Dropcam vs Homeboy vs Ycam HomeMonitor

Choosing an IP camera was once easy but now there are so many options that the decision can be overwhelming. Several companies have emerged offering cloud cameras that boast free apps, easy setup, and home automation capabilities. The best camera is going to be one that offers all the features you want, that holds up to promises made, but also one that will be around for awhile. After all, you don’t want to buy into a company that is the next Revolv (a company that gets bought out and abandons product). Currently two of our top ranked cameras are Dropcam and Homeboy. While the Y-cam HomeMonitor is not ranked as high as Dropcam or Homeboy it is an interesting option for reasons we will discuss below.

Dropcam Background

Dropcam was one of the first to pave the way for simple cloud cameras. They were acquired by Google’s Nest and have had an extraordinary amount of success. Post the acquisition Dropcam and Nest found a way to work together. When a Dropcam is paired with a Nest thermostat or smoke alarm they can work together as a team. As mentioned in my Dropcam review, “Nest can communicate actions to your Dropcam. If your Nest is set to Away, Dropcam’s motion alerts will be set to on. When you set your Nest to Home, the Dropcam motion alerts will turn off automatically.” As the “Works with Nest” program continues to expand I expect that the ability to connect Dropcam to other smart devices will also expand. Currently Dropcam (available here on Amazon) integrates with Nest and SmartThings.

Homeboy Background

Homeboy is fresh on the scene. They could have easily been intimidated by the amount of clutter on the market but instead they took a different approach. They’ve created a camera that is 100% wireless meaning that it works on your wireless network but is also battery powered. They’ve created a unique camera design with a globe shaped camera that attaches magnetically to its base. This gives the Homeboy even greater range of motion as you can attach it to a wall, ceiling, or place it anywhere you like. Through IFTTT integration Homeboy can play with other home automation devices including Phillips Hue, WeMo, Nest, and SmartThings.

HomeMonitor Background

Y-cam’s HomeMonitor series is technically three different cameras. They make an outdoor camera and two indoor cameras. (If you want to compare all three cameras check out my chart here.) The fact that Y-Cam has an outdoor camera is unique. While Dropcam can be put into a 3rd party case for use outdoors, HomeMonitor (also on Amazon) makes the only true outdoor camera option. Also, the HomeMonitor outdoor camera can be powered normally or by PoE. Perhaps the most important feature that sets HomeMonitor apart is free for life cloud storage. You will get alerts sent to your phone just like you would with HomeBoy or Dropcam but footage will also be sent to an online account where it is stored for free for seven days. If you need more storage they do offer a paid premium version that is still less expensive than competitors but for most homeowners a few days of free cloud storage should be sufficient.

Comparing Dropcam, Homeboy, and HomeMonitor

To compare these three camera companies we need to start with a baseline. Dropcam makes two indoor cameras but in this review we are focusing on their newest addition, the Dropcam Pro. The Pro is a static camera. It can’t pan or tilt. Instead they’ve created a camera that includes a wide field of view. Within the view you can zoom digitally up to 8x. From the Y-Cam line we will focus on the indoor HomeMonitor HD as it is the most robust HomeMonitor option and most comparable to the Dropcam Pro. Finally, Homeboy has only one camera on the market.

 Dropcam ProHomeboyHomeMonitor HD
Purchase Price$199.99$149$249.99
Resolution1080×720640×4801080×720
Night Vision
Night Light
Motion Detection
Event Alerts
Two Way Talk
PowerUSB or Power AdapterBatteryPower Adapter
Cloud Storage Cost$14.93/month+FreeFree
IFTTT Integration
Indoor/OutdoorIndoorIndoorIndoor
Warranty Length1 Year Partsunknown1 Year Limited
Where to Buy
Dropcam Pro
Purchase Price
$199.99
Resolution
1080×720
Night Vision
Motion Detection
Event Alerts
Two Way Talk
Power
USB or Power Adapter
Cloud Storage Cost
$14.93/month+
IFTTT Integration
Indoor/Outdoor
Indoor
Warranty Length
1 Year Parts
Where to Buy
Homeboy
Purchase Price
$149
Resolution
640×480
Night Vision
Night Light
Motion Detection
Event Alerts
Two Way Talk
Power
Battery
Cloud Storage Cost
Free
IFTTT Integration
Indoor/Outdoor
Indoor
Warranty Length
unknown
Where to Buy
HomeMonitor HD
Purchase Price
$249.99
Resolution
1080×720
Night Vision
Motion Detection
Event Alerts
Two Way Talk
Power
Power Adapter
Cloud Storage Cost
Free
IFTTT Integration
Indoor/Outdoor
Indoor
Warranty Length
1 Year Limited
Where to Buy

Comparing Dropcam, Homeboy, and HomeMonitor Software

When it comes to cloud cameras the secret is often in the software. After all, you could have the best camera in the world but what good is it if you can’t control it?

Dropcam has an iTunes app and an Android app. Through the app you can control multiple cameras and setup alerts for motion or sound. There isn’t anything fancy about the app. However, simplicity is something that draws many people to Dropcam and the app is simple … just like the camera.

Homeboy has their own app for Apple (4.5 stars) and Android (4.3 stars) but most people who use Homeboy will use the IFTTT app for automation. IFTTT is what puts the automation in many home automation devices. Through IFTTT you can create recipes in a format called “If This Then That”. For example, you could download the free Life360 channel which will add geo-fence capabilities. You could tell IFTTT “If I leave my house, then Arm Homeboy”. No more forgetting to turn Homeboy on or off as you can set a rule to run automatically on your behalf. As home automation darling SmartThings also has an IFTTT channel you could start with Homeboy and expand further into home automation. For example through IFTTT you could create a rule, “If Homeboy detects motion, turn on red light.” There are literally hundreds if not thousands of possible recipes.

HomeMonitor is the least connected device of the three from a home automation standpoint. However, they have the most options for control. They have an app for iPhone, Android, Windows Phones, Roku, Apple AirPlay, and the Kindle Fire. These options are especially handy for those that don’t walk around the house with their phone in-hand. If you have one of the compatible TV services you simply turn on the HomeMonitor channel and you can watch multiple video streams live. In theory you could watch a stream from your vacation home, office, and your own home at the same time.

Homeboy alerts you in the way you want. Whether it’s a notification to your mobile device, a Twitter or Facebook message, or a ping to your crew, we’ll get in touch immediately.