Dropcam alternative?

Dropcam offers two variations of its popular camera with the Dropcam HD and Dropcam HD & CVR Bundle. The bundle basically offers 12 months of 7 day cloud storage for your camera. The camera themselves are simple in design and offer infrared, two way audio, 720P resolution and a simple desktop/wall mount bracket. The cameras are powered by a USB cable similar to your smartphone and the camera transmits via Wi-Fi to its cloud service and local PC on the LAN. The concept and design are strongly geared towards the consumer market and Dropcam has done a very good job of simplifying the setup and installation to make retail customers comfortable when deploying their cameras. All in all, this camera will do its job in its simplistic form.

The tech in me also understands that there is more bang for your buck when looking for an alternative security camera. The dropcam concept is not new, Dropcam just happened to package it and sell it better than the next guy. For years, there have been similar cameras available to dealers and installers worldwide with higher specs, longer infrared, internal storage and most are indoor/outdoor to boot. So why do people choose Dropcam? Consumers are impulse buyers and in the absence of a known alternative they will turn to the product most popularly recognized to them. In short, Dropcam has masterfully marketed their product and has gained a consumer household name.

Megapixel WiFi Camera
Megapixel WiFi Camera

Take this camera as an example. It offers a 1.3MP camera (HD 720P), Wi-Fi, built in storage, FTP uploading of your video recordings, record scheduling, motion activation, two way audio and alarm inputs to boot. You basically store your video recordings at the camera itself and use your smartphone, PC or Mac computer to view the playback directly from the camera anywhere you have an internet connection. No monthly charge, no 7 day recording restrictions. Using the FTP option would allow you to upload video clips directly to any FTP server free of charge and store your videos on the cloud for months and even years. It’s a different concept with the same result without the monthly charges or limitations of storage.

Is Dropcams monthly price worth the investment? For most, I would probably say it is. In their mind its a simple solution with minimal setup. As for me, I would rather take the additional monthly funds to add more cameras and have longer storage capacity. There is no right way here, but as with anything in this world, having an alternative is always a good thing.

Written by: Frankie Cordova

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