Home Security While Away on Vacation with Wi-fi Cameras

My family and I travel while I run my company Purveyor of Geekery

Well, that was chaotic (dusts self off, surveys the damage). Christmas in England again this year was fantastic: wonderful family, gorgeous scenery, amazing food. The weeks leading up to it, however were intense. The week after coming home: just as intense. Luckily I waded through all the email, projects and business things and made it to the top of the mountain once again. For now.

Being away from home was a bit stressful, it wasn’t like we could just jump in the car and drive a few hours to get home if something happened to the house. And things do happen. Before my son was born, my husband and I were on a cross country adventure when we received a phone call from our then landlords regarding the Nile River gushing out from under our garage door. Here, our hot water tank burst when we were away. Thankfully we had landlords to deal with it for us. Homeownership is another matter. Our neighbor checks in for us but it still leaves me nervous at times.

Dropcam Travel Security

This time, in addition to our normal leaving security routine, I set up the Dropcam before we left. I was interested to see how it worked without the premium subscription that they offer before setting about to recommend (or not recommend) it. If it was going to be one of those things where you buy it then are required to pay a monthly subscription for it to be of legitimate value, I would have had a hard time justifying the initial price. Luckily that was not the case at all.

With a premium subscription, you can record up to 30 days of footage which is stored on the cloud for your viewing pleasure. It’s really not as interesting as you would imagine, but would be super helpful to go back through in the event something should happen while you are away. Without having an active subscription, the camera is still pretty amazing. You can set it up to send you an email when it detects motion (or your automatic timer turns your Christmas tree on).

DropCam Motion Detected Email


That’s me in my jammies. Obviously having an image of the motion involved instead of just “we detected motion, now sit there 4200 miles from home and worry for the next two weeks about what it is that we saw” is genius. Instant love. So far I’ve used it as a webcam of sorts with the premium subscription where you could record your footage, use their super simple sliders to select the area of the timeline that you want to export and create a video from it to share, stalked my toddler while I was working and captured some sweet moments between my husband and myself while we were joking around. Did I mention that they have an app? Android and iPhone apps! It was nice to log in from across the pond, turn the camera on whenever I wanted and just check in on the place. I left it running for a few days as well during which I didn’t need to actively watch it, it would just send me emails when it thought there was something I needed to see.

My only complaint is that there isn’t a way to rotate the camera from the web. It’s just a stationary holder for the camera. If they offered a remote turntable as an accessory, I would be all over that. In the meantime I consider it a challenge for my husband to work something out with his Raspberry pi and a Lego Technics kit. 10/10, would use again.

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My family and I travel while I run my company Purveyor of Geekery

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