Rated 4.7 out of 5 by 28
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by GolfingGrandma Very good/easy to use camera
This camera only took me a matter of minutes to set up and install, it was super easy. The only issue is to make sure the location you want this has a power outlet and wifi connection available. The camera is so small it will fit in the palm of your hand but does an excellent job. It includes a table mount for the camera plus a wall mount adapter plate so you can put it practically anywhere. I am including zoomed in daytime and night time photos of my living room to show how nice it is. These pictures are screen shots of my phone so the quality isn't as good as you would get on your computer screen but still excellent. You can set the view to normal or zoomed in (which is the size I photographed). The sound comes through very clear (I can here voices/noises coming from the back room). Dropcam Live is included when you buy the camera which allows you to get email and smartphone alerts for motion and/or sound detection and you can watch the camera live online or from a smartphone (this does not including recordings). For an additional cost you can subscribe to CVR recordings which work much like a DVR, this is a cool feature if you want to spend the extra money. I have only had this for a short time but really like it. This will be very nice when I'm away from home to allow me to keep tabs on the house and feel more secure. This would make a great nanny cam too!!
September 26, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by HappyCustomerHere Monitor your home from anywhere!
I have been using this camera for months now to monitor my home from wherever I am, including the other side of the world!
Dropcam has created a simple and easy to use product. I was up and running in a matter of minutes using the provided setup instructions. I needed to connect the camera to my computer to setup the wireless network and register for a Dropcam account. Once setup is complete, I unplugged from my computer and repositioned where I wanted in my home. The video quality is incredible as well as the audio.
Where the product really shines is the monitoring capabilities. Dropcam has and App for iPhone (Android as well) and I logged in with my information and immediately I have live access to what is going on in my home. There are push notifications available to let you know immediately if sound or motion is detected. It even has night-vision, so when the lights go out you still have a complete visual!
The one this to be aware of: in order to have 7-day access to recorded video you have to pay a $9.95 subscription fee a month. This isn't required but if someone did break in I would want the ability to go back and retrieve the footage.
January 20, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Auburn317 Great Value for Home Security
The Dropcam is simple to setup, simply plug into your computer 1 time to set the camera up and then you can either set it on a flat surface or use the optional mount. Can use Ipad or Iphone to view the camera when away and can speak using the camera built in speaker, really cool feature! Great to use for basic Home security and video monitoring as a cheap easy to use and remotely viewable surveillance option.
November 10, 2013
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by willwgp Couldn't Be Any Easier!
Installation was so simple and minimal, it's not even funny. Took under 5 minutes. Plug it into a computer, open the setup file for your PC or Mac, set up your account, the wireless network it's connecting to, go plug it up where you want it, and you're done! It's that easy. It's got a real good footing for a base, and you can easily place it on the corner of your counter, aim down 45 degrees, and expect it to stay there. The wall adapter plug folds into the adapter for portability; nice but not needed! The included cable is 10 feet long, giving you plenty of distance, up a wall or down the hall. The camera is detachable from its base if you'd like, or you can use the included wall mount and set it up on the wall. But the base allows us to place it anywhere at any time, and quickly! Watch the cats for a minute, move it toward the backyard and scout out the birds, or to your garage to survey the Man Cave. The possibilities are endless.
Right away, you can access the camera from their website, or the DropCam app on your Android or iThing. In the settings from the site, you can change things like: turning Status Light on/off, turning HD capability on/off, Night Vision on/off/auto, Audio on/off, etc. You can create a repeating recording schedule Sunday thru Saturday. A neat feature I found on there alerts you of motion/sound detection, and you can schedule when to be alerted of these events. This is good especially for the times you are away from home. We used it to watch our kittens over the weekend, and it was definitely helpful and kept us at ease. The DropCam also has a 2-way communication feature; you can hear and respond. This might be useful for the times your dog is on the sofa and you want her to stay off! We used it while on interstate under 3G connection to inform our house sitter that we were on our way for the trip, and we wouldn't bother her too much! At first she had no idea where our voices were coming from, but we "Marco-Polo'd" her over into the kitchen area, and she marveled at the product in action. The video did buffer a few times every 15-30 seconds or so, but not so much that I couldn't tell what was going on; since we were on a 3G connection we were impressed with the fact that we were driving and still able to see our home at the same time! The sound and video quality are superb to me for a webcam, whether HD is on or not. The wide angle lens allows me to see almost 110 degrees worth of a room. The night vision is a cool feature as well. You can also share the camera's video feed with family or close friends for their convenience for when you are away, or you can set it as a public camera for everyone to see (maybe good for a cafe or restaurant?). So it seems like this camera has thought of it all, really.
So you're probably wondering, what can it NOT do? It can't be panned or tilted remotely; it can be panned and tilted from the camera itself upon initial setup, however. It is wireless in the sense that you can place it anywhere in the house, but it will still need power from an outlet. It is probably not for placing outside unless it is under a roof out of the rain. When it alerts you of motion, it does not send a snapshot; instead you go to the website to see what's going on; it will show you the past few seconds of the event that occurred given that you have their paid CVR feature, otherwise it will just produce the usual live feed. These aren't exactly reasons not to buy it; instead, they are just minor sacrifices for something that is absolutely robust and flawless to me.
The camera does have capabilities of recording onto the cloud (CVR), and you can access it from their website, for a cost. At time of this review, it's $99 a year for live viewing and 7 days of recording, or $299 and 30 days of recording. To some of you, that might seem like a lot! But if you're using it to watch your home or business, then it might be worth it! Or you can just use it for free and get live viewing and still get alerts for motion. You won't go wrong on this. They offer a free 2 week trial for this feature, so you can see if you like it first!
We really like this camera, and definitely recommend it. DropCam has some great support behind it, it is incredibly easy to setup and use, and I am already thinking of getting a couple more. Don't tell anyone I said that.
September 24, 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Mafroe2 Home Surveillance on a budget!
They mean it when they named this little camera "Dropcam". This camera can be placed pretty much anywhere, either set top or using the included mounting hardware, but the set top mount works great. The setup time for connecting the camera to your wireless network is a breeze, literally plug the camera into your computer and follow the instructions.
The picture is much better than one would expect from such a small camera. This is only proven when the night vision is switched on (manually or automatically). The picture with night vision is great for home surveillance, or just nighttime viewing. Although you can see the little red LED lights when the night vision is on.
The usb cord provided is long enough to reach high locations and still be able to reach an electrical outlet, (the only negative) but everything else is truly wireless.
The best feature is its ability to alert you when there is either motion, or sound from the camera, sent as an alert to your smartphone or email. You can then view the saved event or view live. One handy feature is the ability to broadcast sound to the camera so you can communicate with whatever is in the cameras sight. In addition they can communicate back, as if it were a video intercom. You can keep the camera set to private or share it with others. Although you have to pay a small amount for having all your video being saved to a cloud it is a great tool and well worth the price if home surveillance is a top priority. This camera has exceeded my expectations!
October 1, 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Hurwizzle Watch your infant, your business, or your personal belongings from afar
The Dropcam Headline Wireless 720P HD Wi-Fi Indoor Surveillance Video Monitoring Camera with Remote Viewing is a lot of fun, and is quite functional as well.
• It is INCREDIBLY easy to set up and start using the Dropcam. Seriously. Connect it to your computer via USB and follow the easy steps -- you'll be online in almost no time.
• The unit is lightweight, and made of sturdy materials.
• The supplied USB cable is 10 feet long, meaning you can plug it into the wall and still set it wherever you need it.
• The 107-degree field of view is really impressive, and compensates for the camera's inability to pan in real time.
• The microphone is very sensitive, and can pick up a LOT of quiet noise (this is also a con because there's no filter to reduce background noise while maintaining the important sound inputs).
• The picture quality is good (surprisingly, picture quality is best in night vision), but definitely does not look like HD video to me (con).
• I was excited at the prospect of being able to both listen to the camera's mic AND talk to whomever was near the camera, but have not been able to make the Talk Back feature work. Although I have repeatedly tried several different ways of getting it to work, I've had no luck. Dropcam's online support does not provide a solution to this problem.
• The placement of the USB port in the back of the camera
causes the USB cable to drop straight down and hit the brushed aluminum base. This means that the camera can never sit in the base straight up and down, which causes the video image to always be slightly angled -- annoying but not the end of the world.
A few important notes about using Dropcam's services:
• When plugged into an outlet in range of a connected WiFi, the camera is streaming. Don't let this slip your mind, especially if you've shared the viewing link with others.
• Live streaming is always on, but to record video to watch at a later time, you have to pay to subscribe to one of their Cloud Video Recording (CVR) options (pricing is per Dropcam).
• The iPhone app is pretty good, but, if the Dropcam is plugged in and streaming, the app will DRAIN your phone's battery in no time.
October 8, 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by tri987 Great monitoring camera with ok notifications.
INSTALLATION - 5/5 STARS
The Dropcam camera provides high quality video along with online viewing and optional recording. The greatest feature is the ease for installation. Just plug into your router and configure the wireless settings. Then it works anywhere in range of your wireless internet. This is significantly easier than other internet cameras I have tried that often require confusing port setups that aren't friendly for the average user.
WIRELESS - 5/5 STARS
The camera does require a wire for power. I noticed another reviewer confusing the "wireless" feature with the idea that the unit can power itself or is battery powered. That is not the case so please remember "wireless" means the camera is WIFI ready.
ONLINE VIEWING/RECORDING - 4/5 STARS
The camera can optionally be coupled with an online recording service an addition to the free online viewing. The service seems a little expensive to me at $8.33/mo and up depending on the package you choose. I would say a 5 star value is $5 and up though I will say the online recording feature works great.
NOTIFICATIONS - 1/5 STAR
The final feature worth discussing is the iOS notifications. I was really looking forward to this feature so that I could find out when something happened in my home but I started getting notifications every 5 minutes. I called support and they said it was being caused by light in the room getting lighter/darker throughout the day and my camera needed to be away from all windows. Sadly, all the rooms in my house that I want to monitor have windows making this feature useless to me. The motion sensing algorithm should be able to take into account movements across the images and shouldn't rely on some areas simply changing in light shade. It seems to me that they need to improve this feature before it receives 5 stars.
September 9, 2013
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by MrFixIt fully featured and easy to use
A number of years back, i had a bad experience with a WiFi camera. It was glitchy and pretty much useless. When i saw this camera, i figured I'd give the concept another shot. And boy am i glad i did.
I don't think i've ever had such a smooth installation of a gadget in my life! This thing is truly a snap to set up. All you have to do connect to your computer, set up an account, long into your WiFi, and you're up and running. It honestly couldn't be easier, and I'm thrilled about that. The camera only requires a power cord (through an included USB adapter) to function. Data is transmit wirelessly through WiFi. The camera is unobtrusive and not really noticeable, except for a status LED right in front that tells you what the camera is doing. When operating in normal recording mode, the light is blue, and very obvious.
The video stream of this camera is easily accessible from any computer or tablet on your WiFi home network. It is also remotely accessible from any internet-enabled device. There is even a free app for your iPhone or Android Phone. I have used the app successfully and flawlessly on my HTC phone to view the live video stream from 50 miles away.
WEBSITE USEABILITY & PRIVACY
So you know the concept of a Closed Circuit TV system? Well, this is NOT it. A huge part of the ease of use of this camera is that it necessarily requires you to create a login at www.DropCam.com. When you log it, you are able to see the video stream on the website. This could pose a number of issues for some people making this particular device less appealing.
#1) Due to the fact that it is online means that you don't have control of the video stream, and it is inherently NOT private. Yes, there is a check-box on the site that you can click to make your videos stream "public," and viewable by anyone. But that doesn't mean it is safe from snooping by employees, contractors working for the company, or even hackers. As we all know from the numerous massive losses of private information over the last couple of years from companies such as Adobe, Citibank and Facebook, even the best designed websites are not 100% secure.
#2) If the company were to go out of business in the future, your device would immediately and permanently be inaccessible, as there would be no possible way to view the footage. This also goes for the company not liking your content, and pulling the plug for that reason alone.
So due to the above reasons, originally i hated the idea of it being accessible only through the website. But then it dawned on me. The website adds a very cool feature that i didn't really think about, let alone have work so well: recording. Because the feed is hosted on the website, you can actually go back in time and view recorded history of the camera 24/7, for up to a period of time. This eliminates the need for ANY hardware at home to store the recording; no PCs or servers need to be running. At 720p HD, 30 frames/second, H.264 encoding takes up approximately 1-2GB/hour. So a full week's worth of recording could take up to 300GB. Not a trivial amount of data, and I'm glad that DropBox's servers (ie- the cloud) are bearing the brunt of this storage.
The initial setup of the camera provides you with 15 days of free recording. This allows you to get a good sense of the website functionality and history usefulness. After those 15 days expire, you can pay for more recording if you wish. Current rates as of October 2013 are $10/month for 7 days, or $30/month for 30 days.
The camera will still be fully functional after the trial period, but only in the live mode. If you are using it as, say, a baby monitor, then you may be satisfied with live mode only.
The video stream quality is pretty decent. There is a short 4-6 second delay between real time and what you see on the live video. That is completely understandable, and does not pose any sort of viewing problems.
I set it up in my living room to see what goes on there from day to day. Looking at recorded video, when you zoom in on someones face, it is unfortunately quite a bit fuzzy and difficult to discern facial expressions. This is no doubt a function of the video compression. When i think of HD video on the TV, a nightly news cast for example, the quality of this camera doesn't even come close. Audio quality is excellent, and very easy to hear. Recordings also have a tiny lag of the video to the voice.
You need a reasonably good internet connection in order to view the video, and it doesn't like to play through a firewall.
There is an automatic night vision mode when the lights go out. A number of built-in IR LEDs light up a room just fine. The video stream is black & white in this mode. It works wonderfully, and visibility is only slightly hindered.
If for some reason the camera gets unplugged, or loses WiFi connection, you get an e-mail alert after it has been offline for 30 minutes. This feature is automatic and quite useful. In addition, the app on your phone also lets you know the camera has been offline, and sends you an alert.
With the click of a button, you can actually talk BACK through the camera into the room! This is totally cool, and allows for an "intercom" mode.
You can create movie clips from the recorded data on the DropBox website. You can then download and save these clips to your computer.
Incredibly easy setup and install. Possible privacy concerns as data is all on the "cloud." Live mode is free, but after a 15 day trial period, cloud recoding will cost you monthly. Quality of the live stream is pretty good; quality of the recorded video is not that great. The versatility of uses for this camera along with lots of neat and useful features makes this a great all-in-one video recording solution.
October 30, 2013