My wife really wanted to be able to check in on our puppy while we were away at work. I assumed that any IP based camera would be prohibitively expensive (and/or a pain a pain to set-up) and our computer with a video camera isn't in the room where we're crating the puppy. I told her I'd look for something not really expecting much and found this on Amazon. I was a little hesitant to purchase it but the description pretty much said everything I needed and Amazon's got a great return policy so I figured I didn't have much to risk.
The box came with the following: Installation disk Manual ID/Passcard Network Cable Power cord Screws for wall mounting.
*Physical Description Unit is about 5" tall, 4" wide and 4"deep
There are connections for 12V power and LAN connection and a Digital In/Out interface I'm not familiar with the port connection type though I only know that from the description on in the manual. There's a small reset button on the bottom and a slot for a microSD card.
There are mounting screw slots for wall mounting that appear to be designed to mount-it upside-down. I was confused by this at first but if you are mounting it near a ceiling line this is what you'd want to be able to have the correct field of view.
There are also threaded brass mounts in the back and bottom so you should be able to mount it with a standard camera bracket.
*Installation: 1. I pretty much followed the instructions in the manual and it worked it was way easier to set up than I'd expected. 2. I connected it into my power and then my LAN. The manual says you have to be using DHCP most home networks use DHCP so it wasn't a problem for me. A Blue and Red LED will both come on to tell you the device is working correctly. 3. Ran the Installation CD a. Software required a reboot. b. The instructions also point you to software available for the ipad and iphone
4. The Admin software gives you the ability to connect to your wi-fi so you can remove the LAN cable and run the camera from anywhere with a power source. It looks like it supports either WEP or WPA modes.
This was where it got kind of cool. I'd unplugged the camera from my LAN cable and moved it to the kitchen behind me. After I set-up the passkey in the software for the camera I saw the back of my head on my laptop screen (pretty cool). The UI for the software let me pan the camera around the room and it seemed like around 120 degrees horizontal and 90 degrees vertical.
Video Settings Allow for some basic modifications to quality, frame rate and resolution. There is a Video Flip option...in case you want to mount it upside down and separate settings available for Mobile Video. I sent my friend a txt message with the app name and the passkey and 10 minutes later he replied that he could see me, I didn't actually use the iPhone app but he seemed to be able to set it up really fast so I'm assuming it's easy. There are also recording options for either NAS or MicroSD scheduling options based on time and motion sensing but haven't set-up any recording yet since I'm pretty much just using it to check on the puppy from time to time.
I set up the software on my wife's laptop as well. Both of us have been able to access the camera from work and it seems to work just as well as it did when I was on my home network. I didn't look on my router to see what network protocols it's using but I didn't have to make any NAT settings it just worked, I'm using a pretty simple DD-WRT configuration for my home router. Once it was set-up though I could move it to anyplace in the house as long as I had a power source.