Canary Security Review: All-in-One, View, and Flex

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    With Canary’s self-monitored home security cameras, you can receive motion alerts and monitor your home from the live video feed. The All-in-One camera also monitors the climate in your home to alert you to emergencies like fire—something we’ve not seen before.


    Canary is a DIY home security system that uses solely cameras to monitor your home. You can watch a live feed, receive alerts about detected motion, alert the police if something is amiss, and even monitor the temperature and air quality in your house on up to four cameras in the app. After testing the Canary system ourselves, we think there’s a camera here for most people, and we’ve got all the details to help you decide if it’s a good fit for you.

    Canary pros and cons

    • Pro BulletMotion detection
    • Pro BulletAutomatic night vision
    • Pro Bullet1080p HD cameras
    • Pro BulletVideo history
    • Pro Bullet90 dB siren
    • Pro BulletBuilt-in speaker
    • Pro BulletTemperature, humidity, and air quality monitoring on some models
    • Pro BulletGoogle Assistant, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, and Wink integration
    • Pro BulletMobile app notifications and alerts
    • Pro BulletStraightforward installation
    • Con BulletTwo-way audio requires Premium subscription
    • Con BulletLive video feed freezes/jumps with a lot of noise and motion

    Canary Camera Suite

    Canary cameras: Canary Pro vs. View vs. Flex

    The Canary Pro (All-in-One), Canary View, and Canary Flex cameras all have 1080p HD camera resolution, a 90-decibel siren, sensitive motion detection, and automatic night vision. There are a few differences between them that make each one best for different smart home security situations.

    * price as of 08/29/2019 at 9:22 a.m. MST.

    Canary Pro (All-in-One)

    Canary Pro

    The Canary Pro camera not only provides HD picture and motion detection, but it also monitors the temperature, humidity, and air quality in your home and will alert you if anything goes wrong. That way you’ll know if there’s smoke, if your furnace stops working, or if there’s a water leak, even from far away.

    In the app, you can see the climate levels for the last 24 hours and adjust the alert ranges. In testing, we noticed a temperature difference of about three to five degrees compared to what the thermostat said, so a too-narrow range might give you false alarms.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: This is the best Canary camera if you want that extra bit of monitoring without purchasing additional sensors. Want to get your hands on a camera that does more than video? See the All-in-One on Amazon.

    Canary View

    Canary View

    The Canary View is similar to the Canary Pro but without climate monitoring. The wide-angle HD camera, motion detection, siren, and night vision are all the same.

    The biggest advantage to the Canary View is the price. It costs significantly less than the Pro and about half as much as the Canary Flex, making it the best product for budget-conscious customers.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: Get the Canary View if you want a high-quality camera without dropping a boatload of cash. On board with an inexpensive but high-quality camera? Buy the Canary View on Amazon.

    Canary Flex

    Canary Flex

    The Canary Flex is smaller than the other cameras and can be used as either an indoor or weatherproof outdoor security camera. It can be either wireless or wired, and once the battery charge lasts a week or more. The camera angle isn’t as wide as the other two Canary cameras, but it can be set upright or mounted on a wall for the best angle with the magnetic base.

    We noticed more lag time with this camera than the others, especially when reconnecting after a long period.

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: For flexibility in positioning inside or out, this is the best Canary camera. Give yourself options with the indoor/outdoor Flex camera. Get it on Amazon.

    >>Learn more: Find out how it compares to other wireless security cameras.

    Price: Free access vs. Premium service

    Data effective 8/28/2019. Offers subject to change.

    Basic access

    The Canary home security app comes free with Canary cameras. It has essential features like motion detection alerts with video clips and climate monitoring for the All-in-One. Basic access gets you 24 hours of video history, live video feed access, and immediate access to emergency services.

    You can add up to four cameras with Basic access, and each one can be adjusted to detect all motion, just people, or nothing. From the app, you can contact emergency services from anywhere. Even with Basic access, the Canary cameras are a viable DIY, self-monitored home security system.

    Premium service

    For $9.99 per month (or $99 per year), the Premium service subscription adds extra features like incident support, additional video access, and an extended warranty.

    If you upgrade your subscription, you get two-way audio between your smartphone and the cameras, 30-day video history, and unlimited video downloads. You also get the full videos of detected motion—from the time the motion starts until it stops—rather than 30-second clips.

    The Premium service also comes with an extended warranty for your cameras—two years instead of one—and can support up to five cameras instead of four.

    For parents
    Our Choice
    If you plan to use the Canary as a video monitor or nanny cam, we definitely recommend the Premium Service for the two-way communication and video history. Being able to talk to your kids as you keep an eye on them is extremely helpful, and you can review the full video history. One of our testers even found footage of her baby crawling in her crib for the first time when she reviewed the videos later. Be aware that leaving the live video feed on will drain your phone’s battery life if it’s not plugged in.

    Canary mobile app

    The free Canary app is the center of the Canary home security system and is available for iOS and Android smartphones and Apple Watches. You can do all of the following from the app:

    • Switch between Home, Away, and Night modes manually or set it to switch automatically.
    • Adjust geofencing diameter for Away mode.
    • Customize detection settings (all motion versus person detection) for each mode and each camera.
    • Turn on Privacy mode to disable all video and audio.
    • Swipe between cameras to view the live feed.
    • Sound the 90-decibel siren.
    • Use the two-way communication button to talk through the cameras on the Premium service only.
    • Make emergency calls.
    • View the timeline of recorded events (motion detected, switching modes, etc.) and download videos.
    • Adjust climate monitoring settings on the Canary Pro only.
    The app is simple to navigate, although we felt it was sometimes too basic and could have used more navigational tools (like a back button).
    We also found that some of the features didn’t work as quickly as they should, such as automatically switching between modes. One time, the app didn’t register that our tester had arrived home for almost 20 minutes. Other times, motion alerts didn’t come through for several minutes. That said, these issues could be caused by the Wi-Fi connection, an issue with the phone’s service provider, or another connectivity issue.

    Customized motion detection

    One of our favorite features was the ability to set masks, or areas where you want the camera to ignore any motion. In testing, we occasionally got motion alerts triggered by light reflecting off of a moving car. But the false notifications stopped after placing a mask over an area high up on a wall where no real motion would occur.

    You can set more than one mask per camera and the masks stretch to almost any straight-edged shape anywhere in the camera’s view. Moving the camera at all will change the placement of the mask.

    Safety button

    The Canary app also has a safety button included with the Premium service. If you feel unsafe, you simply hold down the button. When you release, the app will ask for a four-digit PIN. If you don’t put the PIN in, the app will immediately contact your local emergency services.

    Smart home integration

    All three of the Canary cameras can integrate with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, as well as IFTTT and Wink. Apple HomeKit integration is not available yet.


    Setting up and installing your Canary cameras couldn’t be easier. Simply plug the camera in, open the Canary app on your smartphone, and follow the directions to pair the camera with your smartphone. Each camera is equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, so you don’t need a hub. This makes them easier to install and less expensive than some of the competition, including iSmartAlarm and Arlo.

    Canary app add device

    Canary app screenshot | Photo source: ASecureLife

    Canary app Canary Flex

    Canary app screenshot | Photo source: ASecureLife

    Pro tip
    We found that pairing a smartphone with the Canary cameras required each camera to be in the same room as the Wi-Fi router. When we tried to pair them from even just one room away, it wouldn’t work.

    Customer service

    In the past, customers were frustrated with changes in the terms of service and pricing, especially after they’d already paid for a subscription. But those issues seem to have been resolved. The biggest complaints now center around the lack of 24/7 customer service and delays in notifications.

    Canary vs. the competition

    Compared to similar self-monitored security systems, Canary beats iSmartAlarm and Arlo in price. But iSmartAlarm has more equipment, including door and window sensors, and Arlo has a wider range of cameras to choose from.

    * price as of 08/29/2019 at 9:22 a.m. MST.

    Our recommendation

    The Canary system relies primarily on security cameras and the app to let you self-monitor your home. The HD cameras provide good quality picture and the adjustable settings give you control over when and what kind of notifications you receive. Though we generally recommend using a professionally monitored system, the Canary is a fine DIY security device, especially for small homes or apartments.

    *Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable, at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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