Ion began sellingin 2012 -- you know, the GoPro kind that you tether to yourself or to your gear to capture first-person footage. But after a couple years of helping folks record daring stunts, the company has expanded into home security. That's where the Ion the Home Wi-Fi camera comes in.
This entry-level DIY camera will be available at Walmart and on Ion's online store in early November for $130 and in the UK in 2015 for £150 (Australian availability has not yet been announced, but pricing would convert to about AU$150).
While its free cloud storage option is very appealing and its other features, like night vision and two-way talk, put it in-line with competitors, the app isn't currently able to send push or email alerts and the live stream doesn't display correctly in a horizontal, landscape view in the iOS app. Since real-time alerts and quality live streaming are critical components of an app-enabled DIY security camera, it's very difficult to recommend Ion the Home right now.
Most of the cameras we've reviewed have fee-based cloud storage that starts around $10 per month. The $200, £200 champions this system (but only in North America): you can pay Dropcam $10 per month for seven days of continuous footage or $30 per month for 30 days. Even Ion the Home's identically priced competitor, the (£130 in the UK, and AU$170 in Australia), charges $10, £6, or about AU$12 per month for its basic cloud service.
has a lower monthly storage option, but few are ever free.
and are two exceptions; Icontrol will save 1,000 clips and Foscam will save 30 clips or 100 photos for free.
Ion appears to be following suit with its base-level storage option: free, rolling 24-hour cloud service. That is, after storing 24 hours of footage, the first hour will be deleted to make space for new video clips. And, if 24-hour video storage isn't enough, Ion will also offer payment tiers identical to Dropcam's for seven days and per month for 30 days.
Here's a chart comparing Ion the Home to some of its competitors:
|Belkin NetCam HD+||Dropcam Pro||Ion the Home||Samsung SmartCam HD Pro|
|Price||$130, £130, AU$170||$199, £200||$130, £150||$189, £160|
|Color||White||Black||Black or White||White|
|Field of view (diagonal)||95 degrees||130 degrees||102 degrees||128 degrees|
|Video resolution (pixels)||1,280x720||1,920x1,080||1,280x720||1,920x1,080|
|Cloud storage||Yes, $10/month or $100/year for 14 days (also available in the UK and AU)||Yes, $10/month or $99/year for 7 days or $30/month or $299/year for 30 days||Yes, starts with free 24-hour rolling storage||No|
|Local storage||No||No||No||Yes, SD card|
|Mobile app||Yes, Android and iOS||Yes, Android and iOS||Yes, Android and iOS||Yes, Android and iOS|
|Web app||Yes||Yes||Currently unavailable, but expected to be live on October 31||Yes|
|Alerts||Motion only, and limited to email alerts unless you subscribe to Cloud+||Motion and sound||No||Motion and sound|
In addition to Ion the Home's free cloud storage option, I was impressed by its entry-level price point, 720p image quality, night vision and two-way talk. Unfortunately, its lack of push and email alerts severely limit its functionality. What is the benefit of on-the-go app access if you can't receive alerts as potential security breaches take place?