As our homes continue to get smarter and smarter the array of connected gadgets available to us keeps getting larger. Home security cameras used to involve a very clumpy setup with lots of wires, huge, unsightly camera and a monitor in the house for watching the footage back.
Thankfully this has all completely changed as it is now possible to install a device on the exterior of your home and monitor it in real time via an app on your smartphone.
I’ve been toying with getting one of these smart cameras for a while, as I love the idea of being to communicate with anyone who turns up at my door if I’m out. I get a lot of deliveries and often if I miss them it can be a real pain trying to organise a re-delivery or to collect them from the local (which never actually seem to be that local) depots.
Rather handily, I got an email last month from Yale, asking if I fancied trying out their brand new All-in-One Outdoor Camera so for the past few weeks I’ve been using one at home and must say I love already.
The camera unit itself is small and discreet which means that it won’t look unpleasant on the side of your buildings. It’s waterproof so there is no issue with the lovely British weather affecting it operating.
Aside from recording footage the Yale all-in-one outdoor camera also has a built-in siren alarm and spotlight, these can be controlled from the Yale App and used to scare off any potential intruders near your property. The motion detector can send an alert to your phone whenever motion is detected too.
As this is a connected product you will need a home wifi connection and the Yale View App (downloadable from the app store or from google play) to use it. The app is used to configure and control the camera as well as to view the footage and activate its features.
Due to the features on the camera (light and siren etc), it needs to be hard wired into a socket and it comes with a 3-metre long USB cable. Luckily, I have a powerpoint that I use to power the Christmas lights already so it was easy to run it from that. If you don’t have a powerpoint handy then you might need to run the wire through a window or similar.
IT’s then just a case of finding the best place for it and attaching it using the mount onto the wall.
You will need an SD card for recording footage and this is not included so make sure you pick one up in advance. You’ll find these on amazon or the likes for under £10.
Using the app
You use the app to control the camera and activate its features. It also allows you to adjust the brightness of the spotlight or to completely disable it and the siren.
As the camera activates when it detects movements, you can also use the app to define ‘activity zones’. These are areas like your front path where you naturally get a lot of movement. Using this feature will cut down on the number of false alarms that you have.
You can also use the app to communicate with people who may be outside your home too. I found this feature really handy and on occasion, I was able to request that a courier leave a package in a safe place as I wasn’t at home.
Even if you live in a relatively safe area, the addition of a few extra features like the Yale all-in-one outdoor camera just makes your home that little bit less appealing to any would-be intruders so it is most definitely an investment worth making. The added option of speaking to visitors is great too and for me really makes this product.
Buy yours from Yale.co.uk
This is a partnership post in collaboration with Yale but as always all options and thoughts are our own honest views.