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Monday, August 11, 2014

Baby Monitor Alternative

I've never had a video baby monitor although I've always thought it would be nice to have. I just couldnt bring myself to spent that much on what I didn't think was a necessity for us.  But then again, we would have gotten our money's worth by now.  :)

I'd heard of others using webcams and security cameras in lieu of a video monitor for their children's rooms so I decided to try it out after we moved Logann into her sisters' room.  The one we got (Foscam wireless IP camera - FI8910W) has night vision, two-way audio, pan and tilt (no zoom) and comes with a mount for the wall.  

What I like:

- the price...at just over $60 it's a lot cheaper than a traditional baby monitor

- the option to download apps and view from your smart phone or tablet 

- being able to take snapshots of what I see.  this comes in handy when showing certain children how I know they were doing something they weren't supposed to be doing.  It's also fun to see how my girls play with and comfort each other.  :)

oops somebody is out of bed!
they were playing doggie or something :)
 - the ability to use it as an actual security camera if desired...pretty sure it has a motion detection option

What I don't like:

- it's pretty difficult to set up.  we still can't figure out how to get the two-way audio to work which would be nice for telling Kaylee to get back on her bed instead of having to walk to their room.  :)  Even my techie neighbor never figured out how to do port forwarding so it could be viewed from other computers (which I don't really care about now but it'd be nice when we are on vacation to have it placed somewhere to view the main area of the house)

- yes it can be hacked.  There was a really creepy story about a couple who heard a strange guy talking to their baby and controlling the camera from wherever he lived.  Ewww.  But, there is a generic password with the camera some people don't change or make very hard to guess and then there's your home wireless password that should also be fairly strong. So I'm really not all that concerned since both of our passwords are strong ones.  

All in all, I'm glad we have it.  It's come in handy to see if Logann is awake or asleep before I go in the room when I'm not ready to get her out of bed yet.  And with all three sharing a room now, it's just nice to have a set of eyes in there.  

all three asleep - no glowing night vision eyes means eyes are closed!