Friday, 22 February 2013

Baby Monitor Battle

I got a chance to test two IP based surveillance cameras, which is a high-tech way of saying baby monitors. I learned a lot about what features to look for and what the various pros and cons are of having these devices. I also learned that surveillance has two L's in it.

I used to think that baby monitors were these toy-like devices with big colorful buttons that allowed you to listen to your baby while you did things in another room or part of the house. So I was quite surprised at how advanced and just plain cool they make these things now. Cuz I love me gadgets.

Two man enter one man leave.

IPUX Pan-Tilt H.264 1.3MP Wireless Day & Night Network Camera VS. D-Link Enhanced Wireless Day/Night Home Network Camera

Both cameras are wireless network cameras, meaning they connect to your home network thru your router either wirelessly or thru a lan cable and it works kind of like a webcam. This means, you can view the monitor through your laptop, pc, ipad, iphone or android phone. So cool. And since we're always on our laptops or mobile device anyway, this eliminates the need for a separate monitor. As long as your home network is running (wireless or not) it'll work. I only needed an internet connection whenever I used the phone/tablet app because it will log on and use your account on the web. Both worked exactly the same.

Connectivity: Tie

As far as quality of the connection goes, I found the D-Link to have better streaming quality when wireless compared to the IPUX. The video was smooth on the D-Link while the playback became choppy on the IPUX. But when I use the lan cable to connect the IPUX, it's streaming became comparable to the D-Link.

Streaming Quality: D-Link Wins

It's about the size of a cellphone.

Both also have night vision modes that automatically switch from day to night based on the ambient light it detects in the room. I found the IPUX images to be sharper in both day and night settings. Trying to zoom in using either cameras though is pretty useless because they only offer digital zoom making the zoomed-in image too pixelized and blurry. But for a surveillance camera, unless you're a CSI looking for evidence, you'll want the widest possible view of the area so zooming isn't a priority.

Image Quality: IPUX Wins

ICS2300 / ICS2330

Each camera features 2-way audio, meaning I can hear what's going on in the other room and (if I choose) they can also hear me wherever I am. The only problem was the speaker in the camera - it has none. I had to buy a separate speaker and plug it to the camera so the kids could hear me from the other room. Another problem here was, I couldn't get the volume loud enough for the kids to hear me. My voice was the size of an ant, you had to stick your ear close to the speaker to hear me. This did not work at all. I even used two different kinds of speakers just to see if the problem was with the speaker. But after much tinkering with the camera, speaker and settings, I still couldn't get the volume any higher than ant level.

Audio In: Tie
Audio Out: Both Fail

ICS2300 / ICS2330 IPUX Wireless Day & Night Network Camera
Is this a speaker for ants?

There were also recording functions on both cameras but you had to buy a separate MicroSD card(D-Link) or USB drive(IPUX) to make it work. You could record continuously, in intervals or in tandem with motion detection. The interfaces for recording both felt a bit clunky, unpolished and difficult to navigate. And since it was unpleasant to use, I uh, didn't use it. Besides, the point of a baby monitor is to be able to run to the other room in case your toddler decides to climb and high dive off a table. Only cruel people record that stuff.

Recording: Inconclusive

One thing though that the IPUX has that the D-Link doesn't is the ability to move the camera remotely. With the IPUX, I can control the camera movements using whatever device I want, even on my phone. Super cool. This gives me nearly 360 degree viewing of the entire room. This helps since my son rarely stays in one place for long. I can see him as he plays from area to area. The D-Link has an adjustable camera but you'll have to physically move it yourself.

Viewing Angle: IPUX Wins


Setting up and installing the cameras were more of a challenge mainly because we use Macs at home. The installation discs that came with both cameras only work on PCs. Both do not work on Mac. A little digging on the D-Link site yielded an installer for Mac, so that worked out. But the IPUX site had no such thing. I had to do serious research to get the IPUX working. Ironically, once I got the IPUX working, I found that I liked the interface better than the D-Link one. (just as a personal preference, each works well) Both run on java on your web browser where you can change and adjust all the camera's settings. Opening the monitor is as easy as clicking on a bookmark.

Set-up: D-Link Wins
Interface: IPUX Wins

Accessing the cameras using your tablet or mobile device were both easy. Each camera had its own app which you can just download for free. Configuring the device was as simple as entering your username and password, something you already created during the set-up/installation process. Once that was done, everything was up and running. The iPad app in particular was a pleasure to use but watching the kids on my android phone was still pretty cool.

Mobile/Tablet app: Tie

IPUX Wireless Day & Night Network Camera


If you need your camera to be wireless (no ugly cables winding their way around your house) the clear choice would be the D-Link. But if you want to be able to point the camera around the room, get something like the IPUX. It really depends on where you'll be placing the camera and the subject of your surveillance. Is it a baby in a crib or a toddler running about? If you consider all these things, you'll know what kind of a camera is best for you.

Special thanks to Mons and Mar, who have their eyes, hands and hearts full with their own baby and also for supplying 50% of the cameras.


  1. Get Foscam, better and more compatible apps, I chad no problem setting it up to my computer and connect to my domain that way I can connect to it anywhere as long I have Internet connection

  2. Oh just to add up, my Foscam has both function, wireless and tilt/pan function, PM me I'll give you the details and username password so that you can check out the one I have at home now :D