Good news for those of you with massive back yards: Abode is releasing a new security camera that can reach your home from as far as 1.5 miles away — and it doesn't use LTE.
Instead, the Abode Edge Camera is the first home security camera to use WiFi HaLow, a new wireless transmission technology that can reach far beyond traditional Wi-Fi signals. Here's what we know about the new camera, which is being announced at CES 2024, as well as a little explainer about WiFi HaLow.
Abode Edge Camera: Price and availability
The Abode Edge Camera is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2024, and will cost $199. Of course, you'll also have to own the Abode home security system, which starts at $139 for its most basic setup, the Abode Security Kit.
On top of that, you'll need to subscribe to one of two Abode video plans: The single-camera plan costs $3.99 per month, and the Standard plan, which covers an unlimited number of cameras, costs $6.99/month.
Both plans provide live views from the camera(s), up to 10 days of video history, and an AI-enabled detection system, which helps identify people, animals, and other objects. Compared to other security camera cloud storage plans, 10 days is pretty paltry — Ring, for instance, saves up to 180 days of video.
Abode Edge Camera: Specs
As of this writing, Abode has not shared a lot of details about the camera, but we know this much: It has a 6,000-mAh battery, which Abode says will last for up to one year on a charge. Unlike some other outdoor security cameras, the Edge Camera doesn't have a built-in light, presumably to preserve battery life.
Another power-saving feature puts the camera into a deep-sleep mode when no motion is detected; it wakes when its PIR sensor is activated by something crossing in front. To help boost its range, an external antenna attaches to the camera
Additionally, the camera has an IP67 rating, so it should be able to withstand the elements.
What is WiFi HaLow?
WiFi HaLow (also known as IEEE 802.11ah) is essentially low-power, long-range Wi-Fi. It uses the 900 Mhz band (as opposed to the 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz bands used by most Wi-Fi routers) to transmit data. Because of this, it can reach much further distances — up to 1.5 miles, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance — but it has a much lower throughput, from 150 Kbps to 15 Mbps. By comparison, some of the best Wi-Fi routers hit speeds of up to 1Gbps. Still, WiFi HaLow's throughput should be good enough for a video feed.
WiFi HaLow was introduced as far back as 2016, but apart from a few devices here and there, the technology hasn't been widely adopted. If Abode can make it work well, it could give the company a leg up among the best DIY home security systems, as cameras with this sort of range have had to rely on LTE.
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Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.