The cloud is essentially a term that refers to Internet storage as opposed to storing data on a physical hard drive. Initially, the cloud was predominantly used to save hard drive space when storing data files, videos and photos. However, the cloud is literally everywhere today and does far more than store files. People around the world connect, track, store and manage many of their applications via the cloud, including apps used for home security purposes.
What is a Cloud Based Home Security System?
Cloud based home security systems can be expanded to include any number of features such as wireless cameras, smart locks, motion sensors, smart doorbells and much more. These systems allow users to work with these tools through smartphone and Internet integration that provides immediate updates to homeowners and even a monitoring service if one has been contracted. Users enjoy the convenience of being able to use and access footage from their home security system remotely from anywhere in the world where you can access the app.
Cloud Based Security Cameras
One of the biggest appeal of using a cloud based security system is the freedom it gives consumers over home surveillance cameras. In fact, cloud based wireless cameras can actually be used without other security features, making it ideal for those simply wanting to see what’s happening in and around the home and receive updates about motion sensor camera activations. Simply connect the device to the Internet to stream and record footage that can be managed, saved and shared via computer or smartphone app. These cameras can be very small for discretion or larger to serve as a deterrent, and they can be installed anywhere there is an active Internet connection accessible.
Popular Features of Cloud Based Home Security Systems
Besides basic security and cameras, cloud based systems have seemingly limitless expansion possibilities through home automation. Many homeowners opt to include environmental sensors with their system that will detect issues indoors such as moisture, smoke, carbon monoxide and even temperature levels. Users receive notifications about changes in environment and make changes with the tap of a button on their smartphone. Cloud based apps can also include appliance monitors that use digital and electronic scanners to detect unusual activity and notify users.
Motion sensors for doors, windows and garages are also rather popular. Smart locks allow you to open and close doors when you arrive and leave, and alarms are triggered if someone tries to forcible access these entry points. Homeowners can also use their cloud security system to turn off lights that you may have forgotten were on through home automation. All alerts and actions, just like camera footage can be stored on the cloud for later reference if necessary.
The Pros and Cons of Cloud Based Security
As you can see there are quite a few perks to using cloud based security, but there may also be a few drawbacks to consider depending on your situation and needs. Here’s a brief rundown.
- Systems easily integrate with other smart home appliances and devices.
- Remotely manage home security wherever there is Internet connectivity.
- View footage from cameras in real-time.
- Reviewable footage and data is securely stored on the cloud to be accessed anytime
- Software automatically updates for maximum performance and security.
- No need to buy additional equipment to store video on.
- Functionality may be limited with certain systems without upgrading to paid plans.
- Monthly subscription costs may be required.
- Possibly slower internet connection may be experienced with constantly-on security devices.
- Some have privacy concerns with storage on external servers
Home Security Systems Utilizing the Cloud
Those looking for a solid and reliable home security system that relies on the cloud, these three companies offer great products and affordable services.
SimpliSafe Home Security
In addition to offering the most popular home automation and security features, SimpliSafe allows users to capture clips and manually record video for 60 seconds through a handy app. Whether you see something remarkable or something shady, you can store it to the cloud for 30 days and share data and clips across various connected devices. Longer periods of data storage and automated features may require a higher level of monitoring service.
Vivint Home Security
Cloud storage is what brings all of Vivint’s advanced features together to complete a comprehensive security system for the home. Images and videos are recorded and transferred automatically to Vivint’s Smart Drive cloud storage via Wi-Fi connection. These can be accessed anytime through your online account, through the home control panel or the Vivint Smart Home app. To get maximum storage capacity, customers need a Vivint Playback plan that offers continuous coverage on up to four cameras.
Once a video doorbell brand, Ring is now backed by Amazon and offers a variety of home security plans and equipment options. Ring utilizes the cloud for operations and storage, and offers both self-monitoring and paid plans with professional 24/7 monitoring. However, for a mere $10 monthly or $100 pre-paid annually, homeowners can enjoy professional monitoring along with cellular backup and 60 days of cloud storage for home cameras in a single location.