Although Philips insists on calling the In.Sight a “Wireless HD Home Monitor”, it’s not a monitor at all but a home security camera. Like many recent security cameras, you’ll need an Android or iOS device to set it up and it needs an internet connection because it stores your security footage online. A pack of two costs just $284, while a single camera costs $146 – both prices are very competitive. Setup is easy using the wizard in the free app. Once your camera is up and running, it detects lighting conditions and automatically switches between normal and night-vision mode as needed. The video quality adapts according to your Wi-Fi connection speed. At higher speeds, video quality is very good with only a small amount of noise visible in night-vision mode.

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Recording is triggered whenever the camera detects sound and/or motion. You set a ‘Detection Area’ within which the camera picks up movement. Setting this area is easily done within the app– just drag a resizable box around your screen. You can also adjust the camera’s sensitivity to minimize false alarms. It’s not as tweakable as the Y-cam Home Monitor HD which lets you set two detection areas using different levels of sensitivity, and schedule the motion detection to only run at specific times of day through the week. The fewer options do make the In.Sight very simple to use though.

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When the cameras detect motion or sound, you receive a notification on your phone or tablet within a couple of seconds telling you what time the detection was made and showing you a small snapshot of what the camera picked up. However, unless you’re prepared to pay a subscription fee, you can’t actually watch the footage itself. To watch, save and share recordings from the past seven days you need to pay $12 a month for the Silver package. To extend this to the past 30 days, you need to pay $42 a month for the Gold package. This is poor value compared with the Y-cam Home Monitor, which lets you access seven days of recordings for free, and only costs $45 a year for 30 days of recordings.

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In itself, the Philips In.Sight is a good security camera that’s very easy to use. However, the camera is of little use unless you pay the high subscription costs, making it hard to recommend when Y-cam’s cameras are of equal quality, but subscription-free.

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