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Best Cameras to Spy on My Dogs

We have cameras all around our house.  The cameras aren’t for security; we invested in the hardware so that we (by we, I mean me) can keep an eye on the dogs.  We started with two cameras.  When we switched to a new company for security, they added two more cameras.  And when Apollo joined our family, we added three more.

Obsessive much? Helicopter dog mom much?  Crazy dog lady?  Yep, I’m all of that and I own it.

In this post, I’m going to share my thoughts on the three cameras we’re working with and the apps.  Including why I chose the brands, installation, the pros and cons of each camera/app, and the cost of each camera.

D-Link Cameras

Why I Chose D-Link Cameras

When shopping for cameras, I chose the D-Link camera for two reasons:

  1. There were two cameras in a pack for $90
  2. They promised to be easy to install (and they were).

You don’t need to be tech savvy to install D-Link cameras.  I downloaded the app from the Google Play Store and it walked me through setting up both of the cameras.  The cameras I purchased aren’t wireless and need to be plugged into an outlet; the cameras work using your home WiFi.

The cameras that I purchased are for indoor use only.

What I Love about D-Link

  • One camera can pick up a lot of space when positioned in the right place.
  • I love that I can check in on my dogs.  I learned that they sleep a lot.
  • There is audio so I can hear what’s going on too; when there is sound in the house, I get a notification on the app’s icon.
  • I can take pictures or videos using the app.
  • The app is easy to use.
  • The camera offers great night vision (see image above), but it's in black and white. In the winter, we leave some lights on and we can pick up everything in the early morning without switching to night vision if I space.

What You Need to Know Before You Buy

You can purchase a single camera for $50; the company discounts the 2-pack making it a great deal at $90 (a savings of $10).

  • D-Link doesn’t automatically take images and videos and there is no storage within the camera, but you can sign up for Cloud storage through the app.
  • The images from the camera aren’t great, but I’m not filming a movie.  We have five black dogs and I can easily identify each dog, so the camera is clear enough for us.
  • Depending on your WiFi, there could be a delay in getting images.
  • The app constantly has a notification that a noise was detected so if you have a noisy home, you'll always see it. The cameras can pick up on our dogs barking outside, the cat landing hard on the floor, and when my boyfriend gets home.

We've had our cameras for nearly a year and I love them. We haven't had any issues with them. One functionality it has that I don't use is the connection with Alexa. We don't have an Alexa so I can't speak to how this works.

ADT Pulse Cameras

Why We Chose the ADT cameras

We went with the cameras offered by ADT because we were switching to their security system and two cameras were included in the package we chose.

  1. The cameras were free with the installation of an ADP security system, however, they can also be purchased online.
  2. Installation and set up were easy.

The person who installed our security system set up our cameras; we can move the cameras around the house freely and easily. The cameras I purchased aren’t wireless and need to be plugged into an outlet; the cameras work using your home WiFi.

The cameras that came with our security system are for indoor use only.

What I Love about the Sercomm ADT Pulse cameras

  • The ADT Pulse app is AMAZING. Super easy to use, we can check what's happening in the house, and the app stores images and videos for no extra costs.
  • Like with the D-Link cameras, I love that I can check in on my dogs.  I learned that they sleep a lot.
  • There is audio so I can hear what’s going on too.
  • And, also like with the D-Link cameras, there is some night vision. You can't see the entirety of a big room, but you can see a certain distance from the camera. In the winter, we leave some lights on so that we can pick up everything in the early morning.
  • I haven't had any issues with connecting with WiFi as I do with our other cameras, which sometimes experience a delay.

What You Need to Know Before You Buy

  • These cameras are part of a security system package that comes with a 2-year agreement.
  • These cameras don't have an audio feature (that I've found); it's visual only.

We've had these cameras for less than a year and we still love them. We haven't had an issue with them.

Blink (by Amazon) Cameras

Why I Chose Blink Cameras

I purchased our Blink cameras a couple of months ago and my intention was to purchase more D-Link cameras, however, the Blink cameras caught my eye because…

  1. The Blink cameras came in a 3-pack.
  2. The Blink cameras are indoor/outdoor cameras and great in all weather.
  3. The Blink cameras were affordably priced at
  4. Installation and set up were easy.

And, bonus, these cameras ARE wireless and can be attached anywhere as long as they're close to your router. Of course, a WiFi extender can help if the internet range is an issue.

What I Love about the Blink cameras

  • The cameras do exactly what we need – they provide us with views of the dogs while they're outside.
  • The Blink cameras allow us to speak to the dogs (none of the other cameras we purchased offer this feature) and while I don't use this feature, it has come in handy when I caught the puppy doing something naughty – I made a loud sound in the speaker every time he was jumping on a gate, and it stopped him.
  • There is audio so I can hear what’s going on too.
  • The Blink cameras say that they have night vision, but, like the D-Link cameras, it's only a short distance in front of the camera.
  • There is free cloud storage of images, but I haven't set this up. No contract required, which I love.
  • The cameras work with Alexa, which I think is cool. However, we don't own an Alexa.
  • Because these cameras are wireless, they do require batteries and the pack comes with batteries that have an extended life. Of course, how long the batteries last depends on how long I'm watching our dogs.

What You Need to Know Before You Buy

  • These cameras were the most difficult to install (you'll need tools and possibly a ladder). It was hard to open them to get the QR code (which you need for the app) and insert the batteries. But that's the extent of the difficulty.
  • We did have trouble figuring out where we wanted the cameras and had to reposition a couple of them, so I suggest not mounting the cameras before you have to rush out the door.
  • Once everything has been set up, if someone else in the house (talking about you J) decides they want the app too, then you have to take everything down, open the cameras, and do the set up on their phone too. I didn't do this. J can get the app when we have to change the batteries. UPDATE: I learned from Blink that others can watch the dogs without doing the initial set up. They just need to download the app and sign in as I do (or I can create separate users). We can't watch the same camera at the same time, but this does give others (aka, my boyfriend) the ability to spy on the dogs too.

We've had these cameras for a couple of months and I love them. They provide me with peace of mind. We've had one issue with one of the cameras (Error Message: Live View Failed) and I called customer service and they were able to reset the camera and clear the issue immediately.

Customer Service for Blink Cameras: (781) 332-5465.

Turns out that this one camera is too far from our router, so I'm going to order an extender to make sure this doesn't happen again. But, it's pretty cool that this only happened once in 2 months. Why get an extender then? Because I worry about how the camera will do in the winter.

Optional Supplies for the Blink Camera

I ordered the following supplies for our cameras/home.

Cost for Multiple Cameras<$100>$100>$100
Smart Phone AppYesYesYes
Easy InstallationYesYesYes
Indoor/Outdoor CamerasIndoorIndoorBoth
Picture QualityGoodGreatGood
Saves Pics/Videos on CloudExtra $$YesYes
Two-Way SpeakerNoNoYes
Need Additional EquipmentNoNoNo

*Responsiveness of the cameras and app depends on your WiFi strength. If you plan to spy on your dogs all day, make sure you have good WiFi.

Which Camera is Best for Spying on Dogs?

There are a ton of cameras that are being marketed to pet parents. The idea of talking to my dogs or dispensing treats when I'm at work doesn't work for me. For my pack, it would be cruel for me to talk to them because when they heard my voice, they'd start looking for me.

  • D-Link cameras, which are available on Amazon, are the best if you're on a budget and have a small space to cover (perfect for an apartment). These are quick and easy to set up and the app is easy to use. Cost $90. (recommended)
  • Sercomm ADP Pulse cameras can be purchased through Amazon or you can get them added to your security contract, which I believe is the best option because ADP often offers specials to new customers. Out of all of the cameras, I love these the most because the picture is so clear and the app is amazing. Cost (on Amazon) $156 each, yikes. (my favorite)
  • Blink XT2 cameras, which are also available on Amazon, serve as both indoor and outdoor cameras, allowing us to check in on our dogs whether they're inside or outside. I've learned that they sleep all day. What Blink offers that the others don't is a feature to speak to my dogs, which I don't use (except recently). Blink is the most expensive set of cameras and takes the most time to install. Cost $250.

The costs of security cameras can be daunting, but they do go on sale regularly both online and in stores. If you are in the market for a camera, I suggest checking online (and in stores) on holidays to get the best deal.

WiFi and Security Cameras

One thing I think is important to share is that the more cameras you have (or the more people in your home streaming YouTube, movies, games, etc.), the slower your connection. There will be a delay when you go to look at the cameras. For me, the delay is brief, but it can be frustrating if you need to make sure your dogs are okay.

If you're worried about how well your cameras will do with your current internet connection, I suggest contacting your provider and seeing about bumping up a level. Or shutting down everything else and sending a clear message to everyone in the home that the dogs are Priority One and their entertainment needs are soooo not your concern. LOL

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