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Homekit Secure Video has been out for quite some time and many have since integrated it into their homes!
If you’re thinking of setting up some security cameras inside and out of your home, you may start to think:
“Is HomeKit Secure Video worth it?”
I was thinking the exact same thing when I first started researching into HomeKit.
So I did some deeper research on HomeKit Secure Video to find a definitive answer!
Here’s what I found:
HomeKit Secure Video is worth it. HomeKit is worth it because it is very secure, keeps data private, priced affordably, supports multiple camera brands, offers facial recognition, offers seamless live chat, and is easily accessible on all Apple devices. HomeKit Secure Video is priced in to iCloud+ Subscriptions.
Now that you the basic reasons why HomeKit Secure is worth it, I’ll now cover each point in detail!
Read on for more information!
Introduction To HomeKit Secure Video
HomeKit Secure Video is Apple’s security camera monitoring service for homes. It can connect to multiple third-party indoor and outdoor cameras and allow users to control them using a HomeKit hub or Home app. Users can securely stream and store recorded footage on their iCloud+ subscription.
HomeKit Secure Video, in my opinion, is a great service by Apple because it comes bundled in an iCloud+ subscription, which is an increased storage plan by Apple.
However, HomeKit Secure Video recordings do NOT count toward the storage space in your iCloud+ subscription, so no worries about it taking up a huge chunk of it!
More details on the requirements for HomeKit Secure Video later on in the article!
Check out this video on the basics of HomeKit Secure Video:
So if security is your concern, HomeKit might be for you!
If you’d like to know some reasons that Apple HomeKit is worth it, check out this article I wrote about it:
Now that you know the basics, let me show you what it can do for you and your home!
Is HomeKit Secure Video Worth It?
Before you use HomeKit Secure Video, you would need to set up HomeKit in your home first!
If you’ve yet to own a home hub and wondering if HomeKit is worth it, check out the article I wrote below:
Now let’s jump right into the reasons why HomeKit Secure Video is worth it!
1. HomeKit Secure Video Is Very Secure
I know that security is one of our main concerns when building up a smart home.
That’s probably why you wanted to search about HomeKit Secure Video in the first place: to set up a security monitoring network in your home.
So rest easy, because HomeKit Secure Video is very secure!
In fact, all data communicated within the HomeKit service by Apple are key-encrypted and can only be accessed by you on your Apple devices.
Therefore, it’s not possible for Apple to access any video recordings while in transmission or from your iCloud storage!
If you’d like to know more about HomeKit’s Data and Communication Security, check out this article I wrote covering them:
2. HomeKit Secure Video Keeps Your Data Private
Beyond just keeping your data and video recordings secure, Apple also made a dedication to make HomeKit very private.
In HomeKit Secure Video, whenever HomeKit Secure Video-compatible cameras send data to your home hubs, the video footage is analyzed locally on the home hub itself and is not sent to any cloud services for processing.
What this means that the live footage of your cameras is kept private, and not accessible by any parties at Apple!
Other smart home security cloud services such as Arlo send your data up to their clouds, which makes it more susceptible to hacks.
However, with HomeKit if your live video data is never up in the clouds at all, it can’t be hacked!
One thing to note though: By having high standards of privacy, HomeKit-compatible devices including security cameras having a higher cost than those that are not HomeKit-compatible.
This are due to a few reasons which I highlight in the article I wrote below:
3. HomeKit Secure Video Is Priced Affordably
Although HomeKit-compatible devices may have a higher price, it’s still only a one-time payment.
You can easily take it as a heavy investment on your house’s security!
HomeKit Secure Video’s pricing is actually priced in to iCloud+ subscription plans with Apple.
Apple has cleverly offered HomeKit Secure Video on 3 separate iCloud+ plans:
- 50GB iCloud+ Plan
- 200GB iCloud+ Plan
- 2TB iCloud+ Plan
At the time of writing, these are priced at $2.99 and $9.99 respectively.
|Features||iCloud+ 50GB Plan||iCloud+ 200GB Plan||iCloud+ 2TB Plan|
|No. of Recording Cameras||1||5||Unlimited|
These prices are affordable and not bad at all, because they also include storage for you to backup your iPhone’s pictures, videos, and other documents.
I personally, would rather pay the ~$10/mth for the 2TB iCloud+ Plan, and won’t ever have to worry about my storage space again; and get HomeKit Secure Video at the same time!
For more information on iCloud+ subscription plans in your country, check out Apple’s website.
4. HomeKit Secure Video Supports Multiple Security Camera Brands
I would describe HomeKit Secure Video as something like an add-on to HomeKit.
After getting an iCloud+ subscription, you won’t really need other security subscriptions anymore!
This is because of Apple’s iconic seamless integration!
Let me explain:
Sometimes, when you choose your indoor camera, outdoor camera, and doorbell, you may choose purchase cameras from different brands.
Like one from Logitech, another from Eufy, and another from Arlo, depending on the value they each bring to the table.
The problem comes when you subscribe to multiple security services.
You not only have to pay more for the services, you have to open mutiple apps and have will have multiple apps pinging you for different cameras.
It can get really frustrating and confusing!
Over time, you may feel overwhelmed with notification fatigue or just plain frustrated with switching apps.
Enter HomeKit Secure Video, which doesn’t have all that fuss:
You can control all HomeKit Secure Video-compatible cameras in one central place: your Home app on any of your Apple devices.
This means that with one single app, you will receive notifications & access the Home app across any Apple device that you are using, whether that be your Mac while doing work, or your iPad while watching your favorite series!
Gotta love Apple’s seamless integration!
5. HomeKit Secure Video Offers Face Recognition
One of the most interesting features about HomeKit Secure video is its face recognition!
HomeKit Secure Video is able to recognize the faces that approach cameras in and around your home.
This means that they are able to save the faces of people who are known to your household.
This way, you’ll be able to receive notifications on your Apple device if a stranger is coming up to your home, or simply just your daughter returning home from school.
Here’s how it works: If someone has visited your household before, their face will be saved in the your HomeKit face library, with which the software will use to detect and tell you if they ever arrive at your door again.
Here’s how that works:
You can even choose to give it access to your Photos Library so the faces in your Photos taken will be detected automatically when they arrive!
This can come in the form of a notification directly saying something like: “Justin is at your front door” on your iPhone!
How cool is that?!
For more information on Face Recognition on the Home app, read Apple’s website article.
6. HomeKit Offers Seamless Live Chat
HomeKit not only allows you to see live video when there is activity at your front door or in front of your security cameras, it now also offers the option to chat with the person live!
This is typically used for smart doorbells that work with Apple HomeKit Secure video, because they have microphones and speakers.
Don’t worry, they won’t be able to see your face, you’ll just be able to talk with them, that’s all!
7. HomeKit Secure Video Is Easily Accessible on All Your Apple Devices
With the newest releases by Apple, HomeKit Secure Video is now accessible to all Apple devices!
This include the Home app on latest software on these devices:
- Apple Watches
- Apple TVs
So this means that you’ll be able to look at what’s at your front door even from your Apple watch/Apple TV!
The best part of this is being able to access the controls of your smart home like unlocking the front door – with any Apple device that you happen to be using!
To learn more about whether HomeKit Secure Video is worth it, watch this video:
Disadvantages of HomeKit Secure Video
Now with all these good features that HomeKit Secure Video offers, there are some of its disadvantages too.
Let list them here so you are well informed:
- If an event if not triggered for some reason, it will not be recorded. You cannot play back the footage because only clippings are recorded, not the whole footage
- It doesn’t support 24/7 recording but only streaming. (Nest and Arlo support these)
- Only the 2TB iCloud+ plan has unlimited camera that can be used for recording. Big homes need to spend more on the plan.
- Recordings are saved up to 10 days only.
- It doesn’t have its own web portal to view video recordings. Other services like Ring, Eufy, Arlo allow you to log into a website to view your recordings.
- Recordings are saved at around 20s long only
- Recordings are only at 1080p despite recorded using a 2K/4K camera. Live stream can still be 2K/4K.
- HomeKit Secure Video-compatible devices are more costly than those that are not
To provide a balanced opinion on HomeKit, I wrote another article here on why some people think HomeKit is so bad.
What Cameras Work With HomeKit Secure Video?
IMPORTANT: Cameras MUST specifically say they work with HomeKit Secure Video!
While there may be many cameras that work with HomeKit with this sticker on their packaging:
Many of them do not actually do so.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you only buy cameras that support HomeKit Secure Video, if not you won’t be able to access them in HomeKit in your Home app.
In the table below, I list out a few recommended cameras, 1 for outdoors, 1 for indoors, and 1 for your doorbell.
|Outdoor Camera||Indoor Camera||Doorbell|
|Logitech Circle View||Eufy Solo IndoorCam P24||Logitech Circle View Doorbell|
You may find that HomeKit devices tend to be very expensive, there’s actually a reason for this.
Read more about it in an article I wrote below:
If you’re wondering if getting a smart doorbell is worth it, check out this article I wrote all about it.
How Is HomeKit Secure Video Compared To Other Subscriptions?
You’ve learned a bunch of interesting stuff about HomeKit Secure Video thus far, but how does it really compare to other home video security options?
Here’s a summary table of HomeKit Secure Video to other options:
|HomeKit Secure Video||Ring Protect||Arlo Secure||Google Nest Aware|
|Security||High for iCloud+ plans||High for Pro||High for Arlo Secure plan & above||High for Nest Aware Plus|
200 GB plan: $2.99
2 TB plan: $9.99
Arlo Secure: $9.99
Arlo Secure Plus: $14.99
Nest Aware: $6
Nest Aware Plus: $12
Looking at the above table, most of the plans are very similar in most aspects.
However, HomeKit Secure Video stands out in its privacy!
The main difference in how it processes your data:
How HomeKit Secure Video Processes Data
In HomeKit Secure Video, recordings are processed locally in your home on your home hub. Then it is encrypted and sent uploaded securely to iCloud.
HomeKit Secure Video process flow:
Security camera records and sends footage to HomeKit Hub -> HomeKit hub processes the images and recordings -> images are encrypted -> recording is uploaded to iCloud -> iCloud sends notifications to Apple devices.
How Other Security Cameras Processes Data
Other security cameras that provide a similar service process videos through their image recognition software in the cloud. Then notifications are sent to your devices.
Quality may be lower and notifications will be slower.
Other security camera subscriptions process flow:
A security camera records live feed -> security camera detects a person at front door -> security camera uploads the video to the cloud -> image is processed -> notifications are sent to your Apple devices.
For more information on what HomeKit Secure Videos and its cool feature, check out this article I wrote:
Is HomeKit Secure Video Free?
HomeKit Secure Video is not free. HomeKit Secure Video requires iCloud+ subscription plans of 50GB, 200GB or 2TB for recording 1, 5, and unlimited cameras and costs $0.99, $2.99 and $9.99 respectively. Video recordings do not count toward iCloud storage.
Here’s the breakdown:
|iCloud+ 50GB Plan||iCloud+ 200GB Plan||iCloud+ 2TB Plan|
|No. of Recording Cameras||1||5||Unlimited|
Now that I’ve given you 7 reasons why Apple HomeKit can be worth it, with some disadvantages thrown in, I’m sure you can make your own decision on whether YOU think it’s worth it or not!
If you’re already using HomeKit and face any “No Response” errors in your home app, check out this article I wrote with some solutions:
That’s all I have for you! Thanks so much for reading, stay smart and keep hacking up your homes!
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Justin is the founder and author of Justjooz. He is a Nanyang Technological University (NTU) alumni and a former data analyst.
Now, Justin runs the Justjooz blog full-time, hoping to share his deep knowledge of business, tech, web3, and analytics with others.
To unwind, Justin enjoys gaming and reading.