Wireless exterior video camera

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
test123
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:35 am

Wireless exterior video camera

Post by test123 »

Looking for your recommendations and experience with low cost wireless exterior video surveillance camera system. The reviews on most of the amazon available products are so all over the map that I’ve become frustrated into indecision. Goal is to get a simple, reliable camera that I mount near my porch to (1) provide documentation in case something gets ripped off and (2) serve as a deterrent.

Specs: must be wireless, motion activated, battery operated, wifi range to access router about 50’ thru 4 interior walls , free cloud storage with capacity for 2 weeks recording or SD card that will overwrite after 2 weeks, reliable, less than $150, battery last at least 3 months and send some sort of notification when reaching end of life,

I don’t need: Siren, ability to monitor/record audio or talk back, pan/tilt/zoom

Appreciate my experience you have along these lines. Thanks in advance.
TNWoods
Posts: 154
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:04 am

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by TNWoods »

I don't have any recommendation, but I do want to note that 50' through 4 walls might be an issue.

To deal with that issue you'll want to use the 2.4GHz band rather than the 5GHz band when connecting over WiFi. (Google "WiFi 2.4 vs 5" to read more, if needed.)

Also, (or instead of), you can get a WiFi repeater and plug it in inside your house to the receptacle that is closest to your camera, thus decreasing the effective distance between the units that are communicating via WiFi.)

Good luck, and I'm also interested in the answers you get.

TNWoods
FRANK2009
Posts: 435
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:16 pm

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by FRANK2009 »

I've had a wireless Ring for a few months. Video is very good. Still get false alarms even after adjusting for perimeter. There's also a 30/year subscription fee to save videos. Overall it does what its supposed to.
pgi
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:35 am

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by pgi »

https://blinkforhome.com/
Had these for around 4 years. 1 currently placed at end of driveway pointing back toward house. 3 interior walls.~40ft. $100/camera.~2 year battery life
GatorFL
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:07 pm

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by GatorFL »

Your specs basically describe the simple and inexpensive Blink camera from Amazon. They are battery operated, wireless and include the free cloud storage.

Amazon sells a 2 camera solution with 1 sync module for $180.

The system is very barebones, but does a nice job of providing security video. I have been using blink for the past 18 months. I purchased the original blink XT (which does not have 2 way audio) because I wanted an exterior battery fed camera. My doorbell is on the side of my entry alcove, which made a Ring doorbell almost useless. I also didn't want to have to run new wiring, so I went with Blink. Here are my thoughts:

1. Video quality: It is pretty good, there are settings that you can adjust.
2. Battery life: Blink claims 2 years, I got 13 months. I picked up a set of 4 USB rechargeable Lithium AA batteries for $20. I highly recommend doing this.
3. Signal strength: It is about 35' between my cameras the "Sync" module. The cameras talk to the Sync module and the Sync module talks to your WiFi. You can add a second sync module if needed that is closer to the camera as a way of extending things. I did not have to do this as the signal strength was fine.
4. Adding additional cameras: I added a 2nd camera that I bought during "Prime Days". It arrived DOA, but Blink was very good about sending me a replacement.
5. Software: iOS and Android apps are fine, but there is no web/PC client. I find this annoying as I work from home and wouldn't mind having the app up if I am expecting a delivery for example. The software is just OK, not great.
6. Ring Neighborhood: The Blink cameras can participate in the Ring Neighborhood app, which I really like. If you see something "not right" (which I have seen once), you can instantly alert all of your neighbors that have cameras as well.

Net net is I wanted something simple without wiring and with no subscription cost. Blink does exactly that. It's not the greatest security system of all time, but it does provide basic service and for the money, its hard to beat.

Gator
User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 3603
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by F150HD »

I've been eyeing a blink camera or 2 for a few years, they finally came out w/ outdoor (weatherproof) units year/two back. Still looking to pull the trigger but haven't yet. Not needing wiring is huge as that would be a pain for many of us.
have read where Blinks motion activation can be set off by small animals, wind/leaves etc....wondering what others experiences are w/ that.
Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.
User avatar
Doom&Gloom
Posts: 3733
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by Doom&Gloom »

TNWoods wrote: Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:55 am I don't have any recommendation, but I do want to note that 50' through 4 walls might be an issue.

To deal with that issue you'll want to use the 2.4GHz band rather than the 5GHz band when connecting over WiFi. (Google "WiFi 2.4 vs 5" to read more, if needed.)

Also, (or instead of), you can get a WiFi repeater and plug it in inside your house to the receptacle that is closest to your camera, thus decreasing the effective distance between the units that are communicating via WiFi.)

Good luck, and I'm also interested in the answers you get.

TNWoods
+1

The cameras I use don't meet your requirements, so I won't mention them. But in addition to exterior cameras we have some exterior wifi-controlled light bulbs--all of which are attached to the porch or the entryway from the patio (so not far from a wireless source). We not only have a router but two wireless access points that are closer and far less impeded than your situation and we have marginal connections at a couple of them. Some connect easily to the 5GHz band, but others struggle even with the 2.4 band. I have been considering replacing the APs to try to get a stronger signal to those devices.

I would suggest that you use a wireless strength app on a cellphone to measure the signal strength at your intended locations. You may need to address the setup of your network before proceeding. Good luck in your quest!
tfunk
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:50 am

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by tfunk »

No recommendation but advise you add temperature requirement to your specs.

I had a camera system out in Riverside County CA a few years ago. After a few days of 105F, they were fried. Same goes for low temp if you are in cold country.
Carl53
Posts: 2072
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:26 pm

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by Carl53 »

Had three camera blink system for about seven months. General pleased with it. First choice on locations at driveway the Wifi would not connect at perhaps 50 feet. Moved it to another corner at close to 40 feet. Worked until recently, when I had to replace WiFi. Seems just out of range. That unit also went through the original batteries this week. It likely averaged ten trips per day, although I was often turning it off when working in the yard. Insects, land on the units and trip them often. Seeing an apparently enormous wasp close up often is humorous to share with others. I don’t set them to give me an audible alarm. Do find them nice to see a package delivery.
kerplunk
Posts: 809
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:58 pm

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by kerplunk »

Unless you have a strong Wi-Fi signal outdoors -- a properly setup Wi-Fi home network would not have this, by the way -- then the better option is using PoE cameras. These are hardwired and powered with Ethernet cable. Amcrest makes great ones.
Xrayman69
Posts: 701
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:52 pm

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by Xrayman69 »

GatorFL wrote: Sat Oct 26, 2019 7:34 am Your specs basically describe the simple and inexpensive Blink camera from Amazon. They are battery operated, wireless and include the free cloud storage.

Amazon sells a 2 camera solution with 1 sync module for $180.

The system is very barebones, but does a nice job of providing security video. I have been using blink for the past 18 months. I purchased the original blink XT (which does not have 2 way audio) because I wanted an exterior battery fed camera. My doorbell is on the side of my entry alcove, which made a Ring doorbell almost useless. I also didn't want to have to run new wiring, so I went with Blink. Here are my thoughts:

1. Video quality: It is pretty good, there are settings that you can adjust.
2. Battery life: Blink claims 2 years, I got 13 months. I picked up a set of 4 USB rechargeable Lithium AA batteries for $20. I highly recommend doing this.
3. Signal strength: It is about 35' between my cameras the "Sync" module. The cameras talk to the Sync module and the Sync module talks to your WiFi. You can add a second sync module if needed that is closer to the camera as a way of extending things. I did not have to do this as the signal strength was fine.
4. Adding additional cameras: I added a 2nd camera that I bought during "Prime Days". It arrived DOA, but Blink was very good about sending me a replacement.
5. Software: iOS and Android apps are fine, but there is no web/PC client. I find this annoying as I work from home and wouldn't mind having the app up if I am expecting a delivery for example. The software is just OK, not great.
6. Ring Neighborhood: The Blink cameras can participate in the Ring Neighborhood app, which I really like. If you see something "not right" (which I have seen once), you can instantly alert all of your neighbors that have cameras as well.

Net net is I wanted something simple without wiring and with no subscription cost. Blink does exactly that. It's not the greatest security system of all time, but it does provide basic service and for the money, its hard to beat.

Gator
If you know, How does this hold up in extreme weather hot and cold climates?
Topic Author
test123
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:35 am

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by test123 »

OP here--thanks for everyone's posts, comments, advice. I'm going to try the Blink unit and see what happens. It will be placed under our covered porch and we get pretty good wifi coverage when we are use other devices out there. best,
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 5652
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by lthenderson »

test123 wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:52 am OP here--thanks for everyone's posts, comments, advice. I'm going to try the Blink unit and see what happens. It will be placed under our covered porch and we get pretty good wifi coverage when we are use other devices out there. best,
The one drawback for Blink wireless units are they are easy to steal. Lot of stories online of people getting notified that their Blink unit is offline only to find it missing when they get home.
User avatar
walkabout
Posts: 672
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 8:28 am
Location: Northern Alabama

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by walkabout »

I don't know any details as I have only seen it from the street when I walk my neighborhood, but someone in my neighborhood has a wireless camera that is hooked up to a small solar panel. The camera is mounted to a telephone pole near the street and is pointed towards the house (based on the car maintenance activity, I'm guessing that they are mostly keeping an eye on their cars). From the shape of the camera, it might be an Arlo.
bluebolt
Posts: 1338
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by bluebolt »

I think a Wyze exterior camera is going to be announced soon - they teased it in an announcement last week.
lasky
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:15 pm

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by lasky »

We're coming up on a year with Blink XT cameras and they held up fine in extreme winter and summer temperatures. They were easy to install and configure. The only hassle, which you'll have with most battery-operated cameras, is figuring out where to place them and how to adjust the sensitivity settings so you don't get a bunch of motion alerts caused by wasps or birds.
User avatar
Tim_in_GA
Posts: 450
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:42 am
Location: O-HI-O

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by Tim_in_GA »

bluebolt wrote: Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:18 am I think a Wyze exterior camera is going to be announced soon - they teased it in an announcement last week.
This is the one I am waiting on to replace my old Arlo cameras. I believe they will require a wired power connection, which adds a little more work for me but not impossible.
cpumechanic
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:42 pm

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by cpumechanic »

Wyse cameras are $25 each.
They recently upgraded firmware to include a "person sensor and alarm"
Based on my experience this feature works reasonably well.

Without the feature you get endless multiple alarms for rain, blowing leaves, moving tree branches , snow, and bugs and shifting shadows inside home as sun rises and sets.

If you don't mind multiple false alarms (I do) then proceed.

Apologies if the Blink system has a person finder feature I don't know.. and did not bother to search.

Note that the wyse cameras are wired for power, and you need strong enough wifi signal to reach the camera location. Wifi Extender may be needed. This does not meet your stated needs, but I recommend you modify your requirements to have at least a few inexpensive indoor "people finder" cameras.

I have one wyse camera mounted outside my home for 12 months in an aftermarket enclosure.
Works fine. Not sure why you need to wait for one designed for outdoor. You do need to use enhanced memory cards called "high endurance" for cameras.

In your situation I would buy at least one or two and place indoors to monitor your doors, then set alarm to only send signal if/when a person is detected. For $50 that is very inexpensive adder to your system.

Good luck..
GatorFL
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:07 pm

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by GatorFL »

Living in Florida, I was worried that the Blink cameras would not hold up. They actually do well in the heat, other than reducing battery life. I bought rechargeable lithium batteries, so that isn't a concern as much.

I get some false positives from bugs and such occasionally, but all in all I am happy with them.
Gator
Topic Author
test123
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:35 am

Re: Wireless exterior video camera

Post by test123 »

Op here with an update. Ordered the Blink XT which arrived yesterday . Got it set up in perhaps 15 minutes-slightly kludgey but worked thru it. Camera is about 10' from sync unit and sync unit is about 30' thru 1 wall from wifi router. signal strength is just fine. need to play with positioning and motion activation sensitivity... but early report is that it seems to be a winner. Thanks for everyones input.
Post Reply