From the innovation superpower of Shenzhen, China,1 comes Zmodo, a big name in security products with competitive pricing in both equipment and monitoring. With a healthy selection of low-cost cameras and accessories to choose from, we think Zmodo makes it easy for anyone to add security cameras to their home, regardless of budget constraints.
Zmodo’s cameras start as low as $29, with many models offering 1080p HD video, 65-foot night vision, motion alerts, and optional cloud recording. And beyond traditional cameras, Zmodo also makes door and window sensors, Wi-Fi extenders, and smart doorbell cameras. All come in at relatively low prices, making Zmodo one of the most affordable camera brands we’ve tested.
But we’re always left with one key question when it comes to “cheaper” technology: with prices this low, do these cameras really work? So we purchased Zmodo ourselves and got plenty of hands-on experience with the devices, which we share about in our full Zmodo camera review. Today, though, we’re going to take a closer look at Zmodo’s range of products, plans, and pricing to determine whether they’re a good value for you as you build a more secure home.
First, here’s a quick rundown of some of the key offerings you’ll find with Zmodo:
- Low-cost cameras
- No monthly contracts or subscriptions required
- Clear 1080p video quality in most cameras
- Efficient mobile app to control cameras
- Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 1-year warranty
- Zmodo Sight 180C Indoor Wi-Fi Camera
With its lightweight, simple construction, Zmodo’s Sight 180C doesn’t stand out to us as exceptionally strong or well-built. But as an indoor camera, it did the job it was intended to do: It captured crucial activity around our home in real time, sent us alerts immediately, and allowed us to view, save, and store our videos any time.
We found that the Zmodo Sight 180C’s greatest asset is its wide-angle lens. This setup allowed Sight 180C to capture more activity than indoor cameras like the Ring Indoor Camera, which boasts a field of view of only 115 degrees. The bigger the viewing angle, the more coverage you’ll get, and the less money you’ll spend on additional cameras. It’s a win-win-win in our book.
Zmodo 1080p Indoor/Outdoor Wi-Fi Camera
Zmodo’s bestselling outdoor camera, the 1080p Wi-Fi camera, isn’t going to deliver the kind of showstopping performance you’ll find in an outdoor camera from a higher-priced brand like Arlo, for instance.
However, at the sub-$50 price point, they’re firmly on the low end of the spectrum in equipment costs. And Zmodo’s outdoor camera is still going to get you the same industry-standard image quality3 we’ve come to expect in today’s market: clear, noise-free, and full of detail to help you make sense of any activity that presents itself – especially the suspicious kind.
With the low price tag of $39.99 per camera, we think it’s easy to justify buying one of Zmodo’s 2-, 3-, or 4-pack camera bundles, which will save you money off the cost of buying equipment individually.
Zmodo Torch 360
Good outdoor security cameras can go a long way toward protecting your home from threats. But without proper outdoor lighting, it can be hard to know what’s going on around your property, cameras or not. You might be aware that Ring’s camera lineup includes floodlight and spotlight models; we’ve long appreciated two-in-one setups like this, and we know Ring’s customers do, too.
But here’s something we haven’t seen before: A 360-degree motorized panning camera that attaches to your outdoor light post exactly the way a light bulb would. Torch 360’s camera produces standard-definition (720p) video, and you can even play with the color and warmth of its built-in lighting. Pretty neat, we thought. And for $89.99, we think it’s priced just right.
But one word of caution: Torch 360 is larger than a standard light bulb, so don’t forget to check the size of your light post’s housing before you buy.
Zmodo Pivot Cloud
When it was released in 2016, Pivot was Zmodo’s first toe-dip into all-in-one security, boasting a 350-degree rotating camera, a temperature sensor, and door/window sensors in one package.
In the years since, Pivot’s gotten a design reboot with Pivot White. You’ll still get great 1080p video, get door and window sensor alerts, and more, only now all of those features are housed in a more stylish exterior. And with the rotating camera feature, you’ll get whole-room coverage out of just one camera.
The original Pivot is priced at $59.99; Pivot White is $79.99. For an all-in-one hub, trust us: These are very low prices. Held up against the Canary Pro camera, for example, Pivot bore a strong resemblance in body design, features, and performance. But interestingly, Canary Pro is priced at $169, which is even more than the price of the Pivot and Pivot White put together.
That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy our experience with Canary cameras. But that’s a pretty massive price difference, in our view.
Zmodo Cloud Storage and Monitoring Plans
Like many security companies in this ever-growing market,4 Zmodo has evolved and adjusted as technology, style, and tastes change over the years. As more customers are looking for DIY cameras with great image quality and easy installation, Zmodo has answered the call with equipment that can be installed and set up with ease, and that requires little-to-no monthly fees to use every day.
And speaking of monthly fees, if you don’t want to sign up for a Zmodo paid cloud storage plan, note that the basic plan, which gets you 12 hours of rolling video storage, is entirely free. We’re all about this type of flexibility in monitoring.
For premium features like custom motion zones, alert storage, and continuous recording, you’re going to pay. But if you choose the 7-day plan, you’re still only out less than $5 per month, which is quite reasonable from what we’ve seen.
For comparison’s sake, consider that Ring’s monitoring costs include an equivalent cloud plan for $3 per month. And while you might save money on hardware with Zmodo, you’ll find higher-quality equipment and more tech-forward features with Ring security cameras. With that said, we do like that Zmodo offers three plans compared to Ring’s two plans. And a couple of bucks here and there probably isn’t a deal-breaker.
Bottom Line on Zmodo
As we observed in our hands-on experience with Zmodo, these cameras are anything but fancy. The technology that powers Zmodo is not as powerful as what the competition offers, and you won’t find state-of-the-art night vision or 2K resolution in these cameras. With Zmodo, you get the basics and nothing more.
But we also found that sometimes, the basics are all you need in home security. And Zmodo delivers on that quite well. Indeed, lacking the premium-level options of Nest Cams and other big-ticket devices like the cameras Vivint offers, Zmodo stands firmly as an affordable brand with lots of flexibility and value, and remains one of our top picks for folks on a budget.