The original Wyze Cam and Wyze Cam V2 are currently the cheapest, AES128-bit encrypted home security cameras (As of September 2019 data from Amazon) that can be turned into baby monitors. We compared Wyze Cam and other Wifi baby monitors and security cameras and it came 10th behind Nanit Plus, Miku baby monitor, Lefun and iBaby M7, among others. When you use Wyze Camera as a baby monitor, you essentially turn the Wyze security camera into a baby cam and can stream videos from your Wyze Camera in the baby nursery to your smartphone.
Wyze Cameras are designed for use as indoor home security cameras but can be turned into baby monitors, outdoor cameras (although not recommended as it is not waterproof) and to monitor pets/dogs or for general security. Some users have actually turned Wyze Cameras into a front door camera/doorbell cam but in this review, we’ll dwell on the use of Wyze Cameras in baby’s nursery as a baby monitor.
Wyze Cam Original
The original Wyze Cam original that was released in 2017 is the cheapest of all the three models and has the following features:
Brand: Wyze Cam 1080p HD Camera
Rating: 4.3/5 by over 12k customers
Weight: 7.8 ounces
Dimension: 2.2 x 2 x 2 in
Display Size: App
Power Source: AC
Maximum Range: Xft.
Wyze Cam V2 1080p
Wyze Cam V2 is the second generation security camera by Wyze Cam which was released as an improvement to the original Wyze Cam.
Below are the features:
Brand: Wyze Cam V2 1080p HD
Rating on Amazon: 4.3/5 (11,000 reviews)
Weight: 7.8 pounds
Dimension: 2.2 x 2 x 2 in
Price: $25.98 and $34 with SD card
Power Source: AC
Zoom, Pan: No
Maximum Range: Xft
Wyze Cam Pan 1080p HD
Wyze Cam Pan 1080p HD is the latest addition to Wyze Cam’s brand of cameras that can be turned into a baby monitor
Brand: Wyze Cam Pan 1080p HD
Reviews: 4.2/5 by over 5k customers
Weight: 8.8 ounces
Dimension: 2.4 x 2.4 x 5 inches
Power Source: AC
Zoom, Pan: Yes
Maximum Range: Xft
After going through the overview of the three brands, here is a summary of Wyze Cam company.
Wyze Cam Company
Wyze cam company, the owner of the Wyze brand was formed on July 19, 2017, and is incorporated in Seattle in Washington State, US. While Wyze company has its Wyze labs in Washington, it has taken an all-product-sourcing approach which has basically allowed them to reduce product development cost.
Wyze Cam sources its parts such as camera hardware from off-the-shelf IP cameras and it has grown rapidly since its launch in 2017. Wyze Cam is now available on sale in China, Europe (through Amazon UK and Amazon Germany), Australia and Canada. Wyze Cam is currently Amazon Prime-eligible and you can get it shipped and delivered within 24 hours if you are in Amazon prime countries such as the US and UK. In the US and wondering where to buy Wyze Cam, you can check on your local Walmart store or on Amazon.
Despite its very low price, almost similar to those of audio baby monitors such as the VTech models that sell for less than $20, Wyze Cam has some of the most advanced features you’d want in a baby monitor.
So, why is it so cheap?
To reduce its cost of production by more than 90% when compared to its peers such as Nest, Arlo, Blink, and Ring, Wyze did these two things:
- Adopt existing hardware to effectively reduce a unique product development cost. All the hardware and the hardcoded firmware that run the Wyze Cam and Wyze Cam pan and tilt baby monitor were obtained off the shelf. So no dime to set up the Wyze.
- Incredible execution to sell the Wyze Cam: Wyze Cam is owned and run by former Amazon employees who identified the market gap and ran with it. They went for low margins and high volume model and since their successful launch on October 17, 2017. Within 6 months, the Wyze team managed to sell over 300,000 Wyze Cams.
Is Wyze Cam safe?
While some reviews have made claims that Wyze Cam uses third party iOT service provider called ThroughTek to manage Wyze Camera video transmissions, Wyze has vigorously defended that its data is safe. ThroughTek is headquartered in Taiwan with offices in Japan and China and none in the US. ThroughTek has partnered with several cloud services providers including AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, and Aliyum/Alibaba.
The Wyze Cam (original) responded when the claim that a foreign company was managing its data saying the data is sent to the AWS servers securely. While this is true, data from the original Wyze cam to AWS are routed through many of its cloud partners such as Linode(US), IBM (US), Vultr/Choopa (Europe), and Aliyum/Alibaba (China) and an NTP server in Russia.
In May 2018, Wyze Cam sent out a report indicating that Wyze Cam v2 video feeds will now be routed to US-based servers by its partner, ThroughTek. Below is a snapshot from a forum about the update:
While Wyze Cam has made the claim that the data is secure, we could not confirm why the data is not sent to s3 buckets of the AWS accounts users create when they set up AWS cloud storage plan with Wyze. One valid reason they stated was the cost of s3 buckets would just be high and a few users would find this feature useful/willing to pay.
Here Is A Video of Wyze Cam V2 as Baby Monitor
Wyze Cam Vs. Nest Vs. Arlo
Both Wyze Cam, Nest, and Arlo baby monitor stream high quality 1080p HD videos. Wyze Cam, however, has less recording speed at 15 frames per second and Nest and Arlo’s recording speed is 30 and 15 frames per second respectively. Unlike Nest, Wyze Cam’s cloud storage is free for up to 14 days. Nest Cam cloud storage is as high as $30 per camera but perhaps the most important differentiation is the fact that Nest allows 24/7 streaming. Wyze Cam does not support continuous streaming but records 12-seconds clips when triggered by an event such as motion. You can find all the details of the differences between Wyze Cam, Nest, and Arlo baby monitor.
|1080p HD||1080-p HD||1080p HD|
|15 fps||30 fps||25 fps|
|110 degrees field of view for V1 and V2 and |
120 degrees field of view for Wyze Cam pan
with pan and 90 degrees tilt
|130 degrees pan||130 degrees|
|14 days of free cloud cloud storage||3 hours of free cloud storage||24 hours of cloud storage|
|Local storage with microSD||No local storage||No local storage|
|Night vision filters||Night vision filters||Night vision filters|
|Two way audio||Two way audio||Two way audio|
|Time lapese is available with a MicroSD Card or with MaxDrive||Time lapse available with Nest Aware subscription||Not available|
Can Wyze Cam get hacked?
Wyze Cam is a wi-fi security camera that sends its data to AWS cloud (storage provider) through a third-party IoT services (transmission) provider. The data is sent securely using AES-128 bit encryption that requires two-factor authentication. The Two-factor authentication feature is currently available to Wyze Cam v2 and Wyze Cam Pan.
In brief, Wyze Cam can be hacked as it uses an advanced encryption standard but not the latest one, AES-256. This makes it vulnerable as hackers have been able to get access to 128-bit encrypted data before as you may have heard of Nest Cam Indoor camera hacking. However, I have provided some tips that you can take to be safe below. As I always tell our readers here at 10BabyGear, let the security start with you and for that to happen, start by making sure the home security network is secure and all passwords are strong and safely stored in an encrypted medium.
Wyze Cam uses AES-128 bit encryption which is the second-best encryption standard available in the market in 2019. While we can just believe (without fully verifying that a third party such as ThroughTrek is not eavesdropping), it is important to note that Wyze Cam’s aim as a brand is to develop cheap, mass-market cams. This can come at a cost but so are all the wifi baby monitors that do not use chip encryption or the 256-bit encryption. Other security cameras that use 128-bit encryption standard are Nest Cams.
To conclude, Wyze Cam is not the most secure wifi security monitor in the market but you can follow the following steps to ensure your data cannot be randomly accessed:
- Use WPA or WPA2 and not WEP
- Change the device default password
- Ensure you are using a home, secured wifi network
Wyze Cam Firmware (Updating, Download & Alternatives)
Wyze Cam uses OpenIPC firmware which is an open firmware extension for Wyze cameras. To get the OpenIPC firmware, you need to obtain the correctly configured SD card and does not require wifi or QR code. With OpenIPC, you can now have OpenIPC comes out of the box with RTSP, SSH, Telnet, NFS, and a web interface to manage it all. My favorite of all the features is the RTSP.
“OpenIPC started out of the necessity to connect cheap off the shelf IP cameras with existing professional VMS systems and installations. “
You can, however, choose to go with the default Wyze Cam firmware which you can download on Wyze Cam website here. By opting to go with the default Wyze cam, Wyze Cam v2, and Wyze Cam Pan firmware you leave the Wyze cam firmware alternatives which may pose a security risk (especially if you don’t follow all the required steps correctly).
Is Wyze Cam waterproof?
One of the biggest difference between the outdoor security cameras and Wyze Cam, Wyze Cam v2 and Wyze Cam pan is that all the three Wyze Cam brands are not waterproof. Nest outdoor and Arlo outdoor cameras are waterproof and do well at extreme temperature conditions, unlike Wyze Cams which is not waterproof. Again, Wyze Cams are not rated for use outdoors. You can, however, get Wyze Cam waterproof case but the case is only available only to Wyze Cam and Wyze Cam 2.
Can Wyze Cam records without Wifi?
Wyze Cam can record to the SD card if you already set up the camera to allow Continous Video Recording (CVD) by plugging in the microSD card which supports live recording. It can record 24/7 once it’s set up and you can rely on it even you lose connection.
Traditional wifi-dependent cameras such as Arlo baby do not record when there is no wifi because it does not support micro-SD based Continous Video Recording. Arlo cameras with a base station are however able to record without wifi. The Arlo security cameras with a base station and can record without internet are Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2 and Arlo Ultra 4K.
Wyze Cam Power Source & Requirements – Batteries, Solar & AC
There has been a lot of anticipation that Wyze cam would release Wyze cams powered by a battery. An update posted on Wyze’s website in November 2018 indicated that Wyze are still looking into a Wyze cam battery and designing Wyze Cam with or using battery power.
All the current models of Wyze Cam are powered by AC and need to be plugged in to record and transmit the video of your baby to your app or to record it to the microSD card. This is one of the reasons why Wyze Cam cannot be used outdoors as it is not powered by batteries and you won’t find AC plugs outdoors.
For those excited about a Wyze Cam powered by solar power, it is too early in July 2019 and Wyze Cam are yet to release solar-powered Wyze cam nor have there been reports of Wyze Cam using solar power. Someone has however managed to build a solar-powered Wyze cam by purchasing a few pieces of equipment on Amazon such as a Wyze Cam solar panel. You can follow how he was able to do it on the Wyze forums here.
Wyze Cam Google Home Hub Compatibility
In July 2019, Wyze Cam joined a list of Google-approved baby monitors and security cameras. Approved cameras such as Arlo, Kasa Cam and now Wyze Cam are compatible with the Google Home Hub and all you need to do is integrate it and get the Google Assistant to assist you to monitor your baby.
The video below shows how you can stream your baby video footage on Google Home hub:
You should note that only Wyze Cam v2 and Wyze Cam pan are the only Google Home compatible Wyze brands.
Here is how you can enhance your smart home with Wyze Cam devices:
With Google Assistant, you can use voice commands to control smart home features and devices such as the Wyze Cam v2, Wyze Cam pan, and the Wyze Bulbs. Video footage from the two Wyze Cam brands can be streamed on devices with inbuilt Chromecast or using the Chromecast that plugs into smart tv. You should, however, note that unlike Nest and Arlo, Wyze does not currently support streaming of footage to Google Home App.
Control your Wyze Bulbs with Google Assistant or stream your Wyze Cams through your Google Home Hub, Smart device with built-in Chromecast, or even a standard screen with a Chromecast dongle. At this time, the Google Assistant integration does not support camera streaming into the Google Home App.
Wyze Cam v2 and Wyze Cam Pan are currently two of 10BabyGear’s pick for Google Home compatible cameras.
Streaming Wyze Cam Videos To Phone, TV (Chromecast), PC or Mac
As of this publication, you can only stream Wyze cam footage to your smartphone Wyze App and to your Google Home and Alexa Home compatible devices. You can also stream Wyze cam videos to devices with inbuilt Chromecast or you can purchase the external Chromecast and connect it to your Wyze cam to smart tv and start streaming to your tv.
Unfortunately, it is currently impossible to stream Wyze cam footage to PC or Mac devices but with a Wyze firmware alternative such as OpenIPC and apps such as TinyCam you can aces Wyze cam footage on PC and Mac devices as well. OpenIPC, open-source firmware for off-the-shelf IP cameras such as Wyze Cam has developed a feature that allows you to access Real-Time Streaming Protocol feature (RTSP). You should, however, note that since June 2019, you can activate RTSP feature on the app as the Wyze App has been upgraded. RTSP will allow you to stream Wyze live footage across multiple devices simultaneously but this has actually been a possibility since April 2019. A Wyze App update (v 2.3) enabled RTSP and Two-factor authentication. As of this publication in July 2019, Wyze cam does not currently integrate with Smartthings.
Video Recording from Wyze Cam to Google Drive
Wyze does not currently allow you to save video recordings on any file storing location such as Google Drive. Some users have however found a way to sore their data to the cloud using apps such as TinyCam which can allow you to not just store data on the cloud and also stream to browser or to TV. You can read how to use TinyCam here.
Wyze Cam Pan
In 2018, Wyze Cam had received customer feedback to add the pan and tilt capabilities to the original Wyze Cam and they went ahead and launched a Wyze Cam model with pan and tilt feature. It cost just $10 more than the original Wyze Cam v2. The dimensions of Wyze Cam Pan, 5.02″ x 2.36″ x 2.36″ are significantly higher than Wyze Cam v1 and v2 which measures 2.2″ x 1.97″ x 1.97″
On June 12, 2019, Wyze Cam updated the original Wyze Cam and now Wyze Cam is compatible with Google Home and Alexa Home.
The latest Wyze Cam weights just 91 grams compared to other cameras that are made of heavy metal and a magnetic base such as Nest and Amazon Cloud Cam.
Unlike traditional baby monitor brands such as Motorola, VTech or Samsung, Wyze cam did two things that allowed it to cut its price by more than 90%.
In July 2019, Wyze Cam had an update and the video below describes the additional features that you with Wyze Cam:
In brief below are some of the recent updates that make Wyze Cam an undeniable leader in the webcam baby monitor space:
- Integration with Google Home and Alexa
- Multi-screen viewing
- Person detection
Unlike other security cameras such as Nest that provide snapshots of events, Wyze Cameras stores generic stock photo and finding photos for evidence can be quite a hassle. To get to an event, you, therefore, need to watch the entire video clips to find the single clip you want.
Motion triggered recording lasts for only 12 seconds but you can make the setting to record on demand which can last as long as there is space.
Wyze Cam Motion Tagging
Wyze Cam v2 and Wyze Cam pan have an additional motion tagging feature. Motion tagging feature essentially detects any moving object and create a small box around where movement is detected and it follows the object until it is out of Wyze recording view. Unlike Nest which has 30 frames per second recording speed, essentially double the Wyze Cam’s 15 fps rate, Wyze Cam’s pictures can get pixelated and lose focus as it gets tracked.
Wyze Cam Cloud storage:
When you purchase any Wyze Cameras, you get 14 days of free cloud storage and your video footage will be stored with AWS. You can, however, opt for local storage by purchasing a microSD card or a hard drive. Compared to Arlo which offers 7 days of cloud storage and Nest with offers only three hours of free cloud storage Wyze cams storage plan is very cheap. It is even cheaper than Ring, the security cameras that offer cheaper plans than Arlo and Nest. Ring has a free plan and the paid plan allows you to access up to 60 days of cloud storage for just $3 per month.
Wyze Cam Homekit
As of July 2019, Wyze Cam does not currently integrate with Apple Homekit. In July 2019, Wyze Cam managed to integrate with Google Home after it had already integrated with Alexa Home. Below is an update from Wyze Cam associate who highlights that Wyze would like to have Wyze cams integrated with Apple’s Homekit and are currently working to get this done.
Below is the snapshot of Wyze’s associate response to a question regarding whether Wyze Cam integrates with Apple Homekit smartphone other than Google Home and Alexa.
Wyze Cam Motion Zones
Wyze Cam pan introduced motion zones aimed at reducing false alarms. One way of reducing false alerts is setting the camera to remove alerts when you are home. You can indicate the times you are at home. You can create the schedule using IFTTT, a free web-based service to create chains of simple conditional statements, called applets
Wyze Cam Mount Options: Window, Wall, Mounting kit & Tripod mount
Wyze Cam Pan has a tripod mount which makes it easy to mount it. All you need is a tripod mountable screw. You screw the tripod into the Wyze cam and you’re all set. Wyze Cam v2 and Wyze Cam pan also have magnetic bases similar to Logitech and Nest that allow you to install them on any metal surface.
When you purchase Wyze Cam, it comes with 3M adhesive tape that to install on a wooden surface, glass surfaces such as window, or other non-metal surfaces in your baby’s nursery. You will find the Wyze cam mounting kit on the packaging that comes with the camera.
Aside from the mounting kit that comes with your Wyze cam, you can also purchase Wyze Cam wall mounting bracket that comes with a protective case. The protective case will allow you to use Wyze Cam as an outdoor security camera. You can check my favorite Wyze cam wall mounting kit for Wyze cam v1 and v2 on Amazon here.
Wyze Cam Alexa
It is possible to connect your Wyze Cam to Alexa and utilize the Amazon Alexa virtual assistant and the Echo Show tablet that can make it very easy to monitor your baby. See the video below describing how Wyze Cam can be connected to Alexa:
Wyze Cam FAQs
Yes. You can use any of the three brands of Wyze Cam baby monitors as a baby monitor. Follow the instructions given in this article. For Google Home Hub and Alexa compatible monitor, pick the Wyze Cam Pan 1080p HD camera above.