After building our home that we live in now I started looking into security cameras, and one thing that most options had in common was the need to pay a monthly fee to access the footage at a later time. I'm a huge fan of Ring cameras, and have arguably too many of them outside of my house, but I needed something different for inside. I wanted something that was always recording, that I could access from anywhere, and didn't come with any additional monthly cost.
Ubiquiti, the company that's better known for its wireless access points and internet hardware caught my eye with some of its options, so I decided to give them a look.
UniFi Video G-3 Micro Camera
Bottom line: Security is in the DNA of this camera and everything around it. There's an additional layer of protection between your saved videos and outside eyes with the Cloud Key, which brings peace of mind to your footage. This isn't designed for everyone, but it's a great option for those who need the added layers of safety.
- No extra monthly fee
- Set up process is very simple
- Large local secure storage options
- Hardware looks and feels very industrial
- Expensive upfront cost
- Limited camera options
- App can be slow to load at times
UniFi Video G-3 Micro Camera What I like
I've tested a bunch of different security camera options in the past, and many of them leave quite a bit to be desired. Whether it's build quality or overall performance, I've yet to find a camera that I actually enjoy using that didn't require a monthly fee, until I set up the G-3.
Ubiquiti is one of the most trusted names in security hardware for a reason.
The setup process, while easy, requires a few more steps than I'd like. One of the big things to note about this system is that it requires Ubiquiti's Cloud Key, which helps secure the system and also is a hard drive for recording your video footage. I really appreciate the fact that all of my footage is locally stored and that there is an extra layer of security that would prevent someone else from being able to see it. Since I am using this camera inside my home, I want the added protection to prevent people from being able to see clips of my family.
When it comes to the hardware itself, the camera is very well designed and comes with multiple mounting options. You can set it on a stand or mount it to the wall, depending on where you want to use it. The power cord is super long, which is great because then you aren't overly limited as to where you can actually use it.
Inside the app, it's easy to identify when the camera detects motion, which is great considering that it's always recording. This allows me to easily triage what happened while I wasn't viewing things, and if I want to see more before or after it, I can easily do that as well. You can also scroll through all the video, just in case, it missed some motion.
UniFi Video G-3 Micro Camera What I don't like
While there's a lot to like once you get the camera set up, the one thing that frustrates me is the time it takes for the app to load. The app launches, then it attempts to connect to the Cloud Key, which takes a few seconds, then you get the interface to access the camera. On more than one occasion I have had to force the app closed and then launch it again for it to connect to my Cloud Key, but on the other hand, I've yet to use a security camera that had a really great mobile application.
The fact that the only wireless options are all Power Over Ethernet (POE) is definitely a problem for me. We didn't opt to wire our whole home with Ethernet cables, and I'm not keen on the idea of doing it now. It would be nice to see options that have rechargeable batteries built-in. The one plus here is that the camera does come with a very long power cord, so you still have flexibility in where you mount it, you just need to get clever with hiding the cable.
About half of the company's camera lineup is waterproof, but this option is not. That's too bad, because the G-3 is considerably smaller than most of its competition, so it would have been great to mount outside.
UniFi Video G-3 Micro Camera Should you buy it?
If you're into high-end cameras that add an extra layer of security between your saved footage and other eyes, this is a great option to consider. Once you have the basic equipment set up, it's super simple to add another one and expand the system to meet your needs. The cameras are very well designed, and come with multiple mounting options, making them versatile as long as you have an ethernet connection to power them or an outlet nearby.
On the contrary, if you're looking for just a single camera to have around, something to keep an eye on the pets or just for peace of mind, this likely is not the best option for you. It offers way more than you'd need, and the cost of getting started would be too high for a single camera.
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