Why Is OWLR Free?

Why Is OWLR Free?

Answering the strangely obvious question

“I can’t believe this app is free!”

A number of users who have been using our apps have sent this or a variant of this question through our Feedback interface – wondering why we are offering an app that most people would gladly pay for.

Believe it or not, it is very simple: we are looking to engage and create happy users. I, as a user, have been incredibly frustrated with two things: overly technical apps and poor usability. It might sound strange for a technical person to say this, but one thing I learned in my career as a developer and then a manager, the biggest frustration for users is the lack of understanding of what and why they use an application and designing it for ourselves, rather than for the users we are building it for.

That is a different matter. You purchased the camera, you have it in your home and you have not bought some system like Nest, Y-Cam or Canary to manage all of the goings on in your home. You bought a standalone IP camera and you want a certain level of control. And to that, we are happy to build out our product in that fashion.

“So how are you going to make money?”

The honest answer is “with services that you value and would be willing to pay for”. We are building the interfaces (app) so you can have a great experience with the app and build a great relationship with us. As we understand your needs, we will find out things you want us to do and see how the market will bare it. For instance, we are currently investigating:

  • Secure storage of your camera footage (with encryption using your phone)
  • Improved notifications through intelligent learning algorithms to better alert you with your existing cameras
  • Secure/trusted family and friends monitoring of events that happen on your camera
  • Integration with your smart home systems

Does this mean that the OWLR apps will always be free? I have no idea. Right now, for all intents and purposes, I can say yes. I can also say that there will be a freemium model (get some things for free and scaling up for a fee) or premium services (like the ones listed above) or even reselling arrangements — we would love to help you purchase great cameras from Foscam, D-Link, Axis and any other manufacturers we work with.

That is all in the future. And we will do our utmost best to give you the best service and offering we can. And – as always – we are listening to you and your needs and would love to make this solution the best for you.

Send us an email at support@owlr.com and tell us what you think. We are offering admission into our OWLR Beta Program – giving people free access to our newest version of the app before it comes out to the public – just send us an email.

And, as always – Happy Viewing!

Sanford and the OWLR Team


  • Luppo Arends

    Reply November 25, 2016 1:22 pm

    I can’t wait until you figured out the secure storage of footage on my Phone in case of a motion detection. Keep up the good work !! Greetings from the Netherlands.

  • Day

    Reply January 30, 2017 9:53 pm

    I’m getting charged a monthly fee. Curious why if it is free??

    • Julia

      Reply January 31, 2017 2:53 pm

      Hi Day,

      Thanks for your message. Our app certainly is free however we have just released our latest feature, Motion Alerts that does come at a monthly fee so if you want this service for your IP camera, there will be a minimal monthly charge. If you do not want this feature, please unsubscribe for this additional service to remain on our basic free service.

  • brian

    Reply February 19, 2017 3:06 am

    this apps is just for my privacy of viwer my cameras or is a ublic accesses that anyone can see my cameras

    • Julia

      Reply March 2, 2017 2:04 pm

      Hi Brian,

      Good question – Our app is for private use and therefore for your eyes only.

  • Ryan Carrier

    Reply February 28, 2017 11:02 am

    How safe is it to put our public ip and password in the app? Seems like this would give you access to all the cameras in the world!

    • Julia

      Reply March 2, 2017 2:08 pm

      Hi Ryan,

      Our app is very safe however it depends if you want those extra eyes looking through the camera! We do have access to various public cameras across due to their IP address being open however for personal use, we do not recommend doing so.

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