This $450 wireless, home-security system is packed with features that actually work, and it has great video quality - I can even see people's facial expressions

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eufy security cam

  • A high-quality security camera should have a long-lasting battery, capture clear video and audio, and allow you to access footage from anywhere in the world for peace of mind.
  • I like the Anker eufyCam 1080p Wireless Home Security Camera System because the camera lasts for 365 days on a single charge, it handles anything the Michigan weather throws at them, and the facial recognition feature can quickly show you if there's a threat.
  • Though it's more expensive than your typical two-camera set (currently $449 at Walmart), it comes with two entry sensors, a security home base with alarm, and is backed by a 12-month limited warranty.

Cameras are an important part of any home security system and a must for any homeowner, especially if you live in a high-crime area.

One new player in the security camera industry is Anker. Based in China and founded by former Google software engineer Steven Yang, Anker got its start focusing on laptop batteries and smartphone battery chargers in 2011. Since then, it's expanded to offer speakers and a variety of smart home products under the Anker and eufy brand names.

The company recently launched the Anker eufyCam 1080p Wireless Home Security Camera System, available exclusively at Walmart for $449. It's expensive, but everything about the system screams quality, including the long battery run time, feature-packed app, and two cameras and mounting sets for increased home protection.

Specs

eufy Anker camera system

The whole system comes with:

  • 2 security cameras
  • USB power cable
  • 2 magnet wall mounts
  • 2 screw wall mounts
  • 4 wall mount screw sets
  • Eufy Security home base
  • Power adapter
  • Warning sign
  • 2 entry sensors

Here are some of the key specs of the cameras:

  • 1080p resolution
  • 140-degree viewing angle
  • Night vision up to 33 feet
  • IP67 weatherproof (protected against temporary submersion in water)
  • Encrypted local storage on a 16GB microSD card (included)
  • Home base has a 2-day backup power supply
  • Operating temperature is -4 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit (though the cameras handled even colder temperatures in my tests)

For more technical information, visit the eufyCam product page.

Set-up process

The whole set-up process took about an hour, which wasn't long considering I was setting up a full home security system.

To first install the mounting hardware, you'll need a drill and Phillips head screwdriver. I connected the Eufy Security home base to my Wi-Fi, then installed the eufy Security app and upgraded the firmware. The app then guided me in finding a mounting location with sufficient signal strength. I chose to install one camera inside my house facing my front door and the other outside facing my back door.

Once a good mounting location was identified, I drilled holes for the mounting hardware and secured it with the included screws. There are a variety of mounting options depending on whether your camera is indoors or out. The indoor mount relies on a strong magnet, while the outdoor mount screws into the camera for an extra strong fit. The wireless capability here was really handy, as it meant I didn't have to deal with threading cords through my house.

Once the mounts and cameras were in place, I installed the entry sensor. I only received one, but the kit comes with two so I contacted customer service and got a second. Nonetheless, installation of the sensor took me all of five minutes, and I chose to put it on my front door. You simply remove the adhesive backing on the magnet and sensor, and install one piece on the door frame and the other on the edge of the door so it's less than 1.6 inches away when the door is closed. Once everything is in place, you can set schedules or vacation modes accordingly.

If you'd prefer to skip the installation process entirely, you can opt for Walmart's Smart Home Device Setup service. For $99, it'll send a vetted professional to install the system for you. This service also comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

What makes the security camera system stand out

eufy cam system 2

A wireless power source is essential for a good home security camera so ne'er-do-wells don't knock out your electricity and security footage. The eufyCam is unique because it's wireless, WiFi-enabled, and claims to have a battery run time of 365 days on a single charge.

I skipped the initial charge recommended by the user manual to test how much juice it came with, and despite this, the back door camera lasted three months before needing a charge, and the front door hasn't needed a charge even after four months. When the battery is low, the app notifies you and the charge takes about four hours to get back up to full power.

The 1080p video quality is excellent too. Rather than people appearing as a blurry blobs, I can easily make out the facial expressions on people. Even when the camera was relying on night vision, the images were clear.

You can also access clips of your videos everywhere via the app on your phone and receive alerts when motion is detected even when you're on vacation. This got a little annoying initially because the back door camera was triggered by squirrels, wind shaking bushes, and sometimes, virtually nothing. Fortunately, you can adjust the motion sensitivity along a 100-point scale. I dropped it down to 51, and now, it only catches people and cars that pull into our driveway.

There's also a cool two-way audio feature, which I had fun using to scare my family. If I saw my wife pull into the driveway, I'd quickly hop on the app and start talking as she stepped up to our back door. She was more startled than amused by my hijinks. But in all seriousness, I found that the two-way audio is sensitive enough to pick up quiet sounds and of course, loud enough for my unsuspecting victims to be startled.

I tested the security system during the winter and spring in Michigan. During these seasons, we had extremely low temperatures, ice storms, heavy snowfall, strong winds, and torrential rain. None of the elements seemed to faze the eufyCam. No matter the weather, I still captured clear videos.

I'm also thoroughly impressed by the facial recognition capabilities. When the camera records a video clip, the app displays images of any faces that were in the video so you can quickly see if there is a reason to watch it. I can also store the faces in the app and get an alert when the camera detects a face it doesn't recognize, like a new mailman or maintenance guy.

One of the things I like-but-also-don't is the entry sensor. I like that you can set schedules depending on your work day or even if you're on vacation, and receive push notifications when an alarm is triggered. Usually, I'll set our alarm to go off if the front door is opened between midnight and 6 a.m. But sometimes, my wife and I will go for late-night walks and the alarm always startles us when we get back. Fortunately, you just go to the home base to turn it off - and hey, at least this means the system is working.

Cons to consider

I was actually disappointed by the Wi-Fi range.

I'd originally wanted to mount one camera on the second floor of my home and the other on the far end of my porch, but both were out of range. I used my laptop to perform a speed test in the two spots and I was still getting good speeds, which suggested the problem was with the home base or cameras, and not my connection.

I'm happy with my alternative positions, but still, it would have been nice to have cameras in the primary locations. You can avoid this by planning to install the cameras within 25 feet of your home's main router.

I also had to add a bit of superglue to the door sensor so it wouldn't come loose, but this was a unique situation. Our front door is pretty old and doesn't close as smoothly as it may have decades ago, so with the constant slamming, the sensor came loose one night. Since adding a couple of drops of superglue, it hasn't fallen again.

Most importantly, I don't like that you have to pay extra for cloud storage. You get 16 gigs of local storage, which can store one year's worth of videos, or you can pay $29.99 a year for each camera, or $99.99 a year for up to 10 cameras.

This service keeps 30 days of video history, but cloud storage is important because you can still access your videos if your home base is stolen. However, scoundrels are more likely to take your cameras than your home base, so in this case, you'll still be able to access the videos - and you can set an alarm to go off once a camera is taken out of range too.

The bottom line

eufy

The Anker eufyCam is the best security camera I've tested, and I actually prefer it to popular subscription security systems I've tested.

For a one-time fee, albeit large, you get two cameras and two sensors that will self-monitor your property. All of the devices work just as advertised, and withstood a tough Michigan winter - which is nothing to scoff at.The audio and video are clear, the app has plenty of easy-to-use features, and you can set up alarms for certain events, such as a window opening late at night.

Overall, I strongly recommend the Anker eufyCam Camera System to anyone interested in increasing their home security with top-quality cameras.

Should you buy it?

Yes, but I imagine the main factor keeping most people from buying this security system is the price tag.

There are plenty of cheaper options on the market, but none of them are as packed full with features that actually work as advertised. This is more than simply a camera system - it's an alarm system with multiple cameras and sensors, as well as a great app with lots of notifications that you can customize.

Because of this, it might be more appropriate to compare this to the price to a self-monitored security system, which start at the same price or are even higher. In that context, the eufyCam is well worth it.

What alternatives are there?

I've tested two other home security systems - SimpliSafe and Frontpoint. Of the two, I prefer SimpliSafe. Frontpoint came with an indoor camera, but the system was full of issues that rendered it almost useless.

But these two home security systems are not self-monitoring, so you'd have to pay an additional monthly fee to access its 24/7 monitoring and police dispatch features. This may be worth it if you have a fairly regular schedule, but my family is active and independent, and we constantly have visitors coming and going so the 24/7 monitoring can lead to false alarms that are more of a hassle than a benefit.

Because of these false alarms, I definitely prefer a self-monitoring system so motion-detecting cameras are ideal for this. I've tested outdoor and indoor cameras from Reolink, and I like the outdoor camera because it uses solar power to stay charged and it's more affordable at $139.99.

However, Reolink's cameras don't come with SD cards, which you'd need for storage and reviewing video. The company does have a cloud storage service, but you have to pay a monthly fee. The picture quality and features don't compare to the eufyCam either, but for less than half the price of this eufyCam, it might be a good compromise and value.

Pros: 365-day battery run time on a single charge, easy to install, anti-theft alarm, excellent video quality, two-way audio, video storage with optional cloud storage upgrade, easy to access from anywhere via phone

Cons: Limited Wi-Fi range, the entry sensor didn't stay in place on my door without additional adhesive

Buy the Anker eufyCam 1080p Wireless Home Security Camera System from Walmart for $449

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