Every home should have a home security cam for safety reasons, but choosing one can be confusing, as there are so many products available on the market. Moreover, this is especially difficult if you have no knowledge about home security and home automation, but luckily, we are here to help. We will review one of the best products on the market, the Icontrol Networks Piper NV camera, which represents a blend of motion home security cam and home automation system.
It’s for that reason that this handy camera made it onto our list of the best pet surveillance cameras!
About Piper NV Camera Home Security System
The NV Piper camera is certainly an interesting product that combines two in one and thus, provides everything your home needs. As a result, it features many things other similar products cannot provide.
This brand is nicely and elegantly designed with a curved plastic exterior and can be either white or black, depending on your preference. The NV Piper cam has an AC port at the back, including an enclosure for AA battery backup power. In this way, you don’t have to worry about someone breaking into your house and unplugging your cam. In case the worst scenario does happen and someone unplugs your cam, you will get a notification.
This camera features sensors a microphone, which enables you to hear everything going on around the camera. Thus, you don’t have to worry about missing something and in addition, you are also able to transmit your voice. For monitoring sensors, you are able to watch live video monitoring on your smartphone or tablet using an iOS or Android app, although you cannot access the device using a Web browser. You are also able to control the security cameras sensors through the apps’ dashboard, which is the main control panel for the device.
Compared to other cameras available on the market, the NV Piper cam is pretty large (5.5 inches tall by 3.5 inches wide), but you won’t be bothered by its presence because it’s hardly visible when you position the cam on a shelf and activate its sensors. That said, the cam can be attached to an aluminum stand or a wall mount for the sensors.
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The second generation of Piper’s home security review and home automation devices features an improved camera and overall, the product is a great improvement. It features night vision capabilities, as well, something the previous Piper device didn’t have. The image is pretty clear in its night vision as it is during the day. This will help you sleep knowing that no one can sneak around your house without your cam detecting it.
Furthermore, the NV Piper also features temperature sensors to detect a potential intruder. In the Piper app, set a temperature threshold so that you’ll know whenever the temperature gets higher or lower than the one you selected.
- Home security review and home automation system in one device
- Includes an enclosure for AA batteries for backup power review
- infrared motion sensor for up to 30 feet
- works on the Linux operating security systems
- 1080p cam sensors and HD wide angle video
- includes a 105 decibel siren to scare off intruders
- 128 MB of memory, 256MB of flash
- Night vision capabilities
- High-quality wide angle image
- Aluminum stand and wall mount included in the box
- Transmits voice
- 3.4-megapixel cam features a 180-degree field of view
Along with the actual features you get as part of the NV Piper cam, it’s also worth knowing that Piper Home Security will not charge you any monthly fees for your cam. All you need to do is buy it and set it up in your home using the customization settings that you want. That makes this a very automated and easy to use device.
Mounting it is simple too since it’s made to mount on a wall or just to sit on any flat surface. Before you buy your Piper cam, take a look around your home to consider where you want this and where you think it will fit in the best.
Automated System Reveiw
Your camera is made to be a part of an automated Piper home security system, meaning that once you set it up, you can more or less forget it. That’s because the cam is able to tilt both vertically and horizontally, can pan left and right, and will therefore give you a wider field of vision.
Just check the cam right from your smartphone app to see what’s going on at any time of the day. Thanks to the night vision that’s a part of the cam, you will never need to worry about missing something happening outside.
Let’s say that a burglar does come onto your property to try and enter your home. Just a cam alone might not stop them, but a loud, 105-decibel siren usually will. This is the highest level of sound that a consumer can get, and should most definitely scare away anyone trying to enter your home without permission.
You already know that you can control this right from your phone, and that you’ll be able to see a lot. This is thanks to the 180-degree fisheye lens with 1080p HD video clip –which basically just means that you’ll have an incredibly clear picture of your property that you can check at any time of the day without seeing something grainy.
That cam is made to pick up on any movements or sounds too when you use the pan, tilt, and zoom functions, all of which can provide you with a clearer picture if you think you see something on your cam. Don’t forget about the quad view too, which will give you view of four different areas in the room, or the fact that you can record certain events if you program it too.
You can just program it to start recording when someone enters a room or when there’s a loud noise. From here, you can choose to go through that footage, but remember: with only one cam, you will only be able to see one room.
Let’s say that you’ve left the house for a second with your child or with a pet even. You may not need to check up on them, but if you want to, or if you’ve been gone for a while, it’s easy to talk to someone in your home just by pushing a button on your app. Really, almost everything can be done through your mobile app.
The Mobile App Review
Speaking of the app, you have three safety modes available to you when you download it. Each one of these modes will let you arm and disarm your alarm system with just a click, so you don’t need to worry about someone accidentally setting off your alarm because you weren’t able to punch in a code.
You can even use your app with pre-programmed settings like the “away” and “vacation,” which are made to let the system know to send alerts to your phone through your preferred method–text, call, or email.
Everything from this app will be sent right to the iCloud, where you will be able to manage up to 100 snippets of footage. Piper home security review will not charge you anything for keeping these clips.
With all this being said though, be aware that there have been issues when it comes to the app. We found that it was a little bit on the buggy side sometimes, which you definitely don’t want when you’re just trying to check out your home to be sure that you’re safe.
Added Z-Wave Accessories Review
You have the ability to use your Piper cam to make your home that much more secure by adding in some of the z-wave accessories that work with the Piper home security system. This includes installing a door window sensor, a smart switch, a smart dinner, and a range extender.
This z-wave technology is a wireless communication protocol that will allow you to control appliances in your home from farther away with smart switch. This z-wave devices is what will make it possible to control your home that much better.
Yes, this Piper cam is made to be a home security system to protect your home, but with your cam, you can also gain other controls for your home- that’s thanks to the z-wave technology. This z-wave includes things like automated ambient light switches. Beyond this z-wave, just having the base station itself will make it possible for your home to be tracked in the case of emergency.
You can even use this app with z-wave to do simple things like keeping tabs on your home’s environment, so use it to turn on appliances, check your thermostat, and just generally have some peace of mind when you’re away. This makes the Piper a great option to have in your corner for something like a vacation.
The price for your NV Piper home security system does clock in somewhat high at a solid $279. This might be okay for one cam, and might be more than perfect for your property, but if you have a larger area you want to protect, the cost might end up being a bit too much to buy multiple cameras and hubs. At the very least, setting up multiple hubs is as easy as it is to set up a single hub.
You can even connect five of those hubs to one single account before you have to set up a new account to manage additional cameras. Of course, this is if you want this large of a home security system, and if you need this many cameras around your home.
Setting up the NV Piper cam is very easy, even if you have no related experience. This cam is made to be a sort of do it yourself home security systems, meaning no extra fees for installations and activations–you just buy it, place it, and download the mobile app to get information.
If you’ve never installed a home security cam before, or just need a place to get started, here is a 3-step Quick Start Guide to read and follow.
First, you need to remove the stand and install the AA batteries that are included. Next, attach the power cable and plug the cam into a wall outlet. Afterwards, press the power button on the back of the device. Before connecting to your Wi-Fi, you will need to download the Piper mobile app and then follow the on-screen instructions to connect the camera to your Wi-Fi.
In other words, you need to create an account in order to interact with the Piper device. As you can see, the process is simple and should not take much time.
In terms of setup too, you might wonder how all of this will work in the case of a power outage. Rest assured that you are still protected if this happens thanks to the included AA-powered backup that will keep working even during outages. This means that once you set up this Piper cam, you will never be left without any sort of protection.
If you have trouble with the set up, or you’re experiencing problems with your home security system, it’s easy to contact phone and customer support via phone or via name email address. They respond fairly quickly with name email, but if you don’t feel like talking to anyone, we preferred to find some answers on the webpage, which included a lot of common questions about motion connectivity.
• Easy motion setup and easy to use
• Piper Night vision home vitals
• Integrated alarm system
• Multiple Piper home security review modes:
allows you to set up rules for when you are away so that the Piper system knows what to do and who to contact
there is no monthly fee or contract associated with this do-it-yourself Piper system with free cloud storage
the Piper app is available on most phones, as long as you have an iPhone 4S or later, iPad 2 or later, or Android devices running 2.3.3 or later (but check the specifications on your phone as well before you make your purchase)
• Remotely controls Z-wave compatible home accessories
- More expensive than similar products
- The video cam cannot be tilted or rotated
- There is no Web-based control
- You can’t use this Piper cam outdoors very well; it’s not weather proof
- The self video monitoring means that you are always on call if something happens
- Problems connecting to the Piper cam can occur
Like any other product, this is not flawless too, but we would be dishonest if we didn’t emphasize how minor these flaws really are. After carefully examining all the pros and cons of buying a Piper cam, we must admit that it is a pretty amazing, high-quality product with cloud storage.
This company is still in the early stages of becoming well known, so you might not find too much out there to help you make your decision. We personally found that they were fairly easy to set up, and that the customized modes were great for getting a personalized experience to our home security.
On the other hand, what people tend to have the most problems with is the WiFi connectivity. This is a more individual problem though, and may not be something that you need to worry too much about. One of the biggest issues was that if you lose your connectivity, you will need to manually go back to the site to reconnect your internet after it loses connection. This makes it fairly annoying if you’re on vacation and you find that your Piper video cam is down–you’ll have to ask someone to go back to your home to reconnect your Piper cam if you can’t go yourself.
It’s also an issue if it loses connection while it’s armed. This means that once you enter your home, it will go off automatically and you will have to manually disarm it and lock it up until the siren calms down. Now, this is not an issue with everyone, but you might find that if your internet connectivity is poor, this won’t be worth it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What about my dog?
You might have an outdoor cat or a dog that you send out to run at night or during the day when you have your Piper security video cam on. You don’t want your smart home security system to be going off whenever you have your dog running around outside though.
According to Piper Home Security, the cameras will not activate for pets, which we found was true. The cameras can pick up movement, but not movement from something smaller like a pet. That being said, we were not able to test it with larger dogs or with multiple pets at once.
What about the weather?
We found that the weather was probably one of the biggest drawbacks to this system, if only because there are no environmental sensors. This means that the camera will not replace a fire alarm, will not detect floods or smoke, and that there will otherwise be no time motion detection of sudden changes in your home’s temperature and humidity. So, you can have a fire in your home, but unless it sets off a noise that your cam is made to pick up on, you won’t receive a notification the effect of temperature humidity.
This might not be a problem for everyone, if you have a smoke alarm time in your home vitals for things like fires. Remember, having a home security system in your home does not replace the time need for having other safety measures.
Now, it’s also important to know: this is not an outdoor security video camera with door window sensors. You can set it up to see the outside of your home by putting it in the right window or the right spot, but it should not be outside for its door window sensors ambient light. It’s not made to withstand the weather or to stay steady in the case of extreme weather conditions.
What if I can’t be reached?
This Piper home security system works by notifying you when something happens around your home. So, if you’re at work and it detects some motion, or if you’re away and on vacation, your home security system will sent you a text, phone call, or email to let you know that something is going on with its two-way audio.
But what happens if you can’t be reached? Well, you’re able to add trusted circle of friends and family to your contact list, who will be notified in your place if you’re unavailable by its two-way audio. Granted, you’ll want to be sure that you ask your family members or friends if it’s okay that they’re notified, since they might not want to get an alert on their phone two-way audio if it’s just your dog knocking over something and making a mess in your home.
Does it contact the authorities?
No, your Piper security cam two-way audio will not contact the authorities if it notifies you that something is wrong. It works to monitor your home, but it will not send for any help since it is not that type of home security system. You will instead need to notify the authorities yourself if you notice that there are any problems with someone breaking in.
This is because this Piper units cam is a self-monitoring system, meaning that you set it up on your own, you get the notifications, and you decide when you call the authorities. This is in contrast to the central monitoring type of cam, which come with a monthly fee for the service and is professionally monitored by a station that has the ability to send help to your home if you need it.
You may not have the central security monitoring option in this, but this does mean that you can save some money on any monthly fees that are normally associated with that service. Whether the price for monitoring is worth it is up to you.
Really the Piper units cam and smart home security system can be used on any home, but as you might have guessed, it’s best for smaller homes or for apartments. This has nothing to do with the Piper cam itself, but is more related to the fact that the Piper cam all by itself cannot cover all of the space around a larger home. You will need more than one camera set up if you want to use this as your security system on a larger home.
By contrast, if you’re using Piper on an apartment or for a smaller home, it’s a lot easier to see your entire front walkway and to span the camera to cover everything.
Where to Buy
You can find this Piper cam mostly on Amazon, since they appear not to sell the camera on their website anymore. Just look up the camera to take a look at where it is available and what option you would like, and you’ll be able to get it sent to your home.
This is a pretty great work of Piper camera; there’s no doubt about that. It’s easy to set up, it has a few security system modes, and it even has night vision so that you can see what’s going on outside your home at all hours of the day. All you have to do is access the Piper cam from your phone to take a look.
On the other hand, if you are looking for an inexpensive security products, you may want to consider a different third-party security model. You may also want something that’s a little easier to connect, but if you want something that would secure and automate your home, it’s definitely worth considering the Piper camera.