The cloud dash cam allows you to auto-upload and view footage remotely. You can also receive notifications when an event occurs and have backup footage should your camera be damaged or stolen.
In order to connect to the cloud you will need an internet connection. This can be the vehicle’s hotspot (if equipped) or your phone’s data plan. However, in most cases the hotspot is only active when your car is running. This limits the effectiveness of the parking surveillance unless you are in range of a WiFi network.
The new BlackVue dashcams address that issue by having LTE built in. All you need is a data plan and it will upload to cloud storage without the need for a hotspot.
A LTE-capable dash cam has a SIM card slot built in and you have an internet connection at all times. This adds another level to the parking surveillance at times when you may not be able to connect to a WiFi network. Even if thieves break into your car, the video will be stored in the cloud and you can receive a notification at the same time.
The downside is you will need a data plan and this can be expensive depending on how often you upload videos to the cloud. For example, a 4k video clip can be 200mb. That is something you will need to factor in to the cost of dash cam if you want to use this feature.
A dash cam can connect to the cloud using a mobile hotspot and many newer cars have them built in. You can use your phone as well but you may want to keep in mind if it is constantly uploading video you will use a lot of data as a one minute video clip is about 200MB.
If you need to hotspot device, you need to make sure it can be powered throughout when the car is parked. You can either hard wire to your car’s battery, or use a separate battery specifically for the hot spot.
If you are parked near your work or your home, you can connect to the nearby WiFi with your dash cam. This is really dependent on how you park and know that you probably won’t be able to access WiFi when you run common errands.
If you are in the unique situation where your parked car is in wireless distance and you primarily want to monitor your car at night, then this is the easiest way to go about it.
How to set up a dash cam that uploads to the cloud?
Most importantly, you will need some sort of data connection for the dash cam to upload. Typically, this is some sort of device that needs to be powered some hardwiring becomes even more important.
You will also need to setup the cloud account and that varies depending on the dash cam. For most of them it can be done through the app and it is fairly straight forward. There you can setup the features you want to use such as cloud storage, push notifications, and parking mode.
- Most comprehensive lineup of cloud enabled dash cams
- Only manufacturer with an LTE-enabled dash cam
- Good customer support and regular updates
- Comes with 32GB microSD card
- Is more expensive
- Needs an active data connection to use the LTE auto upload
The BlackVue DR900X is the successor to the DR900S series. Aside from the addition of an LTE data connection and improved heat resistance, the camera and video quality is the same. As such, this portion of the review will focus on the BlackVue cloud features.
BlackVue has long been regarded as the leader in cloud storage and the new X series are state of the art. Unlike previous models that needed to connect to a phone or the vehicle’s WiFi hotspot, these actually have LTE capability built into the dashcam.
In terms of features, BlackVue is the best dash cam with cloud storage. Using the BlackVue cloud is simple and the individual plan includes most of the basic options for free. You can get a notification of an event and view the video in real time. Video storage is limited to 5GB per month on all plans.
Another feature that BlackVue offers is a fleet plan with GPS tracking and being able to track up to 100 vehicles at a time. You can also communicate in real time through the app or the dash cam.
With that said, the BlackVue Cloud is only compatible with the DR900S and X series, DR750LTE and S, and the DR650S and GW models from 2015 or newer.
For more information on compatible models and features please visit: BlackVue Cloud
- Excellent parking mode
- Driving warning systems
- Good video quality
- Comes with 32GB SD Card
- Free cloud support
- Some users have complained the front dash cam can get very hot
The U1000 is Thinkware’s top of the line dual dash cam and it offers a lot of features. While more expensive than other brands, the front camera records at 4K and the video quality is slightly better. The rear camera has 2K resolution as opposed to the BlackVue’s 1080p. Overall, video quality is quite good and among the best of any dash cam currently available. However, it comes at a price as the Thinkware is one of the most expensive dash cams currently available.
What sets this dash cam apart from the others are the extra options. The parking mode is one of the best especially when paired with the optional radar sensor. If it detects movement, the camera will activate and record the video to the memory card.
The advantage of this is it uses less battery and reportedly the parking mode will work for a week. That is considerably longer than a few days for most dash cams and is ideal if you do not drive your car every day. Thinkware also offers what they call “Advanced Driver Assistance System” using the radar sensor. This is similar to the systems in many newer cars like collision warning and lane departure alerts. It is decent although not quite on the level of many OEM systems.
In terms of cloud storage, none of the Thinkware dash cams have LTE capability so you will need to connect it a hotspot if you want it to auto upload the video footage. However, you do get most of the basic features like having video stored in the cloud.
In addition, live view and GPS tracking are free as opposed to the BlackVue’s where it costs extra. Another feature is you can have push notifications and a 20 second video clip sent to a phone in the event of accident. This is useful in a situation where the driver may be unconscious and unable call for help.
- Decent video quality for a budget dash cam
- Unlimited cloud storage
- Comes with a lot of features for the money
- Included 32GB SD card
- Rear video is poor
- Cloud features can only be used with the app
For a budget cloud dash cam, this is one of the cheapest models available. The 1080P, FULL HD recording is surprisingly good for a dash cam in this price range. It has a quite a few features including unlimited cloud storage, GPS, and parking mode. However, you will need to pair your phone to the dash cam for the cloud storage.
This is a dual channel dash cam although it was intended for taxi and ride share drivers as the rear camera was designed to record video inside the vehicle. It has IR recording for low light settings although the footage is only 720p. It is not going to be great but sufficient for having some video evidence. However, that is to be expected for a dash cam in this price range.
Overall, the cloud storage is decent and with the app you can download detailed reports in the event of an accident. There is also a cloud upload and parking surveillance mode. Considering the price of this dash cam it comes fairly well equipped with decent video quality and is good choice for taxi or rideshare drivers on a budget.
What is the best dash cam with cloud storage?
The BlackVue and Thinkware are probably the best cloud dash cams on the market. However, the LTE capability on the BlackVue is what sets it apart from the others. It adds more functionality to the parking surveillance on your dashcam and you no longer need a separate hotspot.
With the built in LTE, the camera is always connected. You can have the videos uploaded to the cloud in real time and receive push notifications. This is ideal should thieves steal the dash cam as the video will be backed up in cloud storage. Aside from that, the BlackVue fleet tracking is useful for fleet operators and you can communicate through the app or the camera itself.
If you do not need the LTE connectivity, the Thinkware U1000 is a solid choice with better rear video. It arguably has the best parking mode with the optional radar sensor. The cloud features are fairly equal to the BlackVue as well. However, this is a slightly more expensive dash cam if you do not need all of the extra features.
As for which one is better, it is more a question of how you will use it as they are both excellent dash cams.