fbpx
Are you a new user getting started with Camect? Please visit camect.com/welcome.

Overview

What is Camect?

Camect is the brain of a home surveillance system, allowing you to easily build a sophisticated system from the IP cameras of your choice. It automatically configures your IP cameras, records video continuously, lets you view live and recorded video securely, and uses sophisticated AI to recognize interesting video events to inform you about.

Camect offers many features that the alternatives do not, such as a large choice in cameras, low monthly costs, use of cloud storage you actually control (e.g. Google Drive), and AI-based alerts that actually get better as you, and other users, train the system. It’s also easy enough that anyone can get these benefits without having to get a degree in computer networking! Camect makes it easy to securely share and access your cameras from anywhere.

There are two parts to the Camect experience:

  • A Camect hub is a fully functional smart camera hub (aka smart network video recorder) for all of your cameras. The hub plugs into your network and provides 24×7 recording, viewing from your local network, and AI-powered smart alert detection and review via the app. These features, and automatic software updates, are provided for life with no subscription cost.
  • Camect Go is a subscription service that adds features that require the use of the internet, such as seamless remote access from anywhere outside your home, delivery of alerts (in email, app notifications, or Telegram instant messages), backup of motion video to cloud storage, sharing with others, etc. Some Camect Go usage is included with your purchase of a Camect hub. (Check your order for details and see here for more details about Camect Go.)

*If you need the Camect Go features but did not buy a system that includes them, you will need to buy a Camect Go subscription.

How will Camect improve my home surveillance experience?

Simply put, Camect brings you the benefits of great camera management software at an affordable price. It will also protect your privacy and is likely to save you money if you’re using any other cloud-based camera service.

There are many consumer-oriented camera systems available today, but only a few come with good software.

Cloud-based systems often have good software, but the cameras and subscriptions are expensive, you get to choose from only 2-3 camera models, and the system is only as reliable as your internet connection. Cheaper standalone IP cameras are often great optically, but come with software that is difficult to use, insecure, or is hardly, if ever updated. Camect combines the best of both worlds.

Consider Camect if you’d like:

  • your video recordings kept on your own hardware, ensuring your privacy.
  • a system that does not depend on your internet connection.
  • choice in cameras — use the right camera for each scene, but have a single way to record, access and manage the video from all of them.
  • smart activity notifications that get even better when you provide feedback about them.
  • a low monthly cost for optional internet-based features.
  • alert video backup up to cloud storage you control, like Google Drive, or Dropbox.
  • video management from a US company that actually has a clear privacy policy, and tries to know as little of your information as possible.
  • access to your cameras from your laptop or desktop rather than just from your phone.
  • the ability to easily share access to your video with friends, family, or neighbors.
  • easy management of multiple recorders at multiple locations.
  • a secure device that gets automatic updates to improve both security and functionality.
  • a device with low power consumption to replace a power-guzzling desktop you’re using to record your video.

How much does it cost?

Please visit the Camect Store for up-to-date pricing.
Does Camect have an app?

We have a progressive web app which installs from our web site, and is available for Android, iPhone, and ChromeOS.

A progressive web app does not mean that you have to use the browser from your phone! It means that our app does use a browser to provide some functions, and it installs from our web site rather than the app store. After installation, it’s a lot like any other app you’re used to — i.e. it launches from an icon on the home screen, opens with a splash screen and looks like other apps. (You do not see browser buttons or URLs.) The app is separate from your browser in the app switcher, and it does not share credentials with your browser.

Can all app functions be accessed from a web browser?

Yes. We support both Chrome and Safari.
What do I need to get started?

Assuming that you already have an internet connection and a home network that uses it, you’ll need:

  • One or more IP cameras. (Review our camera compatibility FAQ to make sure you buy compatible cameras.)
  • A source of power at each camera location, i.e. a power outlet for cameras that use a power adaptor, or a network cable running back to a POE (“power over ethernet”) switch if you bought POE cameras which are powered over the network cable.
  • Ability to connect to your network at each camera location, i.e. a good wifi signal for wifi cameras, or a network cable connected to your home network if you buy wired cameras.
  • A Camect hub, which can be placed at any convenient point in the living space of your home, and requires a power outlet and a wired network connection.
  • A phone, laptop, or desktop computer to use to access Camect.
  • A cloud account you can use to “sign in with Google”, “sign in with Facebook” or “sign in with Amazon”.
    • Note: Almost any valid email address can be set up for “sign in with Google” here. You don’t need to create a gmail account.

What comes in the box?

  • Camect Home smart camera hub.
  • Power supply with a local plug for US, UK, EU, or AU. Others get the US plug, with 110-240V input voltage.
  • A “quick start” card, telling you how to connect the recorder and find our web site.


Usage and Features

What are Smart Alerts?

Smart Alerts are notifications that Camect sends you when something interesting happens. They can be sent by email, Telegram instant message, or Android app notifications.

Camect is able to detect many common moving objects seen by your cameras – many more than other systems that claim to be “smart”. Camect is smart enough to notify you only when there’s really an interesting moving object to see. You won’t get the junk alerts that other systems send you from blowing leaves, shifting shadows, and bugs flying around at night.

Camect can detect all of the following objects:

  • Person
  • Car    Truck   Bus   Bicycle   Motorcycle
  • UPS   USPS   FedEx  DHL   Amazon   Royal Mail
  • Cat  Dog  Deer  Bird  Skunk  Raccoon   Bear   Unknown Animal
  • Squirrel   Fly   Mouse   Spider   Rabbit   Unknown Small Animal

Camect Smart Alerts get even better if you provide feedback. Teach it what objects are you interested in, or even teach it that particular objects are interesting only at certain times of day or only in particular parts of the scene.

Although Camect is likely to be far better than anything else you’ve tried, no AI system is perfect. On the very rare occasions that Camect misdetects an object, you can choose to share the video to improve the AI — Do this a few times, and your specific problem will get fixed!  No other common camera system allows for that.

How long will my recorded video be stored?

Your video will be stored as long as the available disk space permits, or you can specify a maximum age in case you need to limit to less than that. For a typical home with 4-5 cameras of 1080p resolution and no movement occurring a large fraction of the day, you can expect several weeks of footage stored on the 1TB internal drive.

More accurately this depends on the number of cameras you have, the resolution of those cameras, and the amount of movement that the cameras pick up. Your Camect hub stores your video efficiently in scenes where nothing appears to be occurring, while also storing as much detail as possible in scenes of interest.

If you find that you need more storage than what is available on the internal drive, you can plug in an external USB drive, or you can use a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device.

What are the benefits of storing video locally?

Longer viewable history and higher video quality at a lower cost than you could get if storing your video in the cloud.  🙂

Cloud providers that offer a month of video storage usually charge high, recurring monthly fees for the storage. By keeping your video locally, you avoid the monthly charge for disk space.

Constantly uploading your video to the cloud can also take up a significant fraction of the upload bandwidth on your internet connection, especially if you save video at high quality. A single 1080p camera may use 1-4 Mbps depending on the amount of activity it is capturing, and many internet providers limit the total upload bandwidth for your connection to 6-10 Mbps. If you want to have several cameras, or cameras with higher resolutions, you’ll likely have to sacrifice image quality when uploading continuously to the cloud.

Isn't cloud storage safer in the event of theft?

With a Camect Go subscription – which is much cheaper than paying for 30 days of video storage in the cloud – you can choose to automatically upload alert video (i.e. video from when unusual activity is detected) to a cloud provider of your choice. This gets you most of the benefit of uploading to the cloud without the cost and bandwidth usage that comes with uploading everything.

Currently supported storage providers include Google Drive and Dropbox. More will be added in future.

Is it easy to view my live and saved video when I'm away from home?

Very easy. Connect to https://home.camect.com/, log in, and select the Camect hub from which you want to see video — just as you would when viewing at home.

The experience feels much like using a cloud-based system, but your video is streamed directly to your viewing device from your Camect hub rather than being stored in and streamed from the cloud.

What is a WebRTC connection?

WebRTC is the technology that Camect uses to connect to your viewing device to contact your video recorder to retrieve your video without having to send the video to a cloud server.

Camect’s cloud infrastructure only helps your Camect hub recorder and your viewing device establish a connection to each other, and then steps out of the way. Camect’s servers never see your video, or any of your other interaction with your Camect hub. Camect does not utilize any third-party providers for WebRTC.

I have multiple locations (e.g. my home and my business) to monitor. Can Camect handle this under a single account?

Yes, very easily. When you sign in to your home page, you’ll see a list of the various homes you own or have access to. You can expand their cameras inline on that page, or open a page showing the cameras from any one home at a time.

Cameras

Which types of camera work with Camect?

Camect will work with hundreds of brands of IP cameras which support Onvif or RTSP, as long as they are connected directly to your network with a wired or Wi-Fi connection. For more detailed information about camera compatibility visit our camera compatability page camect.com/camfaq.

  • Nest, Arlo and Wyze cloud cameras work also, on an experimental basis. We do not have any relationship with these brands, and their cloud services could someday make changes that prevent them from working with Camect, so we do not recommend that anyone depend on continued support for them.
  • If you are happy with Camect’s features, we recommend that you eventually use regular IP cameras so your video is not sent to the cloud, and so your cameras will record even when your internet is down. You’ll get the same features and equal or better optical quality at a much lower price!

I am interested in outdoor cameras. Should I use POE or WiFi cameras?

If you already have power and a strong WiFi signal where you want your cameras, WiFi will be easiest. If you need to run a cable to get power, we strongly recommend PoE (“power over ethernet”) so that one low-voltage cable will carry both power and a reliable network connection. PoE will eliminate any unreliability that arises from a poor WiFi connection.

Some recommend outdoor cameras to start with: 

The Amcrest IP3M-954E (PoE) and Amcrest IP3M-943B (Wi-Fi) are good general-purpose outdoor cameras. The Amcrest IP2M-841 is a good indoor PT (pan/tilt) IP camera which works with both Wi-Fi and wired networks. We have absolutely no connection to Amcrest and get no kickback for this recommendation. 

For more information about outdoor cameras, visit our recommended hardware page https://camect.com/camera-recommendations/

Is it easy to configure a new camera?

A supported camera is very easy to configure. Plug the camera into your network, and Camect will automatically find it and set it up. See our camera compatibility FAQ for more information.

Other cameras may require that you take care of getting the camera connected to your network, e.g. by following the manufacturer’s installation process. Once your camera is online, you may need to tell Camect the RTSP video streaming URL for the camera in order to view video from it.

I already have a working camera setup that uses another product. Can I try Camect without affecting my existing system?

Yes. When you activate your Camect hub, uncheck the box that says you allow it to make configuration changes to your cameras. That way, you’ll be sure that Camect will not change any settings that your other system may be dependent upon – so you should be able to run both side by side.

Will battery-operated (aka "wireless") cameras work with Camect?

Camect records video continuously. We don’t recommend battery-operated models because continuous video recording will run down your batteries rapidly. However, you can use a battery-operated Arlo camera with Camect if you wish. If you have another brand of battery-operated camera and know the local video streaming URL, you may still add such a camera to Camect manually.

Will moving cameras (e.g. object tracking cameras, or cameras mounted on a car) work with Camect?

Your Camect hub can record and play back footage from moving cameras. However, you will not get good results from Camect’s object detection AI if your camera is moving.

Camect is quicker at detecting objects than many motion-tracking cameras are, so you may get alerts from Camect before your auto-tracking camera starts to move, but Camect’s AI assumes that the camera is stationary, and will not be able to deliver great results once the camera starts moving or zooming.

How many cameras can I use with Camect?

Under normal home conditions, everything will work well when the total resolution of all of your cameras adds to 24 megapixels or less. Results will vary if your cameras are observing scenes where there is constant movement.

For reference, a 1080p (HD) camera has a resolution of 2 megapixels, 4M cameras have a resolution of 4 megapixels, and 4M cameras have a resolution of 8 megapixels.  

I have several high-resolution cameras that together are more than a single Camect Unit can handle. What are my options?

  • Multiple Camect units will coexist fine on a single network
  • Camect can coexist with another NVR, so you can use your other NVR for recording at full resolution, and configure Camect to use lower res substreams to get you high-quality alerts,
  • You could decide to only use the Camect feature set on a subset of cameras or
  • If you’re comfortable with technical stuff like installing an OS from scratch, send mail to support@camect.com to ask about other possibilities.

How do I know when I am overloading my Camect hub

Camect is designed to degrade the viewing experience before compromising on recording video. If you frequently see messages saying that your Camect hub is busy, and interactive operations happen slowly, you may be at the limit and should try disabling alert detection on some cameras, or disabling some cameras outright.


Security

Can anyone else see my video when I view my cameras remotely?

No. Your video is encrypted while in transit. It travels directly from your Camect hub to your viewing device, without passing through any other computer that decrypts it. (This is in contrast to most cloud-based services, where your video is available unencrypted on the cloud server that hosts your content.) As per our privacy policy we try to hold as little of your data as possible.

Can anyone else steal my recorded video?

No, as long as you ensure that no one else has access to the account you use to sign in(i.e. don’t share your password), and ensure that your Camect hub is in a location that’s secure against theft.

Access to your Camect hub via the internet involves signing in with a cloud identity (“sign in with Google”, “sign in with Facebook”, etc) and optionally providing a secondary password, that is unknown to anyone else (not even to Camect, Inc).

Setting a secondary password ensures that there will be no unauthorized access to your video even in the unlikely event that your cloud identity got hacked, or that Camect’s servers got hacked.

Why do you require that I use a cloud identity provider for activation and remote access?

Most of you would rather not have yet another password to remember,  and we’d rather know as little about you as we can — so we’d rather not store a password for you in our cloud.

If you don’t trust the big cloud providers, you may choose to set a secondary access password on your Camect hub. That password will be required for all accesses, and is unknown anyone to else, including Camect. Setting one will ensure that no one but you has access to your Camect hub even if your cloud account were to get compromised.

When I use my Google (or other cloud) account with Camect, what am I allowing Camect to do with my account?

You are allowing your cloud provider (e.g. Google) to tell us your email address, and to share some very limited profile information (such as your profile picture) with us. Camect isn’t allowed to access or modify any information in your cloud account.

If you enable sync’ing of alert videos to a Google drive account, you are separately asked to allow Camect to create a directory on your Google drive, and to add and delete files in that directory. (This is not granted when you sign in. You’ll be asked to permit if you try to use it.)

You don’t have to use your main account  for Google Drive  — simply create and use a different cloud account if you prefer not to use your primary account.

Is using Camect safer than using "port forwarding" for remote viewing?

Yes, much safer, because your cameras and your Camect hub remain protected from hacking attempts by your internet firewall.

If you use port forwarding, you ask your firewall to make your cameras directly accessible to incoming traffic from the internet. This is risky for two reasons:

  • Hackers can probe your cameras and will be able to access them if they know your password.
  • Your cameras accept incoming connections from all sources. This means that they will accept connections made by hackers, and may be hacked if the software handling those connections has flaws. Most camera brands have released software with security holes from time to time, and unfortunately few of them automatically update the software on your camera as new bugs are found.

Camect uses WebRTC connections (described earlier in this FAQ) for video viewing. When you view your camera remotely:

  • No changes are made to your firewall, so your firewall protects your cameras and your Camect hub from all unsolicited traffic from the internet.
  • Your Camect hub does not accept any inbound connections. It connects only when instructed to contact a viewing device that has been authorized based on the verified identity of the user seeking to connect.

Lastly, in the unlikely event that any security flaws need to be corrected on your Camect hub, it will automatically receive and apply updates to correct them.

Is using Camect less secure than using a VPN?

Using a VPN to connect to your home network is something that’s too complex for many home network users, but it is very secure because you configure it with a password known only to you.

Using a Camect hub with a secondary access password is comparable to using a VPN, but is much easier to set up. Using a Camect hub without the secondary password is very slightly less secure (because it’s vulnerable to a compromise of your cloud login credentials) but still much less risky than using port forwarding, and a good compromise for most users.


The Camect hub

How do I set it up?

Plug it into your home network, plug in the power, wait a few minutes, and visit home.camect.com to activate your new device. Your Camect hub will scan your network and find your cameras. You’re done if you had brand new cameras. If you had cameras that were already set up, you’ll have to supply passwords to access them. See camect.com/welcome for more details.

How big is it?

About 5″ x 5″ x 2″.

Where is it manufactured?

The software was developed in the USA. The hardware is assembled in China from components made in China and elsewhere.

How can I get more recording history than what I get from the 1TB internal drive?

You can add up to 2 additional USB 3.0 external drives to increase storage or you can configure Camect to store data on any NAS (network-attached storage) device that supports either CIFS or NFS. The USB 3.0 ports are the blue ports on the device.

Can Camect display video to a HDMI monitor?

No. The HDMI connector is for diagnostic use only.

How does the device connect to the app?

Camect’s directory service helps the app and device find each other. The two then communicate directly with each other over a secure encrypted channel established via a set of networking protocols known as WebRTC. Camect servers can’t view any data exchanged between the app and the device and neither can any other services that aide the transmission.

Will there be updates to Camect in the future?

Absolutely. We have more useful features in mind than we can build right now. We are prioritizing features according to what our users and customers want.

Can Camect operate without an internet connection?

After the initial activation, your Camect hub is fully functional as a network video recorder when completely disconnected from the internet. Internet connectivity is required for alert delivery, viewing from outside the local network, and backing up alerts to the cloud. Periodic internet connectivity is also required for certain maintenance activities such as ensuring that the time setting on your Camect hub is correct, and downloading software updates.

Can I make time-lapse videos?

Yes, Camect produces variable-speed time-lapses in which times of inactivity are sped up more than times of activity so that activity is more apparent when viewing the timelapse. You can also view a timelapse in the app, and this is a great way to quickly review a day’s events.

Where does my Camect hub need to be placed?

Place your Camect hub in a convenient indoor location where you have a network connection. Your Camect hub is designed to operate at normal room temperatures, like other consumer electronic devices such as  a laptop. Please ensure that you leave a few inches around it to allow for adequate air flow, and don’t place it somewhere where temperatures are excessive (e.g. an attic or uninsulated garage).

Will it work outside the United States?

Yes, it will work in most countries. We have tried it from several locations around the world with acceptable performance.

If you are using it outside the US, be aware that:

  • Our servers are located in the USA, so
    • Connecting to your home may be slow if you have poor connectivity to the US.
    • After a connection has been established most operations will be fast, because communication is directly between your browser and your device (and is not traveling to the US and back).
    • If your ISP is one of the few who block WebRTC connections, your encrypted traffic will be relayed through an intermediary. In this case, poor connectivity to the US may cause slow operation even after the initial connection.
  • If your country does not allow connections to Google servers at all (e.g. in China?) you won’t be able to use any Camect Go services.
    • The Camect network video recorder can operate without access to Camect Go after it has been activated, but
    • There is no way to activate it without internet access to Camect’s servers.
  • All machines ship with a US-style power plug. You’ll need an adapter to convert it.
  • We will be shipping worldwide for our crowdfunded launch, but we may be unable to ship internationally for a while as we ramp up availability after that. Contact us if you’re really interested and need some help to buy our device.

Why does Camect look similar to other devices I have seen before?

In order to keep manufacturing costs down, Camect uses a standard case design offered by the hardware manufacturer. We are aware that it looks similar to some other products on the market, but the internals are different, and the software, which enables most of the innovative aspects of this product, is developed by Camect, Inc.


Purchases, Warranties and Returns

Where can I buy Camect?

Camect is available from the Camect Store as well as from select distributors worldwide.
Do I have to pay VAT/GST or other import duties my country imposes?

All taxes and import duties are the responsibility of the recipient if you are importing. Please ensure that receiving Camect is permitted by the regulations of your country.
What is your refund policy?

Please check with the source from which you bought Camect. For Camect Store policies, see here.
What is your warranty?

Please check with the source from which you bought Camect. Purchases on the Camect Store carry a 1 year warranty. If you have issues with a Camect product that was purchased directly from Camect within the first year, you must ship the product back to us and, if it is defective, we will exchange it for you.

Note that products sold at a discount on Indiegogo carry a typical crowdfunded product warranty rather than the regular retail warranty — i.e. Defective produce exchange within 30-days only.


Close Menu
×

Cart