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Smart Home

August doorbells welcome you with free video clip storage

August adds free 24-hour video clip history for Doorbell Cam and Doorbell Cam Pro customers.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

August on Thursday added free 24-hour video clip storage to its $199 Doorbell Cam Pro and its first-gen Doorbell Cam. Previously, folks had to pay $5 per month to access August's 30-day cloud storage service. Doorbell maker SkyBell already offers customers seven days of free clips. Ring doesn't currently have a free option; its subscription plans start at $3 per month.

August, which was acquired by Yale's parent company Assa Abloy in December 2017, makes DIY doorbells and door locks. Unlike deadbolt manufacturer Yale, August's locks retrofit to most standard deadbolts. Its Wi-Fi Doorbell Cam Pro replaces existing hardwired buzzers, but adds in HD live streaming, support for Amazon Alexa and Nest, an integrated floodlight and now -- free 24-hour motion-based clip history. 

Anyone with August doorbells and August locks at home can access both devices from the same screen, making it possible to see who's at the front door and unlock it to let them in, as needed. 

August's decision to offer free cloud storage is part of a larger trend among home security companies. A number of them already offer at least one day of free saved clips, but more and more brands that used to have paid-only subscriptions -- or charge a lot for an "entry-level" subscription -- are now changing things up. Google's Nest, for example, has stuck to its $10 per month service plan for years, but added a $5 per month option in February. 

Startup Canary is one of the few trying to charge more, with a $10 per month subscription that includes typically-free things like two-way audio.

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