There are dozens of home security providers on the market, and once you've decided to upgrade your security cameras, it's challenging to know which is best.
ecobee and Amcrest are two great providers with a lot to offer; Amcrest is headquartered in Texas and was founded in 2013; they offer an array of equipment in addition to security cameras. ecobee is a Canadian provider of smart home security equipment, smart cameras, and more. Let's take a look at what these providers can offer.
ecobee vs Amcrest: What do they have in common?
- Video doorbells: Doorbell cameras are one of the simplest ways to protect your home; you can watch for deliveries or view visitors from within the mobile app.
- Flexibility: Amcrest and ecobee are flexible providers - you won't be forced to take out a long-term contract.
- Pan-and-tilt cameras: Each provider offers pan and tilt options, the ecobee SmartCamera has a digital pan/tilt/zoom feature, and the Amcrest ProHD camera has the same feature.
- Mobile app: You can monitor your security system via a handy mobile app available on iOS and Android.
- Voice control: Thanks to Amazon Alexa integration, you can control parts of your system with voice commands.
- Cloud storage: Amcrest and ecobee provide cloud storage, though Amcrest offers additional local storage options.
- Battery-powered: Some equipment is battery-powered.
- Affordability: You won't break the bank with either provider, particularly if you're looking for typical domestic security cameras.
ecobee vs Amcrest: What are the differences?
- Refurbished equipment: ecobee offers refurbished equipment at a substantial discount; you can save up to 60% off compared to retail prices.
- Smart thermostat: ecobee is best-known for providing a smart thermostat wired directly into your HVAC system. Amcrest doesn't offer compatibility with smart thermostats.
- Smart home integration: Amcrest's only meaningful third-party integration is Amazon Alexa; ecobee offers more integrations.
- MicroSD card: Many Amcrest cameras are MicroSD compatible, but ecobee relies heavily on Cloud storage.
- Two-way audio: Some Amcrest cameras lack this feature, which is a shame.
- Color night vision: Amcrest's outdoor security cameras offer color night vision.
- Field of view: Some Amcrest security cameras have a 360-degree field view.
- Outdoor cameras: ecobee specializes in indoor cameras, and Amcrest offers a variety of weatherproof outdoor cameras.
- NVR systems: Amcrest can offer NVR (Network Video Recover)/DVR (Digital Video Recorder) systems, with large $2000+ multi-camera setups suitable for commercial use. ecobee is strictly for home use.
- Professional monitoring: Amcrest doesn't offer professional monitoring, but ecobee offers basic monitoring with the RapidSOS response for $10 a month.
Amcrest: What you need to know
Amcrest is a recently launched provider offering plug-in Wi-Fi cameras, wired systems, and NVR multi-camera packages. Let's take a look at what Amcrest has to offer.
Since Amcrest offers a variety of products, the installation process isn't simple to define. Wi-Fi cameras are usually plug-and-play with easy setup, but some (including the PoE ((Power over Ethernet)) Amcrest) require additional setup, wiring, etc. You may require professional assistance for DVR and NVR systems, but it's not typically available.
Amcrest offers a variety of home equipment, primarily focused on video cameras, including:
- IP cameras
- DVR analog cameras
- POE cameras
- Weatherproof outdoor camera
Amcrest offers high-quality, wide-angle cameras with great specs, including a 360-degree view. The resolution is adjustable and continuous recording is offered.
Alexa is the only consequential third-party automation; Amcrest could do better. However, customers can choose some dedicated smart products, such as video doorbells.
Amcrest provides various UltraHD security cameras, from motorized outdoor cameras to bullet options, drones, and baby monitors.
The variety of products means it's not easy to provide accurate pricing. As a guide, single cameras can start at around $40, and more comprehensive NVR systems reach $3000+. Most typical users spend about $200-$300 on their system.
- Customization: You can fully adjust your camera to your specifications, including frame rate, motion zones, and sensitivity.
- No subscriptions: Monthly fees are optional unless you choose an upgraded cloud storage plan.
- Local storage: You'll choose between MicroSD card storage and NVR/DVR systems, giving you enhanced local storage options.
- Limited integration: Amcrest doesn't have the best smart home options; there's a limited selection of products without significant extras.
- More complex install: Some cameras require a more advanced installation which isn't ideal for a DIY provider. You may want to stick with a Wi-Fi camera.
- No professional monitoring: You need to be comfortable with self-monitoring, as, aside from push notification alerts, there's no assistance in this area. Though our SecurityNerd was told that some third-party providers might integrate with Amcrest cameras, you won't find a dedicated monitoring service.
ecobee: What you need to know
ecobee started by offering the ecobee smart thermostat; soon after, it delivered complete self-monitoring security systems with a great mobile app (available on iPhone and Android). Let's break down what ecobee has to offer.
The installation process varies depending on what you're buying; the ecobee SmartCamera can be installed in minutes, and the video doorbells are fast to install. If you want a smart thermostat, you'll need professional installation, as it'll need to be wired into your HVAC system. Still, there's no bespoke professional installation provided by ecobee, though there are excellent online guides.
ecobee provides a large selection of equipment, such as:
- Door and window sensors for motion detection
- Wi-Fi thermostats
- Smart cameras with voice control
- Switch + Smart speaker
ecobee offers a growing range, including the ecobee app, thermostats, smart speakers, and more. Third-party integrations are expanding and include IFTTT (If This Then That) equipment, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.
- Equipment costs: You can buy refurbished equipment to save cash, but you can also buy security kits (with a camera included) for $249. Separate cameras are available for $99.
- Monthly costs: Monthly payments are optional - ecobee Haven isn't mandatory, but your capabilities are restricted without it. You can pay $5 per month and store video footage from a single camera or pay $10 monthly for RapidSOS response and unlimited storage.
- Refurbished products: ecobee offers refurbished products; you can save up to 60% from the retail price.
- Professional monitoring: Monitoring is available for just $10 a month.
- Warranty: All equipment comes with a three-year extended warranty.
- Smart home integration: ecobee has great smart thermostats and compatibility with several IFTTT products, including Apple Homekit, allowing you to customize your smart home.
- No environmental sensors: ecobee doesn't offer any environmental monitoring.
- Cellular backup: You're vulnerable to power cuts or connectivity issues; there's no cellular backup.
ecobee or Amcrest?
ecobee is a safe bet, with quality home security cameras, smart equipment, low costs, and excellent customer support if you're looking for smart security cameras and smart devices. But if you're looking for an NVR system, Amcrest is a safe bet. Amcrest doesn't have much to offer a typical home security customer.
Amcrest is ideal for commercial customers requiring a more traditional setup, but ecobee is ideal for typical domestic users.
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.