One of the most common problems when installing outdoor security cameras is connectivity. Sometimes, your walls are just too thick for the Wi-Fi signal to overcome. It's an even bigger problem for battery-powered cameras as a poor connection can cause their batteries to drain faster.
Remo+ (the company behind Remocam) thinks they have the solution. Meet DoorCam, a battery-powered outdoor camera that connects to Wi-Fi through a separate device that remains indoors.
Hardware & Installation
Before we proceed, there are two things you need to know.
First, DoorCam's classification as an outdoor camera is a technicality. It's designed to hang over the exterior side of your door, thus the "outdoor" part, but you can't really place it anywhere else. If you're looking for a real outdoor camera that is battery-powered and can be placed anywhere, check out Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2.
Second, the camera is only for very specific door-types. For starters, you can only mount it over doors that open inwards. Secondly, the door must be at least 1 ⅜" thick, but not more than 2".
Installing DoorCam is elementary. The outdoor unit (camera) and the indoor unit (Wi-Fi module) are connected by a metal plate. All you need to do is hook the plate over your door, and you're done. If you want a more permanent setup, you can also use the provided mounting screws.
DoorCam Image & Video Quality
Because the camera hangs high up on your door, the lens is angled slightly downwards at around 45°, allowing the camera to see who's standing at your doorstep. DoorCam features a ¼" color CMOS sensor that can capture images in HD (720p) resolution. However, you can adjust the resolution to VGA if you don't mind losing image quality in exchange for lower bandwidth use. The camera records and streams at 30 frames per second with a 160° field of view. At night, DoorCam automatically swaps to night vision, turning on its IR LEDs to gain up to 10 feet of visibility.
DoorCam To Enhance Your Home's Security
By their very nature, all cameras can enhance your home's security. However, some do it better than the others.
DoorCam features three security features:
STEP 1: Detecting Motion
The first step is motion detection, courtesy of the embedded PIR motion sensor. The use of a PIR motion sensor is a pro as it's one of the most effective ways to detect motion while reducing some false alarms.
What makes PIR motion detection different? Most cameras on the market use digital motion detection, where "motion" is determined by comparing sequential images and looking for changes in pixel size and color. Without the help of additional features such as person detection or motion zones, digital motion detection can cause an awful lot of false alarms. On the other hand, PIR motion sensors look for changes in heat signatures. Most objects that cause false alarms in digital motion detectors (e.g., moving branches, falling leaves, curtains blowing) don't emit heat like human bodies do, so they won't trigger the sensor. However, animals, cold rain, and cars can still set off the sensor and cause false alarms.
STEP 2: Checking-In & Two-Way Talk
If the sensor detects motion, the second step of the process will immediately kick in. DoorCam will send you a push alert via the Remo+ app on your smartphone. As soon as you open the notification, the camera will start streaming live video and audio to your phone. From there, you can activate two-way talk to speak with whoever's at your front door. If it's a friend, you can say hi. If it's a possible intruder, letting them know that you're watching is an effective way to scare them off your porch.
STEP 3: Motion-Activated Recording
Not all of us have the time to check every notification we receive, which is why step 3 is crucial. As soon as the motion sensor is set off, DoorCam will start recording. The clip is then forwarded to the cloud over Wi-Fi. If you miss the chance to check an event live, you can review the clip anytime using your Wi-Fi-connected smartphone.
Unfortunately, to activate motion-based recording, you need a cloud storage plan. Without a paid subscription, you will only be able to access notifications, live view, two-way talk, and activity log.
The good news is that getting a cloud storage subscription won't break the bank. It only costs $3/month or $30/year for every camera. This subscription plan will give you access to 30 days of activity logs accompanied by a time-stamped video recording of the event. You will also be able to download and share recorded clips.
|No Plan||Standard Plan|
|Price Per Camera||FREE||$3/month or $30/year|
|Video Storage||NO||30 Days|
|Download & Share Videos||NO||YES|
|Activity Log||List Only||List With Video Clips|
Working With Others
DoorCam is part of a family of products made by Remo+. The family includes RemoCam and the RemoBell. RemoCam is an indoor camera equipped with an IR blaster, which enables it to become a makeshift IR remote control. RemoBell, on the other hand, is a battery-powered doorbell camera. It can stream videos to your phone and notify you if someone presses the doorbell button. Sadly, if you're looking for third-party integrations, DoorCam doesn't have any.
Pricing & Summary
DoorCam is for you if you're looking for a camera to watch over your front porch and if:
- your door opens inwards.
- your door is at least 1 ⅜" thick
- your door is not over 2" thick