With its Wi-Fi security camera, the Homeboy team has created what is likely the easiest-to-set-up home security system currently in existence. On top of that, the Homeboy has a quite a few other excellent features as well that make it possibly the ideal home monitoring setup for anyone. Well, anyone except for one specific group that is…
Let’s just get this out the way right now, before we discuss all the things the Homeboy gets right: if you have pets and plan to use the Homeboy in an area where those pets go, then this is probably not the security camera for you. Despite having a feature called Pet Mode which you would hope would alleviate this issue, in my testing, Pet Mode did not seem to function at all. Rather, every time I left the house I would be greated by hundreds of notifications of motion detected followed by endless videos of my dog walking around. This also has a severe effect on the device’s battery life.
If you do not have pets, or if you do, but plan to use the Homeboy in an area where your pets do not go, then allow me to tell you about all the things that just may make the Homeboy the security system for you
As stated above, setting up the Homeboy is beyond simple. Just charge the device with the included standard micro USB cable, download the app, create an account and a location name, and add the Homeboy to that location using Wi-Fi Protected Setup. If your router doesn’t support WPS (which most modern routers do), there is a different connection method which only really involves the extra step of having to type in your Wi-Fi password. It’s hard to even imagine a more simple setup process.
Once you’re connected to the network, you are free to customize the Homeboy with various options. These include having a siren sound when motion is detected, choosing whether to arm the device manually or based on location using a geofence, customizing the LED light functions, and the aforementioned (seemingly useless) Pet Mode.
Upon being armed, the Homeboy will automatically record a video of the length you specify (you can choose between five second intervals ranging from five to thirty seconds) whenever it detects motion. You will then receive a notification and the video will be available to view on your mobile device. In my experience, this entire process was nearly instantaneous, but it’s worth mentioning that I have 60 Mbps Internet and a D-Link AC1900 router, so your mileage may vary a bit in this regard based on your particular network setup.
A few other standout features of the Homeboy: the ability to select a Crew of people who can also get alerts and video (each with various levels of access based on the role you assign them: Posse, Deputy, or Chief); a timeline of all actions and alerts/videos, in which you can also leave messages for other members of your Crew; and, best of all, IFTTT integration to tie the Homeboy into your personal device ecosystem, which is a very welcome and much appreciated addition to any gadget.
As far as build quality, the Homeboy looks sleek and modern and seems quite well built. The magnets that attach the camera to its base (allowing you to take down the device for recharging without the need to remove the entire base from the wall) are very strong, and a welcome addition to the overall package.
As for battery life, the Homeboy team claims around three months with normal use. Having a dog here, three months wouldn’t be close to possible, since the constant recording drains the battery pretty quickly. Without an animal running around to constantly trigger it, though, three months seems quite possible.
Overall, if you are in the market for a fairly inexpensive ($149) security solution that is beyond simple to set up, and you don’t have pets running around where you plan on using it, I would absolutely recommend the Homeboy. And if the team can actually manage to get Pet Mode working properly, they will have a top-notch product on their hands that’s the perfect security solution for anyone.