Hey there coworking community,
I’m trying to buy a couple security cameras and a doorbell with a security camera feature, hopefully without adding a significant cloud storage cost per month. I’d LOVE any recs! I’m guessing we’d get a residential grade camera, but I’m open-minded.
This speaks to a bigger question that I’ve run into about using “smart home” products in my space. In just the last few years, a lot of items (speakers, thermostats, lights, screenshare devices) that add seriously useful functionality are now pretty reliable and available at a very modest cost. But they’re all geared toward residential use. Many have no security features to keep anyone from taking control of them, which doesn’t even seem great for home use. Some also have terrible/unsupported user interfaces, are bandwidth hogs, really poor security, etc. But the “business grade” versions of these are prohibitively expensive and not always better.
I’m curious whether other operators have used smart home products “off label” in this way. What has been useful? What would you avoid? What’s not worth the headache?
We’re currently using smart products for thermostats/sensors, lights, Chromecasts (which are super useful but caused horrendous bandwidth issues for us, with no support response from Google until it went very public) and speakers. I do have them on a sequestered wifi network, but I still have security concerns and have had to throttle the bandwidth. I’ve also cobbled together cheap home solutions with Raspberry Pis, but frankly they’re hard for the staff to use and unreliable.