Canary home security review

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Canary home security review

Canary home security review January 2016

Home security is always an issue for us, and when we start a family the issue seems considerably more important; how can I best protect my family, how do I protect the house when we’re not there? What protection is available, and what’s the best I can afford? Cost, these days it’s what we all think about, we all want the best protection but the issue of paying for it can be prohibitive, so we question how much are our homes are actually at risk? Sadly we never know until we find out the hard way that our protection just wasn’t enough.

We have found a new device that has been designed to be a cost effective means of protecting our homes when we’re not there. Rather like your own cctv that jumps into action when you’re away, and sends alerts to a smart phone app. It’s something that we presumed was over a regular family budget but, at just £150 with no ongoing fees, this device is very much within budget so, over Christmas we gave a member of the MumsClub team; a single mum who had just moved house, a Canary security device to put to the test.

I was dreading Christmas this year, it was our first festive season in our new home, in a new area that we still haven’t become familiar with so it’s all very alien to us – we still haven’t found the local skate park. Christmas Day this year was set to be at my parents, we were going to be away from the new pad for a whole week. But what about our new apartment? We’re on the ground floor, would it be ok? How easy would it be for an intruder to scale ninja-like over that fence in the garden and break in undetected once within our private area? We’d had a minor leak just after moving in (typical) so what if there’s a flood and I’m not here? I’m not saying I became irrationally paranoid about what could happen but let’s face it, anything can happen in 7 days!

So then as if by magic this little gem was presented to me. Beautifully packaged, reminiscent of a posh jewellery or perfume box that needed a skilful hand to open up, but what this very secure packaging actually protected inside, little did I know was my sanity.

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Naively, I have to say it took me a while to get around to setting it up, I kept telling myself I must find time to set the Canary up – thinking it would be a headache and likely leave me scratching my head. If only I knew, it took maybe 20 mins and that was mostly playing with it; there’s something strange about watching yourself on a smartphone, carrying the smartphone that you’re watching on, around your living room, and once my 10 year old found it, the shenanigans involved in recording himself breakdancing about the room took him away from Minecraft for ages. I loved it already.

Setting up

Once out the box it’s all plain sailing – the box is like Fort Knox. I very simply plugged in the power lead, found the free app (search ‘canary security’) and followed the instructions to plugg in the audio lead from your phone to the Canary so they can communicate to each other, which takes about 2 minutes in which time you can suss out the best place to leave it and then you’re done – you can start watching live straight away.

Privacy options 

You have 3 options that you set from the app: Privacy – when you’re home; camera and microphone are off completely. Disarmed – you’re at home but the Canary is still looking over you and detecting any movement. Armed – as you’re leaving the building Canary knows from your gps and automatically enters Armed mode so will detect and record any movement and send it to your smartphone to deal with. Should in the worst case yo see an intruder you can, direct from the app call the police and sound the alarm. Your recording will help police identify an intruder too.

canary 04It knows when I’m leaving!

This is really great, I never have to worry about remembering to turn it on when I leave, it knows when I leave (from the GPS) and it knows when I’m back too. It’s very sensitive too, I know this because I’ve come back in straight after locking up, it hears me at the front door, putting my key in the lock, the first thing I do is put the light on in the hallway and this is the first thing I see on the video play back. I was amazed to see this, every room in the property is covered, this is incredibly comforting.

At any time, at home or out, I can take a look at the ‘timeline’ on the app which tells me when I left then when I returned and a clip of all activity monitored – which is basically me leaving and arriving.

Clever, eh?

Watching live

You can click on the app and watch what’s going on live. This made Christmas a complete relief especially with the looming threat of a flood, I know it was irrational but each time it popped into my head I could quickly take a look at the live feed. And each time I was amazed that I had this technology available to me. There was no flood, no intruders, no nothing. However when checking at night, it seems to enter a night vision mode so it’s all black and white…a little spooky!

But no, I’ve not yet seen a ghostly apparition, which has crossed my mind more than once – I’ll report back should anything appear to me, and what my reaction is because I do often wonder about how I’d react to such a confrontation.

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Our apartment is within an enclosed and gated area so is very secure as it is. However this does not account for anyone who has a mind to scale the fence behind us leading to our private garden, which is not overlooked, and having patio doors does lead to even more irrational scaremongering thoughts. These patio doors are our closest exit to the communal bins so using these doors saves me wondering through the building with rubbish bags. But now I have Canary I can happily leave the doors open, potentially leaving the apartment open to the aforementioned tree monkey ninja intruder because I know that as soon as I leave Canary will jump into Alarm mode and I’ll be alerted the moment some ninja thief decide to scale the fence and steal my tv. I know this because I’ve tested it. No intruders detected.

Kids home alone

An additional advantage is being able to leave my 10 year old home alone. I did check and although there is no legal age limit to leave a 10 year old, should you do and anything happen – you would be liable for prosecution. It’s not something I’d previously considered because there’s no way I’d leave him alone but with the Canary I’m quite cool about it.

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Having a supermarket less than a 2 minute walk away helps of course but when I need a quick trip, with the Canary I’m happy to leave him because when I leave the building it switches to alarm mode, so I know I’ll be alerted of any motion – even in the unlikely event that my son moves from him computer to get a drink I’ll know exactly what’s going on.

Got any pets?

This is how you can not only pay for your Canary but make £100 too. When alarmed your Canary will alert you to movement in your home, but you can also watch live at any time too – this means you can spy on your pets. We’ve all seen the fabulous video clips on you’ve been framed – this is your chance to see what your pets get up to when you’re not there. Fantastic fun.

 

 

Temperature, humidity, air quality

Whether there or not, Canary is constantly monitoring my home but not just the security. It is also tracking the temperature, humidity and the air quality. Again, over Christmas this was great because prior to getting Canary I had left overnight and left the heating on, whist away of Christmas I was able to check on the temperature and make sure it wasn’t on 25 degrees for 7 days! cha ching. The air quality has shown interesting figures, it has gone up suddenly – I can’t help but blame the younger person here…

So there you have it, my sanity in a box. The Canary is the best home security I’ve come across, I show everybody the app and we’re all looking for the same thing only – why are we all obsessed with ghosts?! My parents and brother are all getting themselves Canaries too.

Highly recommended. 5/5

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