If you're upgrading your home security system, one of the best places to start is with security cameras. There is an abundance of security camera suppliers on the market.
Canary is a modern provider launched in 2013 following a successful Kickstarter campaign. Canary focuses on offering all-in-one piece security systems.
Canary and Reolink have key similarities, but they are pretty different. Let's take a look at what they can offer you.
Canary vs Reolink: What do they have in common?
- Night vision: Canary and Reolink cameras provide color night vision.
- Video doorbells: A doorbell camera is one of the most effective ways to monitor your home security; Canary and Reolink sell high-quality doorbell cameras.
- Two-way talk: Two-way audio is one of the most significant features; you can make it seem like you're home even if you're not. Canary and Reolink offer two-way talk.
- Voice control: Thanks to Amazon Alexa compatibility, you can control your system with voice commands.
- Weatherproof: Canary and Reolink offer weatherproof outdoor security cameras.
- Mobile app: You can monitor a live feed via the mobile app, which is available on iPhone and Android. You'll receive push notifications if a threat is detected.
- Self-monitoring: You won't be able to access professional monitoring.
- UltraWide field of view: Reolink and Canary have wide fields of view, around 150 degrees.
Canary vs Reolink: What are the differences?
- Camera system size: Canary provides individual home security cameras as part of a security system, but Reolink caters to larger systems, including NVR (Network Video Recorder) and DVR (Digital Video Recorder) systems. Reolink can be used for larger business systems.
- Solar panels: Some Reolink cameras have solar-powered batteries.
- Camera quality: Reolink offers 4k resolution; Canary's best cameras are 1080p HD video quality.
- Air monitor: Canary provides high-quality air monitors.
Reolink - What you need to know
Reolink launched in 2009 to offer smart security cameras; they focus on POE (Power over Ethernet), IP (internet protocol) cameras, NVRs, and Wi-Fi security camera systems. They released the first ever 100% battery-powered IP camera.
Installation is DIY only, and it can be simple to install your cameras. It can be as simple as scanning a QR code. You'll get motion alerts via the mobile app. Some cameras require mounting, but users report it as a simple process.
Since the battery-powered cameras are wire-free, you don't need to worry about drilling or hardwiring.
Like Canary, Reolink mainly focuses on cameras. There is an extensive array, including floodlight cams, POE cameras, and full NVR systems. Popular cameras include:
- Reolink Argus 2
- Reolink Argus PT
- Reolink E1
Reolink isn't the best smart home provider; some cameras are compatible with Google Assistant, Nest, and Amazon Alexa, but there are limited third-party integrations.
Reolink has variable prices; costs start at $70 for an individual camera, and there aren't many bundles available. There are various cloud subscription services available for a monthly fee.
- Basic plan: $0 per month, including seven days of video and 1GB of storage for one camera.
- Standard plan: $3.49 per month, 30-day cloud storage, five cameras, 10 GB cloud storage
- Premier plan: $6.99 per month, 30-day cloud video history, ten cameras, 40 GB cloud storage
- Business plan: $10.49 per month, 60-day cloud video history, 30 cameras, 100 GB cloud storage
- Pricing: Reolink has great pricing; unless you're purchasing a complete business system, you'll pay less than $100.
- Simple installation: Many installations include only one step, but even the slightly more complex variations require only a simple mount.
- Power options: Multiple power options are offered, including solar-powered batteries.
- Lack of smart home options: Reolink doesn't offer much for those who want a smart home ecosystem.
- No professional monitoring: Reolink doesn't offer any professional monitoring; there are only motion-activated alerts. You'll need to be able to monitor your security system.
- Limited general capabilities: Our SecurityNerd was disappointed with the lack of common features, including person detection, Geofencing, etc. Other cameras offer more features.
Canary Security: What you need to know
Canary started with a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013, and it's best known for its extensive lineup of home security cameras with unique features. Canary's excellent attributes include weatherproofing, siren, and compatibility with If This Then That (IFTTT) equipment. Let's break down what Canary can offer you.
Setting up your new system is effortless, and you won't need to drill holes or use ethernet cables. You can get everything up and running in less than an hour, and it's a plug-in-and-go experience. There are multiple troubleshooting options if you have any issues, including a live chat.
Canary offers cameras and basic mounts, but there are some built-in extras, including an air quality and climate monitor. Most providers offer these separately.
Canary markets a 'complete security system in one device' camera system, with excellent video quality and other extras:
- Canary Pro
- Canary View
- Canary Flex
You'll need to select a mount to install your system; available mounts include:
- Secure mount
- Twist mount
- Stake mount
Only the most basic smart devices are offered. There are no smart lights, thermostats, locks, etc. But you have some Z-wave compatibility options:
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Assistant
- Apple Homekit
You can monitor your security system via a mobile app; you'll also receive motion-activated alerts.
When purchasing a new security system, you'll have an array of costs to consider, including:
- Equipment: You'll save some money by buying a subscription, but equipment costs won't exceed $129 per camera at full price.
- Monthly fees: If you only need the basics, you won't pay monthly costs. You can expect to pay $9.99. Some additional features, such as additional storage, are behind a paywall.
- Money-back guarantee: Canary has a great warranty; you can return your products for a refund up to 60-days after the purchase.
- Price: The priciest Canary camera is the Flex, costing $129. It's suited for outdoor use and is weatherproof. Canary is one of the cheapest providers.
- Unique features: Canary offers great additional features such as climate control, AI technology, and a siren.
- No door or window sensors: The lack of contact sensors is concerning, you should consider mounting a camera at each entry point, but this could get expensive.
- No monitoring services: Canary doesn't offer complete professional monitoring and only has a panic button.
- Limited storage: Canary offers free cloud storage, but there's no SD card compatibility on some equipment, which is disappointing.
Canary or Reolink?
If you're looking for the best cameras, then Reolink offers the best hardware. If you're looking for a business setup, Reolink offers DVR and NVR systems that are a perfect fit but may be more complex than Canary.
Reolink offers a more extended warranty and a more comprehensive variety, so you should consider Reolink first.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.