Amazon Cloud Cam Review
Amazon Cloud Cam
- Cheaper than comparable security cameras
- Works with compatible Alexa-enabled devices
- Sharp daytime and night vision image
- Easy to set up
- Stores recorded clips for 24 hours without a subscription
- Geofencing feature is finicky
- No record or snapshot buttons
- No sound detection
- Limited people and pet tracking
- Not weather sealed
Amazon Cloud Cam Review – Indoor Security Camera that works with Alexa.
24/7 monitoring – Stay connected to your home, family, and pets with Amazon Cloud Cam. Catch activities as they happen in 1080p Full HD and watch the last 24 hours of clips for free.
Notifications – Get notified when Cloud Cam sees activity and use the Cloud Cam App to check in anytime with live view. Watch motion alert clips in the App or on the web with your Amazon Drive account.
See clearly in the dark – Night vision lets you detect what’s happening around the clock. Coming soon: turn off night vision LEDs.
Two-way audio – Check in with the family or tell your dog to stop barking.
30-day free trial – Get advanced features like person detection, Zones, and more storage, plus download & share clips with a Cloud Cam subscription.
Works with Alexa – Just ask Alexa to show your live feed on your Amazon Fire TV, Fire Tablet, Echo Show, or Echo Spot.
Cloud Cam’s intelligence lives in the cloud so it is always getting smarter with more advanced alerts, detection, and features.
For Amazon Key, purchase the Amazon Key In-Home Kit, which includes Cloud Cam (Key Edition). You need Cloud Cam (Key Edition) that features a Key Edition power cable to enable Amazon Key.
Overall, Amazon’s Cloud Cam is a pretty decent choice. It’s well-built, affordable and has an advanced motion sensor that can separate people from pets (if you cough up the subscription money). The 1080p video quality is great, the default 24-hour archive is a nice bonus and the night-vision mode isn’t bad, either. The geofencing feature is a little finicky, and you can’t turn off the camera LED if you want it to be in stealth mode, but I didn’t find those to be deal breakers.
If you already have an Amazon device with a screen, like an Echo Show, the Cloud Cam is especially useful thanks to its integration with Alexa. On the whole, I found the Amazon Cloud Cam to be a surprisingly good value for a home security camera, with or without its Alexa tricks.
The pricing structure requires some mental gymnastics. If you spend $120, you get the camera, the mobile alerts, the ability to livestream to your phone or Alexa-powered screens, and you can look at clips of every event in the last 24 hours. You can access up to three cameras on the same account for no extra cost. Everything else is a subscription upsell—much like Google’s Nest Aware service that unlocks capabilities in its Nest cameras.
An Amazon Cloud Cam subscription earns you some of the most helpful features: the demarcation of those no-watch zones, the ability to discern “movement” and “persons” instead of just an “event,” and the ability to download and share video clips. The price changes based on how many cameras you want to control and how long you want to be able to store the clips. For $70 a year, you get a week of clip storage and up to three cameras. $100 per year gives you two weeks and up to five cameras. $200 per year gives you 30 days of storage and up to 10 cameras. That’s all roughly comparable to Nest Aware, though Nest starts at $100 and doesn’t have Amazon’s cheaper $70 subscription option.
The added costs, of course, are the rental fees for storage on Amazon’s servers. The idea that footage of the inside of your home is being kept on a server farm somewhere should give you pause. So it’s here I’ll mention that the clips are encrypted, the communications between camera and server are encrypted, and that you can delete stored clips at any time from inside the app or in your browser. I’m generally a trusting person, and I take Amazon at its word when it says the privacy and security of my video clips are locked down. Whether you want to install Big Brother in your own home is up to you.
You can buy a Cloud Cam to function as a standalone security camera, but you can also use one as a component of.
Amazon Key is a Prime-member service that relies on a smart lock and an Amazon Cloud Cam to allow couriers to deliver your Amazon packages inside your home. This $120 Amazon Cloud Cam is essentially identical to the Amazon-Key-enabled Cloud Cam, except that the Key version has an “Amazon Key Enabled Power Cable.” You should be able to buy this cable separately if you decide to use the Key service with an existing Cloud Cam.
Amazon sells a Key-enabled Cloud Cam for $140; it also offers a $250 Amazon Key In-Home Kitcomplete with a Key-enabled Cloud Cam and a Key-approved third-party smart lock fromor .
We haven’t had a chance to test out Amazon Key fully yet, but expect a full report very soon. In the meantime, weigh in below in the comments — would you let an Amazon courier unlock your front door to deliver a package inside your house?
There isn’t much to dislike about the $120 Amazon Cloud Cam. The DIY indoor security camera is affordable, it performs well, its app is easy to use, and it offers plenty of features (free 24-hour clip storage!), even if you don’t pay for a Cloud Cam subscription. By keeping things simple, Amazon has managed to produce a superior product I heartily recommend. I do wish it had local microSD card storage, but Amazon put the full power of its AWS cloud servers behind Cloud Cam, and it works incredibly well.
Like any good home security camera, the Amazon Cloud Cam lets you monitor your home in real time using an Android or iOS mobile device and will record video clips when it detects motion. Video and audio quality is top-notch and the motion sensor worked very well in our tests ,but you’ll have to subscribe to a storage plan to unlock several key features like the ability to download video clips and share them with friends and family. You’ll also need a subscription to utilize the Person Detection and Zones features that help reduce unwanted motion alerts and recordings.
While its ability to work with the Amazon Echo Show and Fire TV-enabled devices is nice, it can’t trigger third party devices such as door locks and sirens, and it lacks support for IFTTT applets. For that you’ll need a full-featured indoor camera like the Nest Cam IQ, which offers facial recognition, automatic zoom tracking, motion and sound detection and recording, and works with lots of other smart home devices. That said, it’s significantly more expensive than the Cloud Cam.
At the other end of the price spectrum is the $59.99 Editors’ Choice Tend Secure Lynx, a tiny 1080p camera that offers face recognition, motion-triggered notifications and recordings, two-way audio, and free cloud storage. But it won’t work with Amazon’s Key service. If you’re an Amazon Prime member who wants in-home package delivery, it’s worth exploring the Key Edition version which ships with a smart lock.
Last but not least, you can use the Cloud Cam with Alexa. If you have a Fire TV, you can use the voice remote to say, “Alexa, show me the living room.” The live feed from that camera will pop up on your TV screen. This worked well in my testing, but isn’t very useful in a small apartment with just one Cloud Cam. I could see this being a really nice feature if you had a full security setup with Amazon, however, and cameras in places like a basement or garage that were quite removed from your living room.
The biggest question for the Cloud Cam is two-fold. First, will customers actually flock to Amazon Key? The response to our article on that service included a lot of people who felt letting Amazon open your front door was madness. Second, if people aren’t ready to trust Amazon through Key, would they be willing to trust it with their home security? In my testing, the Cloud Cam was reliable and nailed the important features. But it’s not backed up by human beings who can respond in a crisis situation. (The kind of thing offered by ADT or other more traditional home security systems.)
Home security is clearly not Amazon’s main focus. So the big question on my mind is: will consumers choose the Cloud Cam over more dedicated providers like Canary or Ring simply because they offer an extremely competitive price? I think a lot of that depends on what Amazon does over the next year or two. If it continues to invest in the product and expand it functionality, that will help to build consumers’ trust in the Cloud Cam as a serious security device, not just a hardware experiment.
The Amazon Cloud Cam is easily one of the best values in DIY home security. With nothing more than Wi-Fi and a wall outlet, anyone can quickly set up one more of these devices. The Cloud Cam offers more out of the box for free than its toughest competitors, and the additional features afforded by even its most modest subscription tier are well worth the added cost. With the Amazon Cloud Cam, you simply get more at-home security for your money.
Is there a better alternative? When it comes to home security cameras, the Nest Cam IQ is considered the one to beat, and now has supreme zoom and enhancement capabilities, thanks to a 4K sensor. At $299, it’s more than twice as expensive than the Cloud Cam, though.
Netgear just announced the Arlo Pro 2, but it’s $229 — without the required base station included. One product to keep an eye on is the Guardzilla 360 , a camera that rotates 360 degrees and costs $230.
If you’re looking to go way, way cheaper, the $20 WyzeCam is almost too good to be true, though it comes with limitations like a 12-second cap on recorded clips.
How long will it last? Given Amazon’s ability to improve the Cloud Cam through firmware updates to its system-on-chip architecture, the device should last well into the future and only get more capable over time.
Should you buy it? Yes. If you’ve been wanting a simple wireless at-home indoor video security system that won’t break the bank, the Amazon Cloud Cam is an excellent choice that’s loaded with features.