Consumer Reports Picks Four Winners (and One Loser) Among Wireless Security Cameras

Consumer Reports—published since 1936 by the nonprofit Consumers Union—has been testing wireless security cameras that are on the market and in consumers’ homes, and has identified four models that reviewers say are the best in terms of data privacy, security and picture quality. The magazine’s picks for the four best cameras are:

  • The Amazon Cloud Cam, which got high marks for dependable picture quality and response speed. This model didn’t receive the highest marks in the tests, but it did tie with Nest Cam Indoor for data privacy and security, receiving a rating of Very Good in the former category.
  • The Nest Cam Indoor, which reviewers say offers comparable picture quality and response speed to the Amazon Cloud Cam, integrates well with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, giving ther product an overall high score.
  • Nest Cam IQ Indoor was called “a fantastic security camera” by Consumer Reports, and got high marks for picture quality and response time. The product also aced data privacy and security tests, earning a Very Good rating for data security.
  • The Netgear Arlo Pro 2 got good freviews for picture quality and fared better than the Amazon and Nest models in the magazine’s Smart IQ tests. But this model also got the lowest data privacy and security scores of the four cameras listed as winners.

In its extensive testing, Consumer Reports also found that one model of wireless camera has a “glaring” security flaw. The D-Link DCS-2630L camera can transmit unencrypted video feeds over the Internet, reviewers found, which means unauthorized parties can potentially access its footage. Unlike cameras that store footage on manufacturers’ secure cloud servers, the D-Link DCS-2630L stores its footage locally in its own built-in web server. This server, however, is not encrypted.

Google Home Hub Panned by Security Advocate

Google Home Hub is a competitor with Amazon’s Alexa. It’s essentially an Android tablet connected to a speaker, which serves as an in-room Google Assistant. But Security advocate Jerry Gamblin says code loopholes are a threat to Hub’s security.

“I was surprised to see so many ports open, so I started to do some research and found that these devices have an undocumented (and amazingly unsecured) API,” Gamblin said in a blog post. “After spending 15 or 20 minutes looking, I found that you can reboot the Hub with [an] unauthenticated curl command.”

 Ring’s Stick Up Cam Wired Revealed

Technology blog TechHive got a peek at the new indoor home security camera by Ring. It has a cylindrical body that sits on a mount and twists, meaning it can be mounted on almost any surface and adjusted such that “the camera is plumb and the picture is correct,” reporter Martyn Williams said. The new gadget supports motion detection, night vision, and two-way talk.