Have you got a new house?
An old one?
Possibly you live in a cave.
No matter where you call home, you probably need a decent security camera that will allow you to monitor your belongings while you're away. This, in no way, will replace a security system, but it's a good step in keeping an eye on your property.
We've been playing with three new cameras from Zyxel, Home8 and EZVIZ. All three were easy to set up and delivered crisp, sharp live video of their surroundings. But there are a few differences.
The Zyxel Aurora camera ($159.99) is the largest of the trio and also the toughest to "hide."
A large blue triangle surrounding the lens lets everyone in the room know they're the featured attraction. That light, by the way, turns white when the camera is being upgraded and red if there's a network or other problem.
The video resolution of the Aurora is what the folks at Zyxel refer to as "full HD", which delivers a clean, crisp image to your phone or other mobile device. Also, its 145-degree viewing angle makes it easy to see the entire room or other areas you may be monitoring.
Other key features include:
- Zone and motion detection with notifications
- Scheduled recording
- It supports iOS and Android operating systems
- Free 16 gigabytes of cloud storage
- You can add an alarm beeper module and Ethernet expansion module
- WiFi and Bluetooth compatibility
- Built in microphone and speaker
The Home8 Mini Cube HD Camera ($99.99) is a small, but powerful, indoor HD camera that features a 100-degree viewing angle and a built-in alarm that can be set off through an app on your smartphone or other mobile device. The one we played with came with motion sensors that wirelessly connect to the camera and set off the camera's alarm.
All of the video is archived to built-in flash memory, but that can be expanded by using a 64-gigabyte micro SD card.
Other features worth noting include:
- Automatic night vision
- It can capture still or live video
- You can set it for continuous recording or motion detection
- 1280x720 HD video quality
- Records at 30 frames per second
The EZVIZ Mini Plus Camera ($79.99) boasts the highest resolution of the trio at 1920x1080 and can save stills and videos to either the cloud or a 128 gigabyte micro SD card.
Its 116 degree viewing angle easily covers a whole room and falls midway between the Aurora and the Home8.
The IR range covers up to 25 feet which gives you great night vision in dark rooms. In addition, the camera is small enough to be tucked away where no one can see it.
Of course, like the other two, there are a bunch of key features including:
- WiFi compatibility
- A built-in microphone and speaker
- A frame rate of 30 frames per second
- Smart motion detection
All three of these cameras are strictly "indoor" units but we were able to monitor outdoor activity by placing them near windows, etc.