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Piper is a relatively new company that makes a smart home automation and security system for cheap and effortless monitoring. It is an all-in-one home security option, a wireless IP camera with motion and sound detection, plus an alarm siren to deter intruders. The system's features stress not only security, but also a way to stay connected to loved ones and pets in your home. 

You can choose between Piper Classic and Piper NV (Night Vision). They both have a 180-degree field of view, pan, tilt, zoom and quad view, a built-in microphone and speaker, a 105 dB alarm siren, motion, temperature, humidity, light and sound sensors, a wall adapter and 3 AA battery backup. Here are the differences between the two models: 

Piper Classic:

  • 2 Megapixels
  • No Night Vision
  • Series 300 Z-Wave Controller

Piper NV:

  • 3.4 Megapixels
  • Night Vision
  • Series 500 Z-Wave Controller

Piper records video clips only when a sensor or motion detector goes off. A video is about 35 seconds long. You can store up to 100 of these videos for free in the cloud. You can view your saved clips or live stream footage at any time via the mobile app. The app also lets you set rules about how and when you should get notifications. You can even change the motion detection settings to account for pets. 

Piper also acts as a Z-Wave home automation hub, so you can add-on extra Z-Wave devices and accessories like window and door sensors, to be managed by Piper in the app on your smartphone or tablet. 

Keep reading for pros and cons, as well as Piper camera reviews from real customers. 

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The Good

  • Image Quality
  • Motion Detection
  • Two-Way Audio Setup
  • No Monthly Fees
  • Notification Options 
  • Battery Backup

Image Quality

The wide-angle lens of the video camera gives this device a major leg up over other models, especially when it comes to image quality. It's capable of taking in an entire room with its full 180-degree field of view. It shoots in 1080p, which is full HD, all through a glass lens. For how small it is, this camera can take in a great deal of detail and render a good picture.

Motion Detection

The Piper system offers a great motion detector option, as well. The body has both a motion and a sound detectors built-in. This approach certainly doesn't detract from the efficiency of the detectors, as it does with other models; Piper's detectors protrude from the body of the camera as a glass orb and have been proven to work very efficiently compared to other models.

Two-Way Audio Setup

The system's two-way audio setup is particularly unique and useful. It not only lets you monitor sudden loud sounds in the room, but also can be used as an intercom to enable communication with loved ones, pets, or whoever happens to be within earshot of the device. This is another great way the Piper system extends beyond the realm of home security and into overall smart connectivity with your home life.

No Monthly Fees

Many other home security camera companies charge you for saving clips in their cloud. Piper does not. There are no ongoing fees. 

Notification Options

With Piper, you can choose between push notifications for your iOS and Android app, texts, emails, and phone calls. 

Battery Backup

In case of a power outage, Piper has battery backup system with AA batteries. This is an uncommon feature. 

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The Bad

  • Limited Capabilities
  • Storage
  • Indoor Use Only
  • Mobile App Device Limits

Limited Capabilities

The camera advertises itself as having pan-and-zoom capabilities, but this is slightly misleading. The camera itself has no motion capabilities. You are able to "pan" within a given photo, but it cannot increase the borders beyond the original static frame. The same goes for the zoom: you can "zoom" digitally within an image, which significantly lessens the quality of the picture and seldom does much good for identifying an intruder or other fine details.

Storage

The Piper system also makes it difficult to control and store your recorded videos. The camera only actually records video when a "security event" happens, which significantly limits your ability to survey moments where no detectors were actually triggered. Though it doesn't charge for storage, the Piper will only upload short 30-35-second snippets to the cloud, and only up to about 100 snippets total.

Indoor Use Only

Piper doesn’t make an outdoor camera. The current models are not meant to be used outside because they are not waterproof or weatherproof. This is solely an indoor wireless IP option.

Mobile App Device Limits

The mobile app can only able to support up to five Pipers on the same wi-fi network on one account. If you have a really large home or you want to use it to monitor lots of different separate rooms, this might not be the best system for you. 

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The Bottom Line

The video quality of Piper’s HD camera is undeniably impressive, and recorded clips are stored for free. The crisp image quality and the compact size of the device, all with smart built-in environmental sensors measuring temperature, sound, humidity, and light are a plus. You can use the Piper smartphone app to view live video, set notification rules, and manage recorded video clip. Notifications can be through app push notifications, text, email, and phone calls. The added alarm siren goes a step further into trying to make this a full smart home security option.

Where Piper runs into some problems is with its limited recording capabilities and the five camera limit per account. In addition, there isn’t an outdoor device available, so, if you want to monitor both inside and outside your home within one app, this system isn’t going to work for you. 

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