Understandably with some of the recent revelations about PRISM and Tempora, not everyone is quite trusting of the cloud so I put a few questions to Home Monitor about the security of its footage backup as well as why you have to input your WiFi password through its form and not into the camera itself.
XSR: Why do you have to put the password in through your website?
HM: The reason we only offer this form of connection is to eradicate ‘more difficult’ steps. With our cameras there is no way to directly input the Wi-Fi password with connecting to the camera IP address. From our experience with past customer we have found that these steps can either confuse customers or add in a step that wasn’t wanted therefore we made sure that to use HomeMonitor all that was needed was to connect the camera and then set everything up via the one online portal.
XSR: What security procedures are in place to make sure no-one else can access user videos?
HM: We use a 128 bit SSE of the video storage bucket and a strict user level access control on who can access the bucket. Only the user themselves can look in on an account. Super admins can perform maintenance on the backend, but at no point can they view videos recorded by the user.
All user data is held on a backend server, which is only accessible through the public-facing web application. The database is similarly protected and encrypted.
Finally, the cameras themselves can only receive commands from Home Monitor servers, so there is no way an external party could access them otherwise.
The Home Monitor Y-Cam is a pretty nice piece of kit. The quality isn’t astounding, but it’s good and the night vision works really well, as it picked me up no problem in a very low light environment. The connectivity is great and the setup is simple – it all works without any real technical know how which is a big plus for something like this.
There are some drawbacks however. While every user gets a seven day grace period with their archived video clips, if you want to extend that to 30 days, you’ll have to lay out another £30 for a year’s subscripion – that’s on top of the already not-cheap £150 for the camera itself. If you want the outdoor one, you’re looking at £250.
It’s also a bit annoying having to have it within distance of a mains outlet – this limits your mounting locations – though I understand how battery power could be problematic on a security cam.
All in all, the Y-Cam is a good product which will give you some great piece of mind without a hassle; you just have to pay for it.
- Simple setup
- Great connectivity, view clips from anywhere
- Motion detection works well, even in low light
- Night vision capabilities
- A bit pricey
- Camera placement is limited by length of AC adapter cable