When 2020 started, I didn’t have a single camera in my HomeKit setup, but as the year as gone on, I’ve been picking up cameras left and right. After deploying multiple eufyCameras around the exterior of my house, I turned my attention to covering parts of the interior of my house. While HomeKit Secure Video is essential for outside of the house, it’s required for the inside of my house. It’s one thing for a company to have views on the outside of my house, but only I want to be able to see what’s going on inside my house. End to end encryption is required for any indoor cameras that I use in my house. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing out the Netatmo Indoor Camera with HomeKit Secure Video.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
No cloud storage fees
One of the things that works in favor of the Netatmo camera out of the gate is there’s no charge for cloud storage from the manufacturer. It records into iCloud if you are using HomeKit Secure Video, but it can also record onto an SD card, upload to Dropbox, or an FTP server. In a world where everyone wants $5 per month from you, I appreciate manufacturers that aren’t focusing on growing their business with subscriptions. As I continue to add cameras to my house, I don’t want to be charged $5 per month per camera. I also appreciate the inclusion of HomeKit Secure Video. While it’s not free, I was already paying for the 2TB iCloud storage prior to Apple releasing HomeKit Secure Video, so in my head, it’s a free upgrade.
My only concern about HomeKit Secure Video is that it’s limited to five cameras per family sharing account.
The Apple ID that you use for the Home app allows up to five total recording-enabled cameras across as many homes as you own. Members of a Family Sharing iCloud storage plan share this limit with everyone else on the storage plan. To record with more than five cameras, you need to use another Apple ID with another iCloud storage plan.
I don’t know if this is a technical limitation or a business one, but it’s not really feasible to have separate cameras on other Apple IDs. If it’s a business limitation, Apple should offer the option to upgrade. I currently have four cameras using HomeKit Secure Video (I have three outdoor eufyCams). While I don’t have plans to add more than possibly one more camera, I don’t want to be limited to only a single addition inside of HomeKit Secure Video.
Netatmo Camera Hardware
One of the main benefits of the Netatmo camera is the slim body size. The compact size allows it to easily blend into a shelf or cabinet without looking out of place. Indoor cameras need to have a different look than outdoor cameras, and of all the cameras I’ve looked at, the Netatmo is the one that looks the most high end, blends in well with its environment, and doesn’t look like a “typical camera.”
It’s powered by micro USB, and the cord that is included is plenty long enough. Other ports include the SD card slot I mentioned earlier, along with wired ethernet. While I am using Wi-Fi for my connectivity, I do appreciate the inclusion of ethernet. I am a big believer in wiring products when possible, so in a world where a lot of HomeKit products only include 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, I love that Netatmo included ethernet.
Netatmo App and HomeKit
The Netatmo app is well done, and it can be used as part of the larger Netatmo ecosystem. Netatmo also sells a weather station, smart outdoor security light, and various other security products. While I don’t use the Netatmo app daily, I did use it to set up the camera initially, and I can report no issues. The app walks you through the set up, and then the HomeKit configuration is straight forward after that. If you’re primarily getting the camera for HomeKit, once it’s set up you’ll be able to control the app from within the Home app.
One great benefit of the Netatmo camera that makes it more than just a camera is it hears an alarm (smoke alarm, CO alarm, security alarm or siren) it will send a notification and start recording video.
The final feature of the Netatmo app I wanted to mention is facial recognition. When the camera identifies a face for the first time, it is marked with a question mark on the app. You can then determine that person in the app to give them a profile. Once the profile is saved, the camera will be able to recognize the person and notify you of their arrival at your home. You can save up to 32 faces inside the app.
Wrap-up On Netatmo Camera
There’s a lot to like about the Netatmo camera. It has a high-end design, reliable support for HomeKit Secure Video, with local recordings as an available option. For indoor HomeKit Secure Video cameras, it might just be the very best one on the market. One final thing to add is that the camera includes a built-in motion sensor, so you can use it to trigger lights and other HomeKit accessories. There are multiple other cameras that have just been released (Logitech Circle View and Eufy Indoor), so I am planning on testing even more cameras in the future.
The Netatmo Indoor Camera can be purchased from Amazon.
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