Android Central can no longer recommend Eufy cameras
A series of unfortunate events have broken our trust in the brand.
Update Dec 2, 9:22 am: added Eufy's statement.
Here at Android Central, we pride ourselves on recommending products that we would buy ourselves. Whether that means smartphones, watches, smart home products, VR gaming systems, or anything else that we cover, our reputation relies entirely on how accurate our coverage of a product's positives and negatives
That's why, with a heavy heart, we must announce that we can no longer recommend Eufy cameras for your home. We're working hard to update all of our camera guides and will be removing Eufy — a sub-brand of Anker — from each one, a process that's made more difficult by the fact that Eufy is often our number one recommended camera in each guide.
This comes after days of unearthed scandals have rocked the sizable Eufy community, with many responding by destroying their Eufy security systems. While many of us won't go that far, we also can't recommend buying a new Eufy camera until those security issues are fixed.
If you haven't been following the saga, here's the TLDR: Eufy's cameras aren't as secure as they have claimed for years. With the right information, anyone can watch video from your Eufy camera, however remote of a possibility that may be. They also upload some data to the cloud that customers were previously unaware of, although the company has issued an apology and has updated its product language in the Eufy app to better clarify which settings will trigger a cloud upload.
Additionally, Eufy issued a second statement on December 2 that doesn't exactly address any of the issues we've seen and seems a little tone-deaf, to say the least.
"eufy Security adamantly disagrees with the accusations levied against the company concerning the security of our products. However, we understand that the recent events may have caused concern for some users. We frequently review and test our security features and encourage feedback from the broader security industry to ensure we address all credible security vulnerabilities. If a credible vulnerability is identified, we take the necessary actions to correct it. In addition, we comply with all appropriate regulatory bodies in the markets where our products are sold. Finally, we encourage users to contact our dedicated customer support team with questions."
What if I have a Eufy camera at home?
If you've got a Eufy camera indoors, it's likely best to unplug it and put it away for the time being. While it's highly unlikely that anyone would ever be able to tap into your camera's footage — there are just too many specific pieces of information someone would need to gain access — the fact that this is possible is a breach of trust in Eufy's products.
Personally, I recommend never having a permanent indoor camera in your home.
If you have outdoor Eufy cameras, you'll need to assess your feelings and come to your own decision. I have a few Eufy cameras setup in my yard to help watch over my chickens and bunnies and will not be removing them. Even if someone gains access to my cameras, I'm not exactly worried about the privacy of my outdoor pets.
How to stop your Eufy camera from uploading to the cloud
Part of the current scandal involves Eufy cameras uploading thumbnails of faces and environments to the cloud without user consent. Based on what Eufy told us, this was a miscommunication of how the notification feature in Eufy's app works. While the company has since fixed the wording in the app, you'll still need to change a setting to avoid this issue.
- Open the Eufy app on your mobile device.
- Tap a camera's thumbnail image and select the settings cog.
- Tap the notification option.
- Select most efficient to receive text-only notifications.
Doing this will bypass the thumbnail feature and deliver text-only notifications. This will prevent your camera from uploading thumbnails to the cloud in order to send a notification.
What are some Eufy alternatives?
While we're working on updating our best camera guides to include the best Eufy alternatives, several other reputable brands can be considered as viable alternatives to Eufy cameras.
Arlo is likely the best alternative for folks looking for similar quality products that offer both cloud and local storage. You'll need an Arlo SmartHub (model VMB5000 or VMB4540) and can configure Arlo Direct Storage so that all your supported Arlo cameras send data only to the SmartHub instead of the cloud. The downside is that Arlo only supports AI-powered object detection when you subscribe to their cloud service.
If you're just looking to have some historical access to videos and don't want to pay for a subscription service, Google's latest Nest Cams all allow access to the last 3 hours of recorded footage without a subscription. You can't choose to keep these videos local — they're all stored temporarily in the cloud — but it's a good alternative for a subscription-free service with AI object detection.
We'll work to bring you some additional alternatives in the near future.
Ring and Wyze have previously gone through a number of scandals in the past. At the least, for the sake of this article, we won't be recommending them as alternatives here for this reason.
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