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CNET Isn’t Recommending Wyze Home Security Right Now: Here’s Why

 CNET Isn’t Recommending Wyze Home Security Right Now: Here’s Why


Our lists of the best smart home products show some interesting changes lately: Along with a new disclaimer, we’ve removed Wyze products as top picks. Considering that Wyze used to be a popular CNET choice for affordable cameras, home security systems and other smart products, this is a large turn for us. We thought you deserved a complete explanation about Wyze and our perspective on your security and privacy.

Over the past few years, Wyze has suffered from repeated data leaks and security breaches, including a 2019 user data leak, exposed databases in 2022, and exposed video files that same year. More recently, Wyze saw breaches in September 2023 and February 2024 that let users see video footage from the Wyze security cams of other users.

We reached out to Wyze for comment on the September and February breaches, and company representative Dave Crosby responded with steps Wyze is taking in light of those events. The company is creating 10 to 12 new engineering positions to simplify and “stress test” its code and to reduce reliance on third parties, Crosby said in an email. He added that Wyze has also been undergoing “penetration testing” and making “multiple process improvements” to increase customer security.

“We know these events are unacceptable,” Crosby said. “We worked as hard and fast as we could to first identify what caused the event and then identify who had been affected.”

CNET’s approach to home security flaws and to your privacy

wyze-lock-bolt-2 wyze-lock-bolt-2

A security company needs to have a good track record if you’re going to trust it with your personal information.

Wyze

Wyze is far from the only smart home brand that has encountered security vulnerabilities and data breaches. While actual thieves trying to hack into your security cameras are rare to nonexistent, online theft of data is sadly common, which is why companies must notify customers when they find a security flaw or evidence of a breach. In past years, we’ve noted security problems with Eufy and data leaks with Ring, for example.

At CNET, when these problems appear we ask ourselves several important questions:

  • How does the security issue directly affect users’ privacy or personal information?
  • Does the company respond immediately with strong customer communication and effectively find a fix to the problem?
  • Is the security issue an isolated incident, or is it part of a pattern of security flaws that have happened over time?
  • How long has it been since the last incident? Has the company improved its approach to security to avoid vulnerabilities in their consumer devices?

These questions help us make determinations on whether to recommend a brand or product. Signs of improvement, better communication and time since the last reported security flaw are why companies like Eufy and Ring are currently on our lists.

Unfortunately, Wyze still struggles in regard to these questions, particularly because of how recent and frequent its security breaches have been. The current Wyze response is better than those it’s issued in the past, but we haven’t seen the kind of long-term, significant improvement we’d like to see before recommending the brand again.

These issues aren’t simply vulnerabilities that were discovered and patched before problems could occur, but mistakes that included giving users images from homes other than their own — certainly not something a buyer wants to see in a security company. With privacy issues like these and a repeated pattern of flaws, we hesitate to suggest using the company’s security cameras.

We will be watching Wyze’s situation over time and continue asking the questions posed above to see when and how things change. If Wyze products do start showing up on our lists again, we’ll let you know and explain why we’re willing to recommend them again.

Don’t worry, there are still great Wyze alternatives 

Wyze has long been a leader in especially affordable smart home devices with great budget subscriptions. If they’re no longer a viable option, where can you look for cheap home security products? Start with our updated lists on cheap home security cameras and the most affordable home security systems for the best leads. 

If you’re interested in finding a particular brand, TP-Link’s Tapo devices are an excellent alternative with budget prices equal to Wyze and affordable subscriptions as well. The Blink Mini cam is also regularly available for $30 and can easily monitor a small room or indoor entryway.



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