Over the past few months, I have been working on improving the smart capabilities of my home. Every time we think of home automation, a thousand things come to mind they generally exceed 100 dollars. However, in this case it was not even going to reach 50 dollars.
One of the best things HomeKit has over other solutions is its handling of security cameras. Unlike other assistants, HomeKit does not “link” to third-party services. Secure video with HomeKit, everything related to cameras is handled by the head office. In other words, a HomePod, an Apple TV or an iPad that stays at home.
So I was curious to add such a device to the house. A security camera smart enough to work in sync with Apple products. And, if possible, one that wouldn’t let my bank account shake. And that’s how I found the camera eufy Security 2K.
Eufy Security 2K, the most affordable camera with HomeKit Secure Video
For those unfamiliar with the brand, eufy is one of Anker’s sub-brands. And Anker is one of the world’s leading accessory manufacturers. Above all, it is known to make some of the best chargers. However, I did not know that they were also dedicated to home automation. Yes eufy gave me a real surprise
Normally available for 40 dollars, although they sometimes have active offers in stores like Amazon, the eufy Security 2K is a steal. A camera capable of recording in 2K (although HomeKit limits it to 1080p), with night vision, and even the ability to store video on microSD cards. And, most importantly, with support for HomeKit Secure Video.
That was what interested me the most. Neither its app nor its services had to convince me, as control was going to be transferred to HomeKit. And from the moment they bond, no need to walk on the eufy app again. In fact, some models don’t even need the latter to be used in the first place.
In my case, I had to use it for download a firmware update to activate the feature. But, beyond that, there isn’t much to say. It was enough to link it like any other accessory in the Home app, and it automatically started working. Well, and place it correctly, for which it has a base made to hang it on the wall. But I like the risk, what can I say.
HomeKit Secure Video, arguably the best way to control security cameras … but with limitations
Once the equipment is ready, all that remains is to make sure that everything is ready on the HomeKit side. Yes, I have personally tried the eufy software. I also connected this one to other smart assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant. But sincerely, nor get closer to Apple’s solution
To begin with, it should be remembered that in order to use HomeKit Secure Video we must meet certain requirements. First, we need a central accessory (HomePod, Apple TV, iPad). Second, to take advantage of it, we must have contracted at least 200 GB in iCloud. Otherwise, we will not be able to record videos from the camera.
Regarding the latter, it should be noted that a 200 GB plan will cover a camera. Whereas a 2TB plan will cover up to five cameras. This means that technically we could say that the HomeKit Secure Video limit is on those five cameras, which may be a problem for some. Of course, you won’t be using this storage in any way, but it goes separately.
Once we have it ready, we can place the eyes and ears all over the house. And HomeKit will take care of managing them, with the security that it offers. To begin with, the whole video locally processed in the accessories center. In other words, facial recognition or other functions are possible without the servers.
The only thing iCloud servers will store is the encrypted video. And no one other than ourselves has access to this content. And by the way, the Home app allows all household members to access the camera. No need to use Siri
For example, thanks to the latest big update of tvOS, it is possible to access the live video of the camera from the Control Center, on the big screen of the house. Of course, nothing to access past recordings, as it only shows the image broadcast in real time.
Conclusions: for 40 dollars, you can’t ask for much more
Usually, spending little money on a smart security camera can raise suspicion. At the end of the day, we are buying a product that has direct access to our privacy. And few are those who violated it with this type of product. However, when you have Apple support, the thing is changing.
Apple has demonstrated its commitment to our privacy and security for years. It made options available to consumers that previously seemed unthinkable, such as the ability to limit tracking. And with HomeKit, their safety standards are even higher. So if there is one tech company that can be trusted with this kind of information, it’s Apple.
Above all, the most important thing is that everything goes through the Apple devices that we already have. In other words, once we add the camera to the house, we can do without third-party applications. And thanks to the ecosystem, we would have the assurance that only we can access this video. And it gives incredible peace.
For all this, the addition of a camera with HomeKit for 40 dollars seems quite attractive. Especially if we already have a plan like Apple One with additional storage. Yes, we are immersing ourselves more than ever in the ecosystem. And yes, it’s a system still something limited in capacity and number of cameras. However, for a normal home this works great, and isn’t HomeKit made for this kind of home?