Dropcam: Keep an Eye on your Home & Business

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A Dropcam can be a very helpful device in both your home and business.  As Dropcam was recently purchased by Nest, it’s certainly to gain more and more exposure in the coming months.  These devices are becoming more and more popular, but many people don’t even know what they are.  A Dropcam (www.dropcam.com) is a very small camera that connects to your wireless network.  It streams live high quality video from the camera to your Dropcam account, which is viewable on their website and also on the Dropcam smartphone apps.  The Dropcam has a power cable that must be plugged into a wall outlet and also must be placed within the reach of your wireless network.  Simple plug the camera in and “drop” the Dropcam in the desired location within the range of your wireless network and it just works.

Simplicity is one of the features we’ve enjoyed the most about the Dropcam.  Upon opening the Dropcam box, we first noticed the Apple-like quality of the packaging.  After unpacking the camera, the first step is to connect the device to your computer via the included power cable that doubles as a USB cable.  Your computer should automatically prompt you to browse the Dropcam much like a regular digital camera.  When doing so users are given the option to click on one of two setup files (Mac & PC).  Choose the appropriate file and the setup process begins.  You will be prompted to create a Dropcam account by entering your email address and password.  Next you’ll be asked to choose your wireless network and enter the password.  After doing so, the Dropcam is connected to your wireless network and you’re free to place it in the location of your choice.  It’s that simple.

The bottom line is the Dropcam just works as long as it has a good wireless signal.  If you place the Dropcam on the outskirts of your wireless network, you should expect to have connectivity issues as will be evident from a yellow flashing light on the Dropcam itself.  Users will enjoy the simplicity of moving their Dropcam around to various locations.  Just unplug it and plug it back in at the new location.  As long as you place it where you have a good wireless signal, you should be good to go.

One of the great features of the Dropcam is that it has audio capabilities.  Not only does it stream the audio feed from the Dropcam’s built-in microphone, users can actually talk through the Dropcam with its built-in speakers.  When viewing your Dropcam in the smartphone app, there is a small microphone button.  Simply press the button and speak into the smartphone.  That audio is then heard from the Dropcam through its built-in speakers.

Dropcam also allows you to add multiple Dropcams to your account for those users that need multiple cameras.  Another nice feature is their recording service.  For ~$9.95/month, Dropcam will store the recorded video from your camera in the cloud.  You can view it anytime by logging onto your Dropcam account.

The cost for the Dropcam is $150.  The Dropcam Pro is $200, which has a wider 130-degree field of view and an 8x zoon.  For most users the standard Dropcam will do just fine.  These devices are an easy way to be able to remotely view your house, office, nursery, etc. on the go.