You know when you hear a noise in the middle of the night and automatically think, someone is in the house and this is the end, as you proceed to hide under the covers and toss and turn for the rest of the night? Yeah, so, that happens to me. A lot. Too much, actually. It's partially my fault, as a thriller junkie who listens to a podcast called "My Favorite Murder," in their spare time. Regardless, that sense of fear is real and it sucks.
I thought about getting an indoor security camera for peace of mind, but felt a little dramatic — and trust me, I am — but I'm not one of Charlie's Angels. Then I began to hear absurd stories from friends who purchased hidden cameras and discovered their landlords hanging in their apartment while they were away, and caught their dog sitter having a date on their couch. I was warming up to that "order now" button, but wasn't fully convinced. Then, I walked into my apartment one day after work and gasped at the sight of a Poland Spring water bottle sitting on my bar cart that I did not put there. *Cue extremely dramatic music.*
I don't keep water bottles in my house and I'm embarrassingly protective over the organization of my bar cart (thank you very much, ), so I would bet that bottle of Veuve that I didn't leave that there. After feeling extremely paranoid I decided it was time to do something, so I ordered an Amazon Cloud Cam.
The camera is fairly tiny and ridiculously easy to use. The worst part of getting something new is taking the time to set it up, but the Amazon Cloud Cam was ready to go in about five minutes. I removed it from the box, plugged it into an outlet, and downloaded the Cloud Cam app. Connecting it to my phone via wifi took about 30 seconds, and just like that I had a very fancy new security system.
Finding a spot for it.
I live in a small apartment with one entry way, so I placed it where where I could see anyone who enters and, of course, the bar cart. If you're feeling extra sneaky, the Cloud Cam comes with a mount to screw into the wall.
The very cool features.
The Cloud Cam and its app let you watch and download the last 24 hours of video for free. I wasn't so convinced on having a camera set up in my apartment, so I decided to utilize the free plan that's offered — then I got hooked, and purchased the Basic plan for $7 a month. You can find a breakdown of the offerings here, but Basic saves up to seven days of video clips and supports three cameras. There's also Extended and Pro, which hold up to 10 cameras and records up to 30 days of clips.
My absolute favorite part of the Cloud Cam is that I can turn on push notifications for when certain things are detected. There are two options, person and motion, and I keep both turned on. While it would be absolutely terrifying to see "Person Detected" show up on my phone, I'd at least be able to catch the Mysterious Water Bottle Person. It even has two-way audio, so I could speak to whoever is (or isn't) there, and ask them why they left their Poland Spring on my bar cart. And, don't worry, you won't set it off yourself. There's a Home/Away feature, that lets you set your camera to automatically turn off when your phone is in the same location as it.
While all these extras are useful and great, the resolution is also impressive for the tiny camera. It has the ability to zoom, and I've seen other home cameras before with quality that is just alright compared to the HD of the Cloud Cam. Even the night mode is pretty clear.
Why I'm obsessed with it.
Alright, so, I never did catch the Mysterious Water Bottle Person — and I've come to accept that I'm actually the MWBP who was rushing out the door and threw an old water bottle on their bar cart. But, since I got this over a month ago I've been sleeping through the night better than before. I feel safe knowing that if someone were to enter my apartment, I'd be notified within seconds, and I love that I can open the app and see my living room and feel reassured that nothing weird is happening.
Sure, call me paranoid, but I think most of us really want one thing: Security. This Cloud Cam has given me peace of mind. Alarm and high-security always seemed so unattainable — only for the rich or those who live in the suburbs. Now, in my tiny 650-square-foot city apartment, I'm able to have that reassurance that I never had before. It turns out all I really needed for a good night sleep was to know there's no MWBP roaming throughout my home during the day.
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