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Weekend of August 30, 2019 – Hour 1

Tech News and Commentary

Dave and the team discuss over 4,000 banned items on Amazon, weaponized drones and their legality, a weakness in Bluetooth, a magnetic pouch for smartphones at school, an inexpensive 5G coming next year, and more.

Mike in Windsor, Ontario listens on AM800 CKLW and asked: “I’ve got a Nest security cam. Very disappointed with it because you buy it, then you find out after the fact, if you want to take advantage of the features of it you have to pay monthly for it, plus it’s using up data because it’s sending all the video to you. So is there a turnkey security cam, plug and play, for your home that you can use that’s going to offer you playback while at the same time, not charging you a monthly charge?”

Mike, there are many options for cameras that don’t require a monthly plan, but keep in mind that if your home’s connection is limited any camera that broadcasts to the internet will use it up, regardless of whether or not there’s a monthly fee involved.

Your best option for a camera that doesn’t use up a lot of data and doesn’t require a monthly fee may be a truly wireless system like Blink or Argus. Those cameras need to be very power-conscious because they run on batteries, as in AA batteries, so they’re very careful about broadcasting their video and will usually keep from doing it unless you explicitly ask to see it.

There are drawbacks, though, the video will take a while to load and it may try to disconnect after a minute or so to keep from draining the batteries.

You can also look at a more traditional system with a DVR, those will never have a monthly fee because you don’t rely on anyone else’s servers. They may cost a little more, you’ll have a box to deal with, and you’ll need to set it up to play nice with your connection, which sometimes means fiddling with port settings.

After that, it will broadcast to the internet like we mentioned before, though, and that will use up your data.

The same goes for any other camera that broadcasts over the internet, there are lots and lots of cameras some from bigger names like Logitech to completely unknown Chinese generics that all broadcast without requiring a monthly fee, but they will all use up your data.

In fact, we’d say that out of the two problems you mentioned, finding a camera without a monthly fee is the simple one, finding a camera that will put its video online for you to watch from anywhere and not use up your data is the hardest one, and we can’t really think of a way to accomplish that without buying a camera like the ones we mentioned earlier that will actively try to keep from broadcasting unless you give it no other choice.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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  1. One option to consider is the Wyze cam. Wyze offers a wifi connected indoor camera for $20 + shipping. This camera uses a mobile App to receive alerts for motion detection (if you choose to set it up) and also includes 7 days of cloud storage of videos for free. Other than the cost of an optional micro SD card, there is no other monthly cost.

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