Finding the ideal security camera

A walk through a Best Buy store or a search on Amazon looking for a security camera can be overwhelming. They come in all sizes and shapes, some with batteries and others that plug-in.  When I decided I wanted to install a camera outside my home, the choices are a bit fewer. The camera needs to be weatherproof and, in my case, capable of operating off a battery and not an electrical line.

I already have two cameras, one on my Ring doorbell, and a second Canary camera indoors that I received for evaluation about four years ago. Both do a good job, but now I wanted something for outdoors. You might be equally motivated after reading this interesting study.

I spent weeks reading reviews and searching. Most were pricey and require a subscription to have access to surveillance video beyond live viewing. Coincidently, Reolink contacted me to ask if I’d like to evaluate their Argus 2 camera and accessories. I had missed this company in my research, but said yes and have been trying out the camera for a couple of weeks. Unlike most of the others. you need not buy a subscription service, and unlike others I have used, setup was dead simple. The camera also seems very well made, nicely finished and capable of withstanding the outdoor elements. But the best part is it came with a low cost solar panel to provide power and to keep the internal battery charged. How did I miss this?

The camera and solar panel each came with adjustable mounts, screws and cables and everything you need to install and mount it. I first tried it out indoors to become familiar with how it worked and just recently installed it in the front of my home. As noted, setup was a snap. Remove the thin covering, which activates the battery and the camera starts speaking directions for you to follow.  Download their app and the camera is up and running in about three minutes.

The beauty of this two-piece system is it can be put most anywhere (as long as you have a good WiFi signal).

The image was very good with its 1080 line HD camera and a wide 130 degree view. A built in sensor detects any motion and sends an alert to your phone. There’s even a built in speaker and mic that lets you communicate from your phone to the camera. If you want to record extended video on site you can install a memory card.

Like other cameras I have, they bring you a sense of comfort when traveling. You can check on your phone to see an image in or around your home in just a few seconds and see that your house is still there and intact. Of course, while the camera is wireless, you can only get an image if your home has electricity to power your home WiFi and router.

All in all a very well made camera. The cost is much lower than most other options I looked at. The camera and solar panel cost just $140.  This is far less than the options I found from Ring, Nest and others, close to half their prices. So if you’re considering a camera, especially for outdoor use, you can’t go wrong with this excellent system. The camera alone is $115.



by Phil Baker