\r\n\r\nThe parental expression of "better safe than sorry", perhaps best sums up home security (Or in this case, it explains my Canary home security review.) \u00a0Which is to say it's something most are reluctant to address, but we know it wouldn't hurt acquire. \u00a0But, that in mind, who wants to throw more money out the window on a monthly service that may not ever get utilized. \u00a0In fact, we all hope it is never used, but there in lies the conflict: just what if someone broke in.\r\n\r\nWell, fortunately these days there are alternative options to the monthly and sometimes expensive ADTs of the world. \u00a0And one of those is the Canary, a home security system that doesn't include any monthly monitoring fees...sort of.\r\nOverview\r\nPrice: $199\r\nAvailable: December 20, 2014\r\nSummary: A home security system that might be best described as a motion detecting\u00a0full HD webcam with night vision, an\u00a0air\u00a0sensor, 90+ dB siren, cloud video storage and a mic.\r\n\r\nWhat We Liked:\r\n\r\n \tUltra easy setup for even the tech averse\r\n \tApp is clean and intuitive\r\n \tHome health sensor and 90+ dB siren\r\n\r\nWe We Didn't:\r\n\r\n \t$10 monthly charge for more than 12 hours of video history\r\n \tOnly pairs with up to 4 Canary home security systems\r\n \tCan't detect window, door or sensor break ins, only motion\r\n\r\nDesign\r\nThe Canary is a smaller than you'd think. \u00a0It stands no more than 6-7-inches tall. \u00a0The bottom of the device glows (green for armed, yellow when disarmed, off when in privacy mode)\u00a0when its camera is powered on. \u00a0Hidden behind the black translucent facade is a camera, a sensor and night vision that glows hot red when active.\r\n\r\nIn short, the Canary is fairly unassuming and for those uneducated to what it does they'll likely not give it a second look. \u00a0However, it is attractive enough to steal and since it's powered by no more than a USB connection, and doesn't feature a locking mechanism, just that can happen. Fortunately, all recorded content is sent to the cloud and not stored locally, but more on that in a bit.\r\nSetup\r\nCanary has made setup about as easy as they come. \u00a0Though, unlike most wireless devices in your home, this one requires an extra step. But not to join your home's WiFi, but to authenticate the Canary to the company's servers, which will record any action the Canary's camera captures.\r\n\r\nAs you'd suspect, you power on the Canary by plugging it in using the included microUSB cord and wall wart. \u00a0You'll also need to download\u00a0the Canary iOS or Android app, sign up for an account and then\u00a0connect to your home or office's WiFi. \u00a0But\u00a0just before you do that you'll need to plug your phone into the Canary's 3.5mm jack using the included yellow headphone to headphone cord. \u00a0This is how the Canary (and the app) verify's your device with their servers. \u00a0So in theory, if the Canary is stolen, you could report it stolen and render it useless.\r\n\r\nOnce you've completed setup you control the Canary from the smartphone or tablet app.\r\nControlling the Canary\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Canary app is easy to use and navigate. \u00a0There you can arm, disarm or set the Canary to "privacy". \u00a0When armed or disarmed video will be captured and the camera's live view feature will be available to anyone authenticated to access it. \u00a0The difference between the two aforementioned modes is that armed will send you push notification to your device when it detects activity, though you can reduce or increase the Canary's sensitivity to such things (and it learns overtime what to ignore). In privacy mode, the Canary's camera and sensors are set to off (the Canary emits a physical "click" when this option\u00a0is selected). \u00a0 Again, when Arm or Disarm is\u00a0active, the bottom of the Canary glows, indicating those around that it's "watching".\r\n\r\nDuring setup you can activate the Canary app's GPS feature. \u00a0And provided you've entered (or detected) your home's location (where the Canary resides) the app will then be able to automatically\u00a0switch the Canary from Armed to Privacy or Disarmed - your choice.\r\nReviewing Captured Video and Plans\r\nBy default, the Canary includes a 7-day free trial of the company's 7-day plan. \u00a0This plan will record up to 7-days of continuous video. \u00a0It costs $9.99\/month or $99 a year. \u00a02-day and 30-day plans are available, costing $4.99\/$49 or $29.99\/$299 respectively. \u00a0Once the 7-day free trial expires, you'll default to Canary's FREE plan, which includes 12-hours of video history and up to 5 saved videos. \u00a0You can view the complete plans here.\r\n\r\nRead: Angee Home Security System Raises Over $500,000\r\n\r\nAccessing the captured video is easy as opening the app and reviewing the timeline. \u00a0There you can scroll through captured videos and depending on your plan you can save videos to the cloud or download an unlimited amount of them to your phone or tablet.\r\nOther Features\r\nThe Canary, in addition to including a motion activated camera, can be viewed live, provided it's in arm or disarm mode. \u00a0You can add users to the account by simply inviting them by\u00a0email from the app.\r\n\r\n \t90+ dB Siren\r\n \t1080p camera with 147 degree wide angle lens\r\n \tHome Health sensor\r\n\r\nThere is also a few sensors on the Canary, which can detect temperature, humidity and air quality. \u00a0I'm not sure how the air quality sensor compares to that of the Eve, but it should provide a good barometer of your room's health. \u00a0It's a nice touch, and only makes sense to include this, especially considering you're probably already concerned about your home's occupant's wellness. \u00a0It's also a nice touch that in essence reduces the price tag of $199 (on sale soon).\r\n\r\nOn the iPhone, and likely compatible devices (I tested my Canary with an iPhone 6) you can add fingerprint authentication when you access the app. \u00a0So if someone gets their hands on your device while it is unlocked, they won't be able to access your videos or a live feed of your home.\r\n\r\nAnd lastly, if you do detect something is awry, you can sound a 90+ db siren\u00a0to potentially scare off any criminal activity. \u00a0And based on your home's location, Canary will automatically include the local authorities emergeny telephone numbers right in the app for easy and quick access. \u00a0Fortunately, I haven't had to use those.\r\nWrap Up\r\nFor the first few days I used the GPS function to disarm and arm the Canary. \u00a0But honestly, I'm a battery nut and turned this off. \u00a0Soon as I did this the Canary's effectiveness greatly diminished. \u00a0In fact, as I write this, I realized I didn't arm it when leaving home today (armed now, so don't get any ideas). \u00a0So if you're like me and worry about your device's battery dying, this might be a deal breaker for you.\r\n\r\nIn essence, the Canary is not much more than a home security webcam that detects motion, like Dropcam or Arlo from Netgear. \u00a0And speaking of which, the Arlo wireless webcams, both the Arlo Q and the Arlo, offer 7-days of continuous recording for free, unlike Canary. \u00a0That being said, neither of those aforementioned devices have a siren or a set of sensors to detect temperature or air quality.\r\n\r\nYou can pair up to 4 Canary's together to cover a larger area, though after that you're out of luck and will need another account, which at that point makes it worthless. \u00a0But it's clear that Canary isn't targeting those users.\r\n\r\nSo yes, the Canary does require a monthly service fee, much like the home security companies that I lamented about at the beginning of this article, if you want more than 12 hours of video history. But if you so opt you can go with the free plan. \u00a0And if I had to take serious issue with anything, is the lag I experienced of\u00a0about 7-15 seconds from\u00a0the camera's feed or\u00a0the motion sensor to my device.