Zmodo Cameras Reviewed
Considering a Zmodo camera? Before you make your purchase, there are some things you should know about the company and its products.
10-year-old Zmodo creates video and home automation products for those who want to make their homes smarter and self-monitor their security. This includes indoor and outdoor cameras, smart doorbells and a smart thermostat. Zmodo sets itself apart from its competition because it owns its hardware and the entire user experience, rather than farming anything out to other companies.
As for the cameras themselves, they’re good quality, especially for the price. Indoor cameras run as low as $29. Outdoor cameras start at $39.99. You can choose from individual cams or multi-channel security systems with up to 24 cameras.
Ranging from about $29 for a no-frills indoor camera to $2,000+ for a 24-channel security system, Zmodo’s options run the spectrum of meeting different needs and price points. You’ll find its cameras lower-priced than competitors’ of similar quality.
Zmodo equipment can be bought a la carte, so you can gradually add on smart home features, rather than purchasing everything upfront.
Zmodo is made to work with its app, which sends mobile alerts when motion is detected by the camera. You’ll be able to view your camera’s picture while you’re away.
Don’t want to have to pay a pro to install your security camera? Zmodo’s system was made to be DIYed.
Unfortunately, the Zmodo app gets low ratings from users—2.3 out of 5 on the Apple app store and 3.1 out of 5 on Google Play. Users cite a variety of problems, including the app constantly logging them out or freezing, loss of feed and more. Zmodo recently released an app redesign and some big updates that perhaps could improve the problems, but the results remain to be seen.
Without a cloud storage plan, the Zmodo app can only play back alert clips from the past 12 hours. If you want to store video, you’ll have to pay for cloud storage. Storing video for 7 days costs $4.99 per month or $49.90 per year. 30-day storage costs $9.99 per month or $99.90 per year.
One of the biggest complaints about Zmodo cameras is that the Wifi connection can be difficult to set up. If you don’t have strong Wifi, or if you have potential interference to your Wifi, such as thick or dense walls, you may have a problem getting it to work properly.
Zmodo’s cameras are purely a DIY-monitor job, so it’s up to you to make calls in the event of an emergency.
Zmodo Camera Features
Range of vision
For example, the 1080p Indoor/Outdoor WiFi Camera has a 90-degree angle of view, while the Sight 180 Outdoor Camera has a 180-degree wide angle lens, allowing you to see more of your property at a glance. The Snap PT Indoor Camera offers the unique ability to pan and tilt the camera remotely, so you’ll be able to move it to see what’s in a 360-degree range. The Snap PT sits on a wireless charging pad, which it can be taken off and used in other places temporarily.
Zmodo’s cameras all come with motion detection, so you can receive notifications on your mobile device when activity is detected. You’ll be able to turn your camera on and off using your mobile device and also set schedules to customize the type of alerts you receive at different times of day.
Most of the indoor cameras come with two-way talk, so that you can communicate with someone in your home while you’re away, but note that some of the outdoor cameras (including the Sight 180) do not have audio or talk features.
Zmodo cameras are DIY-installed. You should receive everything you need to install your camera in its box. Wireless Zmodo cameras should be a fairly easy install job. You’ll mainly have to place your camera and then pair it with the app over Wifi. Wired cameras may be a little more complicated. They’ll come with their own NVR unit that you’ll have to connect them to.
Smart home integration
Want to complement your Zmodo camera with other, compatible, smart home features? Zmodo also offers video doorbells, a smart thermostat, a smart water valve, a WiFi extender, and door and window sensors for additional security. All these can be monitored with the same Zmodo app for seamless use.
Many Zmodo cameras (including the three mentioned above) work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control.
Zmodo doesn’t offer professional security monitoring. However, you can opt to save recordings to the cloud. It costs $4.99 per month or $49.90 per year to store video for 7 days costs $4.99 per month or $49.90 per year, and it’s $9.99 per month or $99.90 per year to store video for 30 days.
Zmodo Camera Options
Zmodo carries a lot of different cameras, many of which have different specs, so check into what’s offered with the model you’re considering before you buy. They all offer HD video—and all three models mentioned below have 1080p HD picture, as well as night vision. Let's look at some of the most popular options:
Zmodo 1080p Indoor/Outdoor WiFi Camera
A versatile indoor/outdoor camera that has 1080p HD picture, plus night vision. It's a great, affordable option for building a system that you may want to add to over time.
- Security-focused Hardware: Zmodo outdoor security camera is metal-made to resist extreme harsh weather, thus has a longer life. Enhanced...
- True 1080p HD Live Video Day and Night: Watch your home in true 1080p Full HD day and night, and see up to 65ft away in the dark. Videos can...
- Smarter Motion Detection: Be notified with a key image of an event when Zmodo outdoor camera detects an movement, so that you can take a...
- Hands-free Voice Control: Zmodo outdoor camera works with Alexa and Google Assistant. Go hands-free with Alexa by saying, "Alexa, show me...
- 30-day Free Trial of Zmodo Cloud Service: Enjoy a 30-day free trial of Zmodo 7-day cloud recording plan. With the plan, you can review,...
Zmodo Sight 180 Outdoor Camera
1801 degree field of view and weatherproof - a solid outdoor option.
- 180 DEGREE VIEWING: The 180°angle of view with Full HD 1080p resolution gives you a detailed vision of every corner at home. Night-vision...
- 1080P FULL HD: Non-stop monitoring keeps an eye on children and pets, no matter where you are. On-demand live view gives you a 1080p crystal...
- DUAL BAND WIFI: This wireless outdoor camera supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz network, which reduces the connection time and simplifies the...
- WEATHERPROOF: This weatherproof camera can be placed both indoors and outdoors, which is ideal for outside use and will keep recording rain...
- CLOUD SERVICE: All users are eligible for a 1-month free cloud of our 7 day cloud recording plan. With the plan, you can review, save, and...
Zmodo Snap PT Indoor Camera
Full, 360 degree view and the option of going wire-free makes this a great pet camera.
- Zmodo Snap PT camera can be used wire-free or plugged-in, giving you flexibility to move your Snap PT for quick monitoring jobs.
- This camera is a hub for Zmodo accessories and comes with two door / window sensors to alert you when something has been opened.
- Snap has a wide PIR motion sensor. Receive an alert and a short video clip whenever motion is detected.
- With Zmodo Cloud Service, 24/7 continuous recording can be saved directly onto U.S.-based cloud servers.
- All cloud services use bank-level AES 256-bit encryption and Transport Layer Security (TLS) to secure your data.
The Bottom Line
Zmodo offers good equipment for the price but its overall rating suffers a bit, likely due to the company’s decision to own every part of its business. For example, some users have not been happy with the customer service they’ve received—getting short or unhelpful replies for Zmodo representatives. The low quality performance of the app is also a bummer, seeing how today’s security customers tend to want to rely on mobile apps to monitor and control their security and smart home systems.
Overall, Zmodo cameras are a good choice if you want a low-cost security camera system that you can install and monitor yourself. Compare it to Ring and Google Nest cameras, and you may pay less. However, installation troubles and app reliability problems may be reason enough to go with one of those other companies.
If you’re looking for professional installation and the peace of mind that comes with professional monitoring, you may want to consider a more conventional security company, such as ADT or Vivint. Of course, those extras will most certainly cost you extra, so keep that in mind.
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About the Author
Elena Donovan Mauer
Elena Donovan Mauer has written for Real Simple, Self, Good Housekeeping, Parents, The Knot, The Bump, and other publications. Elena is also a soccer mom, adjunct professor and taco enthusiast, who can be found antique shopping and singing in her kitchen. She lives in the Hudson Valley of New York with her husband and two sons.