by Terry Currier
While not one of the nanny cams (small hidden camera) that have been shown to catch babysitting abuse, with the honestech Video Patrol 5.0, users can have a real-time monitoring solution in place. I baby-sit our grandson, and my daughter calls at least twice a day. Always the same “Hi, how’s he doing”. So I thought I would use the honestech Video Patrol 5.0 along with my USB camera to show her how, and what he was doing. I have an old USB Intel camera, but still works good and gives a good image. So with it and a USB extension cable I can go up to about 18 feet from my computer, and point the camera towards him. If I wanted to I could set it up on my notebook computer to go further away.
With the honestech software I can install up to three different cameras at a time to monitor different areas. However, it did only work with my USB camera. I also have a D-Link Ethernet (or wireless) surveillance camera, but it did not recognize it.
With my hardware firewall I had to do a port forwarding, which was not hard with the directions from the honestech help file. After that I just went to the IP address their networking setting told me, put in my password and I was viewing what was going on at my home. With the honestech software you can monitor what is currently happening in real time from a remote place.
For surveillance you can set it up for continuous, or motion triggered. I can also schedule when to start a monitoring time, and duration (e.g.: once, daily, or weekly). The video can be saved in mpeg file format for easy backup to CDs or DVDs. If you are using it for surveillance you can also have honestech email notification of something triggering the motion sensor. When that happens in the email they put in links to for viewing what is happening. You can also have it setup to send you a picture, or video of what the camera captured. I setup the program to use Outlook Express, and it had no problems. I do not have one to try, but you can set it up to view surveillance video from a PDA, Sony PSP, or PDA mobile phone.
So how is it now? When I first told my daughter about it she said I was such a dork. After trying it she likes being able to see her son and is more relaxed. Now if I can just get her to quit calling and asking what we are having for dinner.
$49.99 at http://www.honestech.com/
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