Netvue Vigil Cam Review

Table of Contents

Now, I didn’t get into the smart security business to only review cameras from gigantic companies like Google Nest and Ring. No, I also want to give a shout out to the little guy, who’s making cameras that are very comparable to the giants. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Netvue, a company started in 2010. A year after they were founded, they had unveiled the prototype for their camera, and a year after that they had the second version, complete with two-way audio and infrared night vision.

In this Netvue outdoor security camera review, I’ll judge if the camera is worth it’s shocking low price of $40.79 on Amazon (just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean it’s worth buying). Outdoor cameras tend to be around $150 to $200, so I’m a bit skeptical— can Netvue really give you that much value for such a low price? Let’s find out together.

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Netvue Vigil Cam
Netvue Vigil Cam
Netvue Vigil Cam

This outdoor camera will work in temperatures from negative four to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, with an Alexa integration and person detection available. 

Promised Features

Netvue Vigil
Netvue Vigil

If you’ve looked at the camera I’m talking about on Netvue’s website, then you’ve probably already noticed that the company is promising:

  • Infrared night vision: Infrared LED sensors let you see at night, but of course, not all infrared night vision is created equal.
  • Weatherproof: This is an outdoor camera, although I’ll have to check it’s IP rating to see exactly how weatherproof it really is.
  • Amazon Alexa integration: I’m happy that the Netvue Vigil Cam works with the most popular voice assistant.

First Impressions

Netvue Vigil on Table
Netvue Vigil on Table

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder does not think the Netvue Vigil Cam is so beautiful. It looks pretty industrial and unattractive, jutting out from the wall from it’s white mount. The large antenna looks pretty outdated, and I’m not loving the black detailing on the head of the camera. All in all, it’s definitely not sleek and looks like it would fit better into the 1990s than 2019. But hey, that’s just one man’s opinion!

What’s more important for an outdoor security camera is durability. Sure, Netvue claims this camera is weather resistant, but what exactly does that mean? Let’s start with the IP rating.

IP Ratings
IP Ratings

The camera has a high IP rating of 66, making it completely dust tight and able to handle powerful water jets. Just don’t immerse it in water and it’ll keep working, even in temperatures as cold as negative four degrees and as hot as 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Yep, that’s weatherproof alright!

One really important thing to note is that the Netvue Vigil Cam plugs in, so make sure you have an outlet nearby if you’re planning to use it outside.

Necessary Features

So, is the Netvue Vigil Cam all it’s cracked up to be? To find out, I put it up to Security Baron’s Necessary Features Test. Let’s take a closer look.

Video

The Netvue Vigil Cam has 1080p HD video, the industry standard, plus the ability to zoom in digitally eight times. Unfortunately, it’s field of view is super narrow at only 90 degrees horizontally, meaning you’d need four cameras for total coverage a room. So, I am going to have to give it half marks for video.

Night Vision

The camera has infrared night vision which produces a clear, black and white picture during darkness.

Audio Quality

I’m also glad that the Netvue Vigil Cam comes with two-way audio, enabled by it’s speaker and microphone. That means that if you’re at work, you can speak to your kids through your security camera using the Netvue app, or, if you do have an intrusion when you’re not home, tell the robbers to get out of your house! Full marks for two-way audio.

Storage

When it comes to storing the footage from your security camera, I recommend that you back it up in two different ways, through local storage like a micro-SD card and through cloud storage. Fortunately, Netvue provides you with both, including a slot through a micro-SD card and 14 days of continuous cloud storage. Full marks!

Smart Platform Integration

Already have Amazon Alexa? Then you’ll love using the Netvue Alexa skill, which lets you get your device list, check the status of different cameras, livestream footage, and view cloud storage using your voice alone. However, the Netvue Vigil Cam doesn’t work with Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit, so that’s something to keep in mind if you already use Google Assistant or Siri. Still, the Netvue Vigil Cam deserves full marks for smart platform integrations.

Artificial Intelligence

what-is-person-detection
Person Detection

I have things to do, places to go, and people to see, which is why I don’t want to be notified every time my security camera detects movement, especially if it’s outdoors. Let’s be honest, no matter how cheap a camera is, I didn’t pay to know every time my neighbor backs out of his driveway. Luckily, Netvue is way ahead of me.

Now, this isn’t really super clear on their website, but the Netvue Vigil Cam is actually capable of person detection; it just doesn’t come automatically with the camera. Instead, you’ll need to give Netvue your device ID to have them enable it. Then, your camera will be able to tell the difference between people and all other moving objects, from pets to cars to trees swaying in the breeze. This will give you notifications that matter more, so you only are bothered when it’s something important. Full marks for A.I!

Convenience

Value

Extras

what-are-activity-zones
Activity Zones

One extra feature to strengthen your notifications even more is activity zones. Activity zones let you tell the Netvue Vigil Cam which areas to notify you about and which areas to ignore completely. This is especially useful for an outdoor camera as you probably don’t need to know every time that kid down the street runs in front of your house. Instead, you can choose to only be notified about your property, making your notifications as necessary as possible.

The Netvue App 

The Netvue app, simply titled Netvue on the Apple store and Netvue— Home Security Done Smart on the Google Play store, is your mobile command center. It’s where you’ll:

  • Livestream footage
  • Set up Alexa integration
  • Speak through two-way audio
  • View cloud storage
  • Set up activity zones.

While the iPhone app doesn’t have a rating currently, Android users gave it a decent 3.5 rating overall.  One user wrote in a recent five star review,

“I have had three Netvue cams for almost 2 years. This app is a lot better than the rating its getting. I’ve bought several other security cameras and their apps have weak UI’s and look unpolished. They have been returned. If only this app and cameras had more features like auto tracking, preset points of interest, face recognition, color night vision, and was battery powered. Despite that, you still have a clear advantage over the majority of other apps.”

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Netvue Vigil Cam
Netvue Vigil Cam
Netvue Vigil Cam

This outdoor camera will work in temperatures from negative four to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, with an Alexa integration and person detection available. 

Comparisons

Now let’s see how the Netvue Vigil Cam stacks up to some similar outdoor security cameras.

blink-xt2-camera-review
Gabe and the Blink XT2

The Blink XT2 is Blink’s latest outdoor camera, available on it’s own for $99.99 or for $149.99 if you don’t already have the Blink sync module. With an IP rating of 65, it’s slightly less durable than the Netvue Vigil Cam, and it’s temperature range is a bit smaller only going up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. But here’s what the two have in common: 1080p HD video, digital zoom, infrared night vision, activity zones two-way audio, cloud storage, and Alexa integrations.

However, there’s a lot of ways in which the Netvue Vigil Cam beats the Blink XT2. Aside from being more durable, it has local storage, which the XT2 lacks, plus 14 days of cloud storage compared to only two hours of cloud storage from the XT2. It also has person detection, unlike the XT2. But the Blink XT2 has a field of view 20 degrees wider than the Netvue Vigil Cam, temperature monitoring, plus a wireless setup with a two year battery life.

Overall, I’d go with the Netvue Vigil Cam unless you’re certain that you want a wireless outdoor camera and person detection isn’t important to you.

If you want to read more, read our full review of the Blink XT2.

Netvue Vigil Cam vs. Nest Cam Outdoor

nest-cam-outdoor-review
Nest Cam Outdoor

At $199, the Nest Cam Indoor is over four times the cost of the Netvue Vigil Cam— are it’s features really that superior to validate such a price difference? Well, the Nest Cam Outdoor definitely wins when it comes to video, with a nice field of view of 130 degrees and eight times optical zoom, which I prefer over digital. Aside from their Alexa integration, which the Netvue Vigil Cam shares, the Nest Cam Outdoor also works with Google Assistant and Philips Hue light bulbs. But aside from that, there’s nothing that necessitates the Nest Cam Outdoor’s price aside from the fact that Google Nest products are always on the pricier side.

In fact, the Netvue Vigil Cam and the Nest Cam Outdoor actually have a lot in common, like 1080p HD video, infrared night vision, two-way audio, Alexa integrations, and person detection, although you’ll have to purchase the latter with Nest Aware. And the Netvue Vigil Cam even beats the Nest Cam Outdoor in a few ways, like durability, local storage, which the Nest camera lacks, and free cloud storage, while Nest has paid cloud storage options above three hours.

Nest Storage Options
Nest Storage Options

Plus, the Netvue Vigil Cam comes with person detection, unlike the Nest Cam Outdoor. I’d go with the Netvue Vigil Cam if you have Amazon Alexa and the Nest Cam Outdoor only if you have Google Assistant.

To learn more, read our full review of the Nest Cam Outdoor.

Recap 

Overall, I’m very impressed with the Netvue Vigil Cam, and it’s price is among the lowest I’ve seen for an outdoor camera.

I think the Netvue Vigil Cam is a great choice if you want…

  • Person detection: This feature will make your notifications smarter and more specific.
  • Alexa integration: Keeping tabs on your outdoor security is as easy as saying “Alexa, show me my front yard”.
  • Continuous recording: You’ll get 14 days of cloud storage, completely on the house.

But avoid it if you were hoping to have…

  • Facial recognition: While the Netvue Vigil Cam can tell people from other moving objects, it can’t recognize specific faces.
  • Google or Apple integration: If you use Google Assistant or Apple HomeKit as your voice assistant, I’d steer clear of the Netvue Vigil Cam.
  • Wireless: Again, the Netvue Vigil Cam requires a plug so only use it if you have one nearby.

That’s it! If the Netvue Vigil Cam doesn’t seem like the right outdoor camera for you, I’d check out my list of the best outdoor security cameras of 2019. Or, if you’re simply looking to learn more about outdoor security, read my article on the components of an outdoor security system.

FAQs

What is Netvue?

Netvue is a tech company that makes smart devices like security cameras and video doorbells.

How do I setup my Netvue camera?

To install the Netvue Vigil Cam, follow these steps:

  • Add camera to Netvue app (step-by-step instructions)
  • Plan your cable route, as you will need power nearby. You’ll also need a strong Internet connection.
  • Make sure you have a Philips screwdriver and drill
  • Take out the camera’s anti-dust cap and attach antenna to camera
  • Loosen screws on hinge with your key, tilt the camera how you want to mount it and then tighten the screws in that position
  • Install seven to 10 feet above the ground for optimal audio
  • Can install on concrete or brick with the drilling template provided. Just drill holes and install anchors to hold screws.
  • For wood surfaces, simply tighten screws to secure camera

How do I reset my Netvue camera?

To reset your Netvue camera, simply press the camera’s reset button and then add it again in the app.

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner

Gabe Turner is an attorney and journalist with a passion for home tech and secure, efficient living. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has maintained a paradoxical existence of trying to live life adventurously while remaining staunchly risk-averse. He is torn by the dual desires of wanting to only be in Brooklyn writing about housing policy and smart home tech and aspiring to visit his friends scattered across the globe. Gabe believes that stable, safe communities are the cornerstone to a vibrant and healthy society, and it is this passion that brought him to contribute to Security Baron.