Keep watch: 5 cloud security cameras
The D-Link 932L is the least expensive camera of the test group while offering the most robust set of configuration options. The flip side of that is that the portal software wasn't as easy to use as some other offerings. But if you're okay with a 640 x 480 pixel images, the 932L is a good value.
The $149 Dropcam offers 1280 x 720 pixel image quality, worked reliably in tests and was very easy to set up and use. It's an excellent choice for basic video security monitoring, especially for the less technically adept.
Samsung's portal for the 640 x 480-pixel SmartCam SNH-1011N was also easy to use, and its ability to upload video clips directly to your YouTube account could save you money on a cloud storage subscription. But the camera is quite a bit more expensive than its closest competitor, the D-Link 932L, and I experienced technical glitches when using the portal and mobile apps.
Logitech's 750n, which uses home electrical outlets and wiring as its network, avoids the interference and range limitations associated with relying on Wi-Fi. Given that mobile users will also be dealing with bandwidth issues and propagation delays associated with cellular wireless, the value of eliminating Wi-Fi cannot be overstated. The camera's software also allows for recording and playback on a PC or Mac without the need to pay a monthly subscription service.
The VueZone is your best bet if you need to place cameras in areas where a power outlet isn't accessible. It offers the only service that can monitor the location of your iPhone and turn itself on and off when you leave and return home. And if you're planning to keep many images and video clips, the sortable library and image thumbnails provided by the premium subscription service make finding stored videos much easier than trying to pull them off a timeline.
5 cloud security cameras
|D-Link DCS-932L||Dropcam HD||Logitech 750n||Netgear VueZone||Samsung SNH-1011N|
|Base station required?||No||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Maximum resolution (pixels)||640 x 480||1280 x 720||960x720||640 x 480||640 x 480|
|Maximum frames per second||30||30||15||7||30|
|Snapshot mode (highest resolution)||640 x 480||1280 x 720||960 x 720||1600 x 1200||640 x 480|
|Lens size (mm)||5.0||4.5||17.5||3.6||3.2|
|Viewing angle (degrees)||45.3||107||130||110||58|
|Zoom||4x digital||2x digital||3x digital||4x||No|
|Set motion detection zones within image||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Night vision?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No (available w/other camera)||Yes|
|Wired connectivity||10/100 Ethernet||No||10/100 Ethernet||No||10/100 Ethernet|
|Video file format||AVI||MP4||MP4||M-JPEG||MP4|
|Sound activated alerts?||No||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Push alerts (to mobile/desktop)||No )planned for June 2013 release)||Yes||Yes (via SMS)||No||Yes (via mobile apps)|
|Record video to local PC||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Record video to local NAS device||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Records video to camera-attached storage||No (available in model 942L)||No||Yes (microSD)||No||No|
|Record video to cloud||No (planned for Q4 2013)||Yes, w/ subscription||Yes, to Dropbox or YouTube w/ subscription||Yes, w/ subscription||Yes, to YouTube, email, Picasa, Twitter|
This article, Keeping watch: 5 cloud security cameras for your home, was originally published at Computerworld.com.
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