Everywhere we go we are watched by security cameras: town centres, airports, shops, offices, on the street and roads and in lots of other public spaces. They are used for surveillance and even enforcement, evidence gathering and are used as a deterrent in crime prevention. Now that security cameras are getting smarter, better quality, smaller and cheaper we are now putting them in our homes, inside and out. Everybody is so much more security conscious these days and we need to make sure that our homes and belongings are safe, and even the people and pets within our homes.
Home security monitoring is a must in this day and age, and it has never been easier to achieve. They are many different reasons to want a camera in your home, you might just want to monitor certain rooms in your home that the children use, or you want to monitor different points of entry as a security feature when you are not there, keep an eye on carers who come in and out looking after an elderly or ill relative or you might just want to keep an eye on your dog whilst you are out at work. There are a number of different security cameras on the market and for this review we were sent the budget friendly IMOU Ranger 2C 4MP indoor security camera with Smart Human Detection and Tracking.
You hear security camera and think of the big ugly rectangle boxes stuck on the side of buildings or in banks, but security cameras are much different these days – smaller, lighter, good quality images and much smarter. The IMOU Ranger 2C 4MP is an app controlled internal security and home monitoring camera. It is a small(ish) and discreet camera that is packed with features and is an excellent way to add a bit of added protection to your home. In the event that your home should be broken in to, hopefully a high-definition video recording, that can also be viewed live, will help to assist the police. This camera is also equipped with Smart Human Detection and Tracking so that when it detects a human in its view it will track them as they move around the room.
In the box:
- Ranger 2C 4MP Security Camera
- Power Adapter
- Power Cable
- Screw Package
- Mounting Plate
- Installation Position Map
- Quick Start Guide
The IMOU Ranger 2C 4MP Security Camera features:
- Privacy Mode: IMOU GDPR compliance
- 4MP QHD (Quad High-definition resolution)
- Diversified Storage (Cloud or microSD card)
- Advanced IR Algorithm Provides Clear Pictures in Darkness
- Auto on & off Night Vision Mode
- Smart Human Detection (No False Alert)
- Pan & Tilt 360° Coverage (No Blind Spot)
- Abnormal Sound Alarm
- Full-duplex Two-way Talk
- Free App
Out of the box, the size of the camera is reasonably small at around 4” (10cm) high and it has a solid and quality feel to it. It has non-slip rubber feet on the base so is stable on a solid surface and it is supplied with a discrete plate (and fittings) for inverted mounting on the ceiling.
The setting up of the camera is simple and can easily be completed with a basic level of technological skills, if you can use your phone and follow instructions you won’t have any problems. IMOU have made it as simple as possible.
Firstly, find a suitable spot to place your camera (near a power outlet and within range of your wifi network), then download the free IMOU app to your phone and follow the onscreen instructions, scanning QR codes to make sure that you are installing the correct version of the IMOU range of cameras. For me, it installed and connected to my home wifi network in just a few minutes with no issues whatsoever. It really was just a few minutes from opening the box to having a fully installed and operational indoor security camera, all without any hassle – it was frustration free; my biggest problem was deciding where to have it, just sitting on a surface or mounted higher up – I went for the easiest option and placed it freestanding on a flat surface (to be honest I couldn’t have placed higher up as all my power outlets are at ground level).
With the camera installed and working and easily accessible from the app on my phone, there was another important decision to be made, this time about storing data – do I, don’t I? and if so, where? I chose the microSD card storage option. If you are using the camera for home monitoring purposes purely to keep an eye on children, elderly relatives or even pets you might not want or need to store any recordings, after all you are only checking in. If you are using it for home security purposes, you will need to store any recorded video somewhere for playback at another time. The IMOU Ranger 2C 4MP has a hidden microSD card slot where you can install your own microSD card and record on a loop, the only cost to this is the price of the card (64GB will give 4 days storage, 128GB will give 8 days storage and 256GB will give 16 days storage). As the camera is also a Cloud camera, you also have the option to save recorded video up and out of the way to the Cloud. There are different plans available with 7 and 30 day storage options starting from £2.29 per month). Any recordings stored in the Cloud are all encrypted and password protected so only you can view them – for more information click here).
Now, once the camera is installed and monitoring activities within your home, you might have concerns about privacy – do you want to be recorded constantly in the own room where the camera is installed? Who has access to the recordings? IMOU take privacy very seriously and it is fully GDPR compliant and comes with privacy features included: encrypted and password protected recordings and a privacy shield to cover the camera lens when you are home and don’t need the camera recording. You can enable the camera shielding for privacy with one click, so easy to use and all controlled from your phone. Only people that you allow access to the recordings can see or monitor them.
I mentioned earlier that the camera is packed with features. It has some fantastic features that enhance the camera brilliantly. Whilst it does an excellent job of monitoring and recording video in good quality, it is also equipped with two-way audio, this allows you to not only can you hear what is happening in the room, but you can also speak back to the people/pets in the room, maybe as a calming voice for pets when you are not there, or worst case, informing an intruder that you have called the police and they are on their way. It also features a very clear night vision function so you can still monitor what is happening at night in the dark (it makes the room look like it is in near daylight). Then there is the pan & tilt feature, this allows you to manually control the camera to have a 360 degree look around the room and tilt the camera lens up and down 80 degrees. It is also equipped with a very loud siren that you can set the decibel level from 50dB to 90dB to scare off any intruders. If that isn’t enough, it features Abnormal Sound Detection so that if it picks up an unusual sound like breaking glass, or even a crying baby, a notification will automatically be sent to your phone. But my favourite feature has to be the Smart Human Detection and Tracking. The Smart Human Detection can detect a person in the room (with no false alerts so far and has worked every time) and the camera then proceeds to track their movement around the room so that they are always in view. We found that this worked extremely well with very little lag between some walking through a room and the camera movement.
The IMOU Ranger 2C 4MP camera might be a budget camera and suitable for family budgets, but it certainly doesn’t skimp on features and the video quality is great and you can clearly see who is in the images. The quality of the images recorded is excellent and so far, I have found them all to be crystal clear, that goes for day or night vision recordings.
I love the camera; it works well and has clear images but, for me, there is a small negative – the length of the power cable is just too short, it really does need to be longer. It’s perfect when on a household furniture surface near a power outlet but I tried mounting it on top of a bookcase and the cable didn’t reach any plug sockets that are near the ground, so unless your plug sockets are mounted half-way or higher up the wall then you might have trouble plugging power in, this would be the same for ceiling mounting – I think the power cable needs to at least double in length to allow for this.
Overall, I think that the IMOU Ranger 2C 4MP Indoor Security Camera with Smart Human Detection and Tracking is excellent. It is very easy to setup and use – no real technical knowledge needed; you just need to follow the onscreen prompts after downloading the free app. The app is fully functional, allowing you enable or disable the features that you want to use with ease. The notifications when motion has been detected come through straight away to my phone. The night vision is perfect, you can clearly make out the images.
If you want to add a bit of added protection to your home security setup for recording purposes of any intruder (hopefully this will never be needed) or just to monitor pets, family members or carers, then I can highly recommend the IMOU Ranger 2C 4MP security camera. The quality is excellent, it is so easy to use, the features are excellent and the loud alarm will scare off any intruder.
This is an excellent quality and feature packed security camera with a very budget friendly price of under £40. If the power cable was longer, then for me it would be perfect.