Published on May 24th, 2011 | by Greg0
TRENDnet’s Wireless-N Camera Is Watching You
Most everyone wishes they could see in the dark- and have the ability to turn it off as well. Another neat ability: remove viewing. You can make both of these superpowers possible in one purchase, with the otherwise fairly plain TRENDnet TV-IP121WN. About the size of a deck of cards, this isn’t a webcam, but nor is it a traditional video camera. Instead, this model is meant for surveillance, and though it won’t be able to hide in plain sight, it is easy to mount and setup.
The TRENDnet Wireless N Day/Night Internet Camera comes from their long line of devices. And, to be honest, this one is fairly similar to others we’ve tried out. The addition of wireless-N is a nice touch, especially when paired with one of their quite good routers- you’ll get many times the reach of wireless-g. It didn’t seem to affect video or audio quality much, simply usable distance from our router. You can also use a hard-wired ethernet cable thanks to the port on back, and a WPS one-touch button allows quick but secure setup with routers that support the feature.
Out of the box, the IP camera comes with an ethernet cable, a power cable, antenna, and mounting parts. There are also free iPad/iPhone and Android apps available in the various app stores so that you can monitor the camera feed directly through your smartphone or mobile device. The camera’s night vision range in darkness is about 16 feet, and we found the audio range to be about the same at reasonable levels. The camera is also adjustable so that you can point it where you need to.
Our favorite features of the camera were the motion detection capability, triggered video recording and email alerts, which means that we could set the camera to start recording the moment it detected motion and then alert us. It also comes with SecurView Pro software that allows us to connect up to 32 cameras. The video resolution is not great- 640×480- but the frame rate was pretty solid at 30 frames per second. One significant downside is that you’ll need to be a Windows user to run the software and thus the camera- it requires XP, Vista, or Win7.
For use as a baby monitor, or for basic indoor home surveillance needs, this should fit the bill. And it’s fairly cheap by most standards- we found it running about $140 online. We missed the tilt/pan ability of some others, and the two-way audio (rarely used but fun for scaring people during Halloween or talking back to your child). But the three year warranty and pleasant design, along with the reasonable price tag, go a long way towards cementing our appreciation for TRENDnet’s solid technology.