As you may have spotted in some of my pictures I have CCTV installed in the house. Not because I live in a huge house or have anything worth protecting with CCTV but because I have a nonverbal wee boy, alongside my other wee boy who twists the truth occasionally! Don’t they all.. The only thing lacking in the CCTV set up I had was that it was difficult to move them about. It’s currently all wired in and a bit of a pain in the ass to set up.
When I got Jake and Barney (my fairly young puppys.) I wasn’t prepared for just how much of a chewer they’d both be. I’ve also got a german shepherd who can open back doors and cupboards and fridges, so having a “Better than CCTV” camera was a requirement for the dogs. I’d had a good look around and the “cleverdog” range seemed to be fairly priced (about £30 each) and done most of the things I wanted it to do.
Cleverdog Smart Camera: Out the Box
There were a few similar cameras but they all seemed much more expensive. The major perks of the clever dog camera for myself are that it’s a wifi camera – no wires other than the one to the plug socket. (unfortunately it didn’t come with a USB plug so I had to use one I had already – not a major issue though) I can use the app and view it anywhere I have a connection. I can listen to the dogs using the camera, and have the ability to turn a microphone on (using my phone) to speak to them.
The set up is ridiculously easy. You make yourself an account on the app, sign in, connect your camera via the wifi connection on your internet. These cameras have an SD card in the side of the camera which enables them to record (I didn’t really need this function) so make sure you put one in during set up just incase.
This is how the app looks in use. As you can see there are 4 options under the live view mode. The first option (camera) allows you to take and save a still image to your phone. The second option (a speaker) allows you to hear any noise from the camera remotely (on your phone app – so I can listen in and see if my dogs are barking) the third icon (microphone) allows you to speak back, it makes the camera and your phone work like a walkie talkie system which is absolutely great – I can shout at the dogs if they are chewing something they shouldn’t be. The last one just makes the live view full screen.
Nightvision and motion sensor notifications
What’s absolutely amazing is they also work during the evening. The night vision is crisp clear (as you can see.) If I need to check on the dogs when I’m out at night or sleeping, I can do so with the click of an app. I can set up movement alerts and adjust the sensitivity – so basically if I were to be using these as security cameras instead of monitoring cameras I could set one up at my front door – and every time someone walks in my front door my phone will beep and say movement detected – it also automatically sends a snapshot of the person / movement to my notifications so even if i do not open the app in time I’ll be able to see what the movement was on the camera.
Again, I can access the camera anywhere with my phone. I am currently at my dad’s caravan and can see how my kitchen looks right now using my phone app. I can talk to anyone in my kitchen using my phone app. The major downside is you need 3g internet at least and some kind of phone or tablet to use it. It’s not a great security camera based on the fact that if someone sees it they can simply unplug it and take it with them. You would STILL have the snapshot that it would send to your phone though so there’s that.
– Live view Camera mode on Mobile phone app
– Ability to record to an SD card
– App can be accessed using 4g / 3g mobile internet from anywhere which allows live view as well as all features available (can still talk between the phone and the camera)
– Can work like walkie talkies, has both a microphone and a speaker on the camera unit
– Can listen to the room noise without them hearing you
– Notifies you of movements on your phone by sending snaps of the movement.
– If you buy more than one camera you can easily switch between the two in the app
These are marketed as “Pet cameras” to monitor what your dog or cat does from home. For that use they are great. They may work fine for budget security cameras. Do bear in mind though, they are not as secure as closed circuit TV units. The person you’re recording could simply just unplug the unit. It’s also VERY reliant on your wifi / the power supply / your phone being connected to and having a mobile data plan. However, you will still get a notification with a screenshot of the movement so long as it’s set up. I do feel as though there’s too many bad points to recommend it as security safe.
Overall I am pleased with the purchase. It works and does more than what I need it for. So much so that I bought another one for the kids room for instances where they’re fighting. I’ll be able to hear what’s going on if I’m downstairs doing something else. (almost like a video enabled baby monitor! – which these could definitely be used as for a fraction of the price)
Purchase Here: Clever dog Wireless security wifi cameras/Smart Baby Monitor/Surveillance security camera with P2P, Night Vision, Record Video, Two-way Audio, Motion Detection, Alert messages for Iphone Ipad Android Smartphone (Grey)