136 of 142 people found the following review helpful
The most hassle-free remote camera setup available,
This review is from: Logitech Alert 750i Indoor Master - HD-Quality Security System (Camera)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've been trying to set up a remote monitoring system for a while now, and have experimented with a few different solutions including webcams and other stand-alone cameras. The same problems problems occur over and over:
- When the router gets rebooted, invariably you can't connect to the camera without going back and fixing some part of the configuration.
- Remote viewing through dynamic IP addresses is flaky, and many DDNS solutions don't work very well. And do you really want a static IP address just for this?
- You need a computer switched on near the camera, or a web-server that the camera can stream to. That's somewhat awkward.
- The image quality is so-so, and tends to be good enough to see a person entering a room, but hard to identify who it is.
I'm pleased to say that the Logitech Alert system beats any of the others I've tried hands-down, and it's clearly designed with absolute simplicity in mind, together with the need to connect with the camera system remotely without a degree in network engineering.
Everything is provided in the box, including various mounts, network cables and software. It took more time to individually unwrap each component than connect it together - the whole system was live in under 5 minutes. The software updates itself in seconds, and even setting up user accounts on their website took no time at all. In terms of positioning the camera, it's possible to place it on a stand, screwed to a wall, or attached to a window using the suction cup provided.
This package does several things (very) well:
- The software is extremely simple to use, yet offers some bells and whistles such as motion alerts by email, live recording and playback, and basic controls such as zoom. It's also written in English, and you'd be surprised how many other systems are not.
- It handles Internet disconnection gracefully with an on-board SD card, and doesn't need any user action to help it 'remember' any IP settings.
- Talking of IP settings, these are all under the hood so you can be blissfully unaware of how it works - which is such a major benefit that I'd buy this package for this alone.
- Viewing remotely through a desktop browser in another location is as simple as visiting the website and logging in.
- Viewing from a smartphone is even better. I used their free Android app, and the speed and quality surpassed my expectations.
- The audio broadcast is very clear.
- Adding additional cameras is straightforward, although you have to make sure your Internet bandwidth is capable of supporting the number of cameras you need.
- You can switch off the LED lights that might give away the location of the unit - what a nice touch.
But this package is NOT:
- A completely wireless solution: the camera connects to an outlet unit and communicates to your router with another outlet unit. Although wiring is really minimal, there is always the one cable needed on the camera side.
- A replacement for a multi-camera professional system - though it comes close, and for a fraction of the price might suffice for some commercial users.
- A way to spy on your neighbor's license plates across the road - why would you anyway?
Still, even with those caveats it's a remarkably good solution if you want to view a location remotely with a minimum of hassle.
Tracked by 6 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 19, 2010 10:02:20 AM PDT
David R Finkbiner says:
Thanks for the wonderful review. I have to ask, though... do the cameras transmit wirelessly or do they require a direct connection to your PC?
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2010 10:16:43 AM PDT
Thanks, David. The cameras connect via cable to a power outlet. The clever part is that they use the network of power cables in your house to reach another device that plugs into your router. It's the equivalent of running a (very) long Ethernet cable from each camera back to your router rather than any sort of wireless, but by using the power lines instead you get the benefit of a fast "wired" connection without any hassle of more cables. You can don't even need a PC in the location - just a router.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2010 10:30:37 AM PDT
David R Finkbiner says:
So do you need a router in every location you want a camera? Our place is built in such a way that running wires is impossible and because of the layout, we need several cameras. I don't think I'm understanding the set up completely.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2010 11:32:27 AM PDT
Each camera has to have access to a power outlet but you only need one router overall. It's actually much simpler than I'm making it sound. Other systems I've used have had horribly complicated wireless setups, but with this system you plug it into the wall and it's ready to go.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2010 9:16:37 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 29, 2010 9:18:07 AM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2011 12:25:33 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2011 12:28:19 AM PDT
Joseph J. Lisboa says:
Jim, thanks for your great information of this system. I have a question, and apologize that it sounds basic. My DSL network system consists of two PCs with AT&T DSL modem and a "Vonage router" to which I connect two phones system,the PCs and a network printer. My question is which router are you talking about, and in my case do I have to purchase a new router for the camera system and how is the hook up based to my current connection?
I would appreciate information on the router for the camera system. New additional router?
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2011 7:20:42 AM PDT
No problem, Joseph - the router in question is the main one provided by your DSL company. Your Vonage router would still be connected just the same, but the camera system would plug into one of the external ports on the DSL router itself. You might want to check that your DSL router has multiple ethernet ports available so connect Vonage and the camera system at the same time - if not, you could buy a switch that extends a single port to many (these are basically the equivalent of power strips). Hope this helps!
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2011 5:01:37 PM PDT
Joseph J. Lisboa says:
Thank you Jim. Your information helped a lot
Posted on Apr 26, 2011 7:52:01 AM PDT
The problem with this system is that it requires an internet connection to work as it sends video to Logitech's servers, which can then be viewed on a computer (PC or Mac) or iPhone. I like using SecuritySpy as it runs all the cameras locally and will also act as an internet server if you want to view your cameras offsite, again with computer or iPhone.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2011 7:54:49 AM PDT
I haven't used Security Spy, but presumably their remote viewing feature must require an Internet connection? Btw, there's also an Android client for this Logitech product available.