It is during times of uncertainty, much like the crisis we are currently experiencing, that we think a little more about our safety. Feeling secure in our own homes is paramount when we’re effectively locked inside them.With this in mind, investing in a home security system takes one element of the worry out of your daily life. Anker has stepped up to the mark with an update to its eufy Security system, also offering the service without a monthly subscription. From the off, this places it ahead of competition like Nest. Here’s what we think.
Warning: We no longer recommend security cameras manufactured by Wyze and eufy.
What is eufy Home Security?
I tested a combination of the eufyCam 2 and two of the eufyCam 2C cameras. The latter ships with the HomeBase 2, which is the hub for the entire system.
We’ll start with the eufyCam 2C. It is important to note is an upgrade to the older eufyCam E. The newer 2C model packs 1080p definition and has a field of view that covers 135 degrees. It has been upgraded with a spotlight for dark vision and the camera boasts human and facial recognition.
With this reincarnation, eufy bumped-up the IP (ingress protection) rating from IP65 to IP67. This means the eufyCam 2C won’t let any dust into the housing and can stand being fully submerged in up to 1m of water for 30 minutes. As a result, you don’t need to worry about rain ruining your security setup.
So, what of the eufyCam 2? Well, it packs most of the same functions as the 2C. The 1080p definition remains, and you have a 140-degree field of view compared to the 2C’s 135 degrees. It also features enhanced AI as per the 2C. There is no spotlight on the eufyCam 2. However, it does pack a Sony Starvis sensor into its guts, which means it is capable of returning high-quality images whether in direct sunlight or pitch darkness.
The eufyCam 2 is also water and dustproof, as it too carries an IP67 rating. I elected to install the eufyCam 2 as my “front door” cam, so resisting water and dust ingress is of vital importance here (particularly as I live in England where we seem to just have one perpetual Autumn instead of four distinct seasons).
The HomeBase 2 is the brains behind the whole operation. You need a HomeBase 2 to use the cameras – this is important as they won’t work without it as standalone devices. One cool feature is the HomeBase 2’s “Wi-Fi Repeater Mode”, which boosts the Wi-Fi signal in your home. This is intended for the cameras, as they may be far away from your router, but (according to Anker) it has the added bonus of pumping up the Wi-Fi signal for other devices in the home, too.
Additional products in the eufy Security family include a video doorbell (wired or battery powered) and an entry sensor. These are available separately.
Installation is Easy
Let’s face it—there are few of us out there who actually enjoy DIY. So, it is great that both the eufyCam 2 and 2C are easy to install.
The eufyCam 2 comes with a fixable mount that offers plenty of rotation around its ball-and-socket joint. It is easy to take the housing apart and simply use two screws to mount it to the wall. Re-constructing the housing fixes the camera in place.
The eufyCam 2 also comes with a high-strength magnetic mount, which allows you to easily pull the camera from the wall without unscrewing it (as you have to with the ball joint) although not easy enough that a gust of wind will send it flying across the driveway.
The magnetic mount would be best used in a position out of arm’s reach. As the camera is not physically fixed by a screw, as with the ball joint mount, it can be removed easily. By anyone. Because of this, there is a risk that the camera itself could be stolen. Although the culprit will have been caught in the act, recorded, and committed to the HomeBase 2 event log, the hassle of catching them and getting your unit back makes using the magnetic mount, at low levels, a pointless venture. Place it high up, completely out of reach.
You can choose between this or the aforementioned ball joint mount, but you can’t use both at the same time.
The eufyCam 2C doesn’t include this magnetic mount, and so relies on the ball-and-socket joint to offer maneuverability.
Both cameras are installed into the overall security system using a combination of the HomeBase 2 and the app—this is a super-simple process that is as easy as pressing the sync button on the camera when prompted by the app.
The app will then tell you if the wi-fi signal is strong enough in the intended installation location.
It’s a Free Service
That’s right. The monitoring service is totally free once you’ve splurged your cash on the gear.
Buying both of these together will cost in the region of $345; a small price to pay for the initial set-up. However, where eufy Security stands out from its peers is the subscription fee. Because there isn’t one.
Despite the fact that eufy Security stores all of the recordings (described as “events” by the manufacturer) on its cloud, it doesn’t expect you to pay for it. There is a “donate” option within the app (we’ll talk more about this later) but, aside from that, it costs nothing other than the initial expense.
This is why we think the eufy Security system is already knocking spots off its competitors. Ring, for example, charges $3 per calendar month for its Protect Basic plan. This allows for one single device such as its camera doorbell. With eufy Security, you can have as many devices as your HomeBase 2 allows and up to 3-months of recordings are committed to local storage.
In addition, several other functions have been added to the 2C which vastly improves the performance. The camera is 1080p—so the definition stays the same in comparison to the older eufyCam E. You do lose five degrees from the field of view, but that’s no big deal.
The 2C also has a spotlight, which offers a great advantage. Not only does it clarify any night-time or low-light recordings, but it also allows you to record in color at night. There are obvious security perks here as you have a detailed description of any intruders, which includes hair and clothing color. This could mean the difference between catching an intruder or not after an event has taken place.
The AI has been improved, so the 2C camera can actually pick out faces from the event unfolding in front of it using its facial recognition functions. Ideal for handing hi-def images of Amazon parcel thieves over to the cops!
Both the eufyCam 2 and 2C come with built-in two-way speakers, so you can converse with anyone who knocks at your door without even needing to get off the sofa. You just need to use the app (available for Android and IOS) and you can converse via a familiar press-and-hold of the microphone icon that sits at the bottom of each camera screen on the app.
A Bucketload of Storage
Where the eufyCam 2C is concerned, the older eufyCam E’s SD card slot has been switched out for eMMC. The embedded storage is capable of holding 16GB of data, with the manufacturer boasting that three months of events can be stored on the chip. Storage expansion is also to be added, which can be plugged into the USB port. At the time of writing, this feature has yet to be released.
Storage works in exactly the same way for the eufyCam 2, with the 16GB eMMC present granting three months of local storage for recordings.
With both the eufyCam 2 and 2C, all the recorded data is encrypted, so you need to log into your account to view it. However, given the recent hoo-hah caused by Ring’s recent security exploits, it would be nice to see two-factor authentication rolled out on the eufy devices.
It is worth noting that if you actually want to keep any of the videos past the three months of eMMC storage, you’ll have to download them and store them elsewhere. The camera will automatically start overwriting old recordings.
Monitor Your Property…Anywhere
Obviously, you get to incorporate your eufy Security system into your whole “internet of things.” It is fully conversant with voice assistants such as Alexa. Not only that, but it comes with a very robust app that allows you to check your security system wherever you are.
The app also allows you to modify your security system. You can use it to turn notifications on and off, so you’re not getting annoying buzzing every time someone walks past your front door.
Obviously, you can monitor your property through the camera feeds on the app. You can click into each camera which will take you to a live feed so you can see what is happening there and then. This is accessed via a “Devices” option which appears at the bottom of the screen.
The “Events” option offers a chronological record of each event recorded by the camera. These are displayed as time-stamped screenshots on the day they were created. Accessing each event is a matter of tapping whichever one you’d like to watch.
The final screen is “Security”. This allows you to customize the entire system for different scenarios, such as when you’re at home, when you’re away from home, and you can also turn it off altogether if you’re feeling brave.
Clicking into each scenario offers further customization, allowing you to disable push notifications, video recording, and switch on the camera and HomeBase 2 alarms (both of which operate at a tinnitus-inducing 100 dB).
Impressive Battery Power
There is a six-month deficit in battery power, with the upgraded 2C offering 180 days from one charge, compared to the full year that the older eufyCam E offers. If you can cope with momentous inconvenience of climbing a ladder twice a year instead of just once, though, you’re good.
The eufyCam 2 boasts a full year of operation from just one charge—another reason why I opted to test this as the “main camera” at the front of the house. This is the area with the most traffic and therefore the most potential events. Only charging it once every 365 days ensures your security is rarely compromised.
Of course, you can avoid having to take them down at all if you hook the in-built USB up to a solar charger mounted next to the camera. Any solar charger would need to be purchased separately and isn’t included with any of eufy’s home security packages.
Overall a Fantastic System
Given its customization, ease of installation, and 100% free post-sale service, eufy Security is an excellent option, whether you’re installing your first system or are upgrading from your existing set-up.
The peace of mind, in my opinion, is worth every cent you’ll splash on the eufy home security system. I am impressed up to now – it just remains to be seen how the battery charge has fared in one year’s time.
If you would like more from your eufy Security system, check out its video doorbell for added crime deterrence.
Here’s What We Like
- Highly customizable system
- Multiple cameras and mounting options available
- Simple installation
- Free service
And What We Don't
- Magnetic mount poses a minor security issue to eufyCam 2
- No two-factor authentication option for accessing stored data