Regularly upgrading your home security system is a great way to keep your home safe. The security camera is the backbone of your security system and provides a significant deterrent. Once you've decided to buy new security cameras, you'll have plenty of providers to choose from.
ecobee and Zmodo are two great providers. ecobee is a Canadian provider established in 2007 with a smart thermostat; ecobee then branched into DIY home security solutions. Zmodo was launched in 2009 and is China-based. Zmodo specializes in low-cost smart home security solutions.
ecobee vs Zmodo: What do they have in common?
- Pricing: You don't have to break the bank - these providers have low-cost security cameras and equipment.
- HD video quality: You'll have a selection of high-resolution (1080p HD) cameras.
- Mobile app: Each provider offers a simple app for Android and iOS.
- Doorbell cameras: ecobee and Zmodo offer quality doorbell cameras for a low price. A video doorbell is a basic but effective way to keep your home safe.
- Indoor security cameras: ecobee and Zmodo specialize in indoor security cameras.
- Flexibility: There's no need for long-term contracts, everything is paid upfront, and monthly premium subscriptions are optional.
- Battery life: Battery-powered equipment has a decent battery life, especially for affordable providers.
- Viewing angle: Zmodo and ecobee offers a 180-degree field of view.
- IFTTT compatibility: Each provider offers compatibility with IFTTT (If This Then That) equipment such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, granting you access to various great perks, including voice control.
ecobee vs Zmodo: What are their differences?
- Warranty: ecobee offers a 3-year warranty with all equipment, and Zmodo provides a one-year warranty.
- Night vision: Zmodo cameras offer color night vision.
- Two-way talk: ecobee and Zmodo offer doorbell cameras, but only ecobee offers two-way audio.
- Outdoor cameras: ecobee doesn't have significant outdoor options; Zmodo does.
- Professional monitoring: ecobee Haven offers professional monitoring for just $10 per month; Zmodo doesn't offer professional monitoring.
- Refurbished equipment: ecobee lets you purchase refurbished home security cameras to save money. You can save up to 60% compared to retail prices.
- Local storage: Zmodo has more local video storage options, including MicroSD cards.
- NVR recorders: ecobee doesn't offer NVRs (Network Video Recorder); Zmodo does.
- Pre-recorded messages: Zmodo offers pre-recorded messages in place of two-way audio.
Zmodo: What you need to know
Zmodo is a China-based security company providing outdoor security cameras, Wi-Fi extenders, and more. Zmodo's app is easy to use and available on iPhone and Android. Let's break down what Zmodo has to offer.
Regardless of your chosen security camera system, you'll need to install it. Wi-Fi cameras are very easy to install, but NVR and wired install units may be more complicated. If you require help, you'll need your own tradesperson as professional installation isn't available.
Zmodo offers a decent selection of cameras, including:
- Video doorbell cameras
- Wireless security cameras
- Wired indoor cameras
- Up to 16 channel NVR systems
With these products, you can create a pretty complete system, Zmodo has recently expanded its range to include HD 1080p cameras, but it offers more 720p cameras. They're not the highest quality, but they're reasonable for the price.
As an affordable provider, Zmodo is pretty good for smart home devices, and there's a range of smart home equipment, including Wi-Fi extenders. Your home security can be monitored via Zmodo's app, and most Zmodo cameras offer compatibility with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and other IFTTT equipment.
- Equipment costs: Single cameras start at $24.99.
- Monthly fees: You can sign up for an optional subscription, including extra video cloud storage and saved video clips for $4.99 or $9.99 monthly. You'll pay a lower price if you pay yearly.
- DIY installation: Thanks to DIY installation, there's no installation or activation fee.
- Pricing: It's rare to find such affordable security equipment.
- Night vision: A few Zmodo cameras have color night vision.
- Pre-recorded messages: You can pre-record a message to be played for visitors when you're away; very few security systems offer this.
- Motion detection: If motion sensors are triggered, you'll receive a push notification via the mobile app.
- Mobile app: There are quite a few online complaints.
- Professional monitoring: Zmodo doesn't offer any home monitoring services.
- Customer support: Some reviews report issues with Zmodo's customer support.
- Two-way audio: There's no two-way audio option with Zmodo, a very basic area to overlook.
ecobee: What you need to know
ecobee was founded in 2007 with an excellent smart thermostat before offering complete security systems with a great mobile app (available on iOS and Android). Let's break down what ecobee has to offer.
The installation process will vary, so it's not clear-cut. The ecobee SmartCamera can be quickly installed, though you'll need to do some drilling for the mount. If you need a smart thermostat, you will require professional assistance as it'll be wired into your HVAC system, but there's no professional installation provided by ecobee, though there are excellent online guides.
ecobee offers a variety of equipment:
- Garage door sensors
- Contact sensors
- Smart cameras
- Smart thermostats
- Switch + Smart speaker
There's a growing range, including the ecobee app, a smart thermostat, speakers, and more. Third-party integrations are expanding and include IFTTT equipment, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.
- Equipment costs: You can buy refurbished cameras to save money, but you can also buy security kits for $249; security kits include at least one camera. Individual cameras are available for $99.
- Monthly costs: A premium subscription is optional, but it may restrict your capabilities without ecobee Haven. ecobee Haven starts at $5 monthly, but if you want professional monitoring, you'll need to pay $10 monthly for RapidSOS monitoring.
- Refurbished products: ecobee delivers considerable discounts if you buy approved refurbished equipment, up to 60% off.
- Professional monitoring: For just $10 a month, you can access RapidSOS monitoring.
- Warranty: All hardware has a 3-year warranty.
- Smart home integration: ecobee has great quality smart thermostats and compatibility with several IFTTT products, such as Apple Homekit and Amazon Alexa.
- Two-way talk: Two-way audio is a great add-on, allowing you to communicate with delivery people and visitors without opening the door - or even being home.
- No professional installation: Despite some complicated wired installations, there's no professional installation offered.
- Cellular backup: You're vulnerable to power cuts or connectivity issues unless you have a cellular backup, but ecobee doesn't offer any cellular backup.
ecobee or Zmodo?
If you're looking for a full smart home ecosystem and a better customer experience, you should consider paying a little more for ecobee. ecobee and Zmodo are similar in some areas, you can live stream via the mobile app and receive notifications, and the secure cloud storage is a great perk. But Zmodo cuts some corners to help you save money, such as customer support, two-way talk, and resolution. With that said, ecobee is quite a low-cost provider, especially if you take a chance on a refurbished unit.
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.