The parental expression of “prevention is better than cure”, perhaps better summarizes the security at home (or in this case, explains my security review at the Canary House). That means that ‘ is something that most hesitate to approach, t injured acquire. But, in this spirit, who wants to throw more money on the window on a monthly service that can never be used. In fact, we all hope that it will never be used, but there is the conflict: what will happen if someone is in conflict?
Well, fortunately, these days, there are other options for the monthly and sometimes expensive ADT of the world. And one of them is the Canary, a home security system that does not include a monthly monitoring fee … somehow.
Summary: A home security system that might be best described as a motion detecting full HD webcam with night vision, an air sensor, 90+ dB siren, cloud video storage and a mic.
What We Liked:
- Ultra easy setup for even the tech averse
- App is clean and intuitive
- Home health sensor and 90+ dB siren
We We Didn’t:
- $10 monthly charge for more than 12 hours of video history
- Only pairs with up to 4 Canary home security systems
- Can’t detect window, door or sensor break ins, only motion
The Canary is a smaller one than you might think. It does not exceed 6-7 inches in height. The bottom of the unit lights up (green for armed, yellow when disarmed, off in private mode) when the camera is turned on. Hidden behind the translucent black facade is a camera, a sensor and a night vision that shines hot red when active.
In short, the Canary is quite modest and for those who are not educated to what it does, they will probably not give a second look. However, it is attractive enough to fly and as it is powered by a USB connection, and does not have a locking mechanism, this can happen. Fortunately, all saved content is sent to the cloud and not stored locally, but more on that in a bit.
Canary made the installation as easy as possible. Although, unlike most wireless devices in your home, this one requires an extra step. But do not join the WiFi of your home, but to authenticate the Canari to the company’s servers, which will record any action captured by the Canary’s camera.
As you can imagine, you turn on the Canari by plugging it in using the included microUSB cord and the wall wart. You will also need to download the Canary iOS or Android application, sign up for an account and then connect to the WiFi network in your home or office. But just before doing this, you will need to plug your phone into the 3.5mm Canary jack using the yellow helmet included on the helmet cord. This is how Canari (and the application) checks your device with their servers. So, in theory, if the Canari is stolen, you can report it stolen and make it useless.
Once you have completed the configuration, you control the Canary Islands from the smartphone or tablet application.
Controlling the Canary
The Canary app allows you to arm, disarm or set the camera and motion detection sensor to private.
The Canary application is easy to use and navigate. There you can arm, disarm or put the Canari to “privacy”. When armed or disarmed videos will be captured and the live viewing function of the camera will be available to any authenticated person to access it. The difference between the two modes mentioned above is that Army sends you a push notification on your device when it detects an activity, although you can reduce or increase Canary sensitivity to such things (and it learns overtime to ignore ). In private mode, Canari’s camera and sensors are deactivated (Canari emits a physical “click” when this option is selected). Again, when the arm or disarmament is active, the bottom of the Canary shines, indicating that it is around him that it looks.
During configuration, you can activate the GPS function of the Canary application. And provided that you have entered (or detected) the location of your home (where the Canaries reside), the application will automatically switch the Canary Armed to Intimacy or Disarmed – your choice.
Reviewing Captured Video and Plans
By default, the Canary includes a 7-day free trial of the company’s 7-day plan. This plan will record up to 7-days of continuous video. It costs $9.99/month or $99 a year. 2-day and 30-day plans are available, costing $4.99/$49 or $29.99/$299 respectively. Once the 7-day free trial expires, you’ll default to Canary’s FREE plan, which includes 12-hours of video history and up to 5 saved videos. You can view the complete plans here.
Read: Angee Home Security System Raises Over $500,000
Accessing the captured video is easy as opening the app and reviewing the timeline. There you can scroll through captured videos and depending on your plan you can save videos to the cloud or download an unlimited amount of them to your phone or tablet.
The Canary, in addition to including a motion activated camera, can be viewed live, provided it’s in arm or disarm mode. You can add users to the account by simply inviting them by email from the app.
- 90+ dB Siren
- 1080p camera with 147 degree wide angle lens
- Home Health sensor
There are also some sensors on the Canary, which can detect temperature, humidity and air quality. I do not know exactly how the air quality sensor compares to that of the previous day, but it should provide a good barometer of the health of your room. This is a good idea, and it only makes sense to include this, especially considering that you are probably already worried about the well-being of your occupant. It’s also a nice touch that actually reduces the price of $ 199 (on sale soon).
On the iPhone, and probably the compatible devices (I tested my Canari with an iPhone 6), you can add fingerprint authentication when you access the application. So if someone gets their hands on your device when it’s unlocked, they will not be able to access your videos or a live stream from your home.
And finally, if you detect something that is wrong, you can emit a siren of more than 90 dB to potentially scare off any criminal activity. And depending on the location of your home, Canary will automatically include the phone numbers of local authorities in the application for quick and easy access. Fortunately, I did not have to use them.
During the first days, I used the GPS to disarm and arm the Canaries. But honestly, I’m a battery nut and turn it off. As soon as I did this, the effectiveness of the Canaries decreased sharply. In fact, as I write this, I realized that I had not armed him on leaving the house today (now armed, so get no idea). So if you’re like me and you’re worried about the death of your device, this could be a problem for you.
In essence, the Canary is not much more than a home security webcam that detects motion, such as Netgear’s Dropcam or Arlo. And speaking of this, Arlo wireless webcams, both the Arlo Q and the Arlo, offer 7 days of continuous recording free of charge, unlike Canary. That being said, none of these devices has a siren or sensor to detect temperature or air quality.
You can pair up to 4 Canaries together to cover a larger area, but after that you have no luck and will need another account, which at that time is worthless. But it is clear that Canary does not target these users.
So, yes, the Canaries charge a monthly service fee, just like the home security companies that I complained about at the beginning of this article, if you want more than 12 hours of video history. But if you opt so, you can go with the free plan. And if I had to take a serious problem with anything, is the lag that I experienced from about 7-15 seconds of powering the camera or motion sensor to my device.