Member Discussion

Alternatives To Traditional Stand-Alone Video Baby Monitors

Good morning all,

Currently it seems to me that the Dropcam might be the simplest and most affordable option, but I suspect some of you might have already researched this, or even implemented it.

Any thoughts/suggestions?


What are you looking for it to do?

Do you want to view it over the Internet without any network configuration (like Dropcam)? Do you care about recording or just live monitoring?

Since Dropcam dropped the older version, now minimum camera price is $199, putting it on the expensive side.

There's lower cost options, like Simplicam, mostly a Dropcam clone ($50 less). And then there's a bunch of Asian cameras in the $100 to $150 range but not sure how easy they are to set up.

And then of course, there are many baby monitors, but most cannot be viewed remotely / on one's phone (e.g., the top selling baby monitor on Amazon).

I would say if you are a normal parent steer clear from any cloud dependent baby monitor systems. The nominal latency of 3-5 seconds, while ok for checking your apartment from on the road becomes very frustrating when in the next room. Even worse is the fact that it is a highly variable latency, 10 seconds occasionally is not unusual. I haven't used Dropcam per se, but have used similar setups(Dlink).

If you are in the next room and you hear an unidentified sound, you will find yourself running in there instead of waiting for the screen to update. The dedicated baby monitor products while often cheap, are typically analog wireless point to point. Those types are low latency, but also low resolution. More usable than cloud but not ideal because the picture and range can suck.

If had to do again, I would look into this cam, the icam360, local monitoring, local storage, smartphone apps, audio, PTZ, Skype, music out, free cloud storage. For $50 less than the Dropcam. Or find something like it.

But don't go thru the cloud to get to the next room...