Canary Security Review

"The home security solution chosen by first responders."

Canary
Overall Score: 7.6/10
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7.6 Overall Score
Customer Service
8.0
Value
8.3
Equipment
6.0
Features & Technology
6.0
Ease Of Use
10

Canary Security Ratings

Sometimes home security systems become unnecessarily complicated, which makes it difficult for them to offer you the home protection that you’re looking for. Canary devices cover the basics along with a few useful extras and provide the option for contract-free home security. Its AI-powered technology handles arming and disarming the system for you. A monthly membership is $9.99, or you can buy devices outright and use a free plan.

PROS
  • Straightforward packages
  • Simple installation
  • Choose your pricing and contract length
  • Contract not required for basic functionality
  • AI-powered automatic arming and disarming

CONS
  • Doesn’t support home automation features like many other home security services
  • Limited equipment options
  • No window or door sensors
  • Device limit on free plan

Overview

Canary bills itself as a “complete security system in a single device.” You don’t have to decipher confusing plans, as everything is based on whether you have a two year, one year or no contract with the company. You can use the devices on their own for basic functionality, which is useful if you just want a useful home security device without ongoing fees.

However, you lose out on some powerful features if you take that approach. The membership opens up activity zone masking, two-way talking, 30-day video recording storage and other value-added features. If you commit to a one or two-year membership, the equipment costs drop to inexpensive or even free in some cases.

A user-friendly app brings your device network together to give you a comprehensive video view of your surroundings. Whether you want the all-in-one Canary device or a flexible indoor/outdoor camera, you can pick a configuration that suits your needs.

Features and Technology

All three of the Canary devices have 1080p HD wide angle video and audio capabilities and are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Integration with other third-party smart home devices may also be available. You don’t need a home phone line for this security system – a high speed (1 Mbps or higher recommended) Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection is all you need.

While the rest of the features vary per device, they all share a design style that blends in with other household appliances. When you look at the unit, you wouldn’t immediately assume that it’s for security.

You control your Canary home security system through the app, which is designed with user-friendliness in mind. It’s compatible with iOS, Android and Apple Watch devices.

All it takes is one touch to connect to local emergency services so they can respond quickly to a break-in or another situation that requires fast response. Canary uses intelligent settings to arm and disarm your devices automatically. The system learns and adapts to your typical activities and schedule, although you can also choose modes manually. The AI-powered person detection helps cut down on false alarms by recognizing the people who should be in your home.

  • Away mode activates when no family members are at home. The devices monitor unusual activities and send you notifications to your mobile device.
  • Home mode turns on when Canary detects that family members come home.
  • Night mode monitors the activity in and around the house and sends notifications based on intelligent

You also have the option for a privacy mode, if you’d like Canary to stop capturing video and audio for a time. Otherwise, everything that activates the Canary is recorded and sent to your phone alongside a mobile alert.

The app has a timeline style layout that tells you exactly what’s going on and when. You can see recorded videos, whether a member of the family is at home and the changes between modes. Your options through the app include watching the live stream, sharing recorded video clips, bookmarking a video or tagging it for easy retrieval later.

If you have the Canary All-in-one device, you also get information on the air quality, temperature and humidity near the device. You can also activate this model’s 90-decibel siren through the app.

The Canary membership adds a lot of functionality to your devices. You get:

  • Full-length motion-activated recordings rather than truncated clips
  • 30-day video history available via your web browser
  • Live video streaming from your desktop
  • Two-way Canary talk to communicate with people near the device (or to say hi to your pets)
  • Incident support team to help you during the post break-in period
  • Activity zone masking so you can set your device to ignore the dog door or another area that would otherwise trip the alarm.
  • Custom modes designed around your lifestyle.
  • Two-year device warranty rather than one year

The ability to add more than four devices to your home security network.

Ease of Use

Canary devices are plug and play. You don’t need a professional installer to come out and set up your home security system. The only thing you need to do is pick a place for your Canary devices and connect them to the Internet. The app also offers a straightforward experience with precise navigation and well-marked functions for controlling your Canary and moving between views on multiple devices.

Customer Service

Since Canary is solely focused on supporting its home security devices and membership, you have access to people who are well trained in this area. They don’t have to split their resources between multiple service categories. The company has a wide range of customer service resources if you need support before, during or after the home security purchase.

The Help Center has an extensive database of articles that answer many common questions. The guided assistant walks you through troubleshooting steps if your Canary system isn’t working properly. If you end up needing to talk to someone directly, you can reach out via live chat, SMS, email or even Twitter.

Value

Canary does an excellent job at offering options at a range of price points. You adjust your costs based on the equipment you’re purchasing and whether you’re committing to a one or two-year contract. If you don’t want a contract, you pay the full price for the Canary devices. You get the deepest discounts on equipment with a two-year contract. Here are your home security system options from Canary:

Canary offers a free Canary View indoor camera with a two-year membership. The price goes up to $49 if you opt for a one-year contract or $99 without a membership. The Canary All-in-One indoor security device is $69 with a two-year membership, $119 with a one-year or $169 without a membership. The Canary Flex indoor/outdoor camera is $99 with a two-year membership, $149 for one-year or $199 without a membership.

If you prefer a package with more than one Canary device, you have several multipacks to choose from (prices listed as two-year membership, one-year membership and no membership):

  • Canary 2-pack includes two Canary All-in-ones – $199, $259, $319
  • Starter Pack includes one Canary All-in-one and one Canary Flex- $229, $289, $349
  • Total Home includes two Canary Flexes and one Canary All-in-one – $399, $469, $539
  • Canary Flex 3 includes three Canary Flexes – $429, $499, $569
  • Canary Flex 2 includes two Canary Flexes – $259, $319, $79
  • Outdoor Security includes two Canary Flexes and one secure Canary Flex mount – $269, $329, $389

The Canary membership starts at $9.99 per month or $99 per year for the first five devices. If you want to add additional devices, you pay either $4.99 per device per month or $49 per device per year. A membership isn’t required to use the basic features of your devices, but you can only have use four on the free plan and you lack access to advanced functionality.

Equipment

Canary offers three home security products and a few accessories.

Canary View

This Canary device is a basic indoor home security camera with night vision and 1080p HD quality. It supports two-way talk functionality if you have the membership plan.

Canary All-in-One

This indoor security device has camera, siren and air monitoring capabilities. The 1080p HD camera and HD microphone give you a high-quality view of what’s going on in your home, day or night. If you have the membership plan to go along with this device, you can store recorded videos for 30 days, communicate via a two-way talk feature and stream the live security footage to your desktop.

You also have a 90-decibel siren built-in to the device in the event of a break-in or emergency. Climate monitoring sensors track the air quality, temperature and humidity in your home and alert you if the readings go above or below the expected parameters.

Canary Flex

The Canary Flex doesn’t require any wires, is weatherproof and designed for your indoor/outdoor security camera option. The magnetic swivel base is easy to adjust so you have the perfect view of the area. You can charge it via an outdoor electric cable or leave it plugged into that cable. It connects to your network via Wi-Fi. Like the other two Canary devices, you can use two-way talk with an active membership.

Add-on Equipment

The only add-on equipment available from Canary is a selection of mounts for the Canary Flex.

The secure mount is $29.99 and can attach to nearly any surface. This accessory is useful if you want to put your indoor/outdoor home security camera in odd places or you feel more comfortable with an upgraded mounting option. It’s a magnetic attachment to the Flex.

The twist mount is $19.99. You can use this accessory to hang your Canary Flex camera or wrap it around poles, trees, railings and many other unconventional locations.

The stake mount blends in with your garden or planter and costs $19.99. You snap the Flex to the mount to put it in place.

Summary

One or more Canary devices offer an excellent choice for a basic home security system that doesn’t require locking into a long-term contract. You’re not getting a lot outside of home security functionality and video recording, but sometimes that’s all you need. A membership costs $9.99 and devices start at the free with contract level.