Best Dash Cams With Cloud For Remote Viewing 2022

Today’s most advanced dash cams come with a feature called cloud connectivity. This is one of the more complicated dash cam setups. For beginners, it can be confusing to get an overview of what’s needed to connect your camera to the cloud.

But don’t despair, this article will sort you out! First of all though, lets have a quick look of why you would want to connect your dash cam to the internet in the first place.

Contents

Advantages Of Connecting Your Dash Cam To The Cloud
Which Dash Cams Can Do This?
Our Favorite Cloud Dash Cams For Live Streaming
Technical Requirements
Cost Analysis

Possible Downsides
Comparison Of Cloud Accounts By Each Brand

The 4 Best Cloud-Capable Dash Cams Of 2022

Conclusion

Advantages Of Connecting Your Dash Cam To The Cloud

Would you like to receive a notification to your phone when someone bumps into your parked car?

How about checking the video feed from your dash cam while you’re away?

If this sounds appealing to you, then this article is for you. All the dashboard cameras featured here support:

  • Viewing live video from your car on your smart phone
  • Receiving alerts when an impact to your car is detected
  • Backing up dash cam footage to the cloud

Additionally, the more high-end models also offer features such as geo-fencing, fleet management for business owners, voice communication, and more (see below).

Which Dash Cams Can Do This?

Only three dash cam manufacturers currently have a cloud infrastructure in place that lets you check your car’s video feed remotely. These three are the American company Garmin (well-known for their sat-nav devices), as well as the high-end Korean dash cam brands, BlackVue and Thinkware.

NOTE: Some dash cam brands (Nexar, Nextbase) promote their cameras as being cloud capable, but this refers to cloud storage only. They do indeed offer you some free or paid storage space, but they don’t support live streaming video over the internet.

Our Favorite Cloud Dash Cams For Live Streaming

BlackVue DR900X-2CH dual dash cam
ModelGarmin Mini 2Garmin 67WThinkware U1000BlackVue
DR900X-2CH
Approx. Price$110
Amazon
$240
Amazon
$400
Amazon
$460
Amazon
Front resolution1080p1440p4K4K
Rear resolution--1440p1080p
Video qualityFairFairGoodGood

Scroll right if the table is wider than your screen. Links to vendors are affiliate links.

We will have a more detailed look at each of these dashboard cameras toward the end of this article. But first, let’s see what else is required (apart form the dash cam itself) to stream video from your car:

Technical Requirements

You need a permanent internet connection in your car to connect a dash cam to the cloud. So, you want to have a portable Wi-Fi hot spot in the car.

You will also need a power supply for the dash camera, so that it can record while the car’s engine is off. This can be either a hard-wiring kit (with low-voltage cutoff), or a battery pack.

Our article about parking mode goes into more detail about using a hard-wiring kit vs. a battery pack. The gist of it is that a battery pack is a more expensive solution, but it also protects your car’s battery better.

Let’s do an estimate how much connecting your dash cam to the cloud will cost in total:

Cost Analysis

How much do you need to invest to connect your dash cam to the cloud?

Here’s an overview, with approximate prices:

One-Time Costs

  1. The dash cam itself (price: $110-$400+)
  2. Power supply: hard-wiring kit (about $20) or battery pack ($150-$400)
  3. Portable Wi-Fi hot spot ($30+)

Recurring Costs

  1. A cloud account (available free from all 3 providers. Paid plans go from $5-25 per month.)
  2. SIM card for the hot spot (data plans start around $5/gigabyte)

Possible Downsides

Of course, all data that you put on the internet can potentially get hacked. So if you’re very privacy conscious, you might want to take this into consideration before connecting your dash cam to the cloud.

Comparison Of Cloud Accounts By Each Brand

BlackVue

BlackVue’s cloud has been around the longest, and consequently, it supports more features than its competitors.

A free BlackVue account lets you use the following cloud features:

Up to 10 minutes of live streaming per day; one camera supported; 5 GB cloud storage; event notifications; two-way voice communication; live GPS; live event auto upload.

If you want to stream more than 10 minutes per day, or you’re going to use multiple dash cams, you will need a paid account. Paid accounts are available from $12/month upwards. They give you even more features, such as unlimited live streaming, GPS tracking, geo-fencing, and more (click here for more details).

Supported dash cams: BlackVue DR900X, DR750X, DR900S, DR750S, and DR650S series

Thinkware

Thinkware’s cloud account is free. There is no paid version (hooray!).

They will let you live stream 300 minutes of video per month. This averages to 10 minutes per day, so it’s similar to BlackVue’s free quota.

There’s no limit to the number of dash cams you can connect to the free Thinkware cloud account.

Other features on the free Thinkware account: Event notifications; live GPS; 520MB of cloud storage; geo-fencing (receive an alert when the vehicle leaves a pre-determined area).

Supported dash cams: Thinkware U1000, Q800PRO, F800PRO (only the U1000 can live stream video though)

Garmin

Garmin’s cloud account is called “Garmin Vault”. The free version gives you unlimited live-streaming, event notifications, and cloud storage.

Free storage of video files is limited to 24 hours though. To store video for longer, you need a paid subscription: $5 per month gets you 7 days of storage, and for $10 per month, you can store your video for 30 days.

Supported dash cams: Garmin 47, 57, 67W, Mini2

Nextbase

For the sake of completeness, we are including the Nextbase cloud here, even though they don’t allow remote video streaming. Nextbase’s free cloud account gives you unlimited storage during 30 days, and the option to share your files (e.g. with your insurance company).

Supported dash cams: Nextbase 322GW, 422GW, 522GW, 622GW

Side-By-Side Comparison Of Cloud Account Features

 BlackVueThinkwareGarminNextbase
Live Stream Video10 min/day300 min/monthunlimited-
Event Notifciactionsfreefreefree-
Cloud Storage5GB520MB24h30 days
Live GPSfreefree--
Geo-Fencingpaid onlyfree--
2-way Voice Communicationfree---
Auto Event Uploadfree
GPS Trackingpaid only- --
Email Notifiactionspaid only---
Multi Live Viewpaid only---

The 4 Best Cloud-Capable Dash Cams Of 2022

Garmin Mini 2

Front view of the Garmin Mini 2

Price: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AUmore countries & vendors (affiliate links)

Video resolution: 1080p

Video quality: Fair (good at day, average at night)

Max Storage: 512 GB (about 75 hours)

Pros: Very small and stealthy, low price

Cons: Limited night video quality

Extras: Voice control, simple parking mode, overheat protection, can set up a network of up to 4 compatible Garmin dash cams

Read our full review of the Garmin Mini 2

This is not only the cheapest cloud capable dash cam currently available, it is also probably the smallest dash cam that we have encountered so far. Measuring only 31 x 53 x 29mm (that’s 1.22 x 2.09 x 1.14 inches), the Garmin Mini 2 is barely noticeable behind your wind shield.

To connect to the cloud, enable Parking Guard and make sure you have a power supply and an active internet connection in your car. You can then live-stream video to your phone using the free Garmin Drive app.

Garmin 67W

Garmin Dash Cam 67W

Price: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AU (affiliate links)

Video resolution: 1440p

Video quality: Fair (good at day, average at night)

Max Storage: 512 GB

Pros: Higher resolution than Mini 2

Cons: Limited night video quality

Extras: GPS, driver alerts, voice control, simple parking mode, overheat protection, can set up a network of up to 4 compatible Garmin dash cams

At 56 x 40 x 21mm (that’s 2.21 x 1.59 x 0.84 in), the Garmin 67W is just a little bit larger than the Mini 2. It also records at a higher video resolution, and has a larger field of view (180 degrees, as compared to the Mini 2’s 140 degrees).

Its video quality is comparable to the Mini 2: Okay at day, but during the night you will be hard pressed to distinguish details such as other cars’ license plates.

Using Garmin’s networking function, you could for example set up a network with a 67W as the front camera, and a Mini 2 looking out the rear window. Up to four cameras can be conveniently managed through the Garmin Drive app.

Unlike a true front-and-rear dash cam though, you would need to power each dash cam separately.

Thinkware U1000

Thinkware U1000 True 4K Dash Cam

Price: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AUmore countries & vendors (affiliate links)

Front resolution: 4K

Rear resolution: 1440p

Video quality: Very good (front), fair (rear)

Max Storage: 128 GB (6.5 hours)

Pros: Best forward video quality, radar assisted parking mode (with radar module)

Cons: Small maximum storage

Extras: GPS, simple and time-lapse parking modes, buffered parking mode (needs extra radar module), overheat protection, driver alerts

Read our full review of the Thinkware U1000

Thinkware’s flagship U1000 is a reliable dash cam with many advanced features. It records 4K resolution with the forward facing camera, and 1440p to the rear. Forward video quality is impressive, even at night. The rear camera doesn’t do as well though, but video quality is still okay (both at day and at night).

An outstanding feature of the U1000 is its radar-assisted parking mode. The radar module (around $90, sold separately) triggers video recording when another vehicle is close. Without the radar module, you still have simple and time-lapse parking modes.

When connected to the Thinkware cloud, you can view video footage from both cameras live over the internet. Other cloud features include geo-fencing (receive an alert when the vehicle leaves a specified area), impact notifications, and vehicle location.

The Thinkware cloud account is free of charge.

BlackVue DR900X-2CH

BlackVue DR900X-2CH product photo

Price: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AUmore countries & vendors (affiliate links)

Front resolution: 4K

Rear resolution: 1080p

Video quality: Good (both front and rear)

Max Storage: 256 GB (16 hours)

Pros: Elegant and stealthy design, highly reliable, most advanced cloud features

Cons: High prices

Extras: GPS; simple, time-lapse, and buffered parking modes; overheat protection, optional external LTE module

Read our full review of the BlackVue DR900X-2CH

BlackVue have been making cloud-compatible dash cams for seven years now. They were the first dash cam company to offer cloud connectivity, in 2015. As a result, they have quite a large number of cloud-capable dash cams. One of the most popular ones is the BlackVue DR900X-2CH, which records 4K to the front and 1080p to the rear.

Compared to the Thinkware U1000, its forward video isn’t quite as good, but rear video quality is better. All in all, you could say that both the front and the rear camera of the DR900X record decent video, while the U1000 has a stronger front camera but a weaker rear cam.

The DR900X supports simple, time-lapse, and buffered parking modes.

BlackVue’s cloud infrastructure is second to none. They offer all the features that Garmin and Thinkware have, plus 2-way voice calls, and (with the paid account) options managing fleets of up to 999 vehicles.

An optional LTE module is available for the BlackVue DR900X series. It acts as an internet access point, so if you get the LTE module, you won’t need a separate Wi-Fi hot spot in your car. Be advised that the LTE module is quite pricey though ($150 at the time of this writing).

Conclusion

So which cloud dash cam is best for you?

It really depends on your budget. If your budget is limited, you will probably be better off with a Garmin camera. But if money isn’t an issue, go for the BlackVue or Thinkware setups. They have notably better video quality. Plus, they have both been in the cloud business for years, so you can be sure that you get what you pay for.