Canary was one of the first firms to release a security camera with an incorporated siren, with the Canary Pro being the most recent model. Canary’s strategy hasn’t changed much in comparison to other manufacturers’, with the Abode Iota being one of the more famous examples.
Because a single camera does not constitute a home security system, particularly for a tiny home, Abode developed the Iota to work in conjunction with other types of discrete sensors such as motion, doors and windows, and so on. This allows you to gradually improve your security ecosystem.
It’s as if an event didn’t happen if the Canary Pro camera doesn’t detect it. Although the Canary app supports multiple cameras, standalone motion and door/window sensors are far less expensive to install than full cameras—and they also provide more granular intrusion detection.
The good news is that the Canary Pro comes at a reasonable price. In reality, if you pay $13/month or $129/year for the premium service with a 24-month commitment, it’s completely free. You can pay $169 for the hardware upfront if you want to pay less each month. Basic service is included with this choice, or you may upgrade to premium service for an additional $99 each year. In a moment, I’ll go over the specifics of the strategic approach.
The device’s alarm system is based on a deafening 90dB siren with three operational modes: Away, Home, and Night. The camera can flip between modes based on when different people come and go, or you can manually switch between them through the app. A schedule can be used to automate night mode.
Night vision and motion detection are present, however, neither can be customized by the user. For each of the three security modes, you can enable recording and/or notifications for certain types of motion (all motion or simply persons detection). (Canary’s user manual has a page on adjusting motion sensitivity levels, but the option has been removed from the app since it “developed into the smart person detection feature,” according to the firm.) In practise, there isn’t much of a difference between the various modes because they may all be changed individually.
It’s important to remember that the siren is not and never will be automated. It can only be activated on demand, either when watching a live feed or a recorded video—though it doesn’t make much sense to activate the alert while watching something that happened more than a few seconds ago.
To put it another way, if you’re away from home, you must wait for Canary to send you a push notification that someone is in your house, then watch the video and select to sound the alarm (and, if you have a subscription, have an agent dispatch the police, EMS, or fire department). However, there is no option for expert monitoring—you must take action to summon emergency responders.) In reality, the security features of the unit are so underdeveloped that they scarcely merit consideration.
Climate management is an interesting add-on function in the Canary Pro. The HomeHealth system monitors temperature, humidity, and air quality over time, and you may choose to get notifications when these variables change dramatically. It has no bearing on the game, but it is a useful function if you don’t have access to another environmental monitoring system. Alexa and Google Assistant devices are also supported. You can inquire about these readings or whether or not a registered user is at home.
Canary’s video quality is good, and during my testing, it was able to tell the difference between a person and one of our cats for the most part (but not always).
Its timeline system is filled with huge thumbnails that are stopped to show the moving object on the screen, which is convenient. Too many competing products show thumbnails that are paused at the beginning of the movie, before anything happens, making it more difficult to identify clips of interest. The night vision is conventional infrared, but the range is good and the clarity is excellent.
You’ll be limited to a single day of cloud-recorded video history and clips that are just 30 seconds long if you don’t have the premium service package. This is superior to what some home security cameras provide (Ring, for example, does not provide recordings without a subscription).
This is extended to 30 days with the premium subscription, with clips up to 10 minutes length. Other small benefits of the premium package include two-way conversation and unlimited clip downloads to your viewing device.
While the basic service plan is certainly simple, it may be sufficient for some users, especially if you’re using the camera to keep an eye on your dogs while you’re away from home.
Overall, the Canary Pro is a good surveillance camera, however it doesn’t offer anything that isn’t available in rival devices. If you already have a Canary, getting a Pro may make sense because additional devices are only $3/month or $29/year (in comparison, a single Ring subscription covers as many Ring cameras as you own). However, I wouldn’t put my security in the hands of the device. It isn’t even close to being an effective security system.