Update from December 2 at 9:22 a.m.: added Eufy’s statement.
At Android Central, we pride ourselves on recommending products that we would buy on our own. Whether it’s smartphones, watches, smart home products, VR gaming systems, or anything else we cover, our reputation rests entirely on the accuracy of our coverage of the positives and negatives of a product.
Therefore, with heavy hearts, we have to announce that we can no longer recommend Eufy cameras for your home. We’re working hard to update all of our camera guides and will remove Eufy – a sub-brand of Anker – from all of them, a process that’s made more difficult by the fact that Eufy is often our camera recommended number one in every guide. .
It comes after days of uncovered scandals (opens in a new tab) rocked the massive Eufy community, many responded by destroying their Eufy security systems. While many of us won’t go that far, we also can’t recommend buying a new Eufy camera until these security issues are resolved.
If you haven’t been following the saga, here’s the TLDR: Eufy’s cameras aren’t as secure as they’ve claimed for years. With the right information, anyone can watch video from your Eufy camera, no matter how remote a possibility. They also upload some data to the cloud that customers were previously unaware of, although the company has apologized and updated its product language in the Eufy app to better clarify the settings that will trigger a cloud upload.
Additionally, Eufy released a second statement on December 2 that doesn’t exactly address the issues we’ve seen and seems a little tone-deaf, to say the least.
“eufy Security categorically disagrees with the accusations leveled against the company regarding the security of our products. However, we understand that recent events may have worried some users. We frequently review and test our security features and encourage feedback from industry-wide security to ensure that we address all credible security vulnerabilities. If a credible vulnerability is identified, we take the necessary steps to fix it. In addition, we comply with all appropriate regulatory bodies on markets where our products are sold. Finally, we encourage users to contact our dedicated customer support team if you have any questions.”
What if I have a Eufy camera at home?
If you have a Eufy camera indoors, it’s probably best to unplug it and put it away for now. While it’s highly unlikely that anyone will ever be able to access your camera footage – there’s too much specific information anyone would need to access – the fact that this is possible is a violation of the confidence in Eufy’s products.
Personally, I recommend never having a permanent indoor camera (opens in a new tab) in your house.
If you have Eufy outdoor cameras, you’ll need to gauge your feelings and make your own decision. I have a few Eufy cameras set up in my yard to help me monitor my chickens and rabbits and I will not remove them. Even if someone accesses my cameras, I’m not really worried about the privacy of my outdoor pets.
How to stop your Eufy camera from uploading to the cloud
Part of the current scandal involves Eufy cameras uploading thumbnails of faces and environments to the cloud without user consent. From what Eufy told us, this was a miscommunication about how the notification feature works in Eufy’s app. Although the company has since corrected the app’s wording, you’ll still need to change a setting to avoid this issue.
- Open the Eufy App on your mobile device.
- Press a camera thumbnail photo and select the settings cog.
- Press the notification option.
- Select the most efficient to receive text-only notifications.
This will bypass the tile feature and provide text-only notifications. This will prevent your camera from uploading thumbnails to the cloud in order to send a notification.
What are the alternatives to Eufy?
As we work to update our best camera guides to include the best Eufy alternatives, there are several other reputable brands that can be considered viable Eufy camera alternatives.
Arlo is probably the best alternative for people looking for similar quality products that offer both cloud and local storage. You will need an Arlo SmartHub (model VMB5000 or VMB4540) and can configure Arlo Direct Storage so that all of your supported Arlo cameras send data only to the SmartHub instead of the cloud. The downside is that Arlo only supports AI-based object detection when you subscribe to their cloud service.
If you’re just looking to have historical access to video and don’t want to pay for a subscription service, Google’s latest Nest Cams all allow access to the last 3 hours of recorded footage without a subscription. You can’t choose to keep these videos local — they’re all stored temporarily in the cloud — but it’s a good alternative to a no-subscription service with AI object detection.
We will work to bring you additional alternatives in the near future.
Ring and Wyze have been through a number of scandals in the past. At least for the purposes of this article, we won’t be recommending them as alternatives here for that reason.
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