Cloud Capable Car Cameras Compared: BlackVue Vs. Thinkware

Dash cam connected to the BlackVue cloud, connected to your smart phone app
Cloud connectivity is a feature that only a few high-end dashboard cameras support. Cameras can connect to the manufacturer’s servers (the “cloud”) via an internet hot spot in your car. From there, you can receive notifications about security incidents on your phone, and even watch video footage from your car live over the web, on the other side of the world if need be.

At the time of this writing, only two dash cam manufacturers allow for cloud connectivity: Thinkware, and BlackVue. However, while BlackVue’s cloud has been around for a couple of years and supports a variety of options, Thinkware’s cloud has only very recently been introduced and is still in its infancy. Below, we’ll give you a quick overview what you can expect from each of these manufacturers.

As capabilities increase and more dash cam brands join the club, we’ll keep expanding this article. Feel free to check back here from time to time for a quick reference on what features are currently being offered.

Requirements

To allow for your dash cam to be permanently connected to the internet, you’ll need a portable Wi-Fi hotspot in your car, along with a SIM card from your preferred wireless operator.

BlackVue Cloud: Remote Viewing From Anywhere

BlackVue have been offering their Over-The-Cloud service for a couple of years now. Their service is the only one that will actually let you stream your dash cam’s video footage over the internet.

Here’s an overview of the features they offer:

  • Remote live viewing
  • Receive a notification when an impact is detected (while driving or in parking mode)
  • Receive a notification when cloud connectivity is lost
  • Store and play back video in the cloud
  • GPS tracking (also available for fleets)
  • Voice communication with driver

An account is needed to use BlackVue’s cloud service. While they do offer a free account, it is limited in what it allows you to do. Here’s a list:

  • 10 minutes of live streaming per day (While this may not sound like much, it’s actually plenty. Once the novelty has worn off, you probably won’t want to spend hours per day watching the video feed from your car — and if you find you do, you can always get an upgrade.)
  • Connection to one BlackVue cam
  • 5 GB of cloud storage
  • 100 video downloads per month.

If you need additional options like more bandwidth, more daily viewing time, or the ability to connect several dash cams to one account, you can opt for a paid upgrade. That being said, the free account should probably be sufficient for most private users.

Blackvue Cloud-Compatible Cameras

The following BlackVue dash cams can connect to the cloud:

DR750S series
DR650S series
DR650GW series (only models manufactured after April 2015)

Thinkware Cloud: The Newcomer

Thinkware only implemented their cloud service a short while ago, with the release of the Thinkware F800 Pro in late 2017. They do not offer video streaming at this time. Here’s a list of features that the Thinkware cloud currently supports:

  • Receive a notification when an impact is detected (while driving or in parking mode)
  • GPS tracking (also available for fleets)
  • Geo-fencing: Receive an alert when your car leaves a predetermined area

Thinkware’s cloud connectivity service is free.

Thinkware Cloud-Compatible Cameras

Only one Thinkware dash cam offers cloud connectivity for now:

Thinkware F800 Pro