When it comes to protecting one’s home and family, is there really any such thing as going too far? Well, I don’t know about that, but I do know that home security is a pretty serious business! In my recent testing of the Piper Home Security Camera and a few other Piper accessories, I learned just how easy—and, dare I say, fun—that home security can be! But this is not a flawless system by any means. Whether or not you will ultimately be satisfied with the Piper Home Security System probably depends on what your expectations are going in. So, how about we try to set you up with some fairly reasonable expectations right now?! First up, the Piper’s drawbacks.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t find a whole lot of drawbacks to the Piper Security System. Other than getting an occasional error message, requiring me to quickly re-open the Piper App (which only took about 3 seconds), I didn’t have a lot of trouble with the app itself. It’s easy to download and install, quick to set up, and intuitive to use. I never had to read any instructions to figure anything out—I just played around with the app and learned all about it as I went along. It all just took a matter of minutes.
Did you know?
Piper is made in Canada. In 2012 a group of engineers in Ottawa collaborated to design home security products that would include:
Funded via the most successful Canadian Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign ever having raised more than triple their initial funding goal.
One issue that I did encounter, however, was a time delay in the live video feed. At times I found the feed to be about 10 seconds behind what was actually happening, and at other times it was as much as 30 seconds behind. Slightly worrying, right?! Well, maybe not. After all, I don’t know if the Piper itself was truly at fault. Other potential culprits could have been either my not-so-smart phone or my Internet connection. As my Internet connection is really top notch pretty much all the time, I’m not going to blame that. My older model phone, however, is another story. I honestly think that my phone was at fault for the video delay. It is an Android device, but it’s 2 or 3 generations behind the current models, and having recently spoken to my cellular service provider, I found that my phone is not only a very basic (i.e., anyone can afford it) model, but it is frequently the source of complaints from other users with the same model. So, I think that the Piper may stream the live video faster on a better phone—and maybe even with zero time delay. I just can’t say that for absolute certain.
PIPER KEEPS ITS PROMISES
As for the positives of the Piper Security System … well, there are actually quite a few. The best one of all, though, is that it largely keeps its promises. For example, you can set up alerts for just about anything that the Piper camera can detect (i.e., motion, loud sounds, and even changes in temperature). There are even sensors for humidity and ambient light. And the notifications work! Better still, there are multiple alert options, meaning you can receive the notification in a variety of ways. You can choose to receive a text message, an e-mail, a message within the Piper App. itself, or a phone call (pretty cool huh?!). You can also choose to have the camera start recording video whenever something is detected, and / or blast a 105 DB alarm upon detection (which is sure to scare off any intruder). The system can even notify members of what Piper calls your “Trusted Circle” (which is basically anyone you’ve given access to your system to–family, friends, or even a trusted neighbour).
This is really quite useful and it worked very well in testing. I tested the system in multiple ways, from quickly moving past the camera, to making a loud clapping noise behind it. In each case I received (almost instantly) a text message and an e-mail (as these were the notification options I chose) letting me know of motion or a loud noise being detected. I didn’t test the temperature change sensor as temperature fluctuations would have been more difficult to set up. However, I did notice that the app. allows you to choose a temperature range whereby no notification is necessary. If the temperature varies beyond a specified upper or lower level, you’ll receive the notification.
This would be very useful if you were away on a winter vacation and wanted to make sure that your home remained heated to within a certain temperature range (to prevent the freezing of pipes or whatnot). If your heating system stops working properly and the temperature drops too low, a quick text message or e-mail will notify you of the situation, at which point you can send someone to your home to check on the problem and possibly even rectify it. It’s the little benefits like these that really make the Piper an invaluable system for many people!
There are 3 security modes (Stay—for when you’re at home; Away—for when you’re out, such as at work; & Vacation—for when you’re away for an extended period). In each of these modes, you can individually customize the “Rules” for how the system will operate (such as receiving your notifications).
One of my favourite features of the Piper Camera itself is the handy mounting bracket that may be swapped out with the also useful camera stand. Whichever one you choose to employ, you can easily place the camera wherever you like. As there is both a black and a white Piper system available, you can choose the one that will best blend in with your home’s decor. Then again, you may want it to boldly stand out so as to intimidate any potential intruders. Shown above (same photo) are both the stand (right) and the wall-mounting bracket (left) as they appear when not attached to the camera. Each mount is easy to affix to the camera, and the wall-mount is easily fastened to any wall. This is definitely a no fuss security system!
A FEW PIPER ACCESSORIES
I just wanted to briefly mention a couple of the Piper Accessories I’ve also been looking at. One of them is the Piper Door / Window Sensor, which easily pairs with your camera and contributes (within the rules you’ve already established) to a fully integrated security system. In other words, it can notify you when a specific door or window is opened up. It is easy to install, has a wireless range of 50-65 feet, and it’s battery can last for up to 2 years. It’s also very small and discreet, so it easily blends in among the other electronic gadgets in your home. Overall, this is one security accessory that is definitely worth picking up!
Also available is a Smart Switch that allows you to control selected lights and appliances directly through the Piper App. just by having them routed through the switch. Also small and discreet, this switch will be inconspicuous both to your welcomed guests and your bungling (hopefully!) burglars. As with the Door / Window Sensor, the Smart Switch easily integrates into your overall Piper Security System to help protect your home against unwanted intruders & nosey neighbours alike. Either way, you’ll enjoy greater peace of mind than ever before once you’ve customized your Piper equipment into the ultimate home security system.
The Piper Home Security System itself is an easy to use system that, unlike many other home security systems, incurs no monthly fees to use. It streams & records live video in high definition under a variety of lighting conditions, and you can even pan (to a 180 degree field of view), tilt, or zoom in for a closer shot all while viewing (even in a split screen if you like) the action on your smart phone. Finally, there’s even a 2 way microphone built in so you can either exchange pleasantries with friendly burglars or engage in shouting matches with family—or something like that! All in all, I do recommend the Piper System & Accessories as a low cost way to outfit your home with a higher level of security. Remember, the Piper System is not perfect and may have the occasional glitch. However, the glitches that I experienced were well within reason, and overall I believe that the system will provide significant benefits to a great many users.
If you’d like to browse and start learning about some of Best Buy’s many Surveillance & Home Security products, including cameras, sensors, and a variety of other gadgets, I just gave you the link. Have a great day!