In the US, a home is burglarized every 18 seconds. Knowing that, it’s no surprise that the home security industry continues to grow. Surveillance camera systems have been an integral part of the security industry since being invented in the 1940’s and crime rates have been lower ever since. Back then however, you would need to spend a heck of a lot of money if you wanted to wire up your house with security cameras. But with the emergence of wireless technology and cheap digital storage those days are long past us. Now you can get your whole house hooked up with high definition cameras for under $1000.
Night Owl is a relatively new company (founded in 2009 in Florida) with a mission to provide affordable NVR and DVR security camera systems for homes and businesses in the US. They do manufacture their equipment abroad, but most of their engineers and software designers reside in the United States.
Equipment & Specs
Night Owl offers a wide variety of different options including wired and wireless systems. Most of their bundles include either 4 or 8 cameras and come with plenty of cable, a wireless mouse, a remote control, their proprietary software, security stickers, mounting hardware, either an NVR or DVR system with a 1 or 2 terabyte hard drive pre-installed, and of course the cameras.
The cameras have a 100 degree viewing angle and records in full 5mp 1080p HD resolution and can capture lots of small details. They also have night vision that can record up to 100 ft. away in complete darkness. Each camera is equipped with two-way audio so that you can communicate with someone on the other end via the software and high quality motion sensors.
Night Owl cameras are DIY security cameras and they go to great lengths to make the process as easy as they can. Despite this, installing security cameras is always going to be a bit of a tricky process. You’ll have to plan out the angles you want to cover so that you don’t have blind spots. If you’re installing wired security cameras then you will need to be even more careful because there is nothing worse that drilling a hole and feeding a wire through, hooking up the camera and only then realizing that you have the camera in the wrong location.
I can say that compared to other outdoor camera system that I’ve messed with, the Night Owl cameras are pretty painless.
Support and Responsiveness
Night Owl offers 24/7 support to their customers, but you will have to make an account to access it. Their responsiveness seemed to be pretty decent and I rarely had to wait on hold for very long. The reps were very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about the products. They are friendly and responsive right up to the point until you need to make a warranty claim. There are quite a few complaints on various review sites regarding their difficulty during a warranty claim. Expect to wait on hold and possibly have to follow up to make sure your claim is being processed as promised.
Known Issues and Complaints
Besides the complaints of making warranty claims there are a few other problems with these cameras. The cameras are advertised as “weatherproof”, but they are not completely waterproof. If you the weather gets bad enough you might run into some issues with these cameras. Ideally you would want to install them in a place where they are at least partially covered so that they don’t get too wet during heavy rain.
Other complaints have to do with their software and mobile app. Their software has a tendency to crash and delay at times and does have limited features. Hopefully the company will continue to grow and improve their software application, but for now it’s a pretty good indicator of how new their company is. Still, for the price of these cameras it could be a lot worse. They also don’t have any options for cloud storage.
Better Home Security
While do-it-yourself home security has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, they lack the key feature of having a company provide protection and having the peace of mind that comes with a professionally monitored home security system.
However, security companies like Protect America are helping you lower you monthly costs while providing many of the same services like ADT, but instead of having to deal with having a salesman come to your house and talks you into features you don’t need, Protect America ships your customized system right to your door.
You install it on your own schedule (no waiting for the guy to show up) and then pay a lower monthly fee for live monitoring. It’s like a win-win for the average homeowner.
The ever-changing landscape of monitored home security can be difficult to navigate, but you can save yourself some of the headaches commonly associated with those big name corporations when you opt for a more customer-friendly option like Protect America. Get a free quote when you call them today.