Usage and Testing Continued
Recently Dropcam updated its app to version 2.1, which now allows the Dropcam to turn off when you return home and to turn on when you leave. This is my personal favorite feature as it uses my iPhone 5 as a token key to turn the camera on and off using my current location.
You can also set the Dropcam to turn on and off at set times within a day or turn the Dropcam on for several days while your away for an extended period of time such as vacation. Unfortunately for the Android users these features are not yet available.
In terms of picture quality the video is the best of all the models I have reviewed. The image is sharp and crisp whether viewing on my local network or over a mobile phone data network. The night vision mode is stellar, as the video does not look grainy as opposed to other video-cam solutions.
Like most video monitoring solutions there is a delay in video transmission by a 5-10 seconds. The two way audio also has a delay and when speaking remotely the audio from the camera is muted. This makes the ability to have a conversation difficult if not impossible. Hopefully Dropcam will make this communication more interactive and fluid in the future.
Another concern for people on restricted phone data plans is the amount of bandwidth used when viewing 720p video remotely.
Some people may be concerned about the streaming video running 24/7 into the Cloud. To prevent unauthorized viewing Dropcam utilizes bank level security to encrypt all streaming video. An optional DVR service provides access to stored footage of the past 7 or 30 days depending on use subscription model. Personally I prefer keeping my video stored on a networked device over a cloud-based solution record possibly be hacked. For instance I run the D-Link camera through my Synology DS 213 to capture video locally.
Like other Wi-Fi monitoring solutions Dropcam provides e-mail and smart phone alerts triggered by the camera’s motion and sound sensing technology.