Wyze camera with free cloud storage

I recently had to buy a stand-alone camera for security purposes and I ended up buying what seemed to be the best value I could find. It still is after using it, so I am sharing this with you.

imageThe camera in question is what people have come to call “the WyzeCam” at US$20-25 or CDN$35-40 . What makes this offer compelling is the very low price, good image quality and the free online (cloud) storage of videos and images.

A few years back, the best and cheapest way to set up a security / surveillance system was with a powered Ethernet (PoE) switch (such as the Netgear 8-port at US$70), running Ethernet(networking) cables from the switch to where you wanted your cams, such as SV3C ProHD at US$40. (Other people prefer using older Android smartphones for this purpose using a program such as IP Webcam.) You could then run a free software program on your computer or laptop such as iSpy (recommended), Blue Iris, the defunct Camera Viewer Pro, ContaCam, ZoneMinder (Linux), Genius Vision NVR, Netcam Studio, SecureCam2, Rear View Mirror, AtHome Video Streamer, Ivideon etc). Cloud storage of videos or images is usually a premium feature and notifications would sometimes be difficult (but not impossible) to set up without a subscription of some sort.

The reason IP cams had to be used is that most wireless or Wi-Fi cameras were either expensive or low quality. But the Wyze Labs offer has changed all that.

This remarkably cheap camera provides excellent image quality, IR (night vision), motion detection, automatic cloud (or SD card) storage, smartphone app with monitoring. It’s powered by a micro-USB power adapter + cable. You can buy an additional 25 ft cable at US$10 or a 15 ft cable at CDN$7.60.

If you’re like me, you might be weary of proprietary solutions and it does not look like the camera feed is available on the LAN through normal methods. But not to worry, the camera can still be accessed with Tiny Cam Pro or by using a “hacked” open source firmware which adds RTSP and other features. Unfortunately, it is not currently possible to have both RTSP and the free cloud storage (or notifications in the official app). You can try it though, and if not happy, you are free to revert to the official firmware.

In summary, if you need a simple surveillance option this camera is best and supported by an open-source firmware project. Enjoy!

Sources / More info:  YouTube Official Channel, OpenIP.cam, Github, Wyze-forum, EliasKotlyar, ycomb

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