We’ve reviewed plenty of outdoor home security cameras that will alert you when motion is detected and offer theft deterrents such as warning lights and sirens, but Deep Sentinel is the first camera company we’ve seen that offers 24/7 monitoring using specially trained security guards who will intervene when they spot suspicious activity taking place on your property. The $699 Deep Sentinel Starter 3-Cam Kit doesn’t come cheap, and its $100 per month professional monitoring fee is easily the most expensive service we’ve come across, but if you require real-time live remote monitoring from a smart DIY outdoor security camera system, Deep Sentinel is the only game in town, and our Editors’ Choice.
Design and Features
We reviewed the $699 Deep Sentinel 3-Cam Kit which includes 3 wireless outdoor cameras, a smart hub, four battery packs (one is an extra), installation hardware, and a yard sign. A 1-Cam kit goes for $399, and the 6-Cam kit will run you $1,149. You can also build your own kit, and additional cameras can be purchased for $150 each. Accessories include standard, high-capacity, and extreme-temperature batteries, as well as a solar charging kit and a Wi-Fi range extender.
The wireless cameras use a gunmetal plastic enclosure with an IP65 weatherproof rating. They have a 100-foot wireless range to the hub, capture video at 1080p, and have a 130-degree field of view. They also have a 104dB siren and a built-in LED light ring that spins red when the AI hub detects a potential threat to your security. The cameras are powered by a rechargeable battery pack rated to last up to nine months before requiring a charge, and they contain a speaker and microphone allowing for two-way audio communication between the live agent and whomever is in front of the camera, and for two-way communications using the mobile app.
The cylindrical smart hub is the brains of the system. It’s an indoor device that uses AI technology to analyze up to 50 images per second to separate harmless motion activities like passing cars and animals from human activity that may pose a potential threat. It uses a proprietary RF radio to connect to the cameras, and connects to your home network via a wired LAN connection.
The hub is the same color as the camera and measures 4.6 inches tall and 5.6 inches wide. It is equipped with a LAN port, USB port, and power jack, and it is powered by a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of flash memory that provides up to six months of revolving free motion-activated video storage. The top of the hub pops off to reveal a built-in battery charger, and there’s a small LED indicator that blinks green while the battery is charging, white when in pairing mode, blue during a software update, and red when there is no internet connection. A solid green light tells you that the hub is online, and the light turns solid purple when you are in privacy mode.
Deep Sentinel is the only DIY outdoor security camera system to offer a 24/7 live guard service that monitors your property. Here’s how it works: When a camera detects motion, the hub immediately begins recording and analyzing the action. The AI engine determines whether the activity is harmless, such as from passing cars, small critters, or wind-blown objects, or if it is from human activity. When it’s the latter, the red LED ring starts spinning and the hub sends the live stream to the Sentinel cloud where a trained guard at the LiveSentinel response center will immediately assess the situation in real time.
If the activity is harmless (think mailman, package delivery, etc.), the guard will not intervene and the event will be marked as verified, but if the guard determines that the situation is potentially dangerous, they will initiate a verbal intervention starting with a simple, “Hello,” or, “Can I help you?,” which, according to Deep Sentinel, is often enough to deter a would-be package thief, burglar, or most other unwanted visitors. If the person appears to be armed, is engaged in an assault or an act of vandalism, or is in any way deemed a threat, the guard will sound the siren and warn the intruder that the police are being called. The guard will then call the local authorities, and the homeowner, and give the police a description of the suspect and an explanation of the suspicious activity. Event-triggered video is stored both locally on the hub and in the cloud.
LiveSentinel 24/7 live monitoring doesn’t come cheap and requires a one-year contract. Monitoring for a single camera system will cost you $60 per month, and you’ll pay an additional $20 for each additional camera. Our three-camera system carries a $100 monthly subscription cost, and a six-camera system will run you $160 in monthly monitoring fees.
You can manage and monitor the system using the Deep Sentinel mobile app (available for Android and iOS). It opens to a home screen with thumbnails for recent events. Each thumbnail panel shows the camera name and the guard’s name and employee number. Tap any panel to view the video, save it, or share it. Below the event panels are tabs for each installed camera and the hub, and next to each camera tab is a Privacy button that disables live monitoring and event recording. The button will turn purple when enabled and a privacy icon will appear in the upper left corner of the screen. Tapping a camera tab launches a live feed, and tapping the hub panel takes you to a Device Manager screen where you can access settings for the hub and all installed cameras. Here you can edit motion zones, create privacy schedules, check battery levels, and test the siren.
At the bottom of the home screen are Home, History, and Settings buttons. The Home button takes you back to the home screen, and the History button takes you to a screen that displays thumbnails of all events, the time of the event, the guard’s name, and the final resolution (verified event or intervention). Tap any thumbnail to review, save, or share the video. Use the Settings button to access the above-mentioned camera and hub settings, add a new device, update your account information, and test your download speed. Here you can also configure notifications to have push alerts sent when law enforcement has been contacted, a live guard has intervened, an event has been verified (no intervention), if a package has been delivered, and when there’s a system event (camera batteries are running low, camera offline, etc.). You can also choose to have emails generated when security and system events occur.
The Deep Sentinel system doesn’t currently support Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands, nor does it work with any third-party devices or support IFTTT applets, although a company spokesperson hinted that integrations with other smart devices is on the roadmap.
Installation and Performance
Installing the hub is easy and straightforward. I downloaded the app and created an account using my name, email address, and phone number. I confirmed my email address, logged in, entered my home address, and tapped Add a Hub.
Following the on-screen instructions, I connected the hub to my router and powered it up. After a few seconds, the hub’s LED went from flashing red to green and a firmware update was initiated. While the update was taking place the LED flashed blue, and when it was done the LED glowed solid green. I inserted the spare battery and moved on to the camera installation.
Installing the cameras is also very easy. After tapping Add a Camera, I was prompted to insert a battery into a camera and press the pairing button on the camera (you have to stay close to the hub during the pairing process). The first camera was paired within seconds, and I gave it a name and took it outside to test the signal strength and to mount it, which required screwing the mount into the siding of my house and attaching the camera to it. Once mounted, I followed the on-screen instructions to hold my hands over my head while in front of the camera. Within seconds a LiveSentinel Guard responded, said hello, and asked me to give a thumbs-up and to say hello, which I did. The guard told me that I was coming in loud and clear and asked if I needed anything else before saying goodbye. I installed the other two cameras and the installation was complete.
The system worked wonderfully in testing. Whenever the cameras detected motion, I received a push alert informing that the event was under review. My mailman and several delivery people went about their business and my family came and went without any intervention from the guard service, and I always received a package delivery alert when a shipment arrived.
However, whenever I purposely lingered in front of the camera for more than 10 seconds or so, I was greeted by a live guard who said, “Hello this is Deep Sentinel Security, can I help you?” When I replied that I lived there, the guard made sure everything was OK before disconnecting. In each interaction, guards were professional and courteous. I was always able to go back and view video (with full audio) of all motion events, including those that required an intervention and those that didn’t.
Daytime video was sharp with good color representation, and nighttime video was well lit and showed good contrast. False motion alerts were limited to one instance where a family of rather large raccoons made a mad dash past my front steps. Motion from passing cars and wind-blown objects was ignored. Two-way communication with guards was loud and clear, as was communications using the talk button in the app. The siren is very loud and appropriately menacing.
When you factor in the cost of its hardware combined with a pricey monitoring plan, the Deep Sentinel Starter 3-Cam can get pretty expensive. That said, it’s one of the most unique outdoor security camera systems we’ve tested in that it uses professionally trained live guards to take action when the system’s AI determines that detected motion requires an intervention. And, if the guard isn’t able to diffuse a situation, they will sound a loud siren and call the local authorities. If you spend a good deal of time away from home and want to be sure your property and family are protected, this is an excellent first line of defense against intruders, thieves, and any other unwanted visitors. As such, it earns our Editors’ Choice for smart outdoor security camera systems.
Deep Sentinel Starter 3-Cam Kit Specs
|Field of View||130 degrees|