Security cameras for the purpose of home automation are becoming more and more popular with devices available like the Netatmo Welcome or the Nest Cam. The Piper NV is yet another security camera that can be controlled with your mobile device.
Many smart home cameras are lacking in a lot of areas but Piper claims its NV to be top-of-the-line when it comes to automated home surveillance.
Design and Hardware
The Piper NV comes in a white or black finish. The design is unique in that it takes on a more traditional style of a security camera over what seems to be the usual utilitarian design.
Around the front the Piper NV has a 3.4MP HD video camera equipped with night vision and a 180-degree field of view.
It also features a microphone and speaker. As far as sensors go, the Piper NV has sensors for motion, ambient light, temperature, and humidity. On the more unique side of things, the Piper NV is actually equipped with a 105 decibel siren which functions as intended. It’s loud and annoying!
The Piper NV comes with a metal stand, giving the security camera a more durable foundation than just its plastic body.
Finally, the device is powered by your traditional wall outlet. As a second option, the Piper NV comes with three AA batteries and will operate off of that, too.
The Piper NV has an Android and iOS application, allowing you to arm and disarm the camera. It also lets you save custom alerts and watch a live recording on a single or four-way panel.
Additionally, the Piper NV lets watch your saved clips for free, something many top-of-the-line home automation security cameras are lacking. You can also add Z-Wave devices, such as smart outlets, thermostats, door locks, and so on.
The Android app is full of the aforementioned features and more. Despite this, the Piper app is extremely lightweight, efficient, and it’s all put together in an elegant package.
Setup is extremely easy. It can take you as little as two minutes to get the Piper NV up and running if you don’t run into complications. Setup is as simple as plugging in the power and entering in your WiFi credentials.
A smart switch and a window sensor came with my model, and the setup was a seamless process. Just open up the Controls tab in the app and the software wizard will take you through the process of setting your Z-Wave devices up.
Additionally, you can setup custom rules for Home, Away, and Vacation mode, choosing whether the Piper NV records video clips, sounding the siren, sends notifications to your circle of approved friends, and so on.
Surprisingly, the 105 decibel siren works extremely well, as it is very loud and annoying. However, it doesn’t have much of a purpose beyond alerting you (if you have the custom rules set up properly) and trying to scare off intruders.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how well Night Vision worked. It was very clear from a distance. Unfortunately, it wasn’t bad or good up close, but still worked fairly well. This is all thanks to the Piper NV’s upgraded 3.4MP sensor which is actually a significant upgrade from the previous model’s 2MP camera.
Video recorded during the day was much more clear and crisp to no surprise. If bandwidth is an issue in regard to video quality, there is an option to reduce the camera’s streaming resolution.
The Piper NV is a solid security camera for your smart home. It was prompt in sending me emails, texts, and calls for different rules and triggers I set up. Coming in at $279, it’s a quality and cheap solution to equip your home with.
The single downside to the camera is that it seems to only record 35 seconds of a triggered event and that probably has a lot to do with the option to watch your saved videos without any additional charges.
Either way, the Piper NV is an impressive smart home security camera and more. A lot of value is added to it in that it functions as a Z-Wave hub, too. It makes it totally worth the $279.