Home Security Camera


Quick question for the gurus out there … I work from home and occasionally have a late afternoon call after my son is home from school, and would like to keep an eye on the backyard from my Mac. I’ve been using an old laptop to FaceTime to myself, but it’s not a very good solution … is there an obvious solution to this issue, something portable perhaps that I can point at the yard or the driveway if he/they are riding their bikes? Thanks in advance for your recommendations…



There is a whole genre of cloud cameras made for just this sort of thing: look into Nest, Arlo, Ring, Canary, etc


I use Wyze cams. They’re cheap, no subscription or anything required. They work quite well for my needs. No outdoor capability, but I mostly use it to keep an eye on the dogs, and sometimes make them think the house is haunted.


I’ve been trying to figure this out too. It’s not simple because there is indoor vs outdoor vs doorbell, motion detect vs zones, google assistant vs not, data storage subscription prices and tiers, and necessity of a nearby outlet.

I would like a camera that shows me a view of the front to see if a package is on the step, probably get a Nest at some point.


Yeah, I think most of them are overkill for my very narrow purpose, I don’t really need a “security” camera, just something I can point at the yard for 20 minutes a few times a month :) Definitely don’t need cloud plan or anything. I wonder about using the Wyze with a power pack …


I see it as two different style of camera architecture. The ones above are the newer style what I call ‘cloud cameras’ which are usually connected directly to mfr cloud site, and they provide ($) storage and restream the video to you. This can be handy and quick to setup if you don’t want to handle any of the infrastructure or storage, and are ok with having the video all going over the public net (secure or not).

The alternative is a more traditional security camera setup that you install yourself on your own property, with your own storage at home. These are classic home security setups by companies like Reolink, Swann, Lorex, Hikvision, etc. where you have your own DVR/NVR storage, and have to use some mfr. app or VPN to your home LAN to get the video streamed out to yourself if you are out on the public internet.


I have three Nest cameras, all indoor, and their base plan for cloud storage. They were purchased a while back but there is a lot more competition now. Nest works well but they sit towards the top of the price range for the cameras as well as the cloud options. And you want the latter. If you don’t use their service they -really- gimp the features you get. It’s basically just a real-time camera with limited alerting and AI applied to the video at that point. Keep that in mind with any of these options. You might think, “well I can ditch the cloud service later,” and then you find out that the one thing you really need isn’t included once you do. The cameras themselves are great and produce a very high quality picture. Here’s a caveat to keep in mind. All the video from those cameras gets pushed back out to the cloud. Figure that into your bandwidth budget for the house.

They were originally placed in my Mother’s home so we could monitor her instead of needing a check-in every couple of days. I now have them but haven’t re-placed them in my own home. I actually want something more outdoor to watch the front/back of the house.

@Jctraceyct There is also a thread in the tech forum that might have more information for you:


Ouvis veezon VZ1 2.0 MP Smart… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WZOF9LE?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

I have the older version of this guy that we use as our baby monitor. Very simplistic, just hookup up to your WiFi and you are good to go. If you want to record you can put in an sd card but I’m not sure how it works because we don’t need to record or anything.


Wirecutter just released its “Best Of” guide to outdoor cameras … Next came in first, I guess unsurprisingly.


It looks like every one that they tested or even mentioned are the “smart-home” style or cloud-enabled cameras. Maybe this setup is the best for most people, especially less technical or those who demand online access of everything.

But I would argue to also consider an older style camera recording setup, especially if you

  • are comfortable handling internet security for your LAN devices (VLANs, NAT, VPN, etc)
  • don’t like the idea of always streaming your cameras to the internet
  • want to have a large number of cameras which could congest your ISP up-link
  • would prefer to own and manage your own storage instead of paying monthly for cloud storage


Having used the Nest indoor cameras that is 100% the case. They are easy as heck to set up and usage is also extremely easy with either web access or apps for all major phone and tablet platforms.

It should be mentioned here that I got a 3-pack of cameras. The cost of cloud goes up a little for each one. In practice, we found anything more than the base 5-day plan to be a waste. Since you get alerted for events, 5 days is pretty sufficient to go and check on things. I suppose if you were going somewhere out of notification range for an extended period, you could up your level for the month just in case.: