As home security camera systems continue to grow in popularity, they also become more effective, more efficient, and more affordable. These devices give users the peace of mind that allows them to feel safer and more secure whether they are at home or away. This and other reasons are why these smart cameras are in such high demand.
Two such smart security cameras are the Blink XT and the Amazon Cloud Cam, which we’ll review momentarily. For starters though, let’s visit some of the reasons why folks may want to install a smart home security camera.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 Security and Protection
- 2 Capture Criminals
- 3 Inexpensive Safety
- 4 Handy Alerts
- 5 Remote Monitoring
- 6 Blink XT
- 7 Conclusion
- 8 Amazon Cloud Cam
- 9 Wrap-up
Security and Protection
Protecting and securing your family and your home are two of the most important things you can do as a homeowner. Installing smart home security cameras can help reduce breakings in your home as statistics show that homes with this type of protection are less likely to be broken into than homes without them. It just makes sense to have a smart home security camera, especially when it increases the security and protection of your home and family.
While we’re on the subject of home protection, if your home is broken into, state-of-the-art cameras like the Blink XT and Amazon’s Cloud Cam can help to identify culprits. With cloud storage keeping records safe, you won’t have to worry about whether or not the camera itself survives the break-in.
When it comes to the safety of your home and family, purchasing a smart home security camera is a no-brainer. This type of device is a low-cost measure when you compare it with the high price of compromising security. Smart home security cameras are cheaper than ever, with many of the best on the market coming in under $150.
If you are unable to constantly watch your streaming video, you might be missing an event that is taking place within your home while you’re away. In such instances, it’s handy to have alerts sent to you from your smart home security camera. Many smart home security cameras offer a feature that detects movement within your home. When this happens, you’ll receive an alert, notifying you that you may need to contact the proper authorities.
With a smart home security camera, you can easily keep an eye on your home when you’re not around. Whether you’re at the office or away on vacation, most security cameras give you the option to look in on your house whenever you want to. These smart cameras give you the ability to stream video whenever and wherever you are. This type of feature gives you peace of mind since you can check in on your home from any location, no matter how remote.
While the Blink XT (read my full review here!) may not blow you away in any certain category, it is a solid smart home security system and will provide quality video and audio in a weatherproof bundle. This is a great option for those that are on a budget and want to monitor their home or front porch.
Unfortunately, with the Blink XT, you will not have the option to subscribe to a monthly monitoring service. Instead, you’ll receive two hours of motion-activated video which are kept in the cloud. This means that when you hit your two-hour allotment, the oldest video stored in the cloud will be removed to make space for the newest recordings.
The biggest problem with this type of system is that the Blink XT doesn’t only record a clip when it detects movement directly in front of the camera. Instead, the camera begins to record when it initially detects motion and then it records for a set amount of time, which you can set in the settings.
In addition to setting the recording time, you’ll also need to set up the reset time. This is the amount of time the device is asleep after it records video before it will begin to start sensing motion again.
Keep in mind that if you set the time too short you run the risk of missing movement you were hoping to capture. However, if you set it too long, you might end up filling all your cloud storage with videos of rabbits or squirrels running by your camera. This is less than ideal, and the Blink XT would greatly benefit from an option to record when motion is sensed and stop otherwise.
The benefit here is that this model means you don’t have to worry about paying monthly subscription fees. Many other smart security cameras require at least a $10 monthly fee just to store any video at all on their cloud server. At least with the Blink XT, you get two hours of storage for free.
The audio quality on the Blink XT is comparable with other smart security cameras. If you’re listening to a conversation taking place in front of the device you may hear a faint echo, but you shouldn’t have any trouble understanding what is being said.
While it might not be the most impressive video available, the Blink XT does offer 1080p resolution, so you know you’ll get a good, clear picture when viewing your recordings. You’ll get a 110-degree field-of-view with the camera, which falls a little short of the typical 130-degree option most cameras offer.
With its night infrared capabilities, you’ll have the ability to view goings on in the dark, which is helpful when monitoring driveways, yards, and front porches. This is a great feature for the Blink XT since many security cameras in the same category don’t offer it.
It is clear that Blink put a good amount of effort into the design of its mobile application. You’ll notice that the app have a clear and concise user interface, which gives you the ability to change recording settings, enter live viewing mode, and change schedules when needed. The app is easy to use and intuitive, so you won’t have to deal with a lot of confusion when you need to make a change.
Blink XT tends to struggle with real-time viewing, due to its low latency and choppy feed. You’re looking at a lag of up to five seconds when streaming real-time video on the Blink XT, and who knows what type of action you might miss (who ate the last cookie?).
You can place the Blink XT on any horizontal surface or you can mount it to a wall or other vertical surface with the included mounting plates and screws or with an adhesive. You’ll need two AA batteries for the camera itself if you don’t want to have to worry about wires. The Blink XT smart security camera communicates via wifi with the base unit.
The Blink XT provides a decent user experience, a solid video and audio feed, and a good amount of cloud storage space all in a weatherproof bundle. This is a great smart security camera if you’re looking for a way to protect your home on a budget. The mobile application is easy to use, and you don’t have to worry about a monthly subscription fee. It does have its drawbacks, however overall, it’s one of the better smart security cameras available on the market today.
How does Blink XT compare to other security cameras? Blink XT vs Arlo Pro!
Amazon Cloud Cam
The Amazon Cloud Cam smart security camera is a solid choice if you’re looking for a way to protect your home. It offers several non-subscription options, which makes it a great device for users that don’t want to have to worry about a monthly subscription fee.
Perhaps the biggest selling point for the Amazon Cloud Cam is the fact that it has several non-subscription options. You’ll get general notifications and a day’s worth of motion activated videos kept on the cloud at no charge. While it’s not the best free option available, Netgear offers seven-day of recording storage, it is one of the better ones.
If you do decide to go with a monthly subscription, you’ll get plenty of services. With Amazon’s lowest tier, you’ll get a week’s worth of motion activated clips, support for three cameras, specified notified and alerts, and the ability to set up activity zones that let you instruct the camera on where and when to ignore motion.
The activity zones are nice to have, however they can only be set up as quadrilaterals, so they aren’t as customizable as those of other smart security cameras.
For the second tier option, you’ll get two weeks’ worth of video storage and you can connect up to five cameras. The top tier will provide a months’ worth of storage and support for up to ten cameras. These tiers are all comparable to those of other smart security cameras, however, the difference is that others offer 24-hour video history, while the Amazon Cloud Cam only captures video when it detects motion.
The Amazon Cloud Cam has decent audio quality. You can hear and understand a conversation within 15 feet of the camera. Like many smart security cameras, the Amazon Cloud Cam offers a two-way radio that gives you the ability to speak with someone if they’re in front of the camera. The speaker on the camera produces audio that sounds a little staticky, but the person in front of the camera should have no problem understanding you.
You’ll get a great video feed with the Amazon Cloud Cam’s 1080p quality. It offers a high-definition stream, which rivals that of other smart security cameras on the market today. It doesn’t have the ability to zoom in or recognize faces, but outside of missing a few extraneous features, the Amazon Cloud Cam is still a device that offers a great video experience.
The Amazon Cloud Cam creates some distortion along the edges of its picture, and its field of view is only 120 degrees. It’s not as big as the 130 degrees typically found with most smart security cameras, however, it is ten-degrees more than the Blink XT offers.
With its infrared night capabilities, you’ll get a bright and sharp feed that’s so good you’ll be able to recognize faces as you watch it. In comparison with other smart security cameras, the Amazon Cloud Cam ranks among the best when it comes to its night vision feature.
Amazon’s Cloud Cam mobile application is simple and easy to use. The app, which is available on both the Android and iOS marketplaces, provides an intuitive user interface that makes finding the settings a breeze. Unfortunately, the application does not give you the option to set a schedule, which is a mark against the Cloud Cam since most other smart security cameras offer this feature.
The camera assumes that you will use its geofencing feature for all your recording needs. This function turns off the camera automatically when it determines that your phone has arrived at the address you designate as your home. While this is a nice option if you don’t like setting a schedule or have an irregular schedule, it is a drawback for those that don’t like to have location-based services on their phones turned on.
If you’re looking for a smart security camera with great real-time viewing, the Amazon Cloud Cam is a solid option. The camera boasts a latency time of only two seconds, which is about as close to real time as even the best smart security cameras get. The live feed is clear and crisp, and won’t freeze or jump around while you watch. That means you don’t have to worry about the feed being interrupted while you keep an eye on your children or pets while you’re away.
You do have to plug the Amazon Cloud Cam into an outlet for the device to work, but otherwise, you can place it on any flat horizontal surface. If you want to mount it on a wall or other vertical surface, the camera does include a mounting plate and necessary screws.
If you’re in the market for an indoor security camera, the Amazon Cloud Cam is a great option. It offers a solid mobile application, along with a good audio and video experience. Additionally, if everything you use is from Amazon, you’ll find that it does an excellent job of working with Amazon’s Key service.
|Blink XT||Amazon Cloud Cam|
|Cloud Storage||Yes, free||Yes|
|Subscription||Yes||For zone settings|
The Blink XT and Amazon Cloud Cam are both excellent smart security cameras that will provide a solid user experience. While the Blink XT is ideal for outside use and the Amazon Cloud Cam is perfect for inside the home, they both offer similar features and functionality that will keep your home safe and secure.
Both devices have solid 1080p picture quality, along with the ability to speak to those standing near or in front of the camera. Additionally, both provide free storage options, although the Amazon Cloud Cam does offer additional storage for a monthly fee. The Blink XT doesn’t require an outlet to work, however, its lag time doesn’t come close to what the Amazon Cloud Cam has to offer.
The camera that’s best for you will really depend on what you need for your home. Each device offers the protection and security you’ll want for your family and home, along with a quality mobile application and solid remote viewing experience. No matter which camera you choose, you can rest assured your home and family will be safe and secure.