Wireless Monitoring of Your Snowbird Home

This is another in a series of pages on Canadian Snowbird investigating options for home security while we are away, and this one is focusing on wireless monitoring of your snowbird home.

Wireless monitoring of your Snowbird home, whether it is the at-home residence, or if you are fortunate enough to own an away home too, the same technology can be useful for monitoring both.

What do we mean about wireless monitoring of your snowbird home?

Defining wireless monitoring of your snowbird home

Wireless monitoring means that you have the ability to “see” through the internet what is happening in your home, in real time.

Or, if you have a more sophisticated system, not only can you look at your home via the wireless camera, but it, too, is maintaining a record of all activity for an extended period of time. This might be a 2 hour loop, it may be a 12 hour loop, it may be a 24 hour loop, or whatever time frame that  is desired and is supported by the equipment.

To begin researching information for this page, we contacted four suppliers of wireless monitoring equipment. Not one company bothered to respond. So our investigation of options available for wireless monitoring of your Snowbird home became a bit more problematical.

Since we couldn’t get any information directly from the camera people, we acquired our own, entry level, wireless security monitoring camera. We opted to start with the entry level wireless camera shown below.

Wireless security camera - www.Canadian-Snowbird.comWhat brand of wireless security camera is it?

The brand really is really immaterial as far as we are concerned.  It appears as though all entry level wireless cameras – at least those we found – were made in China. We  wouldn’t be surprised if most came from the same factory, even if other wireless cameras had different brand names.

While the camera shown above is on, we can connect it to the internet. Then, when we visit a specific URL (for the camera) on our laptop, regardless of where we are in the world, as long as we have internet access there, we can see – in real time  – what the camera sees.

This camera has the ability to tilt and turn, wirelessly, and from afar. In other words, we can sit in Florida with our laptop on and redirect the image the camera is capturing, seeing more of the room or rooms it is monitoring for us.

Anytime we visit the camera URL, whether it be day or night, we can see what’s happening in our house since this camera has infra-red imaging, allowing it to capture images at night.

It comes with an assortment of mounts allowing it to sit on a table or attached to a wall.

This wireless camera can be connected to the home internet modem by a cable, or it can connect to the internet wirelessly.

This camera cost $70 delivered to my home.

Drawbacks of this type of snowbird security camera

  1. What you see is what you get. Looking at the scene this camera shows is looking in real time. This means that if you logged into your camera URL ten minutes after a stranger walked through your living room, you wouldn’t have seen it.
  2. This camera does not store images that can be retrieved and viewed later.
  3. Your internet at the home you are monitoring must be ON all the time. If you cancel your internet access while you are away, you cannot log into your camera when you are away.
  4. The images a fairly low resolution. As far as we are concerned though, they are suitable for the purpose.
  5. Setup of the wireless connection is a bit complex. If you are not comfortable with network setup, you may find this process to be too complex.

Where to get wireless cameras

A selection of wireless cameras can be found here.

More complex cameras

When talking about the entry level wireless monitoring cameras we showed the price we paid in 2015. This is an inexpensive entry level device.

For more sophisticated monitoring, and yes, this will cost more, you want to consider:

  • number of cameras
  • image storage (if desired)
  • online access to images
  • method of accessing the captured images from the storage device
  • interconnect the electronic monitoring with security force

Wireless monitoring of your snowbird home can be fairly simple, like the entry level camera shown above. It can be quite a bit more complex, with a variety of cameras and image / video capture devices. The used of the latter will quickly ramp up the system cost, and possibly move it into the realm of hiring a snowbird security force instead.

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