How to monitor your pets when you're away from home

Adding an indoor security camera to your home can be a blessing. You can keep tabs on your pets, check on your house while you're away, and have peace of mind that can only come from knowing your home is safe and secure no matter where you are. Still, there are some things to consider before you drop a hundred dollars on an indoor security camera.

Yes, adding a security camera to your home means you can check in on things any time and anywhere, but consider this: Adding a security camera to your home means you can check in on things any time and anywhere.

The first time I was away from my home after installing my Nest Cam, I checked in on my house non-stop. I'd set up motion and sound alerts that my dogs were triggering constantly. By the end of the day I found myself wishing I hadn't installed the Nest Cam in the first place. Instead of lessening my anxiety about a non-secure home, it only served to increase my anxiety.

I've since learned to manage my security camera anxiety and I've also set up specific Activity Zones in the Nest Cam's field of view to filter out false positives like my puppers.

If you're a textbook overthinker, it's something you'll want to think about before you spring for a security camera.

Don't hack me, bro!

When you add a security camera to your home, you're looking to improve security and safety. So the last thing you'd want to do is introduce a new way for malicious folks to gain access to your home.

With an internet-connected camera, though, you must always consider the possibility that someone could gain access to your camera and use it for their own ulterior purposes or to view what's going on inside your home.

Let me be clear: Something like this — hacking your camera to view your house or create a botnet — is far more common in generic cameras that feature little to no built-in security. Any internet-connected device is ultimately susceptible to an attack, but you're more protected using well-known, higher quality (and typically higher priced) devices than you are using random twenty dollar cameras you can buy on Amazon.

When you set up an indoor security camera, don't stick to any default login values. Set strong, hard-to-guess passwords and make sure your home WiFi network is equally protected.

In other words, do everything in your power to keep your internet-connected devices locked up tight!

Do you have pets?

I mentioned how my pets kept triggering false positives for my Nest Cam. It was an issue at first, but once I got it figured out, I found being able to check in on my puppers while I'm away to be the single most important benefit the Nest Cam provides.

Any time I need a pick-me-up or my puppers cross my mind, I just open the Nest app and can instantly see what they're up to (they typically hang out in our living room). If they're up to no good (read: barking at delivery trucks), I can speak to them over the camera and ask them to quiet down. If they're lounging on the sofa, I can perk 'em up with a quick word or two about how adorable they are.

It's also a great way to check — after they've gone outside for a restroom break — when they're ready to come back indoors. If I'm working in my office, which has no clear view of the back yard, I can check the Nest Cam from my desk to see if they're standing beside the back door waiting to be let in.

Pets and indoor security cameras are a match made in heaven.

Do you have loads of valuables or live in a particularly needly area?

If your house is filled with lots of valuable items and/or you live in an area that sees more crime than usual, an indoor security camera can give you the peace of mind you need to feel anxiety-free whilst you're away from home.

Most crimes are that of opportunity — a crook who's suddenly realized they're on camera is likely to run away the moment they're confronted without committing further offenses.

In the event thieves successfully steal from your home, you can use footage from your indoor security camera to help in any investigation that might take place. In that way, a security cam is certainly a worthwhile investment.

Indoor security cameras you should check out

There are plenty of internet-connected cameras on the market, but there are only a few that really stand out in terms of quality, security, and — let's be real — coolness. These are some of the indoor security cameras that are worth your time.

Nest Cam

I have a Nest Cam in my home and I'm very happy with it. It automatically turns on when both my partner and I are away from home and alerts us to any motion and sound events that take place in the specified Activity Zones in our home.

The Nest Cam features a camera, microphone, and speaker, so you can watch, listen, and talk with the device.

You can also subscribe to Nest's cloud service, Nest Aware, to keep a log of your footage.

See at Amazon

Withings Home

Withings Home is as much a security camera as it is a beautiful piece of art.

It's got a wide-angle camera with night vision, WiFi and cellular connectivity, and an air quality sensor.

It's a pretty attractive little device that offers more than the standard, run-of-the-mill security camera.

See at Amazon


Canary is more than a security camera — it's an all-in-one security system.

It features an HD camera with night vision, WiFi and ethernet connectivity, air quality sensor, and a 90 decibel siren.

Even though you can't tell your pets how cute they are, that 90 decibel siren is sure to drive out an opportunistic crook who's looking to get away with your property.

See at Amazon

Read more: Best internet-connected security cameras

What's your setup look like?

Do you have an indoor security camera? Do you love it, hate it? Let me know what you're using to keep your home secure in the comments below or over on Twitter!

Mikah Sargent

Mikah Sargent is Senior Editor at Mobile Nations. When he's not bothering his chihuahuas, Mikah spends entirely too much time and money on HomeKit products. You can follow him on Twitter at @mikahsargent if you're so inclined.