New and Confused: Please help me with limited needs outdoor IP cam


Sep 6, 2019
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Ohio, USA
First let me say I've tried two and they havent worked out. I've used a Zomodo, which I really liked, and a Momentom that was sold to me as an outdoor cam but wasn't. The video capability of these cameras met my needs , but they were not for use outside. I even started looking at trail cameras with remote viewing but these were costly and didn't necessarily provide me with live viewing.

I need a camera to set up at various locations depending where I am pet sitting. When the pet is an indoor/outdoor pet I need to determine the normal time of when it comes to the door to be let in and fed and/or when it comes to the door to be let in for the night. When using the Zomodo I was able to meet my needs if a window was near the door where the animal returns to. But in some cases this doesn't work and the camera needs to be set outside to monitor the area I need, My friend borrowed the camera and used it outside in a covered area but it stopped working after a light rain fell.

I want to also use the camera to determine what animal is eating my plants. So it's outside again and the trigger time needs to be fast. I used the Momentum to do this and found that an animal would trigger to motion activation, but by the time the recording started, the animal wasnt caught in the frame.

I also use the camera to watch over an area to see when a mama cat is returning to the nest so that I can identify when I might be able to trap her to get her and her kittens into a rescue . In this case I need to again be able to use it outside and need the notification to be quick so that I can login to count the kittens.

The Zomodo and Momentum were in the $25-$35 range. I was tempted by a $150 Spypoint Link Micro which used its own cell service which allowed me more freedom by running off a battery and not needing wireless LAN access from the homeowner. It is also more expensive than I felt I should need to spend.

I all cases my needs are short lived and don't require tons of storage. I do need to remotely view them vs going and grabbing an SD card to look at. I prefer a free cloud storage plan.

I'm hitting my head on the wall at this point. Can some more experienced people point me in theright direction?

Thanks so much!


IPCT Contributor
Feb 15, 2018
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Houston Tx
never heard of either on of those cameras.
Wifi cameras are mostly junk.
You have gotten a very inexpensive lesson, please learn for it.

Read Study plan before spending money, Study study study....

My standard welcome to the forum message.

Please read the cliff notes and other items in the wiki. The wiki is in the blue bar at the top of the page. Use a PC not a phone to read it.

Read How to Secure Your Network (Don't Get Hacked!) | IP Cam Talk in the wiki also.

Quick start
1) Use Dahua starlight cameras or Hikvision darkfighter cameras or ICPT Night eye cameras ( if you need good low light cameras.
2) use a VPN to access home network (openVPN)
3) Do not use wifi cameras.
4) Do not use cloud storage
5) Do Not use uPNP, P2P, QR, do not open ports,
6) More megapixel is not necessarily better.
7) Avoid chinese hacked cameras (most ebay, amazon, aliexpress cameras(not all, but most))
8) Do not use reolink, ring, nest cameras (they are junk)
9) If possible use a turret camera , bullet collect spiders, dome collect dirt and reflect light (IR)
10) Use only solid copper, AWG 23 or 24 ethernet wire. , no CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum)
11) use a test mount to verify the camera mount location. My test rig: rev.2
12) (Looney2ns)If you want to be able to ID faces, don't mount cams higher than 8ft. You want to know who did it, not just what happened.
13) Use a router that has openVPN built in (Most ASUS, Some NetGear....)
14) camera placement use the calculator... IPVM Camera Calculator V3

Cameras to look at
IPC-HDW2231R-ZS Review-Dahua IPC-HDW2231RP-ZS Starlight Camera-Varifocal
IPC-HDW5231-ZE Review-Dahua Starlight IPC-HDW5231R-ZE 800 meter capable ePOE
IPC-T5442TM-AS Review IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED (Full Color, Starlight+)
IPCT-HDW5431RE-I Review - IP Cam Talk 4 MP IR Fixed Turret Network Camera

My preferred indoor cameras

Read,study,plan before spending money ..... plan plan plan
Test do not guess


Getting comfortable
Aug 18, 2018
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The IP2m series from Amcrest are great for wifi BUT those are indoors. I tried both Amcrest &reolink domes and had no luck. Constant dropped and less than 10ft away from the router.