GridConnect Orion Cameras: Review and Guide

Orion Cameras are a range of wifi cameras available from Bunnings in Australia. They are part of the GridConnect ecosystem of smart home products. But are GridConnect Orion Cameras worth buying? I’ve been testing them out to see how they compare to other options on the market in Australia. Here’s what I found:

Orion Cameras with GridConnect

GridConnect Orion Camera Range

Orion sells a range of both indoor and outdoor cameras. The entire range is Wifi enabled. These cameras are part of the Arlec brand and use the GridConnect app. These smart cameras don’t store any footage in the cloud and video is recorded to an SD card. It’s possible to view live video and they also feature two-way audio.

These cameras are cheap, and are some of the most affordable connected Wifi cameras available in Australia.

What I like about the Orion Cameras

No Subscription Needed

If you’re looking for a Wifi camera that doesn’t require a subscription, the Orion range is one of the few brands that don’t require any ongoing subscriptions. This is mainly because the cameras don’t have any cloud related features.


These cameras are cheap! You can pick up outdoor security cameras in the Orion Range for under $100.

What I don’t Like about the Orion Cameras

Limited Smart Motion Detection

The Orion Cameras and the Grid Connect app do support motion notifications. You will receive a notification when motion is detected. From my testing, I found these notifications to be unreliable compared to other smart cameras. You are able to setup the notifications to only send if a human is detected. Most other camera brands have more advanced notifications which can detect pets and the top smart cameras can also now detect faces and only send you a notification when someone unknown is detected.

Limited Activity Zones

One nifty feature on most smart cameras is the ability to draw activity zones. This means you’ll only receive a motion notification if activity is detected within the drawn zone. This is great if a camera points towards a busy road or path because you can exclude that area.

The Activity Zone feature in the grid connect app is pretty basic. It lacks the sensitivity options you get from most other smart cameras and I was only able to draw rectangles instead of highlighting the exact area I wanted to focus on.

No Activity Clips

The GridConnect app does not support activity clips. Most smart cameras will send you a notification of a motion event and you’ll be able to watch back that clip. The GridConnect App doesn’t store that type of clip. You have to basically go back in time to find what you’re looking for. I found this process to be really slow and depending on your Wifi connection it could be quite laggy.

No Smart Home Support

The GridConnect cameras don’t integrate with smart home platforms like HomeKit. This isn’t a huge surprise – most cheap smart cameras don’t. The GridConnect app is available on both iOS and Android devices. In order to operate these cameras you need to use the GridConnect App.

Connection Issues

I experienced many of the same connection issues I’ve experienced with other GridConnect devices. They do not play nicely with modern mesh routers. I have some tips on how you can fix some of those issues below. GridConnect suggests naming your 2.4 and 5ghz networks with seperate names. In my experience I’ve found this creates more connection issues for other smart home products so I tend to avoid devices like these that require it. You will run into issues with voice assistants and hubs that run on the 5ghz network not being able to see devices on the 2.4ghz network. The bottom line is GridConnect products have bad software and hardware engineering flaws which cause connection issues.

How to Fix Orion Camera Connection Issues

Orion Connection Dropouts

Smart Cameras and Video Doorbells can be prone to connection dropouts. This is primarily because they are often placed outside where the Wifi signal is weakest. A cheap fix is to use a Wifi Extender. This will boost the Wifi range.

No Connection

If you’re unable to get the Orion cameras connected at all this is most likely because your phone is running on seperate Wifi band. Unfortunately this is due to GridConnect’s poor engineering. They recommend naming your 2.4ghz and 5ghz band seperate names. Just a word of caution – if you do this, I’ve found smart home speakers, smart tv’s and hubs tend to have more connection issues. Just keep that in mind.

Orion Camera Privacy

One thing I always look into when testing out smart cameras is privacy. No one wants a camera in their home that is insecure and potentially being accessed by people outside your household.

Unfortunately I was unable to find very little information about Orion Camera security and privacy. GridConnect doesn’t store any camera footage in the cloud. So this does eliminate some risk. However I was unable to confirm whether the video feed is encrypted at all. If it’s not encrypted, hackers could potentially gain access to the video feeds without needing a password.

Wifi Cameras have been targeted in the past. We do have to trust that the security GridConnect has implemented is good enough. It’s a little worrying that there is no information on their website regarding their security and privacy practices.

The Best Orion Camera Alternatives

I believe there are better alternatives to the Orion cameras in the same price range. While I usually recommend products like the Nest or Ring Cameras they do have subscription so I’ve only suggested alternatives here which require no ongoing subscriptions.

Reolink Camera Range – Best Budget Pick

The Reolink Cameras are priced similarly to the Orion Cameras. I recommend them over the GridConnect cameras as they have more features. The Reolink cameras have the option to add cloud storage or you can record video to an SD card. You get more options to setup motion zones with the Reolink app and it has more advanced motion detection with fewer false alerts.

Eufy Cameras – Upgrade Pick

The Eufy Cameras are my pick of smart cameras that don’t require subscriptions. These cameras are a bit more expensive than the Reolink and GridConnect Orion cameras. The Eufy Cameras have higher quality image sensors so you’ll get a clearer image. They also have slightly better motion detection features. While it can be a bit finicky to get the notifications setup, I’ve found once setup correctly it works well.

A number of the Eufy cameras also work with HomeKit and HomeKit Secure Video. If you’re worried about privacy, HomeKit Secure Video encrypts all video and only your household can access the video. You can also setup features in HomeKit to automatically turn off the cameras when family members are home. This is something you can’t do on the cheaper security cameras.

The Bottomline: Should you buy an Orion GridConnect Security Camera?

There are better options available in Australia that have better features that cost a similar amount. The GridConnect range doesn’t play nice with most modern routers and I’ve found they have more connection issues than similar products.

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Anthony is a Smart Home Geek. He's been building the smart home of his dreams over the past 5 years. He loves all things Apple, but works with a number of different ecosystems and platforms.