There are plenty of reasons to install a front-porch security camera. They can deter burglars, monitor package deliveries, show you who’s at the door, alert you when the kids get home from school and so on.
Of course, choosing one can be a challenge. There’s the initial cost, of course, then the ongoing fees for cloud storage. And what about power? Do you have to wire it in? Or deal with batteries?
Read more: The best security cameras for 2019
I found a product that solves a lot of these challenges, and scored you a pretty sweet deal on it. For a limited time, and while supplies last, the Soliom S60 outdoor solar wireless camera is $88.96 with promo code SWZB7U5N. Regular price: $139.
I’ve spent about a week test-driving the S60, and after battling a few setup hiccups (read the manual, Broida!) and learning my way around the app (which definitely has some issues), I’m ready to recommend it — with a few caveats.
After you charge the internal battery, you install the camera someplace it can get direct sunlight for at least a couple hours per day — enough to keep it perpetually charged, according to Soliom. A week in, even with many cloudy days in the mix, power hasn’t been a problem.
Ideally, it’ll also reside fairly close to your router or an extender, because live video requires a strong Wi-Fi signal. My porch is only about 10 feet from an extender, and so I’ve had good results — though there’s usually a second or two of lag. Your mileage absolutely may vary. (Curiously, when I first set up the camera, inside the house, video performance was terrible. After a short while, it got much better, and has stayed that way. Go figure.)
Beyond that, the S60 ticks all the important boxes: up to 1080p video, two-way audio, night vision, motion detection and alerts, a “Protected by” security sticker to put on your door (yay!) and free cloud recording of the 20 most recent videos.
However, these videos last just 8 seconds each, and in my testing, some of them were triggered too late to actually capture what happened in front of the camera. You can install a microSD card for longer, local recordings, and in fact the camera can be used without Wi-Fi at all: After the initial setup, it’ll record 25-second clips (to the card) whenever it detects motion.
My chief complaint is with the app, which is definitely confusing in places and doesn’t allow you to set up scheduled monitoring. It can also be buggy; I’ve had it crash on me and fail to register settings changes, to say nothing of the aforementioned capture delay. Meanwhile, it would be nice if you could access the video feed in a desktop browser, but for now it’s an app-only affair.
This would be darn close to a home-run product if Soliom would deal with these app issues. Right now, it’s a pretty good product and worth considering for anyone seeking a wireless, weatherproof outdoor camera.
This $30 racing game is free
Feeling the need for anything? Speed, maybe? Buckle up: For a limited time, and while licenses last, Humble is offering racing game Grid 2 (Win) for free when you sign up for the Humble Bundle newsletter. Already subscribed? The game is yours to enjoy.
Grid 2 would normally cost you $30. And it includes two downloadable-content (DLC) extras: the Bathurst and Spa-Francorchamps track-packs, which normally sell separately for $10 each.
I haven’t played the game myself (yet), but over at Gamespot, the console versions scored an impressive 8.5 rating. It’s “an exciting blend of arcade and simulation racing,” they said. And Steam customers were “very positive” overall.
Hey, why am I trying to sell you on a free game? Just go get it!
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