We all want to have a secure place to live, work, and play. Whether that’s the house in which you live or an office with other valuables. Now, there are becoming many options in the home security space, but I’m here to review the Canary, the smart home security camera.
Before I start, I do want to say that I placed my Canary in my home office at first, but now it resides in my downstairs living room. Where you place your Canary won’t make too much of a difference, but due to its wide camera I felt that a bigger area could utilize it more. That said, let’s get started.
The Canary comes in a smallish box that houses the unit itself, a charging black with a long flat USB/microUSB cable, and some stickers and other documentation. You’ll definitely want to read the instructions when setting the Canary up, as there are a couple ways to do so — wired (USB) or Bluetooth. I chose the traditional wired way, and along with the app, I was up and running in 5 minutes.
Before we talk about the actually camera, let’s take a look at the app — on ios, but the android version is very similar. The app holds access to all the changes you’ll need to make to your Canary and is where you can view, save, and share videos that it captures. There’s also a live viewer in the app but there’s a noticeable delay when viewing live versus when the actions actually happen, about 10 seconds or so.
When you first pull up the app, you are greeted with a faded image of the live view and a big button that tells you what security state you’re in and whether you can view live. Below that is where you’ll find a host of settings to activate and other features of the security camera.
Viewing the activity from your phone is great if you ask me, especially since you are seeing it in semi-real time. You first get the full widescreen view, but can zoom and pan if there’s a specific area you want to look at. There’s night-vision, in case you need to view something late in the day and there are also modes, which you can have automatically triggered if need be.
First you have Away, in which Canary will be able to show live video and is also recording any moments that happen. Home where you can customize if you want Canary to record or not (I have it set for private). Lastly, there’s Night which again is a customizable mode. Home and Night modes have the option to be ‘Private’ which just means you can view content and the Canary is effectively off. I have my Canary set to private during the day, and at a specific time turns to Night mode where it starts recording again.
The Canary itself is a little less than inconspicuous, there’s not too many places I can place the white cylinder where you wouldn’t immediately know it was a camera — especially with the lights that shows beneath it . the Canary is about 6” tall, all white excluding the black middle section disguising the lens (there’s also an all black model available for something more discrete).
There’s no buttons on the camera, so it’s really plug and play and you don’t have to worry about accidentally turning it off, unless your wifi or power go out, it’s a very smooth and appealing device however, and slightly stylish if I may say, opposed to the other cameras you could buy that are just black slabs. I found that Apple (among other retailers) sell them, and I was not surprised at all.
Of course next thing to discuss us the price and availability. The Canary comes in at $200 (you can actually save 5% for buying two at once) and honestly that’s a great deal considering all the Canary does and comparing to it’s competition. You can pick up one from Apple, Verizon, Best Buy, and other retailers, or order on the Canary website and they will ship to the US, UK, or Ireland.
For my first home security setup, the Canary is a wonderful device. Lots of configurability options when it comes to recording content, no service plans to really worry about, and a very easy setup process. While there are some things I’d like to see added to the next Canary, this model definitely does more than just the basics. Go grab it to start your journey to a smarter, secure home.Canary