This is an industry problem, and a big one.
Or maybe, that it's possible to dodge a bullet of their own stupidity and still successfully cash out.
On my neighborhood Facebook groups, people need help just getting Nest and Ring cams set up. The idea that they were going to set up their own local DVR camera systems is pretty silly.
I don't understand why people install speaker systems (like Alexa) and cameras in their houses; I wouldn't trust third party, even Google, to manage a feed of audio or video from inside my four walls. But outside, the privacy/security tradeoff is radically different, and the devices have been (for us) super valuable.
The ring doorbell is installed at your front door. It records pretty much all movement to and from your house. It records audio at the doorstep, so if you're having a conversation with anyone at your doorstep, that gets recorded too. If you have a porch and are sitting on it and speaking with people, etc etc etc.
Meanwhile, the devices have been super valuable for spotting and reporting criminal attempts.
If some rando gets my ring doorbell footage and figures out where I live, that's hard to undo. If someone steals my stuff and gets away with it because I didn't have a ring doorbell, that's annoying but much easier to recover from. We are talking about the difference between an insurance claim and moving house.
The right product for me may not exist yet, but I'd love to have a video doorbell system that I self-host. If I need remote backup I already have that covered, I'm on gigabit FTTH and use client-side encryption for data backups. I'm pretty nerdy and would enjoy setting this up but can't make it a priority now.
Neither your points nor OP's conflict, I think you each just have different criteria and values for privacy and security.
Yes, normally anyone camping outside your house would be able to see it too. Now you are also recording it though, which changes the story significantly.
Let's say further I get some mechanical turk like crew to monitor (stop laughing I can hear you ..) w/o telling them why I am doing this. I social engineer the reason and pay them to tell me for 'market research' etc or some other stupid cover story.
Anyway my point is that you had said you didn't care if people heard what you are saying. That assumes then that you think it's possible for someone to hear you and gain access. Now you may be thinking that person is not close enough to do you harm but is that a safe assumption?
At the office we have a full NVR system and multiple cameras. Fwiw the professional installer left that wide open to the point where we don't even allow any access (other than the stuff that the Chinese have already enabled that probably is sending things out). The default setup was insecure out of the box and nobody has had the time to look or lock it down.
I live in DC and basically all of the reported videos are some dude walking down the street before racing up to grab an amazon delivery or casually knocking on the door (and checking whether it’s locked). They get caught after a few weeks and there’s a lull before the next person with poor decision making abilities gets a couple of grand & jail time. Unlesss you’re doing something which involves storing a lot of cash – don’t brag about your Bitcoin trove – that’s the likely threat.
We would have to totally change the way devices are developed and marketed to actually keep data local but it seems technically possible.
Also, has a Ring doorbell somehow prevented a theft or just helped you know what happened?
I’m simply asking if it would be possible to sell a product that has feature party with Ring but doesn’t use the cloud.
Before Ring setting up a home security system was also something only message board nerds would do. Why can’t the same be done for a local server?
I believe Microsoft actually marketed a home server back around the turn of the century. That didn’t go anywhere but they had a lot of ideas that were either ahead of their time or good but poorly executed. The original surface comes to mind. Or what weird kitchen computer that is basically an Echo with a screen.
You'd likely lose the following features:
* Access to the camera from your phone
* The ability to talk to people near the camera
* The "people detection" image classification stuff
* The ability to highlight a range of video and get a shareable link for it
A sane-default DNS configuration could get around this automatically. The default can be some managed thing like your-preferred-name.cameraservice.com and if you're particularly adventurous could be camera.yourdomain.com. IPv6 would greatly simplify the NAT complications here. A device that can double as a firewall or talk to one to auto configure would go a long way.
I don't see how the cloud is necessary for this other than slightly simplifying notification. Can't the box at your house just shoot off a text message with a link? A centralized notification service could be used here that contains only a message along the lines of "there is activity at your camera" and the phone app can initiate the stream directly.
How hard is this really? Once the model/algorithm is in place the actual computation is easy right? Do they really have to run in the cloud?
This can be done with either a share-to-youtube link for videos you don't mind making public or simply direct links to your device for small audiences.
EDIT: I should add that a video circulated recently in my neighborhood showing someone stealing the camera. So there's that risk. I'm sure the thieves will be disappointed when they find out about the monthly fee.
The same reason people love any external service such as email and calendars: convenience. There's a lot more work involved with video security system if you don't use consumer friendly versions.
Ring is a $300 purchase and takes an hour to install. This would take me a few weekends and would cost thousands of dollars. Cloud centralization makes things easier and cheaper, by orders of magnitude.
A company could drop a camera and a small NAS box, and have it all work over the local WiFi.
I haven't looked into it, but I suspect there are several vendors who already do this.
It would get more complicated to support accessing it while away from home, admittedly. I don't know if that's an important feature for this application.
This is a huge feature which I've solved using an IPSec VPN. This is not something that's easy for regular people to do though, so it's not a universal solution.
If someone made a router that could easily provision VPN access for a device (e.g., generate a sensible OpenVPN config or something) it would make this setup a LOT easier.
That's the killer feature. What good is a home surveillance system if you have to be there to use it?
If you setup a company to do this, you will quickly find you are a customer service and call center company, NOT a security tech company.
Been there, done that.
I am very capable of all of those things and I don't agree.
To install a camera on my porch somewhere, I'd need first to run power to it, which is a difficult proposition that would probably mean I need to hire an electrician to do it right, as I'm not confident at all in my ability to properly do electrical wiring in places where it needs to be properly weatherproofed. And adding electrical to a near-as-makes-no-difference 80 year old house would look pretty hideous. Then, need to set up a server with redundant spinny storage and offsite backup, which, while not being terribly expensive these days, isn't particularly cheap either. And I don't even know how to begin approaching the mobile app notification issue. Doable, I'm sure, but does Blue Iris have notifications and remote access for viewing built in?
Or, alternatively, I paid $160 for a Ring doorbell and installed it in place of my existing doorbell in an hour or so.
I wish I had more control over it, and I _really_ wish they had an open public API. But at the same time, from a time/money investment point of view, getting the Ring was an obvious move.
Because they're behind glass, using the built-in IR illumination is out of the question. Instead I use an LED bulb outside to provide light for the camera to see even in day mode.
It's not ideal by any measure, but it works OK enough.
If it were an option, I'd run PoE to proper outdoor cameras.
No cloud dependence, subscription needed or extra internet bandwidth use.
I own a few. I'm pretty sure you need to talk to centralized servers in order to hit your cameras, especially remotely - the time it matters most. Did I miss something?
this just in. Ring is also a "ceiling cat".
Yes, it's possible. No, it's not easy. I've been working as a software dev for like 10 years now and I would happily purchase Ring instead of pulling my hair out for a whole weekend trying to yak-shave my way to a hacked together security camera system.
Edit: Everyone, just read the replies to my original comment and you will see why Ring is better. There's a million different ways to setup a home camera system, each with their own intricacies and challenges. THIS is why Ring is better. It's the ONE solution that ties together all this technical bullshit that nobody really wants to deal with (unless you're passionate about networking. Which is probably a lot of the users on this board. Which is why I'm probably getting crushed with downvotes).
This reminds me of 23 and Me which acts like it's helping you but, by signing up, you agree to help Big Pharma and cops keep track of you.
> Ring is a $300 purchase and takes an hour to install. This would take me a few weekends and would cost thousands of dollars. Cloud centralization makes things easier and cheaper, by orders of magnitude.
I have a number of "old school" network cameras and an on-site DVR, it doesn't take "a few weekends" to set everything up.
Adding a camera is simply a matter of following the instructions to connect it to the network. This would be the same process for a Ring or an "old school" camera. Adding a camera to Blue Iris is a 5-15 minute job, depending on how much tweaking you want to do to the motion detection settings.
In terms of implementing from scratch, I picked up a refurbished Windows 10 Pro machine, set up and updated Windows, installed Blue Iris, and added my cameras, in an evening.
Cost-wise, my setup is more expensive than a single Ring camera. However, my incremental costs are a lot cheaper since I can buy sub-$100 cameras instead of $300 ones. There's also no monthly fee, which is nice.
Not something I want to waste my time on.
It's a good consideration though and a definite advantage for the cloud services.
This is definitely a consideration though. More cameras and/or higher resolution cameras will result in more power consumption or require a beefier machine.
I would like to see a camera where I can control the S3 account that the data is uploaded to.
No need to do difficult and processor-intensive video & audio analysis. They can get most of that from the products you're ordering from them. Remember when Target outed a young woman for being pregnant based on the things she was buying? That was 6 years ago.
It is simple really. With the cloud people don't have to worry about properly managing a server. If they want to access cameras remotely, well with a self-hosted solution then I need to have a proper firewall, security, etc. I need to monitor and maintain the system, perhaps setup fail2ban or something similar, a reverse proxy would also help. This is all a lot of work, or I can just outsource this to the cloud and not worry about it.
That said, I would never ever, ever use ring or a system like it (ring directly partners with law enforcement agencies and gives them access to their customers cameras).
I recently did a Camera installation at a clients house using Ubiquiti cameras. They cameras are great, and I trust Ubiquiit a hell of a lot more than Ring, to not share video with anyone. The web portal makes it great for management, the iOS app is a huge selling point to my client who loves that she can check the cameras from anywhere.
TLDR: cloud isn't inherently bad, you just need to find the right cloud provider, or be willing to take on all the risk and responsibility of running everything on premises.
It is, but you don't have do very much to secure a camera.
The camera is going to call out to whatever cloud provider, which is fine. You can easily just set your firewall to deny all incoming connections from outside (and you should) and the camera will still work fine, since it is calling out (the cloud isn't calling in).
This makes it very easy to secure and manage.
Self-hosting a security system you want to access remotely is a whole new ball game. Now you dealing with outside connections coming in, exposing ports on your firewall, and now you dealing with needing a static IP address and or figuring out a way around a DHCP address from you ISP. Making sure whatever server you have running your system is patched (both the OS and client software), since that machine is accessible to the outside world. You also need to setup SSL if you don't want your logins to be in clear text.
Or all of that can be managed by a cloud provider that you (hopefully) have a degree of trust in. The cloud provider will already have SSL setup, they will have a team of security people monitoring and maintaining their servers.
Personally I would never even consider a self-hosted solution, unless one of the follow two were true 1) I didn't care at all about remote access and just closed the system completely so it was only accessible on premises. 2)I was setting up a security appliance with VPN so the remote access could all go through a VPN.
It's disturbing to see how many big tech companies have turned into surveillance and military companies lately.
So many tech CEOs do this. It's a cop-out method of rebranding one's image. In reality though, it says more about the public at large for believing into marketing and PR.
I have noticed that over the years they've moved from supporting small entrepreneurs who are just starting out to only funding companies that already have proven success. You used to be insane to ask for a $1M valuation (or a $1M investment) on that show; now, it happens every week.
For example - Unifi Protect.
$200, rated to support 20 cameras - some use more with no problems.
Pretty nice box. 8 core ARM, 3GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, POE powered, built in battery backup for clean system shutdown. Well made, metal case feels like a piece of Apple kit.
$80. They have others in the $150 - $250 range depending on capabilities. They even have a wifi one, but wired is always better.
$100 switch gives you four POE ports - the DVR and three cameras: https://store.ubnt.com/collections/routing-switching/product...
There are other switches that can provide more POE ports if you need 'em.
Pretty decent system. No monthly fees - slightly higher up front cost will pay for itself over time, especially if you have more than one or two cameras.
What's really nice about their system? Create a free account with them. Set up the NVR and log it into the free account. Load their app on your phone, log into the account and boom. You have access. Whether you are remote or not. Their cloud service brokers the connection from your device to your phone. No firewall ports to forward or other configurations. NVR connects to cloud, uses that connect your remote access back to the NVR. Slick as snot. Once you connect their cloud is out of the equation.
There might be other vendors with solutions as easy to use and set up - I haven't found them. I sure as hell don't need to store my video in the cloud.
edit: Before I get a bunch of downvote nonsense, this is a serious answer. Dogs (especially big ones that bark when excited) are terrific home protection. No intruder is going to risk a tussle with a couple of big dogs hell-bent on protecting their home. Plus they're totally good with people they already know and trust arriving, even if we aren't there. All a camera will do is record the fact that you're being robbed.
Didn't Myth Busters do a show on how a piece of steak will get you past all but specifically-trained guard dogs? The only danger one would face with our dogs is getting knocked down while they try and get the steak.
I have dogs because I love them. Their value as a home security system is just a bonus.
2 Belgian Malinois trained in French Ring which is the French equivalent of "Schutzhund" (minus the tracking). 3 years old they won't take food from strangers and are stable and confident as fuck. They once pinned a junkie into a corner of the garden which jumped the fence to burgle us while we were out. He was stuck for several hours (until the neighbors called us to inform us that "they're barking an awful lot today". The guy wasn't harmed but neither did he dare to move. :D
Though the reason we got these boys was because our border collie was getting really old and let 2 guys jump the fence and grab everything from the terrace while we were having a BBQ in the back yard (head-desk). We only found out because they grinned and waved to my daughter who was going to the front entrance to grab some stuff from the kitchen. Also she (the dog) wasn't trained like the Mals.
All a camera will do is record the fact that you're being robbed.
A security system often has decent sensors to alert you even over the phone which dogs do have trouble with.
Dogs likely raise the barrier to entry for a robbery and criminals will usually just choose easier targets.
EDIT: small dogs can be an advantage in this case https://twitter.com/thegrugq/status/973969277647638529
If you are going to get a dog to be part of your family then do that, but getting a dog as a security system is just a poor idea.
to extend the logic, defending a litter takes great priority over a steak snack.
More generally I protect myself (including my privacy) by not living in a constant state of fear.
I don't do anything with alerting yet, but there are many ways to solve this.
Having a next door neighbour who's retired and really good at spotting when things are out of the ordinary helps too.
Here is their security page.
I'm not entirely at ease with using a cloud service, but I'm way less comfortable with directly exposing the DVR's access directly to the Internet.
All I'd really want is a few camera feeds with some tagging when motion is detected. I feel like use case covers most of why people get them.