OK – so admittedly we took the $149 hit (yes we went with the cheap one) and bought a Dropcam. For a number of months we and other reviewers have been criticizing the unreasonable price and limiting functionality. We stick to the position that we purchased the device simply to be better suited in writing our analysis’.
The Dropcam definitely does not gleam the way it does on the website, but it’s small and produces a nice quality image. The features available on the default browser viewer were quite basic, including time selection, motion detection tracking, and even gives you a few days of free retention.
Of course the true disadvantage of Dropcam arrives when you want to retain any of your recorded moments. And let’s face it, when it comes to video “RECORDING” devices, retaining images is relatively necessary. As if the $149-$199 price tag is not enough, you are required to purchase the $99/yr Dropcam service to use the camera at all. This means that you are unwittingly being roped into a lifetime-contract; but don't worry, it will break down just in time for the Dropcam Pro 2 to hit the shelves.
This issue with Dropcam is the inability to access the device locally. This means that you have no way of using an alternative cloud (or local) recording resource (such as CameraFTP). Both the live feed and retained images are accessible only by using your Dropcam username/password.
One of our last, and largest issues with the Wi-Fi cloud-camera is the limitation with usage. For example, the camera can only be used inside and when plugged into an outlet. When you’re in the industry of video monitoring, you cannot limit yourself to indoor only with a range of less than six feet.
So with all this said, here is our advice to Dropcam; either drop the outrageous service fee or make your device accessible locally. If you’re spending $200 on a camera, you should be able to view the video taken by the device from ANY provider.
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