Cool Tech for Your Commission Check: Canary Security Review

By
Cullen MacDonald
July 24, 2015

If you’re a sales rep, you’re probably out on the road for a significant amount of time each year, leaving your things (including all your “cool tech”) sitting at home unguarded. Even if you or your family aren’t big travelers, there will always be times when you’re out of the house, whether it’s at school, work, or the grocery store. For some peace of mind, you may be thinking about installing a home security system. The problem with traditional home security systems, however, is the expense. They often require a significant up-front investment, lengthy contracts, and monthly subscription fees. They also aren’t very convenient to install, requiring a technician to wire the system into your home. Not the most practical––or even possible––option for renters and apartment dwellers. Furthermore, many of these systems don’t actually do much, simply setting off an alarm when someone tries to open the front door. One company, Canary, has come onto the scene to change all that, and they’re our latest Cool Tech review.

Canary Security Review

What is the Canary Home Security System?

When I first heard about Canary, I was really excited about it. A home security system that didn’t require any contract or subscription fee? A low-profile device that didn’t have to be installed or wired into my apartment? It sounded awesome. Basically, the Canary is a small device that monitors your home while you’re away and can be controlled from your smartphone. To set it up, you place the device (which is just 6 inches tall and 3 inches in diameter) on a shelf in good view of the interior of your home, and connect it to the internet (via wifi or ethernet). Here are some of the things it can do:

  • It has a 1080p camera HD camera and wide angle lens that can record video when the device detects motion. A wide angle lens should let you film possible entry points for home invaders. An alert is then sent to your phone.
  • Night vision features allow you to see what’s going on in your home even at night.
  • Notably, the device records audio in addition to video.
  • All security footage is recorded and stored in the cloud.
  • It also has sensors to monitor air quality, humidity, and temperature. This is useful in the event there’s a fire.
  • The app keeps a history of the data points, so you can monitor the overall health of your home.
  • And of course, every security system needs a good, loud siren. This one happens to be controllable from your smart phone. You can also call the police if you see something wrong.

How Much Does It Cost?

The Canary home security system costs $249. There are no contracts, mandatory service fees, or subscription fees. Shipping is also free. Canary does have monthly pricing plans available, however. You can either go with the free starter plan, which gives you access to data from the last 12 hours and cloud storage for five videos. If that’s enough for you, then you’re golden. However, if you want to increase your tracking timeline and video storage, there are three plans that range from $4.99/month to $29.99/month.

Are there any downsides?

In a word, yes. One reviewer talks about things like the vacuum cleaner, her daughter, and the family dog setting off Canary notifications. Others complain about spotty connections between the Canary and their mobile devices. While the Canary may not be perfect just yet, however, it’s always improving, and software updates are coming that will fix these buggy issues. Perhaps I’m just more of an early adopter than most, but I’m of the opinion that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Questions about this Canary security review? Let us know in the comments below!