Testing Cisco-Linksys IP Home Monitoring Camera (WVC80N)

Author: Benros Emata, Published on Jun 19, 2010

How well can a $120 camera from Cisco work? Is it good (and simple enough) for your home? Does it make sense to integrate with a VMS system?

In this report, we examine our test results of the Cisco-Linksys home monitoring camera (WVC80N). Quite a number of people are using it as evidenced by the camera being the top selling 'home security system' on Amazon. We tested the camera with its own included software and with Luxriot's VMS. Also compare to our test of Cisco's SMB software and PTZ camera (PVC300).

As is standard with all of our camera tests, we recorded performance during daytime, nighttime, indoors, outdoors, wide dynamic range and at controlled lux levels (.3 and 1 lux). In addition, because the camera offers a remote access/managed video feature, we tested those capabilities (for a broader comparison of managed/hosted video options, review our VSaaS comparison report).

This is the first test in a new series examining 'budget' IP cameras. We bought a number of the top selling cameras on Amazon (also including D-Link, Panasonic, Trendnet) and will be systematically going through them in the next 2 months.

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Key ********

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Monitoring ********: No instructions or manual was included in the CD or hard copy for the monitoring software. The software is simply called, Wireless-N Internet Home Monitoring Camera - Monitor. The software has basic live monitoring features like changing layouts, digital zoom, image quality control, screen snapshot, and microphone level controls. Although the software could pull up recorded video on a timeline, we could not find any method to export the recorded video from the interface. One final note: back in the setup process, when the setup wizard did not find the camera on the network, we used the Settings option on the monitoring software, and it was able to find the camera and identify its IP address.

Bandwidth: During our tests, we observed the Cisco camera's bandwidth consumption at 1.5Mbps during the day, and during the night, it jumped to 3Mbps.

Wireless ************: We tested the wireless in and around a two story residential home, and we did not experience any problems in terms of dropped connections, video quality, or performance. Keep in mind, results may vary depending on the amount of wireless interference in your area. The camera does have 802.11n support, but it only supports access points broadcasting at the 2.4GHz wireless band. Since wireless home routers (that broadcast at 2.4GHz) are readily available in residential areas, interference is a real possibility. The camera does not support the newer routers / access points that broadcast on the 5GHz wireless band.

Details ** ********: Since this camera has a fixed lens, the field of view will generally be too wide to get crisp facial details, but good enough for human identification.

Nighttime ***********: At 0.3 lux, the image will be too dark for practical use, but at 1 lux, image was surprisingly bright; Details of subject could be identified (within an indoor environment).

Third ***** *** *******: We tested camera compatibility with Luxriot DVR software. The VMS did support the camera and the features of changing resolution, setting frame quality, and brightness adjustment. There was no support for the camera's integrated microphone and the VMS only supported the MPEG-4 stream.

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Remote ****** *** **********: This product may be a low cost alternative to current SaaS offerings.

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Product ********

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Setup & *************

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Image ******* ********

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