Pros: Lets user view remote locations.
Cons: Poor documentation; Confusing installation process.
Bottomline: A potentially versatile and useful device marred by poor ease of use,
A wireless webcam – or Wireless IP Camera, as Edimax rather geekily calls it – can come in handy in all sorts of ways.
One of the most common uses is for security – like a low-cost CCTV camera, it can be set up to monitor a particular location, and then use it to beam images back to the computer so that you can always see what’s going on. However, there are other ways in which it may appeal to home users.
Many people have webcams attached to their computers, but a wireless camera such as this can be moved around more easily, so that you can place it anywhere in your home. You could, for instance, use it as a baby-monitor to keep an eye on a sleeping toddler while you work in another room.
You can also share the camera with other people on the home network, so that different people can watch the action on their own computers. So we can certainly see lots of potential uses for the Wireless IP Camera. Its 640x480 pixel resolution produced good quality images, and at around £50 it’s pretty good value too.
However, Edimax should have done a bit more work on the camera’s ease of use.
As it stands, it looks like it was designed for IT specialists who understand the intricate details of network settings, rather than ordinary home users who want a simple device that they can set up without too much trouble. The 40-page manual provided with the camera (as a PDF on disc, not printed) is full of complicated technical details that many people will find quite confusing.
In the end, we had to call the technical support people at Edimax to get the camera working properly with our notebook PC. We can give full marks to Edimax’s technical team for holding our hand as they walked us through the process (although as with all services, your experience may be different), but we can’t help thinking that the whole process could have been a lot more straightforward.
So while the Wireless IP Camera is potentially very useful, the installation process needs to be simplified if the company wants to reach home users as well as corporate IT departments.