Should You Use eufy’s Cloud Storage?
What is eufy?
eufy is a smart home brand owned by Anker that makes products like security cameras, video doorbells, robot vacuums, and more. Many of eufy’s devices offer onboard storage options, meaning you can store video footage locally on the device itself rather than relying on the cloud.
However, eufy does also offer optional cloud storage subscriptions for features like accessing your footage remotely and enabling AI-powered notifications. So should you pay for eufy’s cloud service or stick to local storage? There are pros and cons to each option.
Benefits of eufy’s Cloud Storage
Here are some of the key benefits of using eufy’s cloud storage service:
– Access your footage anytime, anywhere – You can view live and recorded video from your eufy devices on your smartphone no matter where you are, as long as you have an internet connection. This makes it easy to check in on your home remotely.
– Longer video history – eufy’s local storage is limited to what can fit on the device’s internal storage, which may be just a few days or weeks of video. The cloud option provides rolled storage for up to 180 days of recordings across multiple cameras.
– AI-powered notifications – eufy can analyze activity in your video feeds using AI in the cloud and then send you notifications about events like a person or package detection. Local storage analysis is more limited.
– Shared access – You can add family and friends to your eufy account so they can also view the cameras remotely. This isn’t possible with just local storage.
Downsides of eufy’s Cloud Storage
However, there are also some downsides to weigh:
– Recurring fees – eufy’s cloud plans start at $2.99 per month, per camera for rolling 14-day storage. For 180 days, it jumps up to $9.99 per month, per camera. This adds up, especially if you have multiple cameras.
– Privacy/security concerns – Your video footage and data is stored on eufy’s servers rather than locally. This introduces privacy and security risks depending on how securely eufy manages your data in the cloud.
– Connectivity reliance – You can only access your footage if you have an active internet connection. If your internet or the eufy servers go down, you may lose access temporarily. Local storage footage is still accessible.
– Potential lag time – Streaming video from the cloud can sometimes be slower than a direct local connection, which may introduce lag.
The Verdict on eufy Cloud Storage
Overall, eufy’s cloud storage brings some useful remote access and smart features, but it also comes with recurring costs and privacy tradeoffs. Here are some final tips on whether or not to use it:
– If you only have one or two cameras and don’t need remote access, local storage is probably sufficient.
– For regular remote monitoring or AI notifications across multiple cameras, the cloud plans can be worth it.
– Evaluate your budget – local storage scales better for many cameras.
– For maximum security, local-only storage is the safest option. But you lose remote functionality.
– Consider a hybrid approach with some cameras using cloud, others relying on local storage.
Hopefully this overview gives you a better understanding of the pros and cons of eufy’s cloud storage service to help inform your decision. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Privacy Concerns with Cloud Storage
While cloud storage provides convenience, it does mean trusting your data to a third-party company. Here are some specific privacy risks to consider with eufy’s cloud:
If eufy’s servers were hacked, attackers could potentially access your video feeds. Eufy claims they encrypt all data in transit and at rest, but any company can be vulnerable. Make sure to use a strong eufy account password to reduce this risk.
Does eufy limit which of its employees can view your cloud data? Could they access it without your permission? These are questions you may want to investigate further before trusting your home footage to their cloud.
Make sure to read eufy’s terms of service to understand if they share or sell your data with any third parties, such as for advertising or analytics. Video footage from inside your home is very personal.
Since eufy is storing your data, they can be compelled by authorities to hand over footage from your cameras without your consent via warrants or subpoenas. With local storage, this isn’t a risk.
Alternatives to eufy’s Cloud Storage
If you don’t want to subscribe to eufy’s cloud, but still want remote access, what are your options?
You could use software to record to a personal cloud storage provider like Dropbox or Google Drive. This avoids giving eufy direct access, but you’ll have to handle setup yourself.
Network-attached storage drives let you create your own centralized, remote storage. For example, you could store footage from multiple eufy cams on a Synology NAS on your home network.
Similar to a NAS, you could build or buy a home server and manage your own video storage. This takes more technical know-how but gives you full control.
Other Cloud Providers
Some other smart camera brands may give you more flexibility on cloud access. For example, Arlo offers self-managed cloud plans using your own encrypted storage.
Improving Local Storage Reliability
Since onboard storage avoids the cloud’s privacy risks, here are tips for making local storage more robust:
Insert high-endurance microSD cards into eufy cams to increase the video capacity compared to relying on internal memory.
Place multiple, overlapping eufy cams monitoring your home’s entry points. That way if one fails, you have backup footage locally.
Be diligent about frequently offloading video from eufy devices onto other drives so it isn’t overwritten. Watch through footage to confirm quality.
For hardwired eufy cams, connect them to a backup UPS battery. This maintains recording if power is lost to the security system.
In summary, cloud capabilities offer tradeoffs. Evaluate your priorities, budget, and technical abilities to determine if eufy’s cloud makes sense or if you want to look at other options to enable remote access or bolster local storage reliability.