Canary: Why It’s One of the Most Popular Smart Home Security Systems Available

If you're looking for a self-sufficient home security system and don't need every available bell and whistle, Canary may be for you.

Shopping for a reliable home security system can be a frustrating process. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the vast quantity of options in the marketplace. The Canary smart home security system aims to be a standout with flexible pricing, simple installation and no contract required.

Canary Smart Home Security: How It Works

It’s a pretty straightforward process. Choose your preferred camera(s) on the Canary website or a third party retailer, download the Canary app, create an account and follow the onscreen instructions. Installation should take around ten minutes, and you need only a single megabyte-per-second (Mbps) of internet speed for your cameras to function properly.

One of the most compelling features of the Canary system is its self-sufficiency. All you need is a smartphone and/or tablet and a good internet connection — no phone line or a smart home hub required. Canary devices are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, too.

The free or “basic” Canary experience comes with 24/7 live camera access, motion-activated recording, one-touch access to first responders, one-day video history, person detection and a one-year device warranty. If you’re willing to incur a minimal monthly fee for Premium Service, you’ll also get two-way talking, access to your 30-day video history, unlimited video downloads, desktop streaming and a second year on the device warranty, plus the help of Canary’s incident support team after a break-in.

Canary Camera Options

Canary has three HD cameras for purchase: Canary View, Flex and Pro. They range from around $100 to just under $200, and are discounted or free in packages and when you sign up for Premium Service. All three feature person detection and night vision and are controlled and operated through Canary’s app.

Canary View

The Canary View is the most basic option — a straightforward combination indoor security camera and home monitoring device, without the bells and whistles of the Canary Pro.

Canary Flex

The Canary Flex can be used as an indoor and outdoor camera. It’s weatherproof, works wire-free or plugged in and easily attaches to most surfaces. It also has two-way talking capabilities. (Note that this camera is only included with Premium Service.)

Canary Pro

The Canary Pro, also referred to as the All-in-One, is an upgrade to the View. Its additional features include a 90-decibel siren, built-in climate monitor and two-way audio capability. It also has climate detection, which monitors your home’s carbon monoxide, hydrogen, ethanol and iso-butane levels. This feature is meant to augment your home’s carbon monoxide and other important detectors, not replace them.

How Much Does Canary Cost?

If you skip Premium Service, it costs as much as you decide to invest in cameras — $100 and up.

If you go the Premium Service route — about $10 per month or $100 for a year — you can net camera discounts or even get them free, depending on whether you opt for one-year or two-year plan. The Canary Pro camera plus one-year Premium Service is $100, the same price you’d pay for the more basic View camera if you chose not to upgrade the standard free service.

The Bottom Line

People who love Canary products typically do because of the easy DIY installation, camera quality, easy access and control through smart devices and low monitoring fees. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a basic, inexpensive standalone smart home security solution.