Security Spy, one of the best Mac apps around, gets even better with version 6

Security Spy, one of the best Mac apps around, gets even better with version 6.

I’ve been a user of Security Spy camera recording software for many years. SecuritySpy is software made by Bensoftware based in the U.K. In 2017, I voted it as my favorite software product of the year for Apple World Today

What makes SecuritySpy so good, and is version 6 worth the upgrade over version 5? Some of the following comments apply to previous versions of SecuritySpy in case any readers are not familiar with it.

SecuritySpy can record an unlimited number of cameras. There are tiers one can purchase such as 1, 4, 8, 16, 32, and unlimited cameras. I have the 16 camera version and normally record 12 to 15 cameras.

The software is too advanced to go into a deep review, but if you have any interest at all in recording cameras, SecuritySpy is the goto software. Not only can it record any number of cameras you want, but uses very little processing power.  For a few years I’ve been running SecuritySpy on an M1 Mac Mini. The total CPU usage is only about 15 to 20%. With the release of version 6 that usage dropped closer to 10%.This is a testament to the coding and streamlining of SecuritySpy version 6.

I’ve been testing SecuritySpy on an M2 Ultra Mac Studio as well as an M1 Max Mac Studio. Either of the Mac Studios run SecuritySpy flawlessly. I’ve decided to make the M1 Max Mac Studio the main computer to run SecuritySpy.

The software basically runs itself once you have it set up. It requires little to no attention. I have had the camera server running for multiple months with no attention. Once after many months the Mac Mini rebooted itself. SecuritySpy came back up running and recording and I never had to do anything.

I had used version 5 of SecuritySpy for years. Is version 6 worth the price of the 33% discounted upgrade? Literally in a word, “Yes.” But what makes it worth the upgrade?

The new web viewer is one of the main improvements. I can quickly and easily connect to the server using a web browser. The cameras instantly pop up and the view is as smooth as viewing directly on the server.

The SecuritySpy server can now be totally configured via the browser interface. This makes it very convenient  to have an Apple silicon Mac stored out of the way and use as the SecuritySpy server. I have had version 5 running for many months in “headless” mode with no keyboard, monitor, or mouse. 

I would connect via screen share on another mac to check and configure, but with the new remote access, even that is made much easier and can be accessed and configured via any device. But, if past performance is any indication, I expect to never have to access the camera server. In Apple fashion, SecuritySpy “just works.”

I use motion detection to record when there is activity within the specified area of each camera. Version 5 expanded upon this by using the power of the M1 to enable AI-powered smart motion detection. SecuritySpy can tell if the motion is a person or car for example. The M1 is substantially faster at AI processing than an Intel CPU. 

According to Ben Bird, the creator of SecuritySpy, the M1 can process smart detection in 1ms vs. 50ms for the fastest Intel-based Mac – 50 times faster. The AI process and general performance is greatly improved even more in version 6 and leverages the power of Apple Silicon. 

SecuritySpy supports H.256 HEVC for high-efficiency streaming and recording. It can even record video in Apple’s ProRes format. Metal graphics is supported for ultra high performance video.

One “intangible” benefit of SecuritySpy is the support. Ben Bird is very quick to respond to emails–usually within an hour or two during the day. There is also a user forum where Ben is very active as well as others to answer any questions and give any advice. 

I have never had Ben go over a work day without personally responding. This is not just any employee responding. This is the actual writer of the software. This type of support makes upgrading well worth the price. There is also a very detailed manual online that has often answered any questions I have.

Can version 5 do all I need? Yes, but version 6 can do much more. Version 5 was great, but version 6 showed me just how much more I can do with SecuritySpy. Here is a link to the updates in version 6: .

The AI has been much improved in SecuritySpy 6, which is vital in recognizing humans, autos, etc. The biggest upgrade in version 6 that I notice is speed and responsiveness. The software uses less resources and serves up recordings basically instantly. I use an external 4TB NVMe drive to store all recordings on, and I cannot tell any difference in performance whether recording internally or to an external drive. Everything is instant.

The cameras and recorded video are much quicker to respond and much smoother in viewing. I have one older Windows laptop I use as a full time viewer of SecuritySpy in another room. The video with version 6 is much smoother. It’s as smooth as viewing the cameras directly. It’s much more pleasing to see. There is never a hint of any jerkiness or delay.

SecuritySpy is one of the best Mac-only apps I’ve ever used. Though much of what I do requires a Windows computer, I plan to always keep at least one Mac just simply for SecuritySpy.

If you upgrade to version 6 before March 31 you will receive a 33% discount. From now on, rather than major upgrades, version 6 will be continually developed and improved. When you purchase or upgrade, you will receive two years of support and upgrades. Unlike many software vendors who only offer subscriptions, if you choose not to upgrade, the software will continue to function, but without support or upgrades. 

SecuritySpy offers an iOS app for $5 on the Apple App Store that lets you control your cameras from anywhere. You can view footage, enable and disable recording, and much more. You can set up alerts and have them sent by email or in the app.

One alert I use often is to alert me when there is motion in the garage. I have SecuritySpy set up to do this only from sunset to sunrise. As the months progress, SecuritySpy changes the time daily that alerts are enabled. It sets this time frame based on my location.

You can set up very complex alerts, triggering of other cameras, and even upload all recordings to an off-site FTP server.

What if you run into something SecuritySpy cannot do or would like to suggest a change? Ben is very open to suggestions on the forums and I’ve seen him more than once say they would plan on adding that feature. You just don’t get that kind of access with other developers.

Security Spy is my single most used application. It runs 24/7, and has for many years,  and is rock-solid reliable. I have never once had it crash or stop working, which is critical for security cameras. I gave SecuritySpy 5 out of 5 stars and I give 5 out of 5 stars to SecuritySpy 6.

You can try SecuritySpy for 30 days. Even if you don’t have a spare Mac to run it, SecuritySpy will run seamlessly alongside your regular apps.

And even if you are only casually interested in recording cameras for security, there is no better Mac solution than SecuritySpy. If you are not using SecuritySpy, I highly recommend it. If you are, I also highly recommend upgrading to version 6.

Apple World Today rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★

Marty Edwards
the authorMarty Edwards