Dropcam HD WiFi Camera Review

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My friends at work used to give me funny looks when I’d announce that the Fedex guy just dropped a package off at my house. At first they thought I had somehow obtained a super power of either ESP or remote viewing. While having a super power would definitely be awesome (and I still think I should have gotten one after all the radiation treatments I had last year), I have to admit that I cheated… I knew that the Fedex guy had been at my house, because my Dropcam told me so. The Dropcam is an easy to setup WiFi camera, that can be accessed from any web browser and a special Android or iOS app. I’ve reviewed several WiFi cameras over the years, but the Dropcam has continued to be my favorite. When I learned that they were going to update the hardware, I was very excited to see how they might improve an already great product. The Dropcam HD is their latest camera, let’s check it out.

Note: Click the images in this review to see a larger view.

Package Contents

Dropcam HD camera
micro USB cable
AC adapter
Quick Start Guide
Mounting Hardware
Mounting Base

The Dropcam HD is a completely new camera which is attached to a metal base that can pivot forward and backwards so that you can adjust the viewing angle.

The camera itself is just the Black plastic part.

The only connection is a micro USB connector on the base of the camera. This USB connection is used to initially setup the camera and then as the main power port. Unlike Dropcam’s original Echo camera, the Dropcam HD can only be used wirelessly (not counting being tethered to a power socket) and has no capability to be hardwired to your network with an Ethernet cable.

The camera comes with a snap on plastic base that you can use with the included hardware to attach the camera to a wall or flat surface. I don’t think the base holds the camera very securely, so if you want to use this method to attach it to a wall, I’d also add some kind of sticky tape to the bottom of the camera for extra insurance.

A side view gives you a better idea of just how small the actual camera is.

As does this picture with the camera popped out of the base.

Setting up the Dropcam is simple and takes about 5 minutes as long as you have a computer with WiFi already configured at your house or business. Basically you connect the included USB cable to the camera and to your computer. You then go to a special Dropcam setup page through a web browser and follow the prompts. Once activated, you can unplug the camera from your computer and move it to some other location that you want to monitor. Using the same USB cable and the included AC adapter, you can set it up where ever you still have a good WiFi signal.

Here we see the Dropcam HD on the Left and original Dropcam Echo on the Right. This is my primary Fedex spy location 🙂

As long as your WiFi router is on and you have a connection to the internet, your camera will be accessible.

You can see a live view by logging into Dropcam’s site with a web browser. From this interface, you can change settings for motion, audio and offline detection alerts that can be emailed or sent to your iOS or Android smartphone/tablet.

In the image above you see a live view of the Dropcam HD.

Here’s the same view using the original Dropcam Echo. The Dropcam HD features 720p video, which means it has a higher resolution than the Echo. You can see this by comparing the images. The HD camera captures a much wider angle that almost borders on a fisheye look.

Here’s an indoor shot using the Dropcam HD. Please disregard the stacks of magazines on the floor that need to be put away and the suitcase that’s sitting on the stairway waiting to be dragged upstairs to be stored. 🙂

Here’s the Dropcam Echo. Again, there’s no mistaking that the HD has a wider viewing area. I think you’ll also notice that the HD’s colors seem very dull when you compare the same shot with the original camera. That’s my biggest disappointment with this camera… the fact that the colors are so murky. You would think with a designation of HD, that more attention would have been given to picture quality.

In addition to viewing your camera through a web browser, you can also view it using an iOS device or Android device. These apps are easy to use and also allow you to make settings changes to the functionality of your camera. The main screen shows a thumbnail of the cameras. As you can see, I have 2 cameras setup. The original Echo on top that I’ve named gadgetcam and the Dropcam HD that I’ve named Dropcam 2. Clicking the thumbnail takes you to the live view.

In the live view you are watching whatever your camera is currently capturing in real time. If you rotate the phone, the video will be displayed in full screen landscape orientation.

There’s only a 5 second or so delay between what is happening live and what you’ll see and hear via the app or web browser.

This is a full screen capture from my iPhone using the Dropcam app to view the Dropcam HD camera.

This is a screen capture of the Echo camera just seconds later. Just another demonstration of the narrower field of view and brighter colors using the Echo.

This is what the Echo captures in the dark.

The Dropcam HD has the added benefit of having night vision. This feature can be turned on and off, or set to automatically turn on when needed. Unlike another camera that I reviewed with night vision capability, the Dropcam HD does not make any sounds when switching between modes.

If you opt to upgrade from the free Basic plan to Plus or Pro plan ($9.99 – $29.99/mo) the iOS and Android apps will also let you see events that were captured due to a motion detection or audio detection. Small thumbnails of the captured videos are listed with time stamps. Clicking on them will let you view the captured video clip.

Through the app you can adjust various settings like toggling the front status light, night vision, notifications and the built in microphone.

Like the Echo, the HD has a built in microphone that allows you to listen to what is going on in addition to be able to watch it. But the Dropcam HD goes one step further by providing 2-way voice communication. That means that while watching live video through your smartphone, tablet or computer, you can have a 2 way conversation. Latency is only about 5 seconds, so it works really well. I sometimes have fun spying on my cat Max and telling him to get off the couch. Seeing him wake up and look around at the phantom voice is always worth a chuckle.

Motion and audio detection alerts can be sent as an email or a popup to your phone. Here’s an example email. These alerts are part of the free Basic plan that comes with each camera. If you want to be able to to actually see what was going on when the event was triggered, you’ll need one of the upgraded plans, which is a monthly cost. Paying by the year does provide a discount. The Plus plan stores your video for 7 days and the Pro plan stores it for 30 days even when you’re not actively watching it. All you have to do is make sure the camera has an active WiFi connection and it will store video in the background to Dropcam’s servers. You can go back and watch it whenever you like through a browser and can even export video clips to youtube, facebook or email. Each camera comes with a 2 week trial of this service.

Here are two sample videos clips in .MP4 format that were exported from the Echo and HD cameras. The clips are 2 minutes long and were taken at the same time. Right click and save the video to your computer to view it. Each clip is about 3mb.

DropcamEcho Clip, DropcamHD Clip

Even though I am disappointed with the HD’s lack of color, I like the wider view and two way talk feature enough to recommend this WiFi camera. I’ve been using Dropcam for years now and it’s never let me down.


Product Information

  • WiFi
  • Simple to setup
  • 2 way audio
  • Night vision
  • Drab colors compared to previous camera model
  • Video image can look a little warped due to wide angle

About The Author

99 thoughts on “Dropcam HD WiFi Camera Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Does it have its own IP that will allow it be logged into directly via browser (without logging into the Dropcam site), or used with other software like mobiscope?

  3. Thanks so much for the review @Julie!

    @Gunner – Dropcams work securely with the Dropcam online service and viewing apps for iPhone and Android. You cannot log into the camera – this ensures the video remains encrypted and secure.

    I hope this helps!

    Aamir Virani

  4. I wouldn’t mind spending $150 on this with no fees, or getting the cam for free with monthly fees (even with a short contract.)

    Spending $150 up front and then paying monthly fees on top of that, no thanks. It just seems too spendy that way.

  5. @Julie An outdoor camera is on the horizon for Dropcam. We’ve heard from many of our users that a weather proof camera would be useful, and so we are looking into this.

    @edventure The one time cost of $149 gets you the camera and all of it’s features. That includes night vision, two-way Talk Back, motion detection, mobile alerts, etc. The only optional feature is the cloud dvr, which records your video and makes it accessible to you so you can see your home from anywhere on the planet. More at dropcam.com/dvr

    David Corea

    1. @edventure I don’t think it’s unreasonable to pay a monthly fee if you want the DVR capability. But in a perfect world, I would be able to use my own computer as the DVR.

      @David That’s great news about the potential for an outdoor camera.

  6. My mistake, I thought you had to pay a fee to get any camera output, not just the DVR functions.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  7. I bought a Dropcam about three months ago. I really like the ease of use and ability to see activity from a smartphone. However, as soon as it was connected to our home WiFi, the home WiFi started having problems. The WiFi at times wouldn’t work at all, have slow speeds, making computers act like a virus had taken over, etc. After several yelling matches with our internet provider, it was suggested to disconnect all computers and peripherals (the Dropcam) and then reconnect one at a time. Voila! Internet connectivity and speeds returned to normal after disconnecting the Dropcam and problems returned when the Dropcam was reconnected. I’ve Googled the problem but not found any others with the same issues. This is very disappointing because the concept is so good.

    1. @1000Acres That’s really strange… I’ve been using the original Dropcam for a couple years and the new HD for several weeks. They just sent me a 2nd Dropcam HD because I complained about the drab colors. So I have 3 Dropcams connected to my home Wifi and I’m not having and have never had an issue.

  8. By having the camera pointed outside through the window, do you have any problems seeing at night through the window with the infrared on? Also for the person that said everything is slow, would getting a faster router fix it?

    1. @medic You’re right, night vision doesn’t work when the camera is pointed out the window. There are LEDs around the lens that reflect against the window pane and block out any image that you might otherwise see. It works great when it’s not pointed out a window though 🙂

  9. Axis Communications has a similar model with Axis Video Hosting. Who offer much higher quality cameras, of course at a higher price. Axis also released Axis Camera Companion where you can just have a NAS box at home or install a SD card and record as much as you want given you have enough storage, with an IOS and Android app to view live and recorded video. Makes for a fun project but maybe a little too advanced for most users. But for something simple Dropcam seems like a good idea, I just don’t enjoy paying monthly fees for Cloud Storage and after two years of subscription, you could have put together a better solution cheaper. Also the off chance something happens while your internet is out Dropcam is useless. Dropcam seems like a fun toy, but I wouldn’t depend on it as a security device.

  10. I like the look, the simplicity of the set up and the night vision But!
    I don’t see myself replace 7 ip cam in my week-end place plus two where I live and pay 9 time the fee.
    The ip cam I have do all, plus have the pan tilt, visible from any device. (iPhone, Mac, pc)
    You can hear from the mic and zoom(on pc only), have motion detector, sensor, noise detector. All can be adjust anywhere in the world, no fee monthly. It’s not hd but the quality is great. the cost is $250. It send you an email with the trigged pictures (with your own setup picture size) so no dvr needed. I have high speed internet but not great (10mbps) and they all work great though.
    The bad part: Not looks as good as Dropcam and bigger.
    Also the setup is simple for initiate the cam, but to make it works for the rest of the world is little more tricky, once you made one cam the other will be easy.
    So I could switch to Dropcam and give up the pan tilt if it was free for review the trigged pictures.
    For whom to be concern.
    Luc A

  11. During our week long test, we were never able to get the Dropcam HD to create accurate color.
    Black and Green appeared Pink and Magenta. Don’t expect accurate color. DropCam’s response was candid and I applaud them for that.

    “the color inaccuracy that you are noticing with your Dropcam HD’s video is actually a side effect of the IR filter over your camera’s lens. This filter is required in order for the night vision feature to function.

    Unfortunately, this means that in certain lighting conditions with a lot of UV present, the colors will seem a little bit off. This is especially prevalent in sunny outdoor scenes.”

    1. @conradusa I haven’t noticed Pink and Magenta, just an overall drabbness to the colors. They sent me a 2nd camera thinking that they had sent me a very early model of their HD camera, which didn’t have all the special sauce of their current ones. Unfortunately, I noticed no difference between it and the first one they sent. I still much prefer their original Echo camera.

  12. The base of the hd cam seemed a little big and unstable to be placed on top of my window. I hung the cam with foil tape over the USB wire which is held very well. This makes the camera smaller, more stable, and appealing from the outside. I’ve also set a timer for the porch light to be on at night due to the lack of infrared lights through the window. I’m attaching a picture of how I placed the camera. I will place white tape over the metallic tape as well. http://s888.photobucket.com/albums/ac88/marcello2/

  13. Okay, I must recant my earlier statement that the Dropcam made our home WiFi erratic. Not true. It seems when at lot of activity came through our 3-year old Buffalo Air Station, the thing went crazy. So, replaced with a new WiFi, hooked up the Dropcam, everything is perfect again. However, about the color. I used the Dropcam for house sitting a friend’s house. It was especially valuable to monitor when her dogs barked. The Dropcom was pointed at a deep purple accent wall. The result was that everything in the room was different shades of purple, including the dogs. Quite funny!

  14. Have had 3 Dropcam HDs since they starting shipping them. Had one replaced immediately, good service. Had several problems with all of them which were supposed to be fixed via software updates over time, and they mostly were. But in the end had too many wifi problems. Bought new airport extreme base station and airport express to ensure full coverage. Tv, iPhone, TiVo, all work great, but not dropcams. They cut out and don’t reconnect the way everything else does. Used to reconnect after I unplugged and replugged all routers, wifi equipment, and cameras. But no more. Left for 5 months, cameras went off, paid someone to do the unplug-replug routine. Worked for another week. Stopped again. Paid same person to do it again. Several times. They won’t reconnect at all. No computer in the house. So now my home is left unwatched. Dropcam support is willing to troubleshoot or replace or refund but no one will be there to do anything for several more months! Not at all satisfactory. I was planning to buy several more for other home, including expensive DVR service, but obviously not going to do that now.

  15. Gerry, the web cam I have is Panasonic bl series, I ad recently few more but with different brand (Innovatek) to have night vision with same stuff that panasonic do. Little less option for the triggering, 1/4 of the price though. Be be aware the night vision not work behind window by night, you have to put them outside. So far on the four cam I got, one was deffected, I know the return work good, (I return a dvd player for car after one year, and it came back new).
    Again the video quality is not as great as Dropcam, witch is one of the top of the line in this price, but the fee is a mistake to me.
    The wifi seems to be a problem. I can imagine if you have to extend your wifi with an extender…
    I got one for each place and all cam work, and passed few winter (NC) and summer (SC).
    I tried Dlink and Astack “the Mole” waist of money but good marketing.
    I have to say that for Panasonic the appropriate router I found was the Netgear, good support as Panasonic. I tried with Linsys but no support for Apple! With Dropcam I don’t think it matter.
    Also, you want to see anytime all cam in once on computer, phone device etc, so all the cam have to be compatible to all your reader.
    Got Security spy for mac, ip cam viewer for iPhone and Pad (with sound)
    Hope it help, forgive my english

  16. @Dan
    (dropcam employee responding)
    In addition to saving video clips, you can use the new Dropcam app for iPad to take a still photo of live or recorded video. We’re looking into bringing this functionality to other devices as well.

    Hope that’s helpful for you!

  17. Hey David.
    Do you know any way I can get dropcam to reply to my tickets or calls?

    Ordered a dropcam but cancelled prior to shipping.
    dropcam billed my credit card
    I contacted dropcam by their ticketing system and filed ticket 20890
    On September 13th Alex Andrews emailed back and said that it was a problem with their system and they would issue a refund in 2 days.
    On November 14th I refiled the issue and dropcom acknowledged the recept of the ticket.
    On Novemebr 15th I sent a reminder email
    On November 16th Alex Andrews reviewed the ticket and deemed the incident closed. He has still not contacted Discover.
    On November 20th I reopened a ticket explaining that they had NOT contacted the credit card company and again asked them to do so.

    I have an email record of all the transactions from both myself and Alex Andrews. I am at a loss as to why they acknowledge that it was incorrectly billed but will not call the credit card company or discuss it with me.

  18. Hi @john – we’ve been trying to get a contact number for you all day and also reached out on Facebook. Have you been calling 1-877-345-DROP, our support number? We have no record of any calls from you. We’d love to help figure out what is going on – please feel free to respond to the direct message on Facebook and we’ll give you a call back.

  19. I am thinking about buying a couple of drop cams to “watch” things around the house when we are away. I have a Verizon FIOS wireless router that seems to provide strong signal just about anywhere in the house. Does anyone have any experience with this type of router? I have plenty of upload speed (15mps).
    Also, in their web site current users observe that being able to create a notification schedule that automatically turns it on and off (and one that can be adjusted while away) would be helpful but I don’t see any comments from Dropcam about adding this functionality. Is this coming?

  20. Hi Paul,

    It seems that you have plenty of upload bandwidth, so that shouldn’t be an issue for you at all. As far as scheduling when your Dropcam turns on or off, I can tell you that we are looking into ways to do it. We would love to chat with you more and hear about how you would like your Dropcam to work for you.

    Please contact us at [email protected] or call us at 877-345-DROP (3767)

  21. Paul – We use a regular 24 hour timer to turn the DropCam off at night and back on at about 6:30AM. We use the DropCam through a window to look at the back open space in conjunction with our community weather station so we really only need daytime viewing.

    Our only BIG complaint is the pink color. It will flicker off and on when viewing outside scenes. We are currently experimenting with indoor views and have not noticed any pink. The public dropcams seem to vary between pink and no pink.


  22. @Aamir @David I am in the UK, and am trying to get some information on when Dropcam HD (and the outdoor one) will be available in the UK. Still no news other than the standard (backwards) form to fill out expressing interest. I am surprised that you have not even listed any release date for other countries of 220V requirements at this day and age! It is 2013, and the world is smaller than ever. Similarly, I believe the Dropcam HD is powered by a Mirco USB cable that plugs into the USB input port of an AC Adapter. So why cant the Dopcam be plugged into the iPad adapter via micro USB cable into the USB port?!?

  23. Hi Burton,

    We will update you via email as soon as we begin shipping internationally. We have yet to decide on an official release date, but know that when we do, you’ll be among the first to know, for filling out the interest form.

    With respect to how you would prefer to power your camera, I’d suggest contacting [email protected]. We’ll be glad to have a conversation with you.

  24. Hi All,

    I just got an email, not from Aamir, but from someone else at Dropcam support. They state “I apologize, but the color inaccuracy that you are noticing with your Dropcam HD’s video is actually a side effect of the IR filter over your camera’s lens. This filter is required in order for the night vision feature to function.

    Unfortunately, this means that in certain lighting conditions with a lot of UV present, the colors will seem a little bit off. This is especially prevalent in sunny outdoor scenes.”

    So, my pink color occurs not during sunny outdoor scenes as mentioned above but during cloudy, dull daytime scenes. I keep monitoring the public HD NYC East River cam which is geographically not too far away, certainly experiencing the same weather conditions as my camera, but it has not shown any pink.

    I wonder if there is a manufacturing quality control issue that causes some cameras to be more susceptible to pink issues than others.

  25. Can i view what the Dropcam HD recorded in my Mac, if so how? Or does it have to be via DVR(will it have a monthly cost to do so via DVR?) thanks in advance

    1. @Mel The free account will let you see and watch live video. The paid (monthly) plan will let you watch (via a web browser or a mobile app) past video. There are 2 paid plans. One will save video for 7 days and the other for a month.

  26. Oh okay..let me get this straight, when i go home the whole 24 hour surveillance video will be recorded on the computer?, i just don’t want it to get deleted(do i save it logging into the website or how?) and it will have the time and date?

  27. I apologize if i’m annoying with all the questions 🙁 (i just want to know if i’ll buy it depending on the answers) i have 3 small children at home that need surveillance 24/7. I could just set it for when it hears a sound, no?

  28. I really like this product and will be purchasing one here very soon. As for the dvr option… Why not offer 24, 48, and 72 hour package options for people who only want to record while away on a weekend getaway?

  29. Yep!

    I also doubt adding an hourly option will take anything away from potential month to month customers. If anything an hourly option will bring in more users due to the flexability!

    More options = better company. 🙂

  30. I would love to be able to add pre scheduled video security on my house while planning a weekend vaca. Great piece of mind.

    I also think people with good ideas should be awarded free products like cameras and stuff. 😉

  31. All the positive feed back is very encouraging!
    I’ve ordered my first Dropcam and I’m very excited to get it and start using it! I have 3 parrots and it will be great to see what goes on while I’m at work!!! I’ll keep you posted. Expected delivery date is Feb 4, 2013!!!’n

  32. My Dropcam HD still hasnt arrived 🙁 anyday soon…
    cant wait! I have 2 cats, and one (the little one) terrorises the other (the old one). So I will watch from out of the house, and scold her into the phone when the little one decides to torment the older one 🙂
    Cant wait to see her face when she hears me yelling at her to behave!!

  33. Hi Tony,

    We don’t yet ship to the UK, but we appreciate your interest all the same! If you’d like us to let you know when we do start shipping internationally, you can signup for our mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/qF_KH

    We’ll keep you posted.

    Dropcam Marketing

  34. @Tony don’t bother putting your name on that list. I did that ages ago and got no update or news of it ever coming to the UK. You can just get thm fom the US yourself and use the (UK spec) iPad USB charger to power it in the UK 🙂

    1. @John You have to log into your dropcam account through your web browser. Then in the live view, you should see a Make Clip button right above the time line.

  35. Anyone have this problem, or a solution (tried cust.svc. twice with no response)….

    I can view the feed through my Android phones, or laptop browser when I’m at home connected to our wifi. However I cannot get a video stream when trying to view from laptop while at work or anywhere out of home. Starts with a static picture, and the buffer wheel in the center of the pic just keeps on spinning.

    Have updated adobe flash and plugins, and tried on 3 browsers (chrome, firefox, IE), and still same problem.

    Was hoping to buy more for myself and parents, but now not sure. Anyone gone through this?

    1. @michael that sounds like some kind of firewall problem or something. I’m able to view my dropcam while at work… we’re behind a firewall, but it still works for me using Chrome or IE. Hopefully someone from Dropcam will respond.

  36. Hi Michael,

    Sorry for the delay in our response to you. We reached out earlier this afternoon. Know that we’ll work to resolve what we can for you as quickly as possible!

  37. I have just installed a Dropcam, and it worked fine when my router had a dynamic IP, but it slowed my Internet too much. So, I changed to a static IP and now Internet has good speed, but Dropcam comes on half a day and then cannot connect for a full day. What should I do. Thanks!

  38. Michael,

    I have the same issue. I just ordered a dropcam from Amazon, but now that I can’t access even the public feeds at work, I don’t think I would keep it. Have you received a solution?

  39. @Kirk,

    Dropcam is designed to receive a network address from your router via DHCP, so assigning a static IP won’t work with your camera. My suggestion to getting your Dropcam back online would be:

    1)Re-enable DHCP on your router.
    2)Plug your Dropcam into your computer and reconnect to your network
    3)If you experience speed/connection issues:
    a) Check off the box that reads SD mode in your camera settings to minimize on bandwidth usage
    b) Please run a speedtest to determine what your upload bandwidth availability is and contact us at [email protected]. We’ll be able to investigate further once we have a better understanding of your network.

  40. @MC,

    If you’re having problems accessing your personal Dropcam feed and the Public Feeds from your office, it’s very likely that your office is preventing Flash from running. Are you able to view videos from Hulu or YouTube at work? Another good test would be to visit http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and check to see if the animation on the page plays properly.

    If you can’t see the animation, I’d suggest following up with an IT contact in your office for appropriate next steps for enabling flash to load.

    If you do can see the animation, would you please contact us at [email protected] so that we can investigate this more closely?

    I got someone to buy one for me (as they don’t ship abroad for whatever bizarre reason) , I thought it would be useful in the UK and when I travel for hotel rooms. It works relatively well though the wifi cuts out quite a lot. The problem is I can’t access the recording service because their billing system won’t take non US credit cards. Their customer service just said ‘we can’t take non US payments, sorry’ that was it ,no interest in my business, nothing about whether they would be doing this in the future. It’s no more a strain on their servers and international payments aren’t exactly tricky, they are just not interested in doing business with the rest of the world.

  42. Can someone explain if you buy the 7 day each month recording plan what does that mean? I know it records 7 days of video a month but at the end of the month is it deleted?, or does it start recording over the previous 7 days of recorded video so you still have access to part of the previous months video or what. It doesn’t explain if you record 7 days a month does that mean you have 84 hours of recorded video at the end of the year or just 7 hours??? I’ve not found any info on this on their site or any review.

  43. I have the 7 day plan. It records 7 straight days and starts to erase anything past 7 days. It doesn’t just record 7 days a month like you mentioned. It continuously records, but you can only see recordings from the last 7 days. So if I login today I can only see the recorded videos from the last 7 days say up to last Tuesday. If I login tomorrow I can only see the last 7 days or up to last Wednesday. Anything past 7 days is erased. Hope this helps 🙂

  44. @1000Acres > Sounds like a QoS issue I think. You may want to log into your router browser software or IP address in your web browser (usually and check the broadband advanced settings. If you have a relatively current router; you should see settings for QoS (Quality of Service.) You can enable this typically to a generic setting or customize it for specific devices on your network. The QoS regulates the data bandwidth usage to not overload the network or a specific device.

    Hope that helps 🙂

  45. Sterling Babcock

    I noticed that the HD video uses about 60 Gb/month of upload. You can set it to SD to make it 30 Gb/month.

    I am wondering if you could add a feature that was SD/HD video? Have the camera be in SD mode, and then once it detects motion, switch to HD for a few minutes, then back to SD while inactive.

    It would reduce the network congestion, while using the HD while it is important.

    Would a Dropcam representative care to comment on this possibility?

  46. Hi.
    One question.
    When I set camera to turn on when there is motion detected, and I get an email alert there is motion, can I now view live and see my house under Free plan.

  47. Have learned to work through the nuance of multiple DropCams. Had to trash my DSL since each cam sucks up about 200K bandwidth and I also learned where to put it…My cams are in active rooms: shooting image through turning ceiling fan, with TVs on and I know to expect 50% shot I will need to refresh the screen shot, which requires 20-30 second delay. But, it is fine at that point and I need to be more vigilent in finding that perfect spot where the motion sensing and camera is NOT working 100% of the time sending inane images on to the network.

    I do not think the superb support team emphasizes this enough, but the camera and system does work beautifully, when it is engaged with live images. I turn off HD when I do not need it, I do not record (too much $$ per month and in fact I agree with poster that feels camera should be bundled with year of service OR buyers should be offered discounted service after they have it free for 30 days) but I do use alerts, which sound in my iPHone over invisible mice OR flickers across a TV screen in the right frequency to trigger the motion detection software, but that is sufficient since more are accurate that my dog is at the window and needs to be taken out or other useful things to see happening.

    It is easy, works well enough, a bit of bandwidth hog, but that is expected, requires bit better placement not just for WiFi connectivity but not loading the field of vision with ‘noise making’ activity – – as opposed to another corner of the room without a whirling paddle fan or TV…glad i thought of this and need to not be lazy and see if this actually is a valid solution which improves the full cache freeze out….but overall i am big fan, ardent supporter and recommend others to buy in to this solution and keep the feedback coming.

    Can you buy these off the shelf anywhere?

  48. I had a question about he motion detection and notification. I’m trying to catch my dog doing something she’s not supposed to be doing. If I have the camera pointed at the location in question and the dog enters the location will I be notified by a audible alert on my iPhone? I understand there may be a 5 second delay. Will I then be able to use the two way communication feature to tell my dog to stop? Also will I be able to do this for free or do I have to subscribe to the service if I’m not interested in recording the video? Thanks.

  49. @Jerry I sometimes try to see what my cat is up to, and do get email alerts whenever movement is detected, however, the snapshots that come with the emails always do not show my cat in the photo. I suspect it is because she is too quick, and the camera wont be able to snap it quickly enough… Sometimes, she is caught in the photo (rarely) but it is just the tip of her or a tiny bit of her as she is running around quickly. Do a test run. But the short answer, is yes, it sends email alerts to you when movement is detected, and yes, you can speak to your dog, but keep in mind there is a delay (and it is more than 5 seconds).

  50. Just got a dropcam yesterday. Set up was easy, but the camera seems to buffer every few seconds. At first I thought it was a problem with my wi-fi, but after a few hours I’ve determined that the buffering only occurs when there’s movement within the frame, people walking around, etc. When the room is empty, there’s no buffering and it looks great. Anyone else experience this? And is there a fix?

    1. @Jeff did you get the latest version? The Dropcam HD? I have been testing one and have the same issue. I also have an original Dropcam that doesn’t have this behavior. I’ll see if I can get more info about the buffering issue and include it when I post my review.

  51. Thanks for the review. If I have the Dropcam inside on the window sill looking at the backyard, will it still detect motion through the glass so I can capture the pictures on my PC? (I assume it has a fixed focus.)

    1. @Walter yes it will still detect motion through a window as long as it’s light outside. Once it becomes dark, the infrared LEDs will reflect off the glass and you’ll not be able to see anything at all.

  52. Can I subscribe to the DropCam website features being that Im from Calgary Canada? I read that they only except US. memberships is this true?

  53. Cool thanks. I just went and bought 2 Dropcam Pro’s
    I guess these must be the lastest and greatest editions.
    cant wait to hook them up after work.

  54. I loved my Dropcam while it worked. My husband gave it to me as a Christmas present in 2012. It is now just less than a year (Dec. 6, 2013) since I got it and the picture has gone fuzzy and discolored. The concept is good but I am not impressed with the quality of the product.

  55. 10 stars out of 10 for Dropcam! We contacted them about the horrid picture quality and they sent us a replacement camera. What a difference. The old camera looked like a camera with a very bad cataract. The replacement camera is clear with beautiful color.


  56. how do I setup my dropcam at a hotel. I am currently at a Klimpton hotel and have accessed the wifi but when I plug in my dropcan it gets this error…

    Wireless connection established but could not connect to the Dropcam servers. Please make sure that your router is connected to the Internet

    What do I do?

  57. Julie,

    Thank you for creating this blog. I have been watching reviews of of the Dropcam (and other) cameras on youtube, and researching claims on their respective websites. Although there are some great reviews, I have had many of my questions answered here (and frankly, I am most interested in the comments of concerns by the end users). I have responsibility for many of our small satellite facilities where I’m thinking that solutions such as these may be a viable tool (I’ll echo the rhetoric that I feel a weatherproof version and/or housing would be well received.

    Has anyone purchased the multi-camera recording package, and if so, do both the 7-day and 30-day accessibility options reduce the fee by 50% for all cameras after the first? l will certainly be checking back with your blog, as this seems to be a pretty thorough R&D pool. Thanks y’all.


  58. Dropcam needs to offer/provide…1] SD CARD incorporated into the camera, 2]Completely wireless version with a lasting battery that works at disyance 3] Outdoor version 4] Ethernet Version 5] ALL IN ONE VERSION ……I’m sure they have already considered all of this.

    I look forward to replies, as these have all likely been addressed. What are Dropcams major competitors? I just now stumbled upon the product. Thank You.

  59. I don’t have access to cable internet, I am using WiFi right now to use my dropcam HD. not sure who has this WiFi. local eating place I think.

    I want to get satellite internet, and have been looking at “Exede”. it seems they have the fastest speeds. The only thing I am concerned about is the amount of data I will need. They have several plans, but I am looking at either the 10GB per month or the 15 GB per month. Which plan do you think I need for my dropcam usage. I only have it on at certain times of the day. 6:00pm to 8:00am. Will the dropcam use more than the 10 or 15 GB per month. I can not find any answers to this question on the internet.
    So I guess the main question is. How much data will the dropcam use in a month being on for 14 hours a day.???
    I hope I can get an answer to this. before I order my satellite internet setup.

    Please help……

  60. Please email me with any information regarding my question about the amount of data the dropcam uses.
    I forgot to check the email me button..


  61. I spent two hours last night with high hopes for this camera, replacing a Y-Cam HD with the DropCam, up mounted near the ceiling. I’m disappointed with the DropCam color — it’s truly awful. I’m going to reinstall the Y-Cam until DropCam can do something about the horrible color. The Y-Cam offers the same cloud storage and all features except for the in-app zoom. Too bad.

  62. I am wondering how much data does this use? (Sorry if I missed it somewhere in here) I am in Canada where data is expensive. I currently have 275G and usually have between 50-60G left at end of month.


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