High-tech home security cameras priced competitively and packed with intelligent, customizable features.
Looking for a little variety in your security life? Well, you’ve found it with Ezviz.
Although they’ve been around for nearly a decade, this Chinese manufacturer of security tech might not have the same name recognition as Blink or Ring. That said, they do make up for it in the number of cameras they bring to the table. At the time of this writing, there are over 50 cameras available, an impressive growth from the 30 they had when we started researching the brand a couple of years back. So Ezviz is definitely evolving.
That’s why we were really excited to get our hands on some Ezviz equipment. While they have a huge range of products, we’re going to be talking about two security cameras in particular, the indoor C1C and the outdoor C3N. Both have plenty of benefits, but we’ll cover their drawbacks as well.
Editor’s note: Since the time of this writing both the C1C and the C3N have been discontinued. The C1C has been replaced by the nearly identical C1C-B, and the C1C looks to have been replaced by the EZVIZ OutPro.
First things first — we learned through our extensive hands on-testing and research that Ezviz does things a little differently than other security brands we’ve tested recently like the sturdy Spotlight Cam from Ring and the stylish Arlo Pro 3 camera. Not bad mind you. Just different.
More on that in a minute, though. Here, we’ll lay out our full experience with Ezviz cameras – the good, the bad, and the in-between. Let’s find out if Ezviz is the right fit for you and your home.
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Now that we know what we’re dealing with, let’s get back to our boxes. Or what’s in those boxes, specifically.
Both of our Ezviz cameras were easy to connect to our home Wi-Fi. The outdoor model is aided by the two Wi-Fi antennas sticking out from both sides. They may not look pretty, but we had good Wi-Fi reception outdoors thanks to them. The Ezviz cameras we tested were also plug-in models. That means we were free to install them wherever we’d like, just so long as we were close to a wall outlet.
Now you might read that and think “Great!” or “Ick!” How your cameras are powered is a matter of preference. Some folks like the ease of plug-and-play since you never have to worry about charging up the cameras and you don’t have to deal with bulky battery packs, but some folks like the cleaner look of not having wires running down the walls.
If you find yourself in that latter category, Ezviz has about a dozen battery-powered cameras. We also have a guide to the best battery-powered cameras for you, if you’re open to looking at other brands.
Truth be told, we’re usually on team battery. Power cords can be a little restrictive, especially when you’re trying to mount a camera outdoors. Do you have an outlet on the gate to your fence? We don’t either. But if you don’t mind dusting off the old extension cord and running it outside, you’ll probably be fine.
Pro Tip: Like any product that runs on Wi-Fi, you might notice some delays and bottlenecks from time to time. Standard Wi-Fi network speeds tend to fluctuate, and it might affect the speed at which you receive motion notifications. It’s not a perfect experience, but it’s pretty close!
Having the cord exposed is not the prettiest setup, but it does allow us to test positions and angles, get to know the Ezviz app, and learn all of the camera’s features before committing to a permanent location.
Before pivoting to the Ezviz app, though, let’s break down some quick stats on Ezviz:
|No. of Cameras||10+|
|Standout Feature||Person Recognition|
|Video Resolution||Up to 2MP|
Now, let’s get into the app.
Early on in our setup process, we downloaded the Ezviz mobile app from our app store. It’s available on iPhone, Android, and desktop, but we chose the iPhone route.
From there, the setup was pretty intuitive. We typed in our Wi-Fi password, scanned the QR code on the camera with our phone … and voila. We could see both cameras from our app and explore all of Ezviz’s features with ease.
The app advised us to move close to the router during the setup process, so while you might be excited to see how the cameras look installed on your porch, don’t mount it just yet until you’re done setting up the app. Another key point to remember here is that you have to ensure the Wi-Fi signal is strong where you decide to put the camera. You may have to try a few different camera positions like we did to get it right – adjusting the position of the antennas might help as well – but again, the cameras receive Wi-Fi signals well.
The setup process was similar to many DIY security cameras we’ve tested. It’s the same for brands like Wyze, Blink, and even Ring, one of the leading camera brands today. So overall, it’s a win for Ezviz.
Did You Know? Most of today’s home security systems and security cameras can be controlled remotely using your smartphone. It is the 21st century, after all.
We have to say the features here were pretty impressive — especially when you remember how affordable these cameras are. From the clear-as-day 1080p video resolution to more advanced functionality like color night vision1, person detection and motion zones, we were pretty happy with how this camera performed both inside and out.
It was at this stage that we started hearing echoes of the Reolink cameras we’ve tested in the past. Just like our C3N, Reolink’s outdoor models are rugged and durable, but had a clear focus on design. They stood out enough to be a deterrent, but not so much as to make your home look like a prison yard.
As far as video quality goes, though, Ezviz beats Reolink hands down. The sharpness of the Ezviz playback was pretty outstanding given the price point, and intuitiveness of the app beat out Reolink as well.
Now it was time to explore each camera a little more deeply.
The C1C is one of Ezviz’s numerous indoor models. Standing at a stout 4 inches tall, the camera’s sleek design makes it easy to fit into any home without being too obtrusive.
For our purposes, the camera fit perfectly among the organized chaos that is our living room. We knew that, whether we were home or away, this camera would put its laser-sharp technology to work for us, protecting creatures great, small, canine, human, or otherwise.
While this camera doesn’t offer us that extra-wide field of view we’d get from, say, the Zmodo Sight 180 C camera, we found that with all the customization and hardware adjustments offered on our C1C, the difference in field of view (that’s 180 degrees on the Sight versus 130 degrees on our Ezviz) was negligible.
Case in point: Our camera caught this little furball in all sorts of precarious acts, from stealing not one, but both pairs of our slippers; jumping on the coffee table, a big no-no; and trying to knock down our DVD tower.
And through it all, our camera did great work recording all those moments of joyful delinquency and helping us keep more eyes on him, and the rest of us, pretty much all the time. So if you’re like us in constantly trying to wrangle your mischievous pet to prevent him from destroying your worldly possessions, you’ll appreciate this flexibility.
Throughout our tests of the C1C, Ezviz’s app made it really easy to play back recordings from all that activity any time we wanted. And in order to make sure we’d be able to focus on the “right” kind of motion, the app let us draw over areas we didn’t want the camera to trigger, just like that.
We have to say, we really like this grid style. It’s a lot smoother than the motion zoning experience we had when we unboxed Ring’s Stick Up Cam: You can tap on the screen to block out zones in Ring’s app, but you can’t get as precise without a grid like Ezviz has.
The question, though, is “Does it work?” Well, in our experience, it does but not without a little bit of trial-and-error. At first we blocked out just the sofa area because we knew we’d be lounging there most of the time. What we hadn’t considered was that we’d have to walk to get to the sofa, which still triggered the motion sensor.
The point is, you may not get it right the first time and that’s okay. As the camera adapts to your lifestyle, you must also adapt to its capabilities and limits.
Our Ezviz cameras boast AI person detection. Sounds cool, right? Right, but with a note of caution: While our camera does tell us when the motion detected is the human kind, it just kind of ends there. If an animal passes through the view, the camera thinks it, too, is a human.
We don’t know too many humans with four legs. But we understand. These are, after all, relatively inexpensive cameras; while Ezviz’s motion detection technology handles exceptionally well, it doesn’t perform at the level we’ve seen in Google Nest Cams, which have leapt boldly into A.I. facial recognition, literally reading our faces to learn who’s familiar and who’s not. Nest cameras, you’ll note, are pricier than our Ezviz, starting at $179.99 for their battery-operated indoor/outdoor camera. You can read more about that in our Nest Security Cameras review, though.
What we will say, though, is that not too many other cameras can stack up to Ezviz in both price point and advanced features. As with so many security cameras these days, you tend to get what you pay for.
As parents, we sometimes feel stretched just a little thin. Sometimes, we need to be in two places in the same house at the same time. Other times, we need an extra set of hands.
Most times, though, we just need to keep those lines of communication open. And if it took using our Ezviz C1C as our very own intercom system, using our big, booming voices to usher our youngsters through their daily class schedules, reminding them of tasks to finish before the day’s end … we’d gladly oblige.
That said, our young scholars were kept on task throughout the day thanks to our camera’s Two-Way Talk feature. We used it to check in on their progress from time to time while still keeping up with our own daily activities, even when those activities took us outside the house. Remember, you’ll have smartphone access and controls with Ezviz cameras.
Keep in mind, however, that the audio on the indoor camera isn’t the best there is. Remember, this is an indoor camera that stands just four inches tall, including a two-inch stalk that serves as part of its base. There’s nowhere to put a high-quality speaker there. At best, the audio sounded like the loudspeaker of an iPhone, which isn’t bad, but certainly not loud enough to fill a room.
Pro Tip: Ezviz, in a relatively new update, now has Face ID. That means, if you’ve got an iPhone like we do, you can use that super-handy Face ID to open your app, monitor your cameras, and make changes whenever you need to.
After spending some serious one-on-one time with our C1C for our tests, we were eager to see what tricks our outdoor camera, the Ezviz C3N, would have up its sleeve. Here are some of our takeaways.
For the majority of our testing protocols, we enjoyed a full week of sunny, beautiful late-summer weather (a rarity in Ohio). The Ezviz camera captured those days very well, showing us impressive detail in its playback, and delivering clear 1080p images with little interference.
We loved the color definition on the outdoor camera. In the snapshot below, you can see the contrast between the blue sky, the forest green along the treeline, and the lush green grass (can you tell we’re proud of our lawn?).
The field of view was also impressive, covering most of our yard and keeping a clear vantage point over the street. We positioned the camera there to watch out for thieves who might take advantage of the clear weather to drive around the neighborhood and look for easy targets. Ezviz gave us instant peace of mind knowing this eagle-eyed camera was perched right outside our house.
Any drawbacks? Well, besides the occasional fluctuation in quality whenever our Wi-Fi’s speed dropped, we’d say this is a perfectly reliable camera. The videos may not exactly be cinematic, but we have no complaints overall.
Pro Tip: Our Ezviz cameras both came with slots for Micro SD cards. This is great, but it’s important to note that Ezviz does not include the cards with the cameras themselves. You can buy them separately, and some retailers even offer 2-in-1 packages for pretty cheap, but we thought it was worth a warning.
Mother Nature is no match for this camera! The hefty C3N is made to withstand weather, with an IP67 dust and water rating3. That means the casing is sealed tightly enough to keep water and fine particles like dust from entering the electronics.
You know the saying, “when it rains, it pours”? That happened literally while we were testing Ezviz. We experienced about half an inch of rain one afternoon, but despite the downpour, the camera remained steadfast. We checked on it the next day and it was still working perfectly fine.
While this is a helpful asset in any security setup, most outdoor cameras in the biz these days have some degree of weather protection, so Ezviz isn’t necessarily bringing anything new to the table. What does stand out with the C3N, though, is how tough it looks on the outside. In our experience, cameras like this have an intimidating presence that’s meant to deter criminals, or at least give them a reason to think twice.
FYI: If you’re looking for security with reliable technology but a more discreet look, head over to our hands-on analysis of the YI security camera. Though YI is a relative newcomer to the game, they’ve got some neat cameras meant for subtle setups.
Before we even opened the box, we knew our Ezviz C3N was equipped with some serious night vision technology. Rather than the standard infrared night vision we’re accustomed to, this one’s got color night vision – and we were keen to test it out.
And we’ll say this: When night fell after our first day testing this camera, we were met with a pretty all-consuming halo effect from one of our light fixtures. We realized that we had positioned our camera so that the light was directly in front of our view. Oops! So this is something to keep in mind.
We know, from our previous tests of dozens of other security cameras, that this is a no-no, for one key reason: It could cause the light sensor to malfunction, meaning we could miss important motion. We quickly solved this problem by positioning our camera a little farther to the left, and all was well again.
Did we mention all the fun we’ve been having customizing our alarm notifications on this camera? Just one peek into the Settings menu on our C3N, and we knew we could truly make these cameras perform exactly the way we wanted them to. And customizations are important to us.
When we wanted to change our motion detection so that the only shapes our camera detected were human, we could check that box.
Or, if we would rather be alerted every time the camera detected a change in motion, we could check that box instead.
When it seemed like the camera wasn’t picking up the motion it should, we adjusted motion sensitivity using this handy-dandy tool:
And then, just like our indoor C1C, we were able to go in and block off the areas of motion we didn’t want monitored. Be careful doing this, though; you don’t want to block out too big of an area and end up missing crucial activity!
All those customizations are great, but in actual testing, they are not always effective. As with the Ezviz indoor camera, we had to do some trial-and-error to get things right. Movement from passing cars, for example, still triggered alerts even after several rounds of adjustments. On the bright side, the number of false alarms really did go down compared to our first 24 hours with the camera before we did any of the customizations.
To subscribe or not to subscribe? That is the question, and we’re here to answer it once and for all: Yes. If you don’t already have local storage (a Micro SD card or your own self-monitoring) with your Ezviz cameras, you’ll want to buy a subscription for CloudPlay, Ezviz’s cloud storage network.
For what it’s worth, we’re seeing subscriptions almost across the board as an option for video storage. For that truly smart home we’re all shooting for, with multiple cameras sending all of that data back and forth at all times of the day, we know it’s important to have a secure place for it to live. CloudPlay delivers that, but be warned: It’s not without a price.
There are two plans to choose from — standard and premium. They both offer the same features, but the former will only support one camera, while the latter will support up to four. For comparison’s sake, their prices are pretty much on par with bigger names like Ring or Google Nest. Here’s what that pricing structure looks like.
|Standard Plan||One Camera Supported|
|7-Day Price||$3.99 per month, $39.99 per year|
|30-Day Price||$6.99 per month, $69.99 per year|
|Premium Plan||Up to Four Cameras Supported|
|7-Day Price||$5.99 per month, $59.99 per year|
|30-Day Price||$10.99 per month, $109.99 per year|
Everyone’s favorite little smart assistant, Alexa, has a skill for Ezviz4, making it a good choice for home automation (for more choices, visit our complete home automation guide). As we have with previous smart home products, we went to work setting up that skill for our Amazon Echo Show so we could use voice commands to display our Ezviz cameras, arm or disarm them, and enable two-way talk, among other actions.
Pretty straightforward so far, right?
Wrong. When we thought we’d had it all buttoned up, we said, “Alexa, show me my driveway.”
Alexa said, “OK.” Then, she paused, and the three little dots began to crawl across the screen. Alexa, in a much meeker-sounding voice, said, “Sorry, your cameras are asleep.”
We were confused. We didn’t see any indication on our end that our cameras were “asleep.” We consulted our palm-sized instruction manual and saw nothing in the steps about this. After several misfires that had us scratching our heads, we turned to an old buddy: customer service.
Who hasn’t, at least once in their lives, experienced bad customer service? We have – more times than we’d like to admit – so we’re always a little wary about calling customer service. What if we have to wait a long time to talk to an agent? What if we take all that time and our problem still isn’t solved?
So, we did what any self-respecting Gen-Xer would do.
We “chatted” our way out of our problem!
Using Ezviz’s Live Chat function, located on the support page of their website, we explained our issue and waited for a response. It was swift, and within a couple of minutes, “Karen” was on the line.
What was the issue, you might be wondering? That would be something called image encryption5. In order to use these cameras with Alexa, Karen told us, we had to go into our camera’s settings and turn off our Image Encryption setting.
This is great information, and it definitely solved our problem. We could now use Alexa to see our Ezviz cams, hooray! But we were left with one lingering question after our chat with Karen was over:
Why couldn’t we find that little nugget of information when we were setting up Alexa with our cameras in the first place? Perhaps this is an oversight within Ezviz’s smart home functionality. This isn’t something we’d dock major points for, but to us, it’s a sign that Ezviz’s software might need an update in the near future.
Pro Tip: Right now Ezviz is running a sale on it’s American version of the site. Select cameras are 50 percent off through Amazon.
Now that we’ve laid out our full experience with these Ezviz cameras, we have one confession: We did not purchase our cams directly from the company website. That’s because we couldn’t. No one can; Ezviz is one of just a few brands in the industry that doesn’t sell its products directly to customers.
Among the retailers that do sell Ezviz products, prices still vary, even among the same cameras. Our C1C camera cost $25, but we also saw it for sale on another retailer’s site for $35. Prices tend to fluctuate from the manufacturer itself, too, in response to market forces like inflation. Just something to keep in mind before you build out a down-to-the-penny budget.
This was disappointing. but not surprising. Night Owl Security, another outdoor-ready system, sells their products through multiple retailers, and while it’s not as neat and tidy as other brands like Blink, it’s not necessarily a disadvantage for users. Personally, we prefer buying direct. But that’s just us.
Here’s our breakdown of Ezviz’s camera pricing, keeping those price variations in mind:
|Model Name||Stand-Out Feature||Price|
|BC1C||2K Resolution and Solar Power||$177.18|
|CTQ2C||Large Field of View||$34.99|
Now, before we end this review, we’d like to point out one concerning detail we learned about Ezviz. In 2022, the cybersecurity company Bitdefender found vulnerabilities in select Ezviz cameras. Now, we won’t go into too much detail, but according to the report, these vulnerabilities when used together could allow a hacker to remotely control affected cameras and download images. That is, indeed, concerning both for your privacy and home security.
According to the same report, fortunately, Bitdefender contacted Ezviz and the security camera brand was responsive enough. Bitdefender notified Ezviz on 16th of April, and within a month, Ezviz said that they’ve fixed the issue. By June, security updates were continually rolling out.
Sadly, vulnerabilities like this are not uncommon; even Ring had a brush with hacking issued in its earlier days. As of now, though, Ezviz seems to have no security issues. Just make sure to use a strong password for your account and cameras, and you should be fine.
At the end of the day, we really enjoyed testing, living with, and using Ezviz cameras. They’re durable, easy to use, and their list of features is nothing to scoff at. Add to that Ezviz’s powerful cloud-based network, and we saw our C1C and C3N cams perform smoothly from alert to playback, deliver top-notch images in 1080p HD and color night vision, and serve as a reliable layer of protection for our home. While they might not be the most popular cameras out there, they can definitely protect your home.
Are they the most reliable security cameras? Not really. As we shared earlier, these are cameras that require fine-tuning. You have to adjust the features, especially motion detection, according to your preferences. If you like tinkering with your home gadgets and have the patience to be more involved in monitoring your home, Ezviz may be a good option for you. Otherwise, check out our Lorex review for cameras that are straightforward to set up and use.
Yes, it does. If you need something more than local storage through a micro SD card to manage, store, and view your video history, Ezviz has several low-cost cloud storage plans you can sign up for. Without signing any contracts or service agreements, you can get extra storage space for one camera or up to four (with one of Ezviz’s home plans).
Many Ezviz cameras use PIR motion sensing. In layman’s terms, this means motion is detected by heat. This way, your notifications are more accurate, as they can tell you if the movement came from living things or other objects like a tree swaying in the wind or a car passing by.
We had a pleasant experience speaking to a customer service agent via Ezviz’s live chat option. However, we have come across some less-than-favorable reviews from users who complained of unsolved tech issues and slow response times. The company did, at one point, have an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau, but that’s since been upgraded to an “A.”
Mainly, yes. Ezviz makes several inexpensive, basic security cameras with great motion detection but without fancy features or advanced technology. By going with an Ezviz C1C, you can get a decent indoor camera for around $20, which is incredibly cheap in our view. But any time we deal with low-cost technology, we like to remind folks that in this industry, you do get what you pay for.
Yes. According to their support page, every Ezviz product comes with a factory-programmed verification code. This ensures that unauthorized users cannot access your videos, playback, and images.
Landon, E, MD. University of Chicago School of Medicine. (2020, May 8). COVID-19: What we know so far about the 2019 novel coronavirus. https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/prevention-and-screening-articles/wuhan-coronavirus
PR NewsWire. Ezviz Inc. (2019, Sept. 6) Ezviz Showcases its First Color Night Vision Security Camera at IFA 2019 to Bring 24/7 Color Images. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ezviz-showcases-its-first-color-night-vision-security-camera-at-ifa-2019-to-bring-247-color-images-300912886.html
Griffith, E. PCMag. (2020, March 4). Dust-Resistant? Waterproof? Making Sense of Gadget Ratings. https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/dust-resistant-waterproof-making-sense-of-gadget-ratings
Amazon. (2020). Ezviz Skill. https://www.amazon.com/EZVIZ/dp/B071XHC4VX
Long, B. and Zhou, Y. Information Sciences. (2015, Dec. 10) Image Encryption: Generating virtually meaningful encrypted images. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020025515004818