For years people have been wondering when a company will release a home surveillance solution that allows the recorded footage to be stored online without having to pay through the roof for it. Say hello to Y-Cam’s HomeMonitor HD. Priced at £149.99 it is a little more expensive that the Dropcam HD but comes in much cheaper than Logitech’s 750n Indoor Master System. One of the best features abut the HomeMonitor HD is that straight out of the box it comes with 7 days free cloud storage – absolutely no subscription or payment needed.
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]What’s in the box?[/x_custom_headline]
- 1x HomeMonitor HD Camera
- 1x Metal stand/wall/ceiling mount
- 1x 3m/10ft power supply with UK/US/EU plug attachments
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- 1m/3ft network Ethernet cable
- 2x 1-inch screws
- 2x fluted plastic wall anchors
The camera itself measures 3.3 x 3.3 x 1.2 inches (Height x Width x Depth) but also has a 1-inch wireless antenna on the top. The HomeMonitor HD Camera sits in between the HomeMonitor Indoor (£129.99) and the HomeMonitor Outdoor (£199.99), but all use the same online service.
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”true”]Setup[/x_custom_headline]
Setting up the camera is an absolute breeze. The included documentation lists in detail everything you need to do whether you are going to be using the camera wired or wireless. It basically requires you to hook up the camera to a mains power supply, and also to your router using the ethernet port on the back of the camera. When creating an account on the HomeMonitor website you’ll be asked to enter the Camera ID which can be found on the camera or on the information booklet included. From here you’ll be taken through a few more steps where you can configure some camera settings.
While I was setting up the camera I found it to be a smooth process and didn’t run into any problems at all. I connected the camera to my router and after around 3/4 minutes the camera showed a green LED to show that it was connected and working correctly. One thing I would like to see in any future additions is WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) to make the process even easier.
Among the settings that you can change are those for motion detection. You are allowed to create two motion detection zones wherever your camera is pointed. This means that any movement not in these zones will not trigger the camera to start recording. From our tests this can be very useful when you have multiple people moving around and can set the camera to start recording for example when a door is opened. Not only this but a slider can be used to change the amount of movement needed to trigger the camera. You can also schedule these zones so they will only be looking for detection at certain times.
Once the setup is completed you will be taken to your homepage when you can switch between different tabs including Live View, Video Archive, User Manager and Camera Manager. Live View is exactly what it sounds like and allows you to see a ‘live’ feed from your camera. The only problem with this is that it isn’t exactly live. We found there to be quite a bit of lag when it came to viewing the camera live, and although we knew that there would be some lag due to the video being sent via the internet we didn’t realise just how much, but by no means is it a major drawback in my books.
Using the video manager you can view all of your captured video’s from the past 7 days that have been stored in the cloud. There are a number of actions you can carry out including deleting all clips, deleting an individual clip and also downloading a clip. All of the clips are arranged by date and it is extremely easy to navigate through them using the time-stamps and duration of the clip.
The User Manager tab can be used the change your password but also add multiple emails which allows different people to log onto the dashboard and access all of this information including the video files – another nice feature.
From the Camera Manager you can see all the information about a certain camera, and have the option to add more cameras. This is another great thing about HomeMonitor, you can manage multiple cameras from one account, even when placed in different locations.
You can access your camera(s) from just about anywhere, with the quality apps that are available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Roku, which means you can watch your clips in HD on the big screen. The apps are clean and crisp and do exactly what they are supposed to. The UI works well and is easy to navigate even the first time you ever use it.
- Great night vision mode, thanks to the infra-red lights
- FREE cloud storage for the past 7 days
- Free companion applications for iOS, Android, Windows Phone & Roku
- Add multiple cameras to one HomeMonitor account
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- Live Stream lags
- Only one way audio
[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h2″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”true”]Verdict[/x_custom_headline]
Overall the new HomeMonitor HD is a quality and solid product. It is meant to be a security / monitoring system and therefore the lag in the video feed doesn’t really matter. The night vision mode thanks the the infra-red lights works absolutely brilliantly and you still get a clear, crisp image. The apps for all platforms are on par with each other and function exactly how they should. Overall I would recommend this product to anybody looking for an easy to set-up wireless monitoring system. Although not being cheap you would pay this money back to the companies such as Dropcam and Logitech when paying for their cloud storage subscription fees. If you would like to purchase the Y-Cam HomeMonitor HD, then you can do so at Amazon or by buying direct from Y-Cam/HomeMonitor.Order from Amazon