Home security is an often overlooked area, and visible CCTV is one of the most significant deterrents. Most burglars won't attempt to target a home with visible security cameras. If you've decided to buy security cameras, you'll have plenty of options. ecobee and Reolink are two excellent choices. ecobee is a relatively new Canadian provider of DIY home security; it launched in 2007. Reolink launched in 2009, specializing in high-quality equipment with environmentally friendly features, including solar-powered equipment.
Reolink and ecobee have several similarities, but there are key differences. Let's take a look at what they can do for you.
ecobee vs Reolink: What do they have in common?
- Video quality: ecobee and Reolink cameras offer 1080p video resolution.
- Warranty: ecobee provides a 3-year warranty on all hardware, and Reolink offers a 2-year warranty.
- Hardware quality: Reolink and ecobee offer solid, reliable hardware.
- DIY installation: No professional installation is available; you'll need to install everything alone.
- Flexibility: These are flexible providers - you won't need a long-term contract.
- Mobile app: There are similar mobile apps (available on iOS and Android) for you to manage your security system. The app will receive push notifications if the motion sensors are triggered. You can arm and disarm your security system from the mobile app.
- Customizable activity zones: You can customize motion activity zones.
- Two-way audio: ecobee and Reolink have two-way talk facilities.
- Indoor security cameras: There are a variety of indoor home security cameras.
ecobee vs Reolink: What are the differences?
- Smart home devices: ecobee is one of the best security camera systems for smart home compatibility, but Reolink doesn't offer much third-party compatibility. Some cameras have very basic Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility.
- Outdoor security cameras: Reolink offers more outdoor cameras.
- Solar power availability: Reolink offers solar-powered functionality.
- Night vision: Reolink offers color night vision.
- Professional monitoring: ecobee offers RapidSOS monitoring for $10 per month.
- Field of view: Reolink cameras have a wider field of view.
- Variety: Reolink offers a greater variety of camera types, including NVR (Network Video Recorder) and PoE (Power over Ethernet). NVR cameras can be used for large, multi-camera systems.
- Local storage options: Reolink has more local storage options with MicroSD compatibility.
- Basic capabilities: Reolink has fundamental capabilities; it was disappointing that Reolink doesn't offer person detection, advanced motion detection, Geofencing, etc.
- Smart thermostats: ecobee offers excellent smart thermostats.
ecobee: What you need to know
ecobee established itself by offering the ecobee Smart Thermostat; soon after, it began offering complete self-monitoring security systems with a great mobile app (available on iPhone and Android). Let's look at what ecobee has to offer.
The installation process varies, the video doorbells are most easy to set up, and the ecobee SmartCamera can be installed quickly, though you'll need some drilling. If you want a smart thermostat, you'll need professional installation, but there's no bespoke professional installation provided by ecobee, though there are excellent online guides.
ecobee offers plenty of equipment:
- Garage door sensors
- Window sensors
- Wi-Fi thermostats
- Smart cameras with voice control
- Voice-controlled smart thermostat
- Switch + Smart speaker
ecobee offers a growing range, including the ecobee app, a smart speaker, a thermostat, 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 cameras to save money, but you can also purchase security kits for $249; security kits include at least one camera. Individual cameras are available for $99.
- Monthly costs: You don't need to pay a fee, but your capabilities may be restricted without ecobee Haven. ecobee Haven starts at $5 per month, or you can include RapidSOS response for $10 per month.
- 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 an extended three-year warranty.
- Smart home integration: ecobee has great smart thermostats and compatibility with several IFTTT products, including Amazon Alexa and Apple Homekit.
- No environmental sensors: ecobee doesn't provide environmental sensors.
- Cellular backup: You're vulnerable to power cuts or connectivity issues; there's no cellular backup.
Reolink - What you need to know
Reolink launched in China in 2009 and focused on PoE, Internet Protocol, NVR, and Wi-Fi security cameras. They launched the first fully battery-powered IP camera.
The installation process will vary; it can be as simple as scanning a QR code, but some cameras will require additional reinforcement. Since the battery-powered cameras are wire-free, you won't have to complete drilling or hardwiring, but NVR systems can be challenging to install; you should bear in mind that Reolink is DIY only.
Reolink mainly focuses on cameras. There is a healthy selection, including floodlight cameras, POE cameras, and complete NVR systems. Popular options include:
- Reolink Argus 2
- Reolink Argus PT
- Reolink E1
Reolink isn't a complete smart home provider, and there are restricted third-party integrations; some cameras have basic compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Nest.
Reolink's costs will vary, starting at $70 for one camera, and there aren't many bundles offered; the cost of a full NVR system can be over $1000. There are different subscription plans if you're considering a premium plan.
- Basic plan: $0 monthly, including seven days of video and 1GB of storage for a single camera.
- Standard plan: $3.49 monthly, 30-day cloud storage, five cameras, 10 GB cloud storage
- Premier plan: $6.99 monthly, 30-day cloud video history, ten cameras, 40 GB cloud storage
- Business plan: $10.49 monthly, 60-day cloud video history, 30 cameras, 100 GB cloud storage
- Pricing: Reolink has low pricing for IP and Wi-Fi cameras; you'll pay less than $150 for most things.
- Micro SD Card: Some Reolink cameras offer MicroSD card compatibility.
- Warranty: Reolink offers a two-year warranty.
- Simple installation: Many installations include a single step, but even more complex installs are pretty simple.
- Power options: Multiple power options are offered, including solar panel batteries.
- No professional monitoring: Reolink doesn't provide any professional monitoring; there are only motion-activated alerts. You'll need to be able to observe your security system closely.
- Limited general capabilities: Our SecurityNerd was disappointed with the lack of standard features, including person detection, Geofencing, etc. Other cameras offer more features.
- Lack of smart home options: Reolink doesn't offer much for those who want a smart home ecosystem.
ecobee or Reolink?
If you're looking for the best home security cameras, ecobee offers HD video cameras with simple installation. Reolink offers pretty good home security systems but has disappointing battery life, quality, and basic features, as they lack the standard features that much cheaper cameras have. ecobee offers more video storage and professional monitoring; on the whole, ecobee has more to offer than Reolink does.
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.