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Published on May 24th, 2011 | by Greg


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.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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