According to Indiegogo.com the Canary (pictured above) is the first smart home security device for everyone. With it you can stream video day or night from your home in real time using it’s 1080p High Definition camera. Canary can be used with an iOS or Android smartphone. It also has a 90dB (decibel) siren, motion activated recording and will automatically arm or disarm itself. The Canary app is designed to learn what is normal in your house and will alert you if anything abnormal takes place. The alerts come in the form of audio as well as video so if you can’t see what is going on you might be able to hear what caused the alert. Then if something bad is indeed going on in your home you can use the app to set off the Canary alarm and/or alert the police, fire department or call for an ambulance.
Canary also has several monitoring features designed with your health in mind. It monitors the air quality in your home, the temperature and humidity. This information provides insights that may help you make decisions about your health and the health of your family, especially where allergies, asthma and/or sleep problems are concerned.
Canary has no external sensors and is easy to install. Just download the free app, set up Canary on a flat surface, plug it in and connect to the internet. The designers recommend setting Canary where it faces a doorway and you might want to have more than one set up in your home. You can monitor several Canarys with the app, not just from your home but also your office, beach house, hunting lodge or wherever you might need a security device. Access to your Canary app can also be shared so if you want multiple people to receive alerts, that is no problem.
Canary costs about $186. There is no contract and no extra fees.
For $94 more you can get the Piper classic all in one home security system.
According to Amazon.com, Piper is the first all in one home security system. The Piper system comes with two sensors that can be attached to a door or window. The sensors will alert you if the door or window is tampered with. Like with the Canary, Piper’s video can be viewed at night as well as day. It works with iOS and Android devices and requires no monthly fees. It has environmental sensors and also like the Canary it has video monitoring but it uses texting, emails or push controlling to send alerts.
Piper’s siren is 15 dB louder than that of the Canary and it’s video range is 180 degrees where the Canary’s video range is only 147 degrees. Automatic responses can be set to put a plan into action in the event of different situations. For instance if your front door is opened when you are not at home you can set Piper to sound it’s alarm and start video recording. Piper has two way audio which comes in handy for using the device as a pet monitor. A big difference between this and other all in one home security devices is that it uses Z-Wave home automation instead of Wi-Fi. Z-Wave is known to be more reliable and if there are several other devices using Wi-Fi signal the Z-Wave device won’t be slowed down.
Another option is to get Piper without the extra sensors. That brings the cost down to around $200 or less. Piper came up with an improved model called the Piper nv which uses true night vision and has improved HD video. You can have this model for around $265 and just over $300 with the additional sensors.
A less expensive alternative is the Guardzilla GZ501 all in one security system. It costs less than $100 and sends live video to your smartphone. Guardzilla has a motion detector and a 100dB alarm. Like the Piper models, Guardzilla’s motion detector sends an alert via text, email or by push control. It is equipped for infrared night vision and two way audio. As with other all in one smart home security systems it is controlled through an app from your smartphone. Guardzilla has easy set up too, just plug it in, download the app and connect Guardzilla to Wi-Fi. A difference between this and other systems is that it uses a SD memory card (sold separately) to record video. The other systems I have listed use cloud storage. If you use Guardzilla without an SD card it will send you three photographs when the motion detector goes off.
Reviews on all these products are fairly similar. Most people like them but some have troubles, mostly with set-up or with the app. There are some complaints about the motion detectors, which can be adjusted being too sensitive. The designers of the models I have written about here constantly work on and apply updates, making the products better.
ConsumerReports.org seems to prefer the Piper models, especially liking the NV version with it’s night vision. From what I’ve found when it comes to all in one smart home security you get what you pay for!