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Canary, the DIY home-security system, goes from crowd-funding sensation to mainstream retail product

Michael Brown | March 26, 2015
Backers contributed more than US$2 million to Canary's Indiegogo campaign. Now you can buy one at retail.

"We haven't seen a lot of demand for home automation, but we know there's a lot of interest in the tech-publishing community," Sager told me in an interview last week. "So we haven't focused on those connections quite yet, but it's possible to add that. We continually poll our customers to ask them what they want to connect to, but they just haven't expressed a lot of interest in that."

A Canary purchase could, over time, pay for itself through discounts on your homeowner's or renter's insurance — provided you buy your insurance from State Farm. Even then the discount is relatively modest — a maximum of 7 percent, according to a Canary press release — and qualifying for the maximum discount requires signing up for an optional service plan.

Canary has rolled out three service tiers on that front: You'll get 7 days of cloud storage for up to 50 video clips, with the least-expensive $9-per-month plan; but that doesn't include call-center monitoring. The Advanced Security package adds call-center monitoring and 30 days of cloud storage for up to 100 video clips at a cost of $19 per month. The Deluxe Package also includes call-center monitoring, and it increases your video storage to 90 days for up to 250 clips. It costs $39 per month. There are no long-term contracts associated with any of the three plans.

If you live in a larger home, you can deploy up to four Canary's. You'll pay an additional service fee for each if you elect for the service plans, but you'll qualify for a 50 percent discount on the service plan for each additional Canary.

I still think the Canary will deliver a very impressive price/performance ratio, especially for a smaller home or apartment. And that should go double if you're looking for a home-security system you can take with you when you move. I can't wait to get my hands on one for a thorough review.


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