replay stored footage anywhere with a cell signal.

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Re: Boglehead Approach to Home Tech? Looking for Home Security Cameras

Post by Luke Duke » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:50 am

MortgageOnBlack wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:45 pm

With this being said, any recommendations for my sweet spot for outdoor cameras? I have spent plenty of time searching and came across the IP CAM TALK forum, but all of the solutions seem like overkill to me for my minimalist/boglehead attitude towards purchases (example: dedicated Blue IRIS computer/server).
I run Blue Iris on a non-dedicated desktop computer without any issues (2 cameras). I plan to add more cameras so I will probably go the dedicated route. Most of the IP cameras that are recommended on IP Cam Talk are head and shoulders above the typical Nest-type camera. Remember that there is more to a camera than # of megapixels.

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