5 security webcams for your home
Security cameras aren't just for businesses and the exceedingly wealthy anymore. Now you can equip your home with cameras that are not only wireless but accessible for viewing via the web.
Whether you want to monitor your nanny or just keep an eye on your front door, here are 5 cameras that might meet your particular home security needs.
The BL-C131A is an excellent wireless camera that can stream video via your home router, and also provides audio and the ability to tilt and pan the camera remotely. I found the software that is provided by Panasonic to be a little clunky and setup is also a bit on the difficult side, as you need to access your home network and assign this camera a static IP address. But once you get the setup complete, you can view the camera from anywhere with an internet connection.
The X10 Security Camera's website is an embarrassment to websites everywhere and does a great disservice to their product. The site looks like an infomercial on steriods. But the products are good... and very inexpensive. For just over $200, you can get a complete surveillance system including 3 wireless cameras, the hardware needed to either connect the cameras to a VCR or over the internet and software. The VCR setup is monumentally simple. The internet setup is not. I was able to get this system to work over the internet after a full 8 hour day of fiddling. The nice part about their software is the ability to view multiple cameras at the same time. The bad part is this is hardly streaming. The cameras take a snapshot every couple of seconds or when they sense movement.
If you're looking for a camera system that also does well at night or in dark areas, check out Swann's products. Also available to view online, these cameras can capture images with infrared technology. Streaming video is not suitable for web viewing (at least I couldn't get it to do so), but the cameras themselves are a major step up from their X10 counterparts. The downfall is you'll pay close to $1000.
Need a non-obtrusive security camera? While covert observation is legally questionable, the need for a small, good quality camera is not. The WF-100PC is an excellent small camera that has good software and relatively easy setup. With a fisheye lens, you'll get more scope than you would have estimated.
You've seen them in department stores and banks. Now you can have your own. This HD H.264 delivers extremely high quality video, although to stream such a video over the net would take a lot of bandwidth. Even still, this is by far one of the best cameras available. With 360-degree viewing angles, this camera is not easy to install, but the pictures are tremendous.