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Dropcam HD Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Dropcam
Source: Dropcam
Purchase: Amazon.com
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 7 of 7 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ]
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November 24, 2013

Conclusion:

The Dropcam HD Wi-Fi wireless video monitoring camera is attractive for a variety of reasons. For monitoring a single location in a home using a Dropcam is a great choice. The image quality is great, you get a wide field of view, and the CVR activities / alerts work very well. Two way audio is a feature I enjoy using on my existing IP cameras, and Dropcam's implementation works very well. Not only can you see and hear what is going on in front of the Dropcam, but by speaking in to your phone (if you happen to be using the Android / Apple App), you can interact with the subjects of your "surveillance".

The setup is extremely easy, and the software is laid out in a way that is both simple to use and aesthetically pleasing. Whether checking in on a live look on your Dropcam, or reviewing recent activity from your CVR recorded events, navigation is clear cut and getting where you want to be happens quickly. Typical IP cameras can not compete in this area, and the software to interface with the cameras is most likely going to be a third party solution.

Promo Image

For me, and perhaps other more tech savvy video monitoring camera users, having more control over the camera is probably a high priority. I realize I am not the typical user and that my preference for a more traditional IP camera is not the most plug and play approach. I could easily configure my router to open ports for each camera (for remote viewing via browsers or apps), I own domain names to make accesing the cameras directly simple from anywhere, I have a NAS server with 12TB of space available in part for IP camera recordings, and I have a network with Gigabit hardwired connections and N wireless connections. I recognize that this is not typical, and the Dropcam definitely eliminates the need for all of that. What also might not be typical is my ISP connection, which is rated for 100Mbps down and 30Mbps up. People on lower speed tiers or with a fixed monthly transfer cap could have problems with their dialy use of the Internet if they had a couple Dropcams in their house. Along the lines of more control, I like having pan and tilt capabilties with my other IP cameras, while the Dropcam is fixed.

The Dropcam sells for about the same price ($149.99) on its website as at many popular online retailers, including Amazon.com. This definitely isn't a bad price, but it is higher than a comparable IP camera from the likes of Foscam. One difference between this camera and your more traditional IP camera, is that you will have to continue to lay out money in order to get the full functionality of the Dropcam. Monthly plans start at $9.95, which gets you live viewing and 7 days of recording. For $29.95/month you can have the live viewing plus 30 days of recording. Discounted annual plans are available for roughly the price of 10 months, but any way you cut it the service adds a significant amount to your initial investment.

If you are interested in an super simple setup in order to get up and running with one or two cameras (I'd consider traditional IP cameras if you wanted more than that), I would definitely recommend the Dropcam HD. It provides great image quality, and the cloud based CVR works very well. Despite the longer than usual list of Cons I have generated below, the Pros are strong ones and this camera could definitely be the answer for many people looking for a monitoring camera. With all things considered, the Dropcam HD Wi-Fi wireless video monitoring camera earns the Bigbruin.com "Recommended" award. And given how well thought out and useful the cloud based CVR functionality is, it also earns the Bigbruin.com "Great Idea" award.

Recommended Great Idea


Pros:

» Very easy to setup
» Browser and app based interfaces are clean, simple and intuitive
» Great image quality (in well lit settings)
» Wide field of view
» Two way audio
» Cloud service works very well

Cons:

» Locked in to pay-per-month 'CVR' cloud service for full functionality
» No tilt or pan
» Fish-eye effect evident on vertical straight lines
» Poor low-light performance
» Always streaming to the Internet if you want full functionality
» Can not manage Dropcam camera with other IP cameras, (ie, with an app like tinyCam Monitor Pro)

Please drop by the Bigbruin.com Forum and feel free to post any comments or questions.

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