Review: Dropcam HD Wi-Fi Video Monitoring Camera AKA A DVR For Your Life

by nessel on January 24, 2013

Dropcam HD

Do you really know what goes on in your house when you leave?  I do!  In fact pick any minute over the last week and I can show you in HD quality exactly what went on in my living room.  How do I pull this off?  We have been reviewing the Dropcam HD Wi-Fi surveillance camera for the past two weeks.  We have looked at D-link cameras that allow you to check in on your house when you are away, but the Dropcam HD ups the ante by providing HD video, cloud based recording and the ability to talk back through the camera.

What better way to explain a video monitoring camera than by doing a video?  Please take a look at our full hands-on review of the Dropcam HD -

Instant Access to Any Event Over the Last 7 Days… Cool and Scary!

As the video shows, there are a few key features which make the Dropcam HD stand-out when compared to other consumer surveillance cameras -

  • Super Easy 60 Second Setup
  • Records HD Video (720p)
  • Keeps All Video From The Past 7 Days In The Cloud
  • Can Talk Back Via the Dropcam HD
  • Night Vision and Motion Based Alerts
  • Bank Level Encryption of Video, Only You Can See The Video (unless you choose to share)

The ability to pull out your iPhone and instantly see anything that happened in your living room (or where ever the Dropcam HD is placed) over the past 7 days, at any second, in light or darkness – is both incredible and scary.  In testing the Dropcam HD, it really felt like I had super powers in my house.  Any debate about who said or did what, was instantly ended when I pulled out my iPhone and viewed HD video and audio of the moment in question.  I suddenly had a DVR for my life.

Tons of Fun Off Label Uses For The Dropcam HD

Sure the Dropcam HD is an excellent way to keep an eye on your home when you are away, but it is also a great way to torment the family!  Think about the possibilities of having HD video and audio of everything that happened in your house for the last 7 days.  Here are just some of the devilish ideas we came up with -

  • Find Out Once and For All Who Started It

Place the Dropcam HD in the kids playroom.  When the kids come in screaming about who hit who, who said what and who started it all – you no longer need to listen to their stories and play detective.  Simply pull out your phone, review the time in question and watch and listen to exactly what happend.  Beware, this will probably only work once because once the kids catch on they will probably take out the Dropcam HD with a Nerf gun.

  • Place the Dropcam HD in The Kitchen And Bust The Kids

You tell the kids no cookies before dinner, but do they really listen?  With a Dropcam HD in the kitchen you can see if the kids go for a cookie, and if they do, use the talk feature to yell “Drop the cookie and no one gets hurt!

  • Drive Your Pets Insane

I often wonder what the cat does when we all leave the house.  Is he just counting down the minutes until the coast is clear for him to lounge on the sofa and scratch my favorite chair?  Sorry cat, the easy living days are over.  With the motion alerts from Dropcam HD, I can know exactly when the cat enters the living room and if he goes for the sofa I start yelling “Behold your invisible master, I know all – remove thy claws from my chair.”  Do this once and you will know where the term “scaredy cat” comes from.

Living In The Cloud Can Be Pricey and Bandwidth Intensive

We absolutely loved having the power to see anything that was going on in our house with the easy to use Dropcam HD app and website.  The only real negative is that if you want to be able to record video, you need to spend $9.95 a month or $99 a year for the cloud based service.  There is no option to hook the Dropcam up to a computer to record, if you do not go with the cloud based service.

The Dropcam HD comes with a free 2 week trial of the cloud based service, which is good and bad.  The good news is that you get to see how cool it is to have event notifications whenever something moves in your house and then the ability to instantly call up the video clip.  The bad news… once you see how cool the cloud based service is you will have a very hard time not ponying up the $9.95 a month to keep it going.

The other downside to a cloud based service is that the Dropcam HD is constantly sending HD video to the cloud.  The company estimates that the Dropcam HD will upload about 2 gigs a day, due to their compression algorithms.  If you have limits on your bandwidth usage, you want to make sure that using an extra 60 gigs a month will not cause you to exceed your bandwidth allowance.

Conclusion: Dropcam HD, A Super Fun Way to Be A Fly on The Wall

If you are looking for a simple way to keep eyes and ears on something, and get instant alerts when someone moves – the Dropcam HD is a great way to go.  We love the simple setup and well designed iPhone and iPad apps.  If you pay for the cloud based recording you will instantly know anything that happened in your house over the past 7 days.  Throw in night vision and the ability to talk back via the Dropcam HD and you have a superb consumer level video monitoring system.

For all the dogs and cats reading this (and believe me, literate pets is really our target demographic) the jig is up.  Until you figure out a way to knock the Dropcam HD off the shelf, you better watch your behavior, the walls have eyes now!

More Information:

Dropcam HD Sells for $149, Both iOS and Android Monitoring Apps are Available.  Cloud based recording is $9.95/month or $99 per year

Dropcam HD can also be purchased at Amazon.Com.

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  • Eugene

    Hi there- Would you say that the Dropcam is the best baby monitor out there?

    • http://www.daddoes.com Dan Dad Does

      Hi Eugene,

      The dropcam could work very well as a baby monitor. It has the ability to record in darkness, so that is cool. You can also talk back via the camera, so you can sing a tune to the baby…even if you are 1,000 miles away!

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Duncan

    Do you know if the dropcam is recommended only for inside usage? I was thinking about using this on a covered porch but I didn’t know if the weather might affect the camera. Thanks for the very for the helpful review

    • http://www.daddoes.com Dan Dad Does

      Hi Duncan,

      Thanks for the comment. I think the Dropcam really is for indoor use as it doesn’t really have any protection for rain. I guess if the porch was covered and it did not get wet, you could be okay – but a little risky. You would also need to make sure you have a power outlet near by. Hope this helps!

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