HomeexpensesI bought a security system that isn't a ripoff.

I bought a security system that isn’t a ripoff.

We were over at a friend’s house a few weeks ago, and after he gave us a tour of his home he asked Girl Ninja and I a weird question. He said “Do you want to see your entrance to our home?”

I had no idea what he was talking about so I said, “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

He pulled out his iPhone, opened up an app, and played back video of us approaching his front porch and knocking on their front door. Unbeknownst to us, he has a security camera that films his front porch. Creepy and awesome.

Being the tech nerd I am, I was intrigued and began asking him a billion questions about it. That night, I went home and bought myself a Dropcam.

***Note: I want to make sure it’s clear this is not a sponsored post. I’m just pumped about this discovery and want to share it with you all.***

Girl Ninja has been pestering me about a home security system since we moved in. I hate the idea of a home security system. We know a ton of people who have them, but have not heard one story where they have actually been useful. Heard too many stories about alarms going off (and cops being called) because of a cat in the garage, a family member forgot the security code, or an electrical issue. Couple that knowledge with the fact that I’m a cheapskate and you can understand why I was hesitant to get a home security system.

Dropcam, however, seems like the perfect solution for someone like myself. I want to give my wife peace of mind, but keep as much money as possible in our pockets.

We hopped on Amazon and bought the camera for $135, now $149. It’s wifi enabled and after two minutes of set-up, it was ready to be used. We put it in our living room, looking out a window on to our front porch. Here’s a sreenshot of our camera’s point of view…


Dropcam is awesome for a few reasons. I’ll list them in bullet point form…

  • It takes HD video.
  • The Dropcam app allows you to pull up the live (or archived) feed from your phone, tablet, or computer at any time.
  • You can choose to receive notifications anytime the camera senses motion, noise, or both.
  • For $99 a year, you can add 7 days of cloud storage. Meaning you can play back 7 days of footage at any time. Significantly cheaper than the $20/mo security system plans.
  • The camera has both a speaker and a microphone, meaning it can also be used as a Baby Monitor. You could also communicate to someone who is in the process of robbing your house, via the camera speaker, that you have called the police and have video of their face.
  • You can buy multiple Dropcams and place them anywhere you want.
  • It has night vision, which works surprisingly well.
  • It’s significantly cheaper than any big box security system and there is no contract.
  • You get video of the dudes robbing your house. EVIDENCE!!!!

As you can tell, I’m a big fan of our Dropcam. We’ve used it to check in on Nova while we’ve been out (making sure she isn’t barking or chewing at her crate). We love getting notifications when we are out that motion has been detected, pulling up the feed quickly on our phone, and being able to make sure everything was all good.

For $135 it’s the perfect home security system for us. We’ll probably buy a second one this summer and use it as a Baby Monitor knowing that a few years from now it can become a second home security camera.

I’ve asked our insurance agent to check with our homeowners policy to see if this is considered a legitimate security system in hopes that it will lower our homeowners insurance policy. Haven’t heard back yet, but if it does, that would be reason enough for anyone to buy it.

Anyone else have a Dropcam? What measures do you take to protect your home?

If you’re like me and interested in buying the Dropcam after my little review, I’m including an Amazon Affiliate link below to it. Meaning, I’ll make a small commission off your purchase, but you can totally just go to Amazon on your own and pay the same price if you don’t want me to get a piece of the pie 😉

p.s. Here’s the security footage of our stupid neighbors cat triggering a motion alert…



  1. That seems like a pretty nice system. I like that is seems super versatile. I for one would like to set that camera up in my kitchen while we’re at work and just watch to see what my dog does all day. I know she must try to jump on the counters and see if there is anything left for her to grab.

  2. Nice. We have a system with motion detectors and fire alarm, but no video cameras. Need to check this out. Is the cat in the video?

  3. Do most break-ins happen at the front door? I would think it would be a back/side door, or an open window on the first floor? I wouldn’t feel very protected if I only had one camera facing the front door, and no alarm.

    • I can point the camera anywhere I want. I’ve chosen the front door. But I could also have it film my living room, or bedroom, where I presume thiefs spend most of their time.

      With a standard alarm, sure a loud sound is made, but the cops hardly ever arrive before the robbers have fled. With this system I have video proof of them which definitely helps for evidence.

  4. Have to agree with Samantha. The last time burglars tried to break into my house was in the side yard all the way around my back yard. Also my wife was home and was terrified and the police did not come fast enough to catch the guy. At least get some signs up like beware of dog and under camera surveillance around your property. I’m a cheapskate too but after going though that experience, money is no object for security. This day and age there are more and more nefarious and desperate people about. I paid about $1200 dollars for a security system several years ago and pay about $27/month for monitoring. Most homeowners insurance only give out discounts for the monitoring.

    • Woof, exactly the reason I don’t want an actual alarm. $1,200 up front, $27/mo, and the police DONT get there fast enough to do anything about a potential break in.

      We have fake “Security System Installed” stickers posted on every major entry way to our house. And we have a dog that will soon enough be old enough to give off a solid warning bark 🙂

  5. Having a camera pointed out the front door would be more useful for monitoring someone stealing packages off your front step. Also, burglars often spend a little bit of time casing the joint before they make a move. They might knock on the door to see if anyone is home, and then pretend to be selling something. It might be useful as proof later on.

    They might still break in through another way, and you should probably have more than one camera. But a camera pointed out the front still has a lot of value.

  6. As a woman who lives alone for most of the year (children away at university) I will add a security system to my budget as soon as my dog is gone. Piece of mind is money well spent.

    Day time break ins are big in my small Canadian city. They knock on your door and if no one answers they break in.

  7. That is very cool! I had a security system in my old house, but I would have liked something like this much better. I life in a security bldg now, but will have to remember that for if/when I buy a house again.

  8. That is really cool. Going to share this with my husband. For even more piece of mind, you can buy these CHEAP sensors for each of your doors and windows (or a more expensive one which might be even louder – there are tons of options on amazon if you search “door alarm”), which will set off the loud alarm to warn anyone breaking in that you have an alarm, and they won’t know if it’s monitored or not. This is the same thing a monitored security system provides, it just doesn’t have the monitoring feature (that you pay a monthly fee for) that would also call you (and then 911) to notify you & the police it’s going off. It’d still scare off a burglar though so they probably wouldn’t spend more than 30 seconds in your house with a loud alarm going off. They’d either run right away, or take what is within reach right inside your house and then run.
    We have a security system for when we’re at home. I care less about someone breaking in while we’re away – because they can just take your stuff, but I sleep better knowing we have an alarm which we’re home, for safety reasons. If this goes off when I’m at home, I can call 911 myself. The only advantage of a monitored alarm (with monthly fee) over this is they call 911 for you if you’re not home. This also eliminates the calling-police-when-it’s-not-an-emergency-when-you-set-it-off-on-accident-and-dont-turn-it-off-on-time problem that alarms have.

  9. The problem with your camera is that it is owned by you, and monitored by you.

    The “evidence” or footage you may capture is not permissible in a court (so there would be no using it against a burglar).

    We have wifi cameras too (one we use as a baby monitor, actually) and use it to keep an eye on our place when we’re gone.

  10. I had one of those dropcams but then I went camping and I had no service to check in on my home. By the time I got internet on my phone again I had a recorded video of people entering my home. Unfortunately we got robbed. Dropcam is an awesome idea until you actually have an emergency. I got a pretty cheap monitored system at and now I feel much better when I am out of internet service. always has cheap good things. (I love their snacks too)

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