Google Nest Cam Outdoor: Weatherproof And Powerful!

Google Nest is Google’s response to Amazon’s smart home cameras like Ring and Blink. And they’re certainly a solid competitor. The Google Nest Cam Outdoor brings quality and ruggedness to the Google Nest family.

Google Nest Cam Features

When you’re securing your property, you want to see as much as possible. The Google Nest Cam is designed with this in mind. The wide-angle lens catches 130 degrees at a time, giving you a wide spread. The night vision will make sure that you don’t miss anything, especially when you need it. Crimes happen at night, we know this. Without night vision, you’d be right out of luck. In the same vein, it’s got motion-detection alerts. You can even configure these alerts with Nest Aware, Google’s footage cloud plan. This plan adds smart alerts to better filter out which security alerts you will and won’t really care about. Plus it’s got 2-way audio. If you’ve got a delivery you can talk to the delivery person. Even if you’re away!

The installation is very simple. Just mount the camera and plug it in and you’re all good to go! And it’s weatherproof. You can stick it anywhere and it’ll keep on recording, rain or shine.  

The app is very easy to set up and use as well. You can configure your alerts all from your phone. You can even contact emergency services right through the app. Even when you’re away from home, you can protect it if there’s a robbery or a fire!

Google Nest Cam Reviews

This camera has a 4.4 star review out of over 6000 reviews. Like Nest’s other camera, reviewers recommend that you get the subscription. A lot of the functionality is only available with it. That said, it’s less than $10/mo for one camera. If you’re looking for a high-powered Google camera to secure your outdoors, this is the pick for you!

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Blink Indoor Cam: Ridiculous Battery Life & Easy Install!

The Blink Indoor Cam is an excellent all-around camera, with a ridiculous battery life. It comes to us from Blink, which is owned by Amazon. I’m a pretty big fan of Amazon, so I’d say that’s a good thing. Having a company of this size and reputation backing it means that you can trust it. Amazon doesn’t want to burn their customers, they’ll take care of you!

But let’s talk about the camera! The thing that draws me in the most about this camera is the battery life. It can run for up to 2 years on 2 AA batteries, which seems insane! With an inexpensive subscription you can check and see what’s been going on in your house any time there’s movement!

Blink Indoor Cam Features

It’s also very compatible with Alexa. This shouldn’t be surprising because of their relationship with Amazon. That said, it’s a great benefit to you! You can control this camera with simple voice commands. Easily switch between home and away with just your voice. You only have to touch this camera every couple years when you replace the battery! You can even configure the motion sensor on the camera. A lot of cameras blow up your phone with false alarms. But you can tweak the Blink Indoor Cam to however you like!

Blink Indoor Cam Reviews

It’s very well liked on Amazon with a 4.4 star rating. It’s super easy to install and will only take you minutes. Plus, this camera comes bundled with a Module Sync 2 to let you record physically to the device! Reviewers definitely note that the company is great. The customer service is excellent and so is the app they develop! All in all, this is a great security camera for securing your home in an instant!

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Google Nest Cam: Google’s Player In The Camera Game

I talk a lot about Amazon cameras on this site. Ring and Blink are both good brands that I’m a fan of. But what about the other tech goliath. Not to be outdone, the Google Nest Cam is a powerhouse with a lot of features and, of course, smart home integration.

This camera starts off with high resolution. It streams full 1080p HD footage over wifi, 24/7 That means that anywhere you are you can easily log in and you’re home. It uses motion-detection to let you know if there’s anyone, or anything, in it’s eyeline. Just point this at key points around your house for constant monitoring.

Nest Aware

It comes with a 30-day free trial of Nest Aware, which is Google’s camera cloud storage plan. After the trial it starts at just $6 a month. It’s a little more expensive than Ring and Blink, but that has a benefit. Ring and Blinks entry level subscriptions only have one device. Nest starts with bundling your devices. You only have to upgrade if you want to have additional features that Pro provides.

Google Nest Cam Reviews

With Google being behind this, you’d expect that it’d be a good product. And you’d be right. According to it’s 4.5 star rating, almost 10,000 happy reviewers would agree with you! The biggest negative that some reviewers mention is that you need a subscription to get the full effect of this camera. So if you’re interested in a subscription based camera (as many are) you’re in good shape!

The Verdict

The Google Nest Cam is definitely a quality camera. It’s got all the features that we’ve come to expect from modern security cameras. It covers the motion-detection, night vision, and phone alert basics. If you’re more of a Google smart home user, this is definitely the camera for you!

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Can Security Cameras Read License Plates?

As with a lot of questions, the answer is: it depends. That’s never the answer you’re looking for, but sometimes it’s just the one you get. It’s certainly true in this instance. It depends on a lot of factors. Unfortunately, the answer to “Can Security Cameras Read License Plates?” isn’t clear cut.

Can security cameras read license plates? These are some of the plates they might read.

Can Security Cameras Read License Plates? State-Of-The-Art Ones Can

If you have high-powered security cameras, they can probably catch a lot. I mention this in case you’re searching this question to see if you can get away with something. Government and military security cameras can be very high resolution. If you’re playing your odds at breaking into Area 51, you’d best think again. The government has cameras that can read a license plate from orbit. Parking your car by a government location to commit crimes is one of many bad decisions you’d make that night.

Other Camera Quality

This might seem obvious, but the quality of your camera determines what you can and can’t see. If you’re using an old webcam from the 00’s as your security camera, you’d be lucky to catch anything. That said, if you’re interested in catching license plates you should shop high-res. There are plenty of high-res security cameras out there available to normal citizens. Cameras that can catch a license plate all the way from your roof. 

Of course you’re going to have to pay more for that kind of quality. Cameras of this level can easily run into a couple hundred dollars. Also worth considering is that video of that quality will be large. It’ll take up a lot of space wherever it is. That might be on physical storage or in the cloud. If you’ve got a low-res camera, you’ll need to put it close to the street. Which brings me to my next point.

Camera Position

The most important aspect of catching license plates is the position of your camera. If you’re not facing the car, you’re not catching the plate. This might seem obvious but it’s important to consider. If you’re interested in catching license plates you have to anticipate where the car will be. You want to get the camera as close to the location of the car as possible. 

But while trying to do that, you have to consider something else. You don’t want the camera to be easy to mess with. If a burglar can knock your camera down easily on their way in, why wouldn’t they? So there’s a balance you have to achieve. You want your camera to be hidden or high up. But you still want it to be close to the car to catch the plate. On top of all that, there’s something else to consider.

Can Security Cameras Read License Plates In Bad Conditions?

Weather can change on a dime. If your camera doesn’t have a waterproof lens, it can easily be compromised. A single drop of water in the wrong place can completely obscure your view of anything. This is something else you have to take into account. Look for waterproof cameras for starters, you won’t get far without one. But even with a waterproof camera, lenses can still be obscured by “harmless” water. Your best bet is to try to keep your camera dry. Either hide it in something or under something. If you’re putting it high up, try to put it under an awning or gutter. If you’re putting it low, try to protect it from splash.

Do You Really Want To Catch License Plates?

So can security cameras read license plates? With all of these things considered, catching license plates is hard. Consider whether or not it’s what you really want to prioritize. Using cameras near doors to catch faces can be just as effective in identification. It’s also a lot easier. But if you really do want to catch license plates, it can certainly be done. Just plan for it and pick the right camera!

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Wired Security Cameras: Physical And Secure!

Wired security cameras have a long history. In fact, the first security cameras as we think of them today were used in WWII! That’s an 80+ year history, and they’re still around. That has to mean something. I think it’s a testament to their effectiveness. Even with all the wireless and cloud storage that we use today, wired cameras still have their place. Even many wifi cameras have wires for power! You can avoid the hassle of changing batteries all the time by just plugging it in. The wired cameras on this list cross a lot of different types and uses. No matter what you’re looking for, you can find it here!

ANNKE 8CH H.265+ Security Camera System

If you’re looking to go from square one to a full security system fast, this would be a great choice! This CCTV receiver and it’s 4 paired cameras are a security system in and of themselves. Plus it’s got 4 more CCTV slots 2 additional slots for IP cameras for a total of 10 cameras on one device! All of this for under $200 is a crazy value!

Ring Plug-In Indoor Cam

Ring is an excellent company and family of cameras. They’ve got a pretty wide range of options and they’re all good ones. This basic indoor camera will only run you $60 a pop. I’ve got two in my apartment, and they both came with free Alexa dots! The Ring subscription is reasonable and effective. Plus, the app comes with access to a separate neighborhood watch app that connects you anonymously with other Ring owners near you.

Blink Mini Indoor Plug-In Camera

The Blink Mini is an absolute bargain at just $35. There aren’t a lot of cameras out there from brands with this much trust at this price! It’s another of the great wired security cameras with another great company behind them. Its small, sleek frame let’s it fit in anywhere without being intrusive. At its low price point, you can easily pick up a few for your space! 

Ring Wired Spotlight Cam

Most Ring cameras are waterproof, but this one has an added layer of outdoor function. The Ring Spotlight Cam makes use of motion-detection to deter any potential criminals. Simply point this camera at your yard or door and let it do its job. The best kind of camera is one you don’t even need to footage from, because it already scared off the burglar!

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus

The Ring Video Doorbells are actually also wired cameras. They don’t have any long cables because they replace your doorbell and plug right into its wires! It may sound like you need to be an electrician to install it but it’s actually very simple. With this device and just a few minutes you’ll always know who’s at your door. Whether it’s friend, family, deliveries, or anyone less invited. Motion detection alerts will go to your phone so you’re always in the know!

Blurams Dome Security Camera

Just because I favor the big brands doesn’t mean the little guys don’t have plenty of good cameras. This dome camera has a wide range of tilt and panning options. Simply set this in a corner or central location and you can hit everything in the room! Simply use your phone controls to point the camera at anything of interest.

Google Nest Cam Indoor Wired Home Security Camera

From the other tech giant we’ve got the Google Nest Cam. While Ring and Blink roll in well with Alexa, Nest works great with Google smart home devices! It’s got all the quality you would expect from a mega brand like Google. It’s a big-ticket camera that will not disappoint.

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Can Security Cameras Work Without Internet?

As time goes on more and more things are connected to the internet. This connection brings a lot of convenience. But what if we don’t have that connection? What does it mean for technology designed to keep you safe? Can security cameras work without internet?

Which security cameras work without internet? This one does!

The most common home security systems these days work with apps and cloud storage. You pay a subscription fee and get to store a certain amount of video on a server somewhere. This is a very convenient system. But it’s not without its flaws.

What Won’t Work

If your data is stored out on the internet, you don’t have full access or control over it. If you can’t connect to the internet, then you can’t touch your data. What’s worse, if those servers were ever breached, your data could be lost to goodness knows who. Keeping your data in your own house is a much safer way to secure it.

But some cameras need a wifi signal to record anything. If your camera doesn’t have any connection or physical storage, then it relies on wifi to do its job. If you have one of these cameras it’s not a bad idea to have a more permanent backup. It’s possible for a burglar to cut the power to your house before robbing it. If they were to do this you’d likely lose your internet. If your internet is down, then so are all of those wifi-cameras. This isn’t the most likely scenario, but it’s a possible one. 

While wifi-enabled cameras are the most common, they’re not the only game in town. You’ve got plenty of options to record and secure your home. You just have to use a more physical system to collect and store it.

Security Cameras With SD Cards

Memory cards are the most common physical storage method. They’ve got a lot of pros and cons. For starters, they’re a little more effort to check. To see the recordings you have to go to the individual cameras and take out their cards. Then by plugging the cards into your phone or laptop, you can finally see your data. You have to be careful about choosing a memory card too. You can only store as much data as your card will allow. A small card may not get much footage at all! 

But SD cards are also a great thing. They’re dead easy to install. Once you pop it in, your camera is good to go. With loop recording, your camera can just keep rolling and always keep the last 6 hours to several days in it’s card. (The amount of time depends on the card and camera.) So as long as it gets power (from a plug or battery) it’s good to go. No internet, no problem. It’s a very uncomplicated way to secure your space.

Wired CCTV Security Cameras

The other physical way of recording and securing your data is with a wired CCTV connection. This is the oldest form of security camera, and it’s still around for a reason! By running wires directly from your camera to your CCTV receiver, you create a solid physical connection. As long as you have power (or backup power) your system stays up and running.

The receiver works in a similar way to an SD card. It can record to a hard drive or memory card, and it can keep recording indefinitely. It’ll keep using the same loop recording to keep the most recent footage and get rid of old useless stuff.

The biggest upside of this system is how easy it is after it’s set up. You can have all your cameras run to one central location. Once you’ve got that location set up you can monitor everything from there. You can even take the next step and have that record to the cloud!

How Do Security Cameras Work Without Internet? 

Physically, is the answer in a nutshell. We did plenty of tech work before wireless technology was widespread. If you’re worried about your internet going down (or not having a strong one), you’ve still got options. Anyone can find the right security system to secure their home, regardless of the environment!

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ZOSI H.265+ Home Security System: Easy CCTV!

Tiny one-off home security cameras are kind of a new thing. But, security cameras haven’t been that way for long. The first technological advance that really let security cameras come into their own was CCTV. In fact, the first CCTV security cameras were developed during WWII. They were used to monitor rocket launches live from the ground. The CCTV cameras of today are a lot more high-tech. The ZOSI H.265+ is a modern and feature packed CCTV set that won’t disappoint.

The H.264 could only store 12 days at a time, but this one’s come a long way. The H.265+ uses compression technology to sift 98 days of footage into the same space! That’s over 8 times the storage! But for all this compression, the videos are still high quality, letting you see small details.

ZOSI H.265+ Installation and Features

The installation process is also very simple because it only takes one cable per camera. This is done by pairing the power and the video before you ever have to touch it. This system comes with 2 cameras already paired, but there are additional slots for two more. 

The cameras themselves have night vision and motion detection. This gives them a wide range of recording ability and uses. They’ve actually got 4 different settings for recording, too. They can record all of the time, record during specific times, record on motion, and they can loop record continuously.

Setting up a CCTV can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, reviewers remark that this one is very easy to set up with just a little instruction. On top of that, the image is great! Some reviewers even mentioned being able to snag license plates at 20 ft away. Just pop a couple of these around your house and you’re good to go!

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How To Use Security Cameras Without A Subscription

Almost every wifi-enabled camera comes with a cloud subscription these days. Ring, Blink, and Nest are big names with cloud subscriptions tied to major companies. But even no-name Chinese companies have their own subscription plans. There are plenty of security cameras without a subscription. But why do so many of them come with one by default?

CCTV security cameras without a subscription.

They do offer a lot of advantages. Video going directly to the cloud means you can access it anywhere. It’s immediately available to your phone, laptop, and even Alexa. Plus the storage is basically limitless. It depends on your plan, but you can store as much data as you want. But there are definitely alternatives.

Why You Might Not Want A Subscription

The cloud requires a lot of infrastructure to work. If something major happens and the internet goes down, your cameras are out of commission. A burglar could cut the internet to your house and then your cameras are useless. Heck, even if nothing happens, wifi goes down sometimes. Anyone that has wifi knows that it’s not always reliable. Your cameras relying on wifi means they’re only as reliable as your internet is.

Plus, you may not even have wifi where you’re installing the camera. If you’re trying to put a camera at a barn, shed, or yard, it might be out of range. There are probably even corners of your house where the wifi starts getting really bad. So what kinds of options do you have for security cameras without a subscription?

CCTV Servers

Your first option is CCTV servers. Server isn’t really the right word, since they’re not internet connected. But what a CCTV consists of is your cameras and a box that received video. This was one of the first developments that brought security cameras to where they are now. In fact, the first CCTV was used to monitor WWII rocket launches! 

So here’s how it works. It stands for Closed-Circuit Television. Each of your CCTV cameras have antennas to broadcast their footage. This footage can only be intercepted by your CCTV receiver box. It’s like TV but just for your own little system. This can be done with wires or wirelessly, but it stays in your area. 

There are some drawbacks to this system. For starters, it’s harder to set up. If you have to wire your cameras, that can be a major pain. But the upside is that it’s way more reliable and much more durable.

SD Card Recording

Your other common option is SD card recording. This is very common and can be found in many wifi-enabled cameras as well. The way SD card recording works is that it keeps it all local on the camera. You can buy SD cards in a variety of sizes based on how much data you want. Then you just put the card in the camera and it’ll save straight to it.

The biggest drawback to SD cards is that you have to check it yourself. You have to physically take the card out and plug it into your computer or phone to see the footage. This is perfectly fine for things like car dash cams. You just let it record and record and record until something interesting happens. Then you can pop the card out and save that clip for later.

Loop Recording

Most SD cards make use of loop recording. This is a system that lets the camera record forever without needing to remove the card. As time goes on, once the card runs out of space, it’ll start recording over old footage. So effectively, at any given time, your card has the last 6 to 48 to whatever hours available. This is probably all you need for most situations. If there’s an incident, you can just pop out the card and check what happened!

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Cheap Security Cameras: Inexpensive & Efficient!

When you’re shopping for cheap you walk a line. You want to get yourself a good deal, but you still want a high quality product. These cheap security cameras might be light on your wallet, but they’re not light on features. These cameras are perfect for beginners that want to get into security without breaking the bank.

The cameras on this list cover a wide range of uses. Whoever you are and whatever you need, there’ll be a camera for you on this list!

Ring Indoor Cam

This is the priciest camera on the list. But $60 for such a quality camera is hardly steep! Ring is an excellent and trusted company with a solid cloud storage plan. Ring makes a lot of good products, and this camera is no exception! It’s easy to set up and easy to use. And the Ring app is just as nice!

Blink Mini

Blink is another excellent company that’s owned by Amazon. This means it’s got tons of capital and support behind it. Teams of engineers ensure that this product is really something great. For just $35 you get a quality, name-brand security camera. Just pop it anywhere to stream directly to your phone, any time!

Wyze WYZEC2 Security Camera

Despite it’s sleek and small frame, this camera isn’t short on features. For the lowest price yet of $26, this camera is a steal of a deal! Wyze has their own reasonable priced cloud storage plans starting at just $1.25 a month! 

TETHYS Wireless Security Camera

At this price point you come to expect small cameras. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But sometimes you want something a little beefier. This 350 by 110 degree tilt and pan camera can catch anything in the room. Just tilt it from your phone!

Littlelf Home Security Camera

This is a sleek and simple camera for just $26. It’s simple design and set up will let it fit in just about anywhere, and start recording immediately! The SD card slot means this camera can record physically, so you don’t need to worry about a subscription!

Lefun Outdoor Security Camera

This one’s a little more expensive again. At $50 it’s higher up on the list, but it’s still very reasonable. And you get what you pay for! This is a sturdy outdoor-ready camera, at a fraction of the price of other outdoor cameras!

Leeboom Hidden Mini Camera

The cheapest camera on this list comes in at just $22! That’s the price of a few cups of coffee! It’s designed to be a “mini hidden camera” but it’s still a powerhouse. All of the features you’d want in a camera are present here. But for a fraction of the price and size!

HeimVision 2K 3MP Security Camera

When you’re shopping for cheap cameras, you certainly don’t want a cheap looking camera. You certainly won’t find that here, this camera looks and feels like quality! This is a high-resolution and high-functioning camera for just $30.

NETVUE Outdoor Security Camera

The NETVUE outdoor security camera is another durable, waterproof camera at a bargain price. For just $40 this camera can secure any area of your home and yard in an instant! It can store to a card or to the cloud, and it even talks to Alexa!

Rayolon Home WiFi Camera

This is definitely the most unique of the cheap security cameras on the list, possibly on the whole site! For $27 you can convert any lamp or light fixture into a security camera! You don’t have to worry about running power to it, it’s screwed right into power! Get a bird’s eye view for your security!

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Which Security Cameras Work With Alexa?

Smart home devices are all the rage these days. I’ll admit, I was skeptical of them at first. The thought of intentionally putting listening devices in my home sketched me out. But I’ve already got a cell phone. I might as well have all the conveniences that smart home devices bring! But now that I’ve got a couple dots and I’m looking at security, I’ve got a question to answer. Which security cameras work with Alexa? 

If security cameras work with Alexa, then they'll work with this device.

Before we talk about which cameras integrate, we should define what that is. There’s a few different ways for technology to interface with Alexa. It can connect to voice commands. Alexa devices with screens can stream some cameras directly. Some security systems can even turn off or on based on your location!

Voice Commands

We’ll start with the feature of Alexa most people are familiar with. That’s voice commands. A lot of cameras have “modes” attached to them. You can turn them on or off based on whether you’re in an “away mode” or a “home mode”. So Alexa integration with that in mind might just be switching the modes with voice commands. 

A lot of smart home devices are just as simple as that. I’ve got several plugs that’s only job is to turn a lamp on or off. And that alone is a very useful feature. It could be the case that I’m just lazy, but I think that even that small level of Alexa integration is useful. I use the voice timer constantly when I’m cooking.

Video Features

The next level of Alexa integration is probably the video feed. Alexa devices with screens are a little more recent than voice-only dots. They open up a whole new level of functionality. With screened Alexa devices, you can have a window into any room of the house. This is especially useful if you’re looking for baby-cams or you’re keeping an eye on pets. Almost all wifi-enabled cameras these days stream to your phone. But the Alexa screen can give you an extra layer of convenience.

Other Features

Alexa has a lot of features that most people don’t use on a daily basis. And they continue to add more all the time. One of these features I wanted to mention was location based skills. In conjunction with your phone’s GPS, Alexa can receive alerts when you leave or arrive home. You can use this to set the usage mode on some camera systems. You could have them turn on for when you’re away or off for when you’re going to be around!

Which Company’s Security Cameras Work With Alexa?

Now as far as which cameras interface with Alexa, there are a couple clear winners. Ring and Blink are both owned by Amazon. Not surprisingly, they cooperate the best with Amazon’s smart home systems. This is of course favoritism, but who could blame them? The fact of the matter is that favoritism can work for you. These are both excellent camera brands that are available at reasonable prices. By sticking with these and with Alexa products, you can be sure that they’ll all play nice. Amazon is a massive company with a lot of programmers and engineers behind their apps and systems. And it certainly shows.

Google Nest

Another goliath worth mentioning is the Google Nest. Google’s cameras and smart home devices work in much the same way as Amazon’s camera brands. When you buy from the same company, they all play well together. Amazon and Ring just happen to be my personal favorites.

Which Other Security Cameras Work With Alexa?

That doesn’t mean that other cameras won’t work with your smart home, quite the opposite! Many 3rd party cameras will still integrate with your Alexa system. In fact, I recommend looking for ones that do, even if you don’t have a smart device. Companies working with Amazon is a good sign for their trustworthiness. If Amazon let’s them integrate with Alexa then it’s a good bet they’re at least not secretly foreign spy cameras!

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