Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Do We Have a Ghost?! Home Security Camera Review!

WARNING: This post will be about paranormal and some activity that I personally feel has truly happened within our household. While I'm not saying ghosts or spirits are definitively real and you must believe my story, I am saying that I personally do believe in the supernatural afterlife. If you aren't a fan of stories regarding ghosts, come back tomorrow for a different topic. If it doesn't bother you and you'd like to read a review about a new security camera I got for the home, keep on reading! Love you all regardless!

For a few months now I've been "experiencing" out of normal instances that have led me to truly believe we have a visitor of some sort on our hands. It started with footsteps heard walking down the hallway on our carpet, to things mysteriously being placed elsewhere or completely disappearing, to noises of actual people in the living room while we're asleep. 

I constantly looked for an "excuse" of sorts to help better "understand" what I was hearing, but with continuous strange "behavior" happening throughout countless nights, I can't seem to shake the feeling that something [or someone] is lurking throughout our home. 

First off I don't feel terrified or threatened at all. Whether or not this is an entity at all or even a bad entity of sorts, is left to be determined. I will say that I will be purchasing sage and placing holy water throughout the house...just in case. 

The most recent "major" activity that had taken place was a moment around 1 am, when I thought I could hear crying in our living room. Being a mother, I immediately awoken to check on my padawan, thinking he had slept walked into the living room and woke himself up in "scared mode". To my astonishment my little one was fast asleep in his bed, undisturbed. 

I immediately tried to shake it off as outside noise that somehow seemed very very close, but I kept having this tiny little doubt in the back of my head. So I decided to "experiment" with a security camera set up in the home.

After browsing for a while, a guy at Target recommended that we try out this particular camera brand "Nest". 

Apparently it's top of the line, records (for an additional subscription fee), provides 24 hour HD 1080p live footage, allows you to listen and talk through the camera, gives you exclusive access to an app that can be used on your smartphone or tablet, night vision, and alerts to whenever motion has been detected. They also told me I had 30 days to return for a full refund if I wasn't happy. 

SOLD!

We quickly got home and with mild anticipation for nightfall, I unwrapped the new technology toy and set it up with ease. 

Inside the box comes a mini brown "folder" filled with pamphlets and directions., the camera itself with a magnetic stand (strong enough to even hang out on the fridge), a power cord, the power adapter (to be plugged into the wall), a mount for the wall (which you can magnetically place the camera), and 3 screws. 

I wasn't about to go ahead and drill holes into my wall, so I opted out of hanging anything up, but the strength was well beyond my expectations. I shook the camera while magnetically attached to the mount (with a pile of blankets underneath, just in case) and nothing budged. I truly think it's safe to say that the camera would mount with ease. 

The cord length is decent enough to hang in the corner of a standard home wall, but if you're outlet is not directly underneath or close by, you might find that you're going to need an extension cord. 

The pamphlet basically gave a few easy steps on how to set up the camera:
Plug in your camera, download the app, scan the QR code on the back of the camera, connect to wifi, and place the camera where you'd like it to produce a video feed. 

The peripheral of the camera is pretty wide, giving us a great view of the living room/kitchen/hallway if we so desired. However, I wanted to use it in the actual hallway for optimal night vision and to see if we'd truly get any sort of "image". 

The hallway has been the most "active", which is why I wanted to start there. 

The app itself is a very simple and easy to use system, giving you self explanatory steps. With your purchase you are given a free trial of "Nest Aware", which gives you a "taste" of what you'd get with a full paid subscription - recording to the "Nest Cloud", holding live feed footage for 10 days, and a few other minor details that aren't relevant unless you have multiple Nest products. 

You simply set up a simple account - which you can add additional family members too so they can watch the footage as well - and check out your live video footage. 

You can scroll back to prior footage (by scrolling down), but I will say that getting an exact location on the time feed is a little bit tricky. Sometimes the video won't play back from 5 minutes ago and sometimes it skips. If you're just patient though, you're likely to get a good use out of this app. 

In the app you can also set up "away" mode and "home" mode, depending on how you want to use your camera. Some people wish to have it on "home" mode at all times, which could be a little annoying at times, because when you go out of frame and then back into frame, you'll get a notification. Regardless it hasn't been a true bother to me, but that's up to the discretion of the buyer I think.

You can also adjust your "night vision" and either make it automatic (the camera would automatically switch over to night vision when it got dark) or consistently night vision (where it's in "night vision" mode the whole time. Again, that's up to the buyers discretion. 

After using the camera for a few nights, I've come to this conclusion: I will be returning it. 

Overall it provides great quality video, an awesome option to talk directly through the camera to someone on the other side, and an app that does you give you full control. The one minor yet big hitch is that your internet will truly "make or break" your experience with this camera.

Numerous times the camera would "turn off" or "go offline" at all hours of the day and night. Whether it was because of poor signal in a specific location or simply because the internet was being stretched "too thinly", it agitated me to no end. I thought to myself, "what if I wasn't home and truly needed to use this camera for full security and the internet wouldn't allow it to consistently produce a live feed." 

Granted that wasn't my original plan, but it still made me reconsider this purchase. Also - as you should know by now - I wouldn't want you guys to go through this frustrating time with a camera that you may truly need to keep your peace of mind. 

While I will 100% be returning this purchase, I do think that if you aren't in an immediate need of a camera for security purposes and simply want to "test it out" or [like myself] want to see what happens at night, AND perhaps have really good internet service, you should check out Nest. 

This product - along with their other high tech gadgets - are known to be excellent quality products worth using. I can't speak on other services Nest provides, but I can say that out of 5 stars, I'd give this a 4.5. It's mostly due to the video feed consistently being cut out if in a "bad area", but again that could be because of my internet. 

As for catching anything on footage, we don't have any solid proof other than a few "weird and unusual" notifications at peculiar times during the night, that the camera "sees something". What it's exactly picking up, is left to be decided. For now though, I'm going to continue using it for a few more nights before returning it to Target. 

EDIT!!! It has come to my attention that this camera is NOT suitable as a home security camera! There has been a new report stating that there is a flaw in the camera's system, making it easily turned off from a remote location by tech savvy crooks! Check out my post HERE to see the report in further detail!!!

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