We've said it before, and we’ll say it again: We love startups, but we also enjoy the assurance we get from buying a security camera from an established company. We've witnessed startups disappear, leaving customers with a useless piece of plastic. Established companies don't typically go belly up as easily, adding some stability to your investment. That said, Y-Cam is an established security camera company. Refreshing their lineup, they have two new cameras you might want to consider: Evo and Evo Protect.
Hardware & Installation
Y-Cam's latest security cameras are the Y-Cam Evo and the Evo Protect Edition. Both cameras are compact, square-shaped, and for indoor use only. They measure around 2" on all four sides and are 1" thick. They also include a flexible magnetic base for easy installation.
Physically, the two cameras are identical. Their difference lies in how they are designed to be used. Y-Cam Evo is a standalone camera. You can buy it directly from Y-Cam, install it, and start using it. There are no other hardware requirements. On the other hand, Evo Protect Edition is an accessory to the Y-Cam Protect Alarm system, a security system that includes motion sensors, door and window sensors, a hub, as well as a bunch of other accessories. In order to use Evo Protect, you must first purchase a Y-Cam Protect Alarm system.
Image & Video Quality
As cameras, Y-Cam Evo and Evo Protect are "okay." Their video resolution is capped at 720p HD. As neither of them are battery-powered, there is no reason why Y-Cam should have slacked on producing a FHD camera. Also, for a 720p camera, Y-Cam Evo is expensive ($149.99). Second, the viewing angle is only 100°. If you want to monitor a large room, you'll probably need two or more cameras.
On the brighter side, Y-Cam Evo and Evo Protect Edition offer night vision that can see up to 26 feet in the dark.
Y-Cam Evo and Evo Protect Edition To Enhance Home Security
Although the picture quality is important, the value a camera adds to home security is a far more interesting factor. All security cameras enhance home security, but some do it better than others. That said, let's take a look at how Y-Cam's newest cameras make your home a safer place.
Y-Cam Evo uses motion detection to help enhance your home's security. The motion sensor can be armed or disarmed using the Y-Cam Android and iOS app. The app also supports geofencing as well as remote arming and disarming.
Y-Cam also supports a motion detection zone feature to help reduce false alarms. This feature lets you select which areas are important to you. If motion occurs in an area you deem important, Y-Cam Evo will notify you. But if motion occurs outside your motion detection zone, the camera will ignore the event.
Y-Cam Evo is programmed to react to motion events in two ways. First, it will send out a push notification to your smartphone. When you open the notification, it will lead you to a live video feed. While watching live, you can start a recording by tapping on the "Record" button. The camera can record for up to 5 minutes. Second, even if you miss the push notification, Y-Cam Evo will automatically record the event for you. However, instead of starting the recording the moment the motion event occurs, it starts recording seconds before the event via SmartBuffer technology.
SmartBuffer technology relies on Evo's internal memory where the camera continuously records. The moment it detects motion, the locally saved video goes straight to the cloud where it's added to the event clip. When you watch an event clip, you'll be able to see the event plus the moments leading up to the event. Only a few cameras can do this. In fact, some cameras, especially battery-powered ones, are known to wake up slowly, resulting in missed moments.
Finally, Y-Cam Evo works with other Y-Cam indoor and outdoor cameras. With Y-Cam, you can build your own multi camera system and monitor them all using one app.
Evo Protect Edition
Evo Protect Edition offers security features that are identical to what Y-Cam Evo has to offer. However, as part of the Y-Cam Protect Alarm system, Evo Protect Edition can record not only if its built-in sensor is triggered, but also if external sensors are triggered. Unfortunately, this feature requires a subscription to Y-Cam Plus. The problem is, Y-Cam Plus is only available in parts of Europe, but not yet in the US.
The downside of Evo Protect Edition is that it can't record videos on-demand. Instead of videos, you can only take snapshots and you can only save them to your phone. Y-Cam Evo can record up to 5-minute videos on demand and save them to the cloud.
A few years back, one of Y-Cam's best selling points was free cloud storage. They used to offer their cameras with 7 days of free cloud storage space "forever." Unfortunately, "forever" was a promise they couldn't keep. Customers who bought earlier Y-Cam models were given a 14-day notice that forever was coming to a close.
All Y-Cams now include 7 days of cloud storage for the first year of activation. After year one you can either purchase a cloud storage plan or decline to enroll. The plans are paid yearly. The first plan, for $9.99/year, will give you 7 days of cloud storage for one camera. If you have several cameras, you'll want to enroll in the $19.99/year plan. This plan provides 7 days of cloud storage for all of your Y-cam cameras. Both plans are economical when compared to other cloud storage plans that start at $10.00 per month.
If you choose Evo Protect Edition, you can also subscribe to Y-Cam Plus to receive up to 30 days of cloud storage. However, as mentioned earlier, you can only subscribe to Y-Cam Plus if you're living in one of the countries listed here. Y-Cam Plus starts at £5.99/month.
The Bottom Line
Are the Y-Cam Evo and Evo Protect Edition just as impressive as their predecessors were two years ago? Frankly, the answer is no. Although Evo is an improvement, the upgrades aren't enough to wow us. I'm not saying that the two cameras are good for nothing. They are good options for home security, particularly Y-Cam Evo as it is a standalone camera. With one year of free cloud storage, SmartBuffer technology, and a decent image quality, Y-Cam Evo can help you enhance your home's security. However, I'm also not saying that Y-Cam is the best option for you. For now, I recommend that you look into other options.
For one, I suggest looking into Arlo as they offer 7 days of free cloud storage for life. If, in the end, you still think that Y-Cam Evo is the best match for you, then go for it. You can purchase one on Y-Cam's website for $149.99. Bundles that include Y-Cam Evo and Y-Cam Outdoor HD Pro are also available on Amazon.com starting at $329.00.
Photo Credit: Y-Cam