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Warn off any shifty characters outside your house with this smart security camera

If you like to keep tabs on what’s happening outside your home even when you’re not actually there, Netatmo’s Presence security camera is the tool for the job. Presence is a smart home security camera that monitors your home’s exterior, sends alerts about suspicious events to your phone, and incorporates a bright floodlight. It connects to your Wi-Fi network and works with IFTTT, meaning if you want all the lights in your house to switch on if someone suspicious is hanging around, then it’s easy to set up.

Presence is designed to be equally easy to fit and in an ideal situation, can quickly replace an existing outdoor light. The wiring is already in place, the fixtures are in the box, and provided you have at least basic home electrical knowledge and a few tools, it can be fitted by an amateur. Anything more complicated than this, and it may be best to call in a professional. Once it’s installed, Presence connects to your home’s Wi-Fi for control through a smartphone. If you use an iPhone and have an Apple Watch, there’s a Netatmo app for that as well.

To make sure you’re kept informed, the app will receive alerts. Worried every passer-by or neighborhood cat is going to turn your phone into a notification nightmare? Presence is clever, and can detect and distinguish between people, cars, and animals. If you don’t want to know about anything other than people, the app will only alert you when it sees an actual person. If you want to activate the sprinkler system when that annoying cat stops by, you can do that too.

The app is a continuation of the same one employed on the Netatmo Welcome home security camera, but without the face-detection features. Since we first tried Welcome, the app has had a significant overhaul, and is considerably more user-friendly. If the thought of trawling through hours of tedious surveillance video puts you off actually using Presence, the app makes a little 60-second movie made of images taken over the past 24-hours, making reviewing events far easier.

The camera’s aluminum housing is lightweight and weatherproof, so it will withstand everything from freezing temperatures to the hottest, sunny days. Presence’s camera records 1080p full-HD videos and even captures clear video at night using infrared technology. It offers a 100-degree field of view, motion is detected within 65 feet, and zones can be specified for monitoring, so it’s not covering any public areas. Presence’s integrated floodlight can also be set to turn on automatically in hopes of discouraging any unwanted visitors.

Presence will live stream video to your phone, or the app used to view video recorded on a MicroSD card, where previous video is overwritten when it’s full. Alternatively, video can be backed up using FTP, or to a Dropbox account. The best news here is Netatmo doesn’t charge a subscription fee, or upload recorded footage to a server, meaning it’s a one-off payment for the Presence, and no worries about cloud privacy. Finally, IFTTT can be used to customize events that take place after an alert, such as turning on smart home appliances, or sending custom messages to phones or social media.

Initially revealed back in January, it’s now ready for purchase in the U.K. through Netatmo’s own website for 250 British pounds. Check back soon for a complete review of the Netatmo Presence.

Article originally published on 01-04-2016. Updated on 11-02-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added in further details of the camera, along with U.K. release price.

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Stephanie Topacio Long
Stephanie Topacio Long is a writer and editor whose writing interests range from business to books. She also contributes to…
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