Debbie is looking for an internet connected security camera to keep an eye on her mom. Leo says that there are plenty of those around, including the Nest camera. But there's also a good camera out there that will ping her if it doesn't see her mom for some time. It's called the Lighthouse and it has a time of flight 3D sensor, which is based on LIDAR technology. It'll also alert her when someone is in the house that it doesn't recognize. It'll also notify Debbie if her mom waves at the camera.
Brian has several Rasperry Pi computers for a DIY security camera network. Leo says he shouldn't DIY to save money anymore, he should just do it to have fun. Brian had an intruder (a critter) come in last night, and it wasn't lit very well. Leo says he'll want an infrared camera. Motion sensor lights would be a good idea as well. Leo says that half the fun of making is to figure out what's next and how to make it better.
Mike has a Swan surveillance camera with a hard drive recording option that archives for seven days before it loops around. He'd like to expand that to a month. Can he? Leo says he might be able to with a larger hard drive, but it may be specially locked down to prevent upgrading or hacking it to his liking. It largely depends on the DVR.
Tom has a neighbor who uses a security camera for his apartment, but they don't have internet access to monitor it. How can he create a local recording option to an SD card? Leo says that's going to be a challenge, having to collect SD cards every day. A closed circuit TV option may be a better choice, but setting up a local Wi-Fi network and recording to a computer will also work. He'll just have the cameras join an adhoc network and record to an old PC. Or he can buy several SD card based security cameras and stick them everywhere.
Tom wants to add a security camera to his home. He wants to know which one to get and how secure they are. Can they be hacked? Leo says that there's a lot of concern over the "internet of things," which includes cameras. They don't get updated very often. Foscam made cameras that were easily hackable, so Leo suggests not getting them. He won't want to get the low end, off brand stuff either. It won't be secure.
Alan has cancelled his home internet access. Can he still access his security cameras? Leo says not if they require internet access. NetGear's Arlo Pro supports LTE and has built in batteries, though. Alan will need a service plan either way. Getting home internet may be cheaper.
Ron's mother in law is 89 and he wants to be able to put a camera in her home to check on her from time to time. Leo says that a lot of security cameras can be connected to the internet for that purpose, but there are privacy issues. There is a company out there that monitors ancilliary things like refrigerators, and other internet connected devices to know what she's doing. Ron's mom would need to wear a special watch for that to work.
Paul is looking for an HD security camera, where he could save and then edit the videos. Leo says the Google Nest cameras are good for that. They are very high resolution, but they use a lot of bandwidth upstream - 1 Mbps per camera. That could kill his internet in some cases. He may also have to pay for offline recording. He'll be able to download the video and edit it, though. That's probably the easiest way. Otherwise he'd have to wire the cameras to his computer and capture it directly.
Chris has a few security systems with cameras and the alarm monitor (ADT) is obsoleting them. So he'll have to get new cameras for his system. Leo recommends decoupling the camera from the service and do the camera setup himself. The Nest cam works with Wi-Fi and they have their own cloud based storage. The cameras aren't cheap, but they're probably cheaper than ADT. Ring has one that's solar powered called the Stick Up cam.
Daniel wants to know about wireless home security cameras. He's looking for a good 5GHz camera that can be battery powered. Leo says that battery powered cameras aren't always on -- they use motion detection.
NetGear's VueZone is a good brand. 5GHz, on the other hand, isn't as good as 2.4GHz, even though it's less congested. The higher you go in frequency, the more likely the signal will bounce around and get interference. The batteries do last for a year in those cameras, though.