Only a staycation would be closer to home: Thanks to security cameras, you can now keep an eye on your home, garden and car. The latest cameras are the first to run completely autonomously: using battery power and the mobile network to transfer pictures.
Roger Baur, 15 June 2018
You don’t have to experience an actual break-in. Sometimes when you're travelling, it just takes the simple question – “Did we remember to lock the French doors?” – for that feeling of panic to descend. In the past, it would have been time to call the neighbours, but for some years now, a glance at your smartphone has sufficed: Home security cameras provide round-the-clock assurance that everything is ok at home. What is more, they will even alert you to unexpected movement.
With the launch of the Arlo Go this year, a whole new camera generation has entered the market. The small cam from Netgear can now operate without a mains supply and even outside the WLAN range thanks to a battery that lasts several weeks to several months and the direct transmission of signals to the cloud via the 4G mobile network. With Swisscom, you don’t even need an additional subscription to take advantage of this. With “Multi Device”, additional devices can be added easily to your existing InOne mobile subscription: a tracker, a tablet, a laptop, a second smartphone – or even a camera. Depending on your subscription and the type of device, additional devices are either included or cost CHF 3, CHF 5 or CHF 10 per month.
Arlo Go allows you to monitor your garden or garage as well as your home itself. However, it is important to ensure that the camera’s field of vision does not cover public spaces or other people’s property. If you monitor doorways or other entrances, you must also display a sign informing that video surveillance is in use.
This raises the question as to whether visible cameras therefore act as a deterrent. “As we say in these parts, it’s worth a try. While cameras definitely act as a deterrent, they don’t prevent break-ins per se,” says Florian Schneider of St. Gallen Cantonal Police. And Ralph Hirt of Zurich Cantonal Police explains: “If it is visible, it will have a preventative effect. We also receive footage during investigations. However, the decision as to whether it may be used always rests with the public prosecutor’s office in each case.”
In more general terms, the chance of being burgled has continued to decrease over recent years: Five years ago, Swiss crime statistics recorded more than 200 burglaries per day, whereas in the past year this has reduced to an average of 113 per day. However, the modus operandi of criminals has remained the same: “Burglaries can occur practically any time day or night. They are carried out as quickly and quietly as possible, often by prising open weak, fairly flimsy or unsecured doors, windows and skylights using chisels and screwdrivers or by drilling out locks using battery-powered drills,” explains Anna Ehrensperger of Axa Insurance. Thieves will steal anything that can be converted quickly into cash. This includes wine as well as jewellery, bicycles and skis.
Holiday homes, summer houses and chalets that remain vacant for longer periods of time also make attractive targets for thieves. Here too, Arlo Go is a valuable tool to have, especially if there is no fixed network coverage in the vicinity. However, if you only wish to monitor indoor areas and adjoining gardens, then you can choose a classic model with WLAN or even a cable connection, such as “Qbee”, which is exclusively available from Swisscom and is equipped with a range of additional sensors, or the Circle camera range from the Swiss manufacturer Logitech. Testers were particularly impressed by the 180-degree wide-angle lens of the latest model, the “Circle 2”. In comparison, Arlo Go offers 130-degree coverage and Qbee 140 degrees.
The security cameras deliver HD-quality pictures and video straight to your mobile. whenever specific events occur or on demand.
Incidentally, Qbee and Circle can both be integrated easily using the Swisscom Home app. In contrast, Arlo Go, like the rest of Netgear's Arlo models, is operated via the Arlo app.
In the future, we expect to see a rise in the number of wireless cameras using the mobile network. Starting this year, Swisscom’s Switzerland-wide 5G rollout will open up brand new opportunities. For starters, this technology allows for significantly higher bandwidths and therefore provides even better picture quality. This will make transmitting UHD images from your own garden no problem at all – you’ll even be able to identify each individual ant on a blade of grass. And all of this is combined with virtually limitless battery power. That’s because 5G will also lead to substantial reductions in energy consumption.
With Swisscom, you can connect your security cameras either via WLAN or the mobile network. The new Multi Device options also include additional SIM cards free of charge with your inOne mobile subscription. Depending on your subscription, the multi-camera option is included or available for CHF 10.- per month.
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