Defender Guard Pro Review: A Great Budget Security Camera
Most cheap outdoor security cameras I’ve tested have one glaring issue, or the manufacturer prioritized superfluous features over the basics. Who cares about Alexa support if the video feed is choppy? Is it really a bargain if I have to sign up for a monthly subscription just to view my clips?
It’s not perfect, but the Defender Guard Pro is a refreshingly straightforward outdoor security camera that delivers clear video and supports basic features most folks want—all at an affordable price. Video clips are stored locally, there are no hidden extra fees—it even comes with a MicroSD card—and it worked reliably for me (after a little tweaking).
Let me get the bad stuff out of the way. The worst part of my experience with the Defender Guard Pro was the setup. There are two reasons for this, and you’ll want to consider them before you buy this camera.
First, the Defender Guard Pro only supports the 2.4-GHz Wi-Fi band, which is common for security cameras, but it can present problems during setup if your phone is not connected to the 2.4-GHz band on your Wi-Fi network. Some routers let you switch bands via the app, or you can create a guest network that usually operates on the 2.4-GHz band. I downloaded the Defender Guard app, signed up for an account (I was pleased to see two-factor authentication), and scanned the QR code on the camera, but it took several attempts to add because of this issue.
Second, the Defender Guard Pro is a tethered camera that needs a power outlet. You get a lengthy power cable (10 feet) with an optional extension (25 feet), but the cable is not waterproof. The camera is designed to be wall-mounted on the exterior of your house (screws are supplied), and you must drill a hole to feed the cable through—only a short section of the power cable at the end is waterproof. This camera supports power-over-Ethernet, so you can also use an Ethernet cable, though this isn’t provided. The camera itself is IP67-rated for water and dust resistance and has braved rainy Scotland without any problems.
A 32-gigabyte MicroSD card comes in the box with the Defender Guard Pro, but you can also buy it with a 128-GB or 256-GB card (or insert your own). If you plan to turn continuous recording on, it’s probably worth snagging a higher-capacity card, but for recording events, 32 GB is plenty.
With a max 2,560 x 1,440-pixel resolution, the Defender Guard Pro offers pleasingly clear and smooth video at 30 frames per second. You can pinch to zoom in (up to 16X digital zoom) and still see a reasonable level of detail. You can also switch to a lower resolution if your Wi-Fi’s range is limited, but video quality inevitably suffers. The main weakness is the lack of HDR, so bright areas can appear blown out (avoid installing the camera in a spot that gets direct sun).