Canary vs Zmodo Cameras

A home security system is an often overlooked part of the home. A good home security system can help ensure the safety of your family, home, and belongings. Once you've decided to upgrade your home security, there'll be plenty to choose from. Canary and Zmodo are two great home security camera providers.

Canary is a modern provider, launched in 2013 to provide comprehensive and affordable cameras. Canary is best known for its all-in-one camera system.

Zmodo is a global provider of smart home security equipment, best known for offering high-quality cameras at a low price. Zmodo is a China-based company that entered the market over a decade ago. Today, we'll look at which provider is best for you.

Canary vs Zmodo: What do they have in common?

  • Installation: You'll need to be comfortable installing your own system on a DIY basis.
  • Indoor security cameras: You can purchase indoor cameras from each brand.
  • Night vision: Night vision is crucial to keeping your home safe after dark. Zmodo and Canary cameras offer night vision.
  • Mobile app: Canary and Zmodo offer free mobile apps. The apps are available on iOS and Android and can send you push notifications if an activity is detected. You can monitor your cameras in real-time.
  • Image quality: Canary and Zmodo cameras offer 1080p HD resolution. You can trust that you're getting some of the best video quality on the market.
  • Pricing: Canary and Zmodo are low-price providers.
  • Outdoor security cameras: Zmodo and Canary offer a selection of weatherproof outdoor security cameras.
  • Voice control: Thanks to Amazon Alexa compatibility, you can use voice commands with your security system.
  • Video storage: Canary and Zmodo offer a free cloud storage allowance.

Canary vs Zmodo: What are the differences?

  • Equipment variety: Zmodo offers a greater variety of equipment compared to Canary.
  • Greeting messages: Zmodo offers to record message greetings, ready to be played when a visitor arrives. Canary doesn't have this.
  • Air quality monitor: Canary can help you monitor your air quality.
  • Two-way talk: Zmodo doesn't offer this, Canary does.
  • Smart thermostat: Zmodo offers a smart thermostat, helping you save money and monitor energy use. Canary doesn't offer much third-party automation.

Canary Security: What you need to know

A successful Kickstarter campaign launched Canary in 2013 to provide all-encompassing security packages with features including local storage, If This Then That (IFTTT) compatibility, cloud recording, and a live view of your surveillance cameras. Let's take a look at what Canary has to offer.


Wireless security cameras are easier to install than wired ones; there is no power by ethernet (PoE) option, so you won't need to use cables and drill holes, etc. You can get your system up and running in less than an hour; it's very plug-and-play. You can troubleshoot online and contact the live chat for assistance if you have any issues.


Canary doesn't offer a wide range; presently, cameras and mounts are the extents of their range. Most models have a wide-angle field of view and color night vision. But the cameras are advanced with built-in AI and climate monitors. They form the core of a security camera system, and Canary promotes them as an all-in-one system.

  • Canary View
  • Canary Flex
  • Canary Pro

You can also purchase a mount to install your system, including a stake, twist, or secure mount.

Home automation

Only basic smart home security devices are offered; there's some compatibility with Z-wave technology but no dedicated thermostats, etc. Your mobile app will help you oversee your complete security system, and the app is available for Android and iOS users. Equipment available includes:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Apple Homekit


When buying a new security system, you'll have various costs. They include:

  • Equipment: You'll buy everything upfront, but you can receive a subscriber discount. Without discounts, all cameras are less than $130.
  • Monthly costs: If you don't want a premium plan, you won't pay a monthly fee, but if you upgrade to a premium, you can expect to pay $9.99 monthly.

Nerd pros

  • Warranty: Canary's warranty is great; you can claim a refund up to 60-days after purchase.
  • Price: The most expensive Canary camera is the Canary Flex; the Flex is a $129 camera with weatherproofing; it's suited for outdoor use. Canary is one of the more affordable providers.
  • HD video quality: Canary offers 1080p HD quality.
  • Unique features: Canary provides excellent features, including person detection, two-way talk, and a built-in siren.

Nerd cons

  • No motion sensors: There are no contact sensors, leaving your home vulnerable. You could mount a camera at each exit, but this could get costly.
  • Activity zones: Canary doesn't offer customizable motion detection.

Zmodo: What you need to know

Zmodo is a modern Chinese provider offering smart home integration and excellent products, including video doorbells, IP cameras, etc., and an app with efficient motion alerts. Let's take a look at what Zmodo can do for you.


Every Zmodo camera requires DIY installation, but it shouldn't intimidate you. Everything you need will come in its box. Wireless cameras are easiest to install, and wired variations are more complex. You'll need to hire a tradesperson if you need one, as professional installation isn't offered. NVR (Network Video Recorder) setups can be more complicated.


Zmodo offers a range of equipment, including:

  • Doorbell cameras
  • Indoor cameras
  • Outdoor NVR cameras
  • Smart thermostat

Thanks to the variety, you can create a full security system. Zmodo cameras are usually available in 720p resolution, but they've recently expanded into offering 1080p HD cameras.

Home automation

Zmodo offers a variety of smart home equipment, including Wi-Fi extenders, water valves, and smart thermostats. Additional security features can be monitored via Zmodo's apps, and most cameras are compatible with If This Then That (IFTTT) equipment, including Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.


  • Equipment costs: Zmodo is very affordable; prices start at just $29 per camera.
  • Monthly fees: Free cloud storage is available for up to 12 hours; if you need additional storage, you'll pay $4.99 per month to store it for seven days or $9.99 to store it for 30 days.

Nerd pros

  • DIY installation: Installation is easy and DIY, so there are no fees to pay.
  • A la carte options: Zmodo items can be bought individually, so you can expand gently.
  • Pricing: Zmodo is one of the cheapest providers.
  • Pre-recorded messages: You can pre-record a message that will play for anyone when you're not home.

Nerd cons

  • Mobile app: Some of the reviews on the mobile app are negative.
  • Two-way audio: There's no two-way talk facility with Zmodo cameras.
  • Wi-Fi network: You need robust Wi-Fi for wireless setup; many customers complain that an average Wi-Fi connection complicates their setup.

Zmodo or Canary?

Zmodo and Canary are very similar, offering cheap cameras with easy installation. You connect your system to your Wi-Fi router and follow a few basic instructions. But Zmodo cuts prices by cutting quality. The mobile app is poorly rated, and they lack some basic features such as two-way talk. While they do offer some good extras, it's not enough to make them better than Canary. Canary offers some of the best home security cameras.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.

Officer James 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.

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