So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Swann Communications IP-3G ConnectCam 1000
IP surveillance sans wires.
- USB port for storage, 802.11g Wi-Fi, 3GPP and MPEG4 support, two-way audio surveillance
- Mobile streaming is insecure, no support for WPA or WPA2 security protocols, no dedicated storage option
Swann’s IP-3G ConnectCam 1000 provides a bevy of features. Although most of these features are implemented well, some minor functionality gaps and insecure live streaming diminish its appeal.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
Swann’s IP-3G ConnectCam 1000 is a wireless-enabled security camera requiring almost no installation. The camera doesn’t provide the high audio-visual quality and remote control options of more expensive models, but the unit is certainly a decent security solution for a reasonable cost.
Unlike QNAP’s NVR-1012 Network Surveillance System, the IP-3G ConnectCam 1000 is a single IP camera solution with no accompanying storage. Although this may deter those looking for an all-in-one solution, the ConnectCam 1000 provides a range of recording options to suit a variety of situations.
The main attraction to the IP-3G ConnectCam 1000 lies in its wireless capability. With integrated 802.11g Wi-Fi, the camera can connect to surrounding networks for streaming purposes; initial set up will in most situations require a wired connection, however. Unfortunately, with no support for WPA or WPA2 security protocols the camera is locked out of most secured wireless networks.
Video quality certainly isn’t a strong point of the IP-3G ConnectCam 1000, but it does the job. Swann markets the camera as an alternative to webcam-based security solutions; and in this regard the ConnectCam 1000 provides decent quality with a VGA image sensor and MPEG4 encoding. With a 3x zoom and a night mode function, the only desirable camera functionality missing from the ConnectCam 1000 is remote tilting and panning — this is reserved for the more expensive ConnectCam 3000. As a fixed-position camera the ConnectCam 1000 could probably have a wider scope of view, but careful positioning will still provide the necessary field of view for standard surveillance.
Audio-visual recording is a simple process, though we would have preferred a wider range of options. A USB port on the side of the unit allows users to easily attach a flash drive or external hard drive directly to the camera for a quick storage solution. Users can also record through the Web interface in either MPEG4 or MJPEG format, keeping recorded files small while retaining adequate quality. Although these two options may be suitable for most solutions, we would have preferred if the user could nominate a computer or network-attached storage device on the same network for continual storage.
Contrary to what its name might suggest, the IP-3G ConnectCam 1000 doesn’t function over mobile broadband. Rather the unit provides 3GPP video format recording, allowing the unit to broadcast a live stream of the footage to any mobile phone that supports Real Time Streaming Protocol. The mobile stream doesn’t provide the same configuration options as the PC-based Web interface, but it’s certainly a useful tool for checking up on the camera. There’s no way to apply security settings over RTSP, but with an option to disable RTSP streaming users at least have some way of ensuring their surveillance footage isn’t exposed to unwanted viewers.
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