What Is Out There For Outdoor Cloud-Enabled Cameras?

The Camera Finder doesn't have an option to filter on cloud support (that I could find)... trying to help a friend find something that's outdoor rated, will be somewhat discrete (a box or bullet that can go on a roof so as to be unnoticed from the ground is okay), has onboard storage, decent low-light (super-low-light not required), and most importantly, has a Dropcam-style cloud service.

This camera will be installed behind a firewall and there will be no option to forward ports, no UPnP, etc., but outgoing internet connections typically work... so it needs a cloud setup.

I've noticed newer Dahua firmwares have some sort of cloud feature, but I vaguely recall reading somewhere that this was either not yet available, or was only available within China...?


Response: Samsung Outdoor SmartCam Tested

Interesting idea for the cloud support filter. We don't have one. It's a little tricky because some cameras are cloud 'first' / only and there are others like Axis, where it's optional.

Also, there is a company called 'Dropcases' that offers outdoor housings for Dropcam. Not sure how well they work.

Thanks John - looking at that article and the product page, it's not really clear whether it's actually accessible remotely without forwarding ports. There's one section in the help that mentions UPnP...

It sounds like it can upload images/video to Picasa and possibly other services, but this user needs live remote viewing.

Sounds like a Dropcam/Nest Cam with a housing might be the way to go... we could always recycle an old Pelco housing.

It doesn't require port forwarding. The setup video is the entire setup process. If it's hardwired, it grabs and IP address and hits the cloud. If it's wi-fi, you connect to an SSID the camera sets up, then it grabs your wi-fi info and connects to the cloud. And we're on a corporate LAN with no issues.

Thanks, Ethan!

The FLIR FX has an outdoor housing.

I believe some of the Dahua OEMs enable cloud support (FLIR may, actually, but I've never used one of their rebranded Dahua cameras, and it may be limited to the DVRs/NVRs).

The newer Dahua based products offer their cloud based solution, which they call P2P. It isn't as easy to use as the Dropcam or Samsung offerings, but I think you will find it has less limitations. It is essentially the same as using a browser to connect to the device, but alleviates the need for open ports.

Thanks Jon, I'll check that out; I have a couple cams on my bench I can test it on. It's okay if it's more of a hassle to set up, the bigger concern is whether it's relatively easy for the customer to pull on on their computer or phone once it IS set up.

If you haven't already, take a look at Netgear Arlo. I installed one at my parents and it works surprisingly well for monitoring their catflap for intrusion by stray cats (there is a local tomcat that is HUGE and can beat the catflap in, even when it's locked!).

It's fully waterproof as it's powered by batteries. This is a good and bad thing I guess, as it's very portable and easy to install, but batteries need to be swapped out (Netgear quote 4-6 months.. the one I installed about 6 weeks ago is still running on the same set).

They have a cloud interface that is very similar to dropcam (I have used both), plus iPhone/Android apps, both seem to work well (my mum can use it!). Bonus is that you get 7 days free cloud storage for event clips with Arlo, so no monthly fees!

Thanks A, I'll give that a look too!

Do you still need to buy an Arlo wireless hub for it, or can the cameras go direct now?

You still need the hub. I think this is how they get the wifi power down enough to make the battery design viable. The starter kit with hub and 1 camera costs less than a dropcam pro (although it's 720p vs 1080p).

Thanks. AFAIK the dropcam pro, althougth 1080p, only streams 720 to the cloud.