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Security camera recommendations, alternatives to Ring

Question

jnelsoninjax    13,825

Right now I am using old cell phones and running Alfred on them to monitor 3 areas of our outside areas from indoors. I am looking to add some regular cameras to the mix, preferably ones that can be placed outdoors, and would not need AC for power, only have one outlet outside, so that is why I need something with long lasting battery power. My only other needs are to be able to access them via a cell phone while out and about, and be able to monitor them from my computer at other times, the whole outside area is small, and is completely covered by WiFi. I know that I do not want anything from Ring, so if could get some suggestions that would be great!

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+BudMan    3,694
9 hours ago, jnelsoninjax said:

so that is why I need something with long lasting battery power

Why can you not just run POE, so that you run a wire to them - and that same ethernet also carries power... That is not actual security camera's work..

 

If you connect your switch, and your NVR into UPS.. You then can still have video during power outage, etc. as well.

 

I would recommend you take a look at

https://store.ui.com/collections/surveillance

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Marujan    120

 

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jnelsoninjax    13,825
9 hours ago, BudMan said:

Why can you not just run POE, so that you run a wire to them - and that same ethernet also carries power... That is not actual security camera's work..

 

If you connect your switch, and your NVR into UPS.. You then can still have video during power outage, etc. as well.

 

I would recommend you take a look at

https://store.ui.com/collections/surveillance

I am not very familiar with PoE, do I need anything special to use it?

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+warwagon    13,751
51 minutes ago, jnelsoninjax said:

I am not very familiar with PoE, do I need anything special to use it?

Just a POE switch. It's just a Ethernet switch that besides being a network switch provides power over the cable as well.

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+BudMan    3,694

Or most devices like camera's or access points that can do poe would come with an injector..  That allow you to inject power onto the ethernet wire before it goes to the device.

 

 

poe-injector-network-diagram.thumb.jpg.8684f47ee0a4aff6219c10f7cb19c453.jpg

 

But if your going to have multiple devices - then yeah a poe switch would prob be better option.

 

Example here are the 2 injectors running power to 2 of my APs.. Power comes off my UPS..

injectors.thumb.jpg.371e648ded66f322fdb6d4c5d8845ac3.jpg

 

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jnelsoninjax    13,825
3 hours ago, BudMan said:

Or most devices like camera's or access points that can do poe would come with an injector..  That allow you to inject power onto the ethernet wire before it goes to the device.

 

 

poe-injector-network-diagram.thumb.jpg.8684f47ee0a4aff6219c10f7cb19c453.jpg

 

But if your going to have multiple devices - then yeah a poe switch would prob be better option.

 

Example here are the 2 injectors running power to 2 of my APs.. Power comes off my UPS..

injectors.thumb.jpg.371e648ded66f322fdb6d4c5d8845ac3.jpg

 

@warwagon @BudMan Thanks for the detailed explanations, I have a much clearer idea of what I need now.

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Joe User    504

This sounds like overkill for what is usually a squirrel monitoring system. 

 

You have to ask yourself, what do you want to accomplish? Theft deterrent? Watching your pets? Keeping the local kids off your lawn?

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+BudMan    3,694

While they do sell some pure battery type camera's

 

https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Rechargeable-Detection-Waterproof-compatible/dp/B07PM2NBGT?th=1

 

That one for example gets good reviews, but running it through a fake review site shows it has lots of fake reviews, etc. etc..

 

If you go the route of battery powered one - I would for sure buy only 1 to start with to see how long the batter lasts, how well it works, etc. Before buying a bunch of them to put about..   Worse case your out the 50-100 bucks vs few hundred for something that doesn't last anywhere near as long as they say, etc. etc..

 

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jnelsoninjax    13,825
5 minutes ago, BudMan said:

While they do sell some pure battery type camera's

 

https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Rechargeable-Detection-Waterproof-compatible/dp/B07PM2NBGT?th=1

 

That one for example gets good reviews, but running it through a fake review site shows it has lots of fake reviews, etc. etc..

 

If you go the route of battery powered one - I would for sure buy only 1 to start with to see how long the batter lasts, how well it works, etc. Before buying a bunch of them to put about..   Worse case your out the 50-100 bucks vs few hundred for something that doesn't last anywhere near as long as they say, etc. etc..

 

I was thinking the same thing. I don't have 3 or $400 to drop on a whole scale system right now, I need to work out the whole placement/setup, plus getting the PoE switch, figuring how to run the cable to the cameras, etc. I would most likely start with a battery powered one first and see what kind of coverage I can get, etc

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+BudMan    3,694

Looking at few of them, some also sell solar panels for them to keep them charged.. So that might be an option so you don't have to keep changing out the batteries and recharging..  If you pick something up - please let us know how it turns out ;)

 

edit:

I think in the spring I am going to finally pull the trigger on start setting this up.. I am looking at the unifi g3, from what I am reading I can use it with my synology nas surveillance station.. Which you get license of 2 cameras included..   This will be start for min outlay of cost, until such time want to drop the

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+warwagon    13,751

Here is my POE Switch I got it in 2016, there may be cheaper ones or better ones, but this one has worked for me. I use it to power 5 POE out door security cameras but I got the 8 port one so I have room to expland.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F6DL2FS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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+BudMan    3,694

Only thing you have to be sure of when you go with a POE switch, is it actually supports the poe your device(s) use..

 

There are 2 standards of poe 802.3af, and 802.3at, poe and poe+

 

And there is the passive poe stuff, which is neither af or at.. So just pay attention to what devices your going to use, before buying a poe switch is all.

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Joe User    504

I've installed several wireless battery camera systems, Ring, Blink and Arlo. Blink is all over the place with reliability. Arlo is decent. Ring gets a bad rep. 

 

If possible, you want something that works with your alarm company or smart home device if you have them.

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shockz    7,418

We use nest cams, mostly because that is what the owner had for a door bell and smoke detectors and just left them behind after we bought the house.

 

Nest cams work okay... the monthly fees are somewhat high compared to others (20 bucks for 5 cams with 5 day video history). Up until about last month it’s been hassle free, but we seem to be getting delayed notifications the past month for doorbell rings and people detection. Guessing it has something to do with the holidays and an increase in notifications system wide, or maybe capacity issues with consumers adding Christmas present cameras. If it keeps up we’ll file a ticket.

 

Outside of slow notifications it’s been a hassle free system, but you do get what you pay for. I have a coworker with Wyze cams and while the quality of the video is good, he complains about stability issues constantly.

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jnelsoninjax    13,825
2 hours ago, Joe User said:

I've installed several wireless battery camera systems, Ring, Blink and Arlo. Blink is all over the place with reliability. Arlo is decent. Ring gets a bad rep. 

 

If possible, you want something that works with your alarm company or smart home device if you have them.

This household is not a smart home, and no alarm system, so that would not be an issue. What is your opinion on Ring? I know from what I have been reading there are a whole host of issues with privacy and all of that stuff, is that really the case, or is it media hype?

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shockz    7,418
1 hour ago, jnelsoninjax said:

This household is not a smart home, and no alarm system, so that would not be an issue. What is your opinion on Ring? I know from what I have been reading there are a whole host of issues with privacy and all of that stuff, is that really the case, or is it media hype?

There’s nothing wrong with Ring security. It’s down to stupid users using the same usernames and passwords that have been compromised on other websites. Ring/Amazon should enable 2FA, but these security issues have nothing to do with any exploits within the ring infrastructure. 

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+BudMan    3,694
12 hours ago, shockz said:

There’s nothing wrong with Ring security

I wouldn't say that - I wouldn't trust any sort of iot device to be secure..  Yes users are stupid to reuse passwords, this happens all the time..

 

One of the flaws that was recently fixed was the network creds were sent in over plan http to the device when in config mode.  The device could be triggered to go into config mode by just sending deauth message in wifi, etc.

 

So saying there is "nothing" wrong is just not true at all!!

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shockz    7,418
3 hours ago, BudMan said:

I wouldn't say that - I wouldn't trust any sort of iot device to be secure..

You should apply that principal to anything that connects to the internet. All in all though, the Ring meltdown over Christmas with their cameras was due to user error. Nothing more.

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+warwagon    13,751
3 hours ago, BudMan said:

I wouldn't say that - I wouldn't trust any sort of iot device to be secure..  Yes users are stupid to reuse passwords, this happens all the time..

 

One of the flaws that was recently fixed was the network creds were sent in over plan http to the device when in config mode.  The device could be triggered to go into config mode by just sending deauth message in wifi, etc.

 

So saying there is "nothing" wrong is just not true at all!!

Which is why, when buying something make sure they have way to automatically update the firmware to fix bugs / security flaws and a have a good track record of using it 

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+BudMan    3,694

Yup and do... No I wouldn't agree its all user error.  These companies need to understand that their users are idiots and allow for that.. And help them if they want to lead the pack in being "secure"

 

Them being called out on some things they can do - is only a good thing!

 

There lots of problems with much of the online security not just iot.. Here is the thing, the features should be available - the users do not want to use them, that is on the user - I agree with that...  Maybe they don't want 2FA, fine don't force them to enable it.. Maybe they don't want alerts on logins to their accounts from unknown IPs, etc. But the ability to get these alerts should be there.  Can I get a list of all logins from what IPs and what Browser/Device.. Your every day user might not want to ever look at that - but that sort of security info should be available..

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Joe User    504
23 hours ago, jnelsoninjax said:

This household is not a smart home, and no alarm system, so that would not be an issue. What is your opinion on Ring? I know from what I have been reading there are a whole host of issues with privacy and all of that stuff, is that really the case, or is it media hype?

The majority of Ring issues are user related and Ring easily lets the user make stupid mistakes.  I can't completely fault Ring for it, but they should know better and doing the bare minimum doesn't really cut it.  I recommend them if you know enough to turn on 2FA, not reuse passwords, and keep a secure WiFi network.

 

That being said, I have a Ring doorbell and several Blink cameras, they all happily live on their own WiFi network that doesn't come near my computers. Honestly, if someone hacked my security cameras, they would have a great view of squirrels, birds and the occasional cat that triggers the sensors.

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+BudMan    3,694
52 minutes ago, Joe User said:

I can't completely fault Ring for it, but they should know better

Great point!!   But somethings you can blame them for - exchanging login info over clear.. This is just bonehead not thinking.. saving some money that they didn't think through..  If the only way you could set the device up was over a wire connected to the device.. Ok... But when your going to send it over wireless that could be sniffed.. And that can be forced to redo - that is not looking out for best of bread security or possible issues, etc.

 

In theory... I could sit out on the street.. deauth the ring, and wait for the owner to redo their wifi.. Now I have access to the wifi, etc. etc.

 

Do the rings support say 802.11w?  Do they support wpa2 enterprise vs just psk?

 

If you want to state your security is best of breed, then you should support all the latest and greatest protocols.. even if the user doesn't enable them and enabling them by default might cause problems... I just wish these companies would stop shaving pennies and allow the users that want to secure their ######, actually secure it.

 

What off the shelf wifi routers even support vlans for example?  Its not like it would cost them anything to have the option available - ###### ddwrt can enable actual vlan support on much of the soho hardware..  But why do all these high end mesh products not even support such basic features?  Why do iot devices not support enterprise or 802.11x, etc. etc.

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jnelsoninjax    13,825
1 hour ago, Joe User said:

The majority of Ring issues are user related and Ring easily lets the user make stupid mistakes.  I can't completely fault Ring for it, but they should know better and doing the bare minimum doesn't really cut it.  I recommend them if you know enough to turn on 2FA, not reuse passwords, and keep a secure WiFi network.

 

That being said, I have a Ring doorbell and several Blink cameras, they all happily live on their own WiFi network that doesn't come near my computers. Honestly, if someone hacked my security cameras, they would have a great view of squirrels, birds and the occasional cat that triggers the sensors.

Thanks for that. I had kind of figured out the whole issue was more end user then the company, but the media hates Amazon and loves to blame the company rather then faulting the user! :D

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+BudMan    3,694
3 minutes ago, jnelsoninjax said:

the whole issue was more end user then the company

No that is not true at all.. Are the users to blame for many issues sure!!  But when the options are not even their for the educated to use if they wanted to.. Its not like the application asked hey do you want to exchange info in the clear or secure, etc..

 

These iot cameras sharing code without  proper security audits of their own - who do you blame for that?  back door logins, etc. etc.

 

These companies do need to be held accountable for the security of their products.. If the user reuses passwords, that is on the user.. But flaws in basic protocol use is not the users issue..

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+warwagon    13,751
3 minutes ago, BudMan said:

No that is not true at all.. Are the users to blame for many issues sure!!  But when the options are not even their for the educated to use if they wanted to.. Its not like the application asked hey do you want to exchange info in the clear or secure, etc..

When ring came up their security did they never once have a "Gibsonian response" to their practices?

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