The SimpliSafe outdoor camera is a detailed and easy to install security cam
Security cameras have gone the way of Apple.
The new generation of security devices are so easy to use they’re up and running out of the box in minutes.
Five minutes in fact, according to the burgeoning security firm SimpliSafe.
This American company produces and sells self-installed wireless security systems that connect to a central monitoring centre.
Its gimmick is all about being able to order a system and have it up and running in your home almost instantly thanks to its very simple installation process.
This means setting up a basic wireless system comprising a base station, which is effectively the brain, and a series of motion detectors, door mounted alarm trips and cameras around the home to protect you from intruders.
We tested the new outdoor cam with a simple system of this type and honestly, it was a breeze to get up and running.
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The sensors, both door and motion, have very strong stickers on the back so it’s a matter of popping them in the right place and then holding them down for a few seconds until the stickers take.
Get it wrong and they’ve got enough glue to be moveable, so no need to panic about doing it right first time.
The base station plugs into a socket but also has a backup battery if the home power goes.
And once you log into the SimpliSafe app that controls it all you’ll find it a doddle to add in extra sensors and cameras as you see fit.
Our Outdoor cam we up and running within 20 minutes, along with the rest of the devices that comprise the security hub. But on its own, it was less than 5 minutes and running.
Its aim is to ensure you relax while away from your property, deterring any burglars.
White in design and incredibly versatile, you screw the backplate with two screws into your wall of choice and then click in a very strong magnet base to the bracket.
There the camera itself simply snaps on to the magnet and is then flexible enough to move around to arrange the best camera angle to protect your lot.
The cam itself boasts high-definition video which allows you to watch what’s happening in 1080p HD video.
It also has a 140° ultra-wide field of view. So if you’re covering the outside of your property it will offer an extensive amount of coverage.
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Everything it sees is visible on the app, just like the Ring doorbell network if you’re familiar with those, and you can control the camera’s 8x digital zoom, ideal for zooming in on faces and registration plates, and there is full colour vision at night settings, so nothing slips by undetected.
There’s even a built-in spotlight to ensure any unexpected visitors get lit-up when they’re not expecting it and a speaker so you can tell them to eff off via your app if you want.
The camera relies on a rechargeable battery that can last anywhere between three and six months depending on how intensive it is used. Just pop the easy-access batter out, charge it in your socket with a USB cable for five hours and you’re good for another half-year.
The camera hub is clever enough to distinguish people from vehicles, animals, and other distractions so you are not bombarded by text notifications on your mobile, something Ring users can find annoying.
There are two Wi-Fi antennas provide a strong connection to your router.
It works in snow and in rain, from -20ºC to 50ºC, complete with IP65 dust and water resistance in poor weather too, so it’s a hardy beast.
Once bought, you can click into a live view from your cameras for free at any time on the app.
But if you sign up for a £25-a-month contract you can add in video recordings anytime there’s a movement detection and those videos can be saved and shared with others if you have a real incident.
And the system will also connect to a central team who will monitor any alarms that go off and call you before, potentially, with your permission, calling the police if you suspect a break in while away from home.
It’s a brilliant, bright, clear camera feed, incredibly straight-forward to use and offers a genuinely affordable alternative to the more traditional professionally installed security systems many have come to rely on.
SimpliSafe also compares well to the popular Ring systems, but the only downside is that you can’t just buy the camera and run it, you’ll need at least a base station and keypad too, which between them are priced at £200-odd, although system deals are cheaper.
That makes the value slightly less appealing to those seeking a decent camera only. The basic Ring doorbells start at £40 and don’t need a system behind them like this.
But as a versatile security package, the outdoor camera and, say, a Starter pack comprising a motion detector, hub, door sensor and indoor cam is a relatively cheap deal and well worth a look.
Excellent technology, easy to use and an ideal way to stay safe while staying in control.
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