October 12, 2011

Which Video Security, DropCam or ADT?

Are you looking to add video security to your home or business? Which video security service should you use, DropCam or ADT? A comparison of the two services follows.

First, why compare these two services? Why not compare Logitech Alert vs ADT or others?

ADT is the largest monitored security provider in the US, and has two services that include options for video security – ADT Pulse for home and business; ADT Hosted Video for business security. Each service is reviewed at the links.

DropCam is a younger service focused solely on video security and monitoring.

The reason to compare them - both ADT Hosted Video and DropCam service have similar business models and are built on top of Axis IP cameras, as such are quite similar. And, while the ADT Pulse cameras are still the older Axis cameras, the new ADT Pulse cameras are likely to be the same self-configuring Axis IP cameras as the other services.

Both services provide remote video monitoring of locations i.e. view the live video feed from the cameras over the Internet. DropCam is free for monitoring-only, while ADT charges per camera.

DropCam records all video in the cloud with charges of $9 per camera per month for storing the last 7-days and $25 per camera per month for storing the last 30-days. DropCam cloud recording is ideal for users that do not want a DVR (server) at their location. ADT gives an option to record locally using storage servers at location or to record in the cloud. The cost of recording in the cloud is (likely to be) $15 per camera per month.

With the self-configuring Axis cameras used, both services can be setup (relatively) easily in a do-it-yourself fashion.

So, which one DropCam or ADT?

For home users, DropCam is likely to be a better choice as it can be setup and used easily on your own. For users with more complex needs, need to add lots of cameras or a need to also have monitoring services, ADT hosted video will be a better choice as it will have more support and more options available (for a price).

So, depending on your needs, you may pick one service or the other.

If you are looking for alternatives to both these services, there is Logitech Alert, a DIY video security service that uses its own cameras.

And for video security over Internet, remember to add a fast Internet connection at the location. The faster the Internet connection, the better the video quality and you can add more cameras at the location. Axis’s bandwidth calculator is a handy tool to find how much bandwidth is needed for video security.