I’ve had the Canary Home Security system in my home now for half a year and I thought I’d go ahead and publish an update as to how I’m liking and using it and whether or not I’d recommend it now.
Let’s start with an obvious question: do I actually still use this device? The answer is… yes! It’s not the type of device that you think about daily or reach for all day long like your phone, and yet it’s become an important part of my life. Especially when I travel. It’s true that the only alerts I’ve gotten from the Canary were triggered by my pets, but while I’m away from the house it’s really good to know that 1.) the pets are doing fine and 2.) nobody has broken into the house.
When it comes to security systems like these, reliability is key. Can you count on them to capture an unexpected event time and again or are you worried that it may or may not work as well as it should all the time? In the Canary’s case I’ve found it to be ultra-reliable. The same probably can’t be said for the other security systems I’ve tested in recent years (which is several). I do trust that the Canary will be operational and come in handy when I need it to.
I also asked myself, for the purpose of this article and video, whether or not I felt I could live without the Canary now that I’ve gotten used to life with it. And the answer is that I wouldn’t want to. I’ve developed an emotional attachment to this device, I think; it’s one of those rare devices that almost becomes a member of the family (the other being my Neato robotic vacuum, at this point).
I really like the design of the Canary both in terms of the industrial design of the device itself and in terms of the app design. The device is sleek and modern and looks good on display: it’s not something I’d want hidden away. And the app is simple and usable with no frills but lots of easy to access functionality.
I’ve never, ever been disappointed with the picture quality of movies captured by the Canary. Other smart home devices which I quite like (like the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, for instance) can record glitchier footage from time to time, but the Canary is a solid shooter each and every time. And the footage looks gorgeous on my iPhone 6s. Plus, the wide angle is… impressively wide. Someone standing in the corner of a room won’t escape detection.
A feature my family has really come to love is the privacy setting. You can set it such that when a connected device leaves the home network (like if I go to the store, for instance) then the Canary will arm itself. Conversely, if that same device arrives back home and jumps on the network again, the device will disarm itself. It’s nice to know that you’re not being recorded in your own castle.
But… (you know there had to be one) if there’s one thing that frustrates me a bit with the Canary it’s the pricing. If you want to view your footage for more than 12 hours after an event, you’ve got to pony up extra dough. I’ve been on the $30/mo plan which is the top tier and that gives me 30 days to review footage and unlimited bookmarks and downloads of motion events. The thing is… that’s plenty of time to save and review footage, and if you’ve actually been robbed you’re more than likely going to be all over getting that evidence to the police, but it feels a bit like a “gotcha”. In other words, the best and most desirable features are gouge-worthy. I guess it all comes back to that peace of mind… what’s it worth to you?
At the end of these six months I’m feeling that this is the best plug-n-play home security device on the market. It’s the market leader and the cream of the crop. It’s the Ferrari of home security systems. It just works (and works really well) but you’re going to pay for that convenience and style.