My favourite home security system just got better -- and Canary is now the coolest 'feature' in my house

Canary talkCanaryThe new Canary Talk function. Just hold down and you can talk.

As a neurotic homeowner, the Canary smart home security system was probably one of the better things to happen to me. 

For $US169, you get the Canary All-In-One (AIO). In addition to the device’s headline camera function — which I use to spy on my dog while I’m at work — it also tells you about air quality and temperature of the room in which it sits. Recently, we got the Canary Flex, a $US199 camera that can be mounted on a wall and powered from a built-in battery.

Now, Canary is getting even better with some long-awaited features that make me, personally, very happy: Two-way-talk, so I can use the Canary’s built-in speakers to talk, a web app so I can watch the dog from my web browser, and, finally, a general performance increase so there’s less lag when I’m watching Canary footage live. 

The caveat is that you need a Canary membership, normally priced at $US10/month or $US120/year, to take advantage of the intercom and web app features. That membership is pretty good, though, giving you access to more cloud video storage, a hotline of security specialists who you can call in the event of a break-in, and other perks. 

Anyway, I’ve tried the new features, and they’re useful. Here’s a video showing them in action:

You can read my original review of the Canary here, where I praised the gadget for its slick app, nondescript housing, and useful dashboard of information. 

Almost two years later, I would add two brief things to that original review.

First, the Canary Flex camera that I mentioned earlier is great. It’s a pill-shaped camera that uses a magnet to stick onto its base, so you can rotate it a solid 360 degrees for the optimal fit. And it’s proofed against most inclement weather. I have mine watching the outdoors, so I can see if and when UPS drops off a package. 

Canary flexCanaryCanary Flex is a $US199 camera that can rotate around on its hinge. And it’s weatherproof, so you can stick it outside, too.

Second, and this part may not be as good for as many people, but  — If you own a Canary, State Farm offers a small price break on your homeowners insurance, based on your Zip code and your policy. We didn’t know that when we chose State Farm or Canary, so it was a very pleasant surprise.  

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