It has been an obsession of mine for the past years to find the best home network camera. My job involves a lot of traveling and I always want to be connected to check on the kids. My first IP camera was a Linksys WVC54GA. The next one I got was from CD-R King which didn’t last that long. My last one was a webcam connected to my Sapido Router. While all of them worked, they were not so reliable as I had to use a DNS service. Not to mention the hassle of setting up your router for port forwarding. The first time I heard of an easy-to-set-up network camera is from a company called Dropcam. Their claim is to have the easiest hassle-free set-up and no port forwarding need. The Dropcam is a bit expensive at $150. Not to mention that it is only available for purchase in the U.S. In one of my usual Viramall trips, I chanced upon a network camera which had similar specs to the Dropcam from a company called Compro. After some research, I decided to try my luck and purchased the Compro TN50W.
Specs can be found at http://www.comprousa.com/en/surveillance/product/tn50/index2.html
Design and Features
Design-wise there is really nothing special about the TN50W. It looks like any generic network camera. Definitely not as funky looking as the Dropcam. But then it’s also not as expensive. At Php4,600, it seems like a bargain compared to the $150 or Php6,700 Dropcam. I also have to mention that Compro makes a wide range of surveillance and network cameras. The TN50W is one of their most basic and entry-level models. Higher models have IR, tilt /pan and other range of features. They literally have one for every budget. One of the features that really persuaded me, aside from the easy set-up is the fact that you could download a companion app for iOS and Android. This is something I have always wanted to try. With the old network cameras I’ve used, I’ve always complained that they should have never been market as a personal consumer product as it was pain to set up and there was no way a non-technical person could possibly figure out port forwarding. This is the complete opposite of the TN50W. It actually took me less than five minutes to set it up. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps: plug your camera to the router, download the app, take a photo of the QR code at the back of the camera using the app, complete the signup page and that’s it! Another feature I really like is the ability to make 2- way voice calls. One of the first few times I used it, I heard my to kids arguing so I came on the speaker and told them to stop it. The initial shock on their faces upon hearing my voice from out-of-the-blue is priceless. I told them, “Daddy is watching you like a hawk!” Oh, I loved it!
While it may seem that I’m all praises for this camera, there are small items that I wish they would improve on like, a wider-angle lens and better speaker volume. Video quality is also limited to VGA. If you decide to get a model that supports HD, remember that your bandwidth will also take a hit. But these are minor problems and I’m really nit picking. Besides, if you want more features you can always get a higher model. Also, I have to note that other manufacturers like D-Link, Linksys and others have their own versions of easy setup network cameras. Overall, I’m really satisfied with the TN50W. It’s reasonably priced with loads of features and it’s very easy to set-up. I can definitely recommend this for anyone who needs to watch over a home or small office.
- - Price
- -Very easy setup
- -App for iOS and Android
- -Ability to record and have up to 4 cameras
- -Motion sensor
- - Weak speaker
- -A wider angle lens would have been better