DropCam Pro Review

If you need crystal-clear picture quality, strong zoom options and two-way audio, the Dropcam Pro might be just what you're looking for.

Tom's Guide Verdict

If you need crystal-clear picture quality, strong zoom options and two-way audio, the Dropcam Pro might be just what you're looking for.


  • +

    Ridiculously easy to set up

  • +

    Clear video and consistent quality

  • +

    Impressive night vision mode


  • -

    Microphone and speakers a bit weak

  • -

    Bluetooth functionality doesn't do much yet

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

Installation, Setup, and Features

Private security cameras can help keep your home safe while you're away, or just provide a glimpse of your home and family while you toil at work. Dropcam is already a big name in this market, but the Pro model adds a few compelling new features. Like the Dropcam HD, the $199 Pro offers 720p video, night vision, two-way audio and a powerful digital zoom. The Pro goes one step further by offering a glass lens (in place of plastic) and a sensor able to pick up more subtle motion. This allows for better picture quality and smoother scenes with movement.

MORE:8 Tools to Watch Your Home Remotely

Installation and Setup

To install the Dropcam Pro, you have two options: Either plug it into a computer directly or download a free app for iOS or Android.

On a computer, your operating system will detect the camera, prompt you to launch the setup software (stored on the camera like a USB drive) and walk you through it from there. In the software, you'll configure

the camera for your Wi-Fi network and give it a name. Then set it up wherever you want to monitor — within range of an outlet.

Setting up the device is similarly simple through a mobile app. You will need to connect your mobile device to a Wi-Fi network, then follow the on-screen prompts to connect the camera to the same network. The process is fairly foolproof, and takes roughly a minute to complete — maybe two minutes if your Wi-Fi is slow. Your mobile device will find the camera via its Bluetooth functionality.

After that, you can access your camera's feed either through the Dropcam website or the mobile app. Each method gives you the same options.


According to Dropcam, the Pro's picture is twice as sharp as the standard model's, and the night vision is seven times more powerful.

If you subscribe to Dropcam's Cloud Video Recording (CVR) service, you'll also have a timeline of events beneath the live feed. Here, you can watch previously recorded footage with motion events marked as they occur. If there's a particularly charming (or damning) clip you'd like to save, you can select "Make Clip" and save it to your online account and your hard drive.

Although new Dropcam users get two weeks of CVR service, you'll need to pay to continue using it. Access to the last seven days of footage costs $9.95 per month or $99 per year; accessing the last 30 days will set you back $29.95 per month or $299 per year. Otherwise, you'll only be able to view the live feed.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi. 

  • razor512
    Why not bust buy a proper security camera system with local storage.

    If you only need 400p video, a 4 camera wired system with 500GB of storage will generally cost about $200

    and if you want closer to 1080p video, then $700 gets you a 4 camera 1080p system with 2+ TB

    While you get a higher upfront cost with a dedicated system, you save money in the long run as in a little over 1 year, the local 4 camera system that will do 1080p and also offer more than 30 days of recording

    and best of all, no cloud requirement.

    dropcam becomes useless if you do not pay for the service, or if they go out of business since the cameras cannot be used locally.
  • Zule32
    Start working at home with Google! Its by-far the best job Ive had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. Useful Reference http://goo.gl/w7ceUX