Canary Review: Everything You Need to Know

Written by | Updated May 3, 2017

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Canary is a sleek, compact device that delivers big, all-in-one home security. Since its debut as a crowdfunded product on Indiegogo, Canary home security has grown, offering expanded support and technology in response to customer feedback and the ever-changing needs of home security. This shows in its accessible design, as the security system is simple to use, affordable, and able to provide extra home health protection as well as security. If you’re looking for a simple home security solution, but aren’t yet familiar with Canary, we’re happy to introduce you.

Canary System Specs

The driving factor behind Canary home security is simplicity, and when you see the compact six-inch-by-three-inch device, there’s no question that goal has been achieved. This all-in-one security monitor packs nearly every standard security system feature into one small package, such as HD video, real-time footage, smartphone notifications, incident support, and a two-year extended warranty to top it all off.

Canary’s sleek design houses the HD Canary camera with motion-activated recording and night vision. There is also a ninety-decibel siren you can activate from your phone that will certainly do the trick when it comes to frightening off prowlers. In addition, Canary smart home security also operates as an air quality monitor that provides regular updates about humidity, temperature, and carbon monoxide levels so you have one less thing to worry about.

The Canary security system is designed to blend in with your home’s decor, and it’s small enough to fit on just about any shelf or table. The system is compatible with iOS and Android, and the only technical requirements are an internet connection—either Wi-Fi or Ethernet—and a nearby outlet. Apple users need to have an iPhone 4s or newer, and Android requires 4.1 or newer. Once you’ve installed Canary and downloaded the apps, you’ve essentially upgraded your house into a Canary smart home.

Canary Pros

There are a lot of things we love about Canary smart home security, so here’s a breakdown of our favorites.

  • Low Cost: When it comes to home security, it’s hard to find a better deal. Starting at under $200, and with no monthly fees or setup charges, Canary home security provides a great bang for the buck.
  • User-Friendly: There’s no complicated setup, and many customers claim they got their Canary devices up and running in mere minutes. The whole system is controlled by your smartphone, and you have the final say about what kind of alerts you want to receive, and how often. Sounding the siren and contacting the police is also 100% in your control, so false alarms are almost non-existent.
  • Sleek: We like how easily the Canary camera blends in with almost any decor. The device doesn’t look like a camera or security alarm. In fact, it has more in common design-wise with Amazon’s Alexa than a traditional surveillance device. It comes in silver, black, or white, which means it’s easy to match to different styles and tastes. 
  • Learning: Canary learns your patterns and habits, so that over time it will automatically adjust settings based on when you leave for work, what time the kids come home from school, and when you typically turn in for the night. This helps cut down on unnecessary notifications in response to regular, expected motion in the house.
  • Great for Renters: Access to home security isn’t always easy for people who rent, but the innovative Canary security system is bridging that gap because it’s so small and doesn’t need to be wired into the home. Canary home security is also easy to take with you when the lease runs out and it’s time to move on.
  • Secure: Canary smart home security comes with Cloud storage included, so you can record and store video from day one. The company has been recognized for its outstanding commitment to protecting its customers’ private data with security measures like encryption and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). In addition, the company uses third-party experts to test and validate its security measures on a regular basis, so your system stays up-to-date and safe.

Canary Cons

It’s hard to be perfect, and even though Canary home security has a lot to love, there are some things that may not be the perfect fit for everyone.

  • Possible Multiple-Device Requirements: Even though the small size is something we like, one device simply doesn’t provide enough coverage for the average home. It may be ideal for a smaller apartment or studio, but to provide full security protection, you will need at least one device per floor. Canary also recommends one device per entry into the home as well.
  • Low Outdoor Durability: The original Canary home security device can’t stand up to weather and other outside conditions, which limits the effectiveness of the security offered. However, the company now offers Canary Flex, which can be used either inside or outside.
  • No Monitoring Available: Canary is a self-monitored security system. This means that you don’t have the option of adding security monitoring from a control center where someone is keeping an eye on your home 24/7. 
  • Slow Adaptation: The learning technology that helps Canary smart home security adapt to your habits is convenient, but it can take a while before the system learns what’s going on. For people who hate to wait, the learning curve can prove frustrating, especially if you have pets or kids who are likely to set off the motion detectors throughout the day.
  • No Auto Alarms or Police Notification: You have control of every facet of the Canary security system, which virtually eliminates false alarms, but also leaves you as the only one who can trigger the siren or contact emergency personnel. Most of the time, this isn’t too big of a problem, but if an intruder is detected in the middle of the night and you need to make it across the room to reach your phone and send up the alarm, it could become a serious concern.

Who Best Fits the Canary Security System

If you’re just entering the world of home security, you have a small place, or you rent your space, the Canary security system is a great home security option. It’s affordable, it’s easy to use, and it doesn’t require any wiring or landlord permission to install. In addition, Canary smart home security is an ideal fit for people who enjoy running their lives from their smartphones. The convenience and high quality of the features available are hard to beat—especially for the price.

Whose Needs Might Not Be Met

Those looking for monitored security, or window and door sensors, will want to keep looking. Canary home security comes at a great price, but if you have a larger home, you’ll need to invest in multiple devices, which may make a different system a better option. In addition, if you want two-way audio that will let you interact with people at the front door or check in on the afternoon study session, the Canary security system won’t be able to deliver what you need.

The Takeaway

Canary home security does what it promises. It delivers home security in a simple, cost-effective package that gives all the control to the user. For basic security needs, this system is a reliable option that will help keep you and your home more secure. It’s also one of the only options available for people who rent. As long as you have simple, straightforward security demands, the Canary security system is a smart investment that will not disappoint.

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

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