WiFi Surveillance And Nanny Cameras

Jacques du Rand 2020-11-25

Staying in touch when you're away from home.

Lockdown had many of us climbing the walls with cabin fever, and you probably can't wait to get some time away from home.

Perhaps you're looking for a quiet parent's escape without the kids, but would still like to keep an eye on things at home? Whether to keep an eye on the house-sitter, the babysitter or just generally keeping an eye on your home these are some WiFi security and camera solutions you can access from anywhere.

Product Options

There are actually quite a few products available locally. The bigger question is deciding what you want to use it for. Is it to keep a general eye on things at home? Do you need audio or just video? Must it be on all the time, or triggered with a specific action?

We've compiled a general enough list that also won't necessarily break the bank.

  1. Nest Security Camera - Nest has been one of the up and coming brands in home security over the last few years. They became so popular that Google bought them over. They make a great all-round indoor home security product with live 24/7 streaming. As the top option on our list, this camera will even send notifications to your phone when it detects movement. The Nest Security Camera also has a built-in speaker for, wait for it, two-way audio. In other words, you can speak to the person on the other side. It also integrates with the Alexa smart device.

    If you wanted a hidden camera, this is not that. The camera can be wall mounted or on a stand and looks like a big eye keeping, well, an eye on you.

    The downside is that there is only one camera so you'll need to choose your room wisely.

    Costs: The Nest Security Camera is available locally and retails for about R3,500.00. Or from the Google store.

    Nest Camera Indoor
    nest wifi camera indoor

  2. Nest Outdoor Security Camera - Yes, the lovely people from Nest also have a great outdoor solution. The outdoor camera, similar to the indoor one, is only one unit. Completely weatherproof it also offers all the same great features: full audio, video and two-way microphone! It can also send you notifications to your phone when it detects movement. Plus you can set up “activity zones” in addition. Zones that it should always alert you for. People mostly use this camera for front doors or driveways.
  3. Ms.Cube Mini WiFi Spy Hidden Camera - As the name suggests, we picked this one as you'll never know it's a camera! It's a fully functional digital clock, ideal for any bedroom, which makes this a great option for a nanny cam. You can watch live video feeds through the smart-app as well as motion activated recording. A bonus feature is that it has enhanced night vision - making this an ideal option for a child's room.

    The downside is that if the clock gets moved, so does your line of sight.

    Costs: The Ms.Cube Mini is available through Amazon and retails for about R1,900.00.

    Ms.Cube MINI WiFi camera
    Ms.Cube MINI WiFi camera

  4. Guardian Eye Indoor PT Nanny Cam - This is another great all-round indoor camera, and a popular one in South African households already. Available from one of our very own ISPs, Vox, this little camera packs a punch. It can give you 360-degree field-of-view, track movement and detect motion. It also comes with a smart app to send you movement activated notifications.

    A bonus is that it is wireless for WiFI, but would only need a power outlet.

    Costs: The Guardian Eye Indoor PT Nanny Cam is available through Vox and retails for about R1,650.00.

    EZVIZ 360 Camera
    EZVIZ 360 WiFi Nanny Camera

  5. Furbo Dog Camera - Last, but not least, for all the fur-parents is the Furbo Dog Camera. This interactive device lets you check in on your dog via video, and has two-way audio so you can also speak to them when not home. We also quite like the “bark alert” function which sends an alert to your smartphone app when your dog is barking so you can check to see they are okay. The absolute bonus feature is that it is also a treat dispenser! You can fill the device with your dog's favourite treats and it will “toss the treat” in the air for your dog on command via the smartphone app. It also integrates with the Alexa smart device.

    The only downside is that there is only one unit, so you need to place it where your dog can interact with it easily. Also, it doesn't have a two-way screen, so your pooch can't see your face, only hear your voice which might take getting used to.

    Costs: The Furbo Dog Camera is available locally, however the better price we found was on Amazon where it retails for about R3,160.00.

    Furbo WiFi Doggy Camera
    Furbo WiFi Doggy Camera
    Furbo WiFi Doggy Camera - Specs

How Much Internet Speed Do You Need To Run A Wireless Camera

Wireless cameras rely on Wi-Fi or other networks, which makes them easy to install as you don't have to have endless wires and cables going everywhere. They really are plug-and-play, so if you want to move them to another location, it's relatively simple.

The only limitation is that it needs to be in an area where it can maintain a strong WiFi signal and connection to your network. If your connection is disrupted, your wireless security camera can't send the feed to your viewing device.

The 3 things to check for with your internet include:

  1. Good reliability (stability)
  2. Adequate upload speed
  3. Adequate download speed

So how much is enough? As with Netflix, starting with 5 Mbps is good for one camera - but again, if this device is on a network with many users, this might be too little. (Also refer to our article How Much Speed Do you really Need?) A good jumping off point for what your cameras will require is to start with 5Mbps and add 2.5Mbps for every additional camera you're running on the network.

Other Things To Note

Other than choosing a camera based around your needs and setting it up, there is very little else to know except for whether or not you should (or have to legally) tell people it's there.

If you're installing one to check on the nanny, you might want to keep the camera hidden, and undisclosed.

South African law dictates that

  1. If you have CCTV cameras (which these fall into) in the workplace, you have to disclose that fact to your employees and visitors.
  2. There is currently no law for cameras and surveillance on private property. Unless you're spying on your neighbour - which is an invasion of privacy - and illegal.

Be that as it may, when it comes to your private home, if you're renting that home out, such as on short-term letting sites, you have to legally disclose the fact that there are cameras.

Once you have found your perfect security camera, be sure to check Fibre Tiger for the best internet package to suit your changing requirements. Upgrade or switch easily in one easy step.

*All prices correct at time of publication. Nov 2020