I’ve been using these $20 leak detectors now for about six months and I’m really happy with them (except that it also required me to purchase an additional hub). This video explains how to set them up and how they work.…
Bradley Chambers posted a HomeKit Secure Video wish list asking for 2K camera support, continuous recording, and higher camera limits (you are currently limited to five). I agree with all of these points, particularly the last one.
With HomeKit Secure Video, Apple has a solution that lets its users securely store video in the cloud without paying a third-party vendor. More importantly, unlike all of the camera vendors that want to store your video for you, Apple is not a company likely to be bought up by a bigger company, making your video data part of a financial transaction.
I have been using HomeKit Secure Video with my eufy cameras, and it works great. I’d really dig it, however, if Apple let me put more than five cameras into the system.
Over the past few years, home security cameras have got better and cheaper. That’s good. Now anyone can set up a home security camera and keep an eye on the front door or the dog. The problem, however, is that all of these cameras are not created equal. There are two issues you need to consider when purchasing a camera that manufacturers don’t often mention: commerce and security.
A lot of the camera racket has turned into a razor and blades style business. You get the cameras but then you end up spending around $100/year to have their cloud storage. That may be worth it to you, assuming the vendor knows what they’re doing and they have a good security model. I have trust issues with all of these vendors. How much of a stake do they really have in protecting your privacy? How much effort are they putting into keeping all that video from your house safe?
It’s called a security camera but is it actually secure? This is particularly a concern if you do use the vendor’s cloud storage. Do you want anyone in the world able to look at your front door or your dog? Vendors are slowly coming around on this. Ring just announced that you can add end-to-end encryption to your video on their servers but it is (currently) off by default.
I continue to be happy with my Eufy cameras. They didn’t break the bank. They’re holding up fine and they work with Apple’s HomeKit Secure Video service that gets me encrypted online storage as part of my iCloud account (that I’m already paying for).
A year ago, Apple announced a new HomeKit feature, dubbed Secure Video, where Apple would agree to store your security camera video on its servers for you without an additional fee. I like this idea. Not only do I not want to pay someone to store this data, I also don’t necessarily trust third parties with home camera footage either. Apple’s a big company. They are not going to get acquired and they have a stated interest in protecting user privacy. The whole idea of HomeKit Secure Video makes sense.
I left WWDC last year thinking it wouldn’t be long before I had HomeKit Secure Video working in my home. Well, that was over a year ago, and there has been very little progress. Logitech released a HomeKit update for their nearly $200 Circle 2 camera. I bought one as an experiment and it has never worked satisfactorily. The camera is often unavailable with no explanation of why, and it feels like Logitech dropped the ball on this one. Moreover, the price is prohibitive if you want to put several of them in your home. There are almost no other vendors supporting HomeKit Secure Video.
Things are getting better, though. Eufy, a subsidiary of Anker, recently announced that their home line of Eufy cameras is going to get full HomeKit Secure Video Support (9to5 Mac has all the details). It sounds like they’re going through an approval process right now. I have a few Eufy exterior cameras, and I’m much happier with them than my prior Canary cameras. The Eufy cameras stay connected, have an option for local storage, and seem way more reliable than anything else I’ve ever used. Best of all, their indoor cameras start at $40. There may be hope yet for HomeKit Secure Video, but it sure has taken a long time.