Outdoor cameras are a great way in which to secure your home and add another level of security. Not only do they allow for monitoring but also can reduce the cost of home insurance and can act as evidence if the worst should happen. When looking for a security camera, there are many different makes and models which hold different features, so you want to make sure that you pick the best one for you, your needs and your home.
Who is Hive?
Hive is a smart product ecosystem that provide many smart home solutions and have an extensive product range varying from thermostats and lightbulbs to sensors and cameras. As one of the UK’s leading smart home provider their mission is to create a network of interacting products that not only make life easier but offer a personalised and connected experience.
What is the Hive View Outdoor?
Retailing at £179 and designed by the Swiss industrial designer Yves Béhar, the Hive View Outdoor is the latest in the range of smart home products within the Hive ecosystem and is specifically designed to provide outdoor security and monitoring. Measuring at 2.6 x 2.6 x 2.6 inches, this camera is designed to sleekly fit onto the exterior of your home and not only provide security and comfort to the homeowner but also act as a deterrent to would be burglars.
Features of Hive View Outdoors
Designed for outdoors, this camera has an Ingress rating of IP66, meaning that it is protected from dust, can remain water-resistant from a high water pressure jet with up to a 12.5mm nozzle and can operate in temperatures ranging from -20 oC to 45 oC.
With two way audio, 130o wide angle lens, 1080p HD resolution, 8x digital zoom and night vision up to 15ft you are sure to capture all activity outside the home, the Hive Home app will notify you with push messages direct to your phone of any activity. This camera comes standard with a rolling 24 hour video history, in which you can replay any video segments in the last 24 hours, however after that period the storage will reset. Hive does offer an extended storage for a small monthly fee which is dependent on the amount of cameras you have within your Hive Ecosystem. This is a fairly common aspect around security camera video footage and storage but what does make a difference with Hive is the added benefits that come with this monthly fee, such as 10% discount on other Hive products. For the 30 day extended storage it will cost you £3.99 for 1 camera, £5.99 for 2 and £9.99 for up to 5 cameras; the number of cameras will also include any internal Hive View cameras that are within your homes Hive ecosystem.
Ingress Rating: The rating given to products that rates the protection of the products enclosure. The first number refers to dust protection and the second number refers to water protection.
Set-up and Installation
Installing the camera can be difficult especially if one is not technically inclined, but detailed instructions of how to install the Hive View Outdoor are included and you can find multiple videos online of how to properly install the camera with its magnetic stand. The one issue that many may face is that this camera is wired so it does need to be connected to a power source, which many will only have inside. For security reasons this wire will need to be placed through a wall so that no windows are left open leaving your home vulnerable but also so that it has a lower risk of being tampered with by ill-wishers. This can cause an issue for many in the installation phase, however when buying the product in the UK Hive offer the option of professional installation; the engineer will set up your camera and ensure that all the proper precautions are met. This will cost a fee but the peace of mind that your camera itself is installed correctly and secure is worth more long term than the cost to get it professionally installed.
Both camera set up and using the camera are very straight forward, all that is needed is to download the Hive app where you are then guided through some very easy to follow instructions that allow you to connect the app to the camera via Bluetooth and then through WiFi. If you have purchased the professional installation they will also take you through this process.
What perhaps sets this camera apart from other similar models on the market is the amazing functionality and connectivity of the entire Hive ecosystem and the companion app. Within the app there are 3 different tabs that allow you to control, schedule and monitor the functions of the camera and access any live feeds or stored video footage. The schedule tab, allows for 4 pre-set time blocks of which you can program the monitoring of the camera and for when it operates on a daily basis, this means you can set your camera to record at certain times in order to maximise the footage stored or to save electricity. The actions tab allows you to connect all Hive products together to sync up reactions from one product to another; this can create a whole security system when multiple products are used. As a default with the set-up of a Hive camera, all sound and motion alerts will be sent to you. You can however adjust the sensitivity settings on the app to reduce the risk of false alarms for things such as cars or animals.
With a 40ft range in daylight (15ft in night vision but this can be more with less specified sensitivity) and an array of impressive features this camera has all the same features as most other high end cameras on the market. What is great about this camera is that when activity is detected, not only is a push notification sent to your smart phone, but alongside is a thumbnail displaying an up close shot of what has caused the alert so that you can identify the issue before opening the app thus saving you time if it’s only the postman. Once in the app you can access both live and stored footage, and can use finger gestures to zoom and pan the footage to get full control of the camera.
Do be aware that for the most efficient use and performance of this camera you will need to have a minimum of 2.4GHz bandwidth or a WiFi with a speed of 1.5Mbps (Megabites Per Second).
Overall, this camera doesn’t necessarily offer more features than the other high end cameras on the market however what does set this camera apart from its competitors is the functionality of the app and the interconnectivity of all the Hive products. This allows you to create a completely personal and customisable security system around your home, even with just the camera there are so many controls over the functionality of the camera that allow tailoring to your needs. One of the potential downsides to this camera is that it is not compatible to other smart devices such as Google Assistant or Alexa without the use of a Hive Hub, so if you are already within another smart home system without the use of a Hive Hub you cannot connect all of your gadgets without the extra product.
What should I look for when buying an outdoor security camera?
You should always consider what you are buying the camera for and what features are priorities for you when researching different makes and models. The general rule is that the more features that a camera offers the higher the price point, however usually spending more on a camera upfront is worth it in the longer term in relevance to security.
How many security cameras do I need?
It will depend on how many weak points or vulnerable parts of your home you perceive to have and what you want to be covered. The optimal amount of cameras will be dependent on individual needs but it is suggested that your front door and back door are covered.