A baby monitor is a wonderful tool to be able to keep an eye on a baby sleeping or happily playing in the crib. Most monitors work with a receiver that must be within a certain distance of the monitor in order to receive the signal. These monitors work great in a house where a parent or caregiver can be in another room, cooking or working or watching TV.
But what if you are out of the house at the office or doing some shopping and you want to be able to check in on the baby at home with another caregiver? In this case, you’ll want to have an internet baby monitor, or a surveillance camera with internet access. With password encryption, only you will have access to the video footage and you can watch from a computer and most smart phones. See below for a couple great options of this type of internet baby monitor.
In order for these types of cameras to make the video available on the internet, you’ll need to have internet access at home and in most cases, a router as well. Once you’ve set up the monitor in your child’s bedroom, follow the directions provided to connect it to the internet. When you’ve got it all set up properly, head to your computer and open a browser, following the provided directions go to the web address listed. With a few clicks you’ll be watching the footage from your child’s room!
Loftek CSX 2200
Loftek CSX 2200 is a very affordable option with lots of great features. It uses MJPEG video recording in order to produce high quality recordings. It has two-way audio, so you can listen in and speak into the monitor. The camera has the ability to pan and tilt and this can be controlled remotely from an internet browser. Also, with built-in infrared, the camera can easily record at night. Remote viewing is available on many browser types, as well as many types of mobile phones. Many people have purchased this camera to use as a security device in a home, or to keep an eye on an elderly parent or animal home alone during the day, but others do indicate it is a great and affordable option as a baby monitor.
The reviews for this camera are mixed, with a wide-variety of user experience. Many indicated the setup to be quite easy, but others suggested a need for some good knowledge of networks and internet systems in order for setup to be smooth. There are good directions provided in the package, and they are also on the company website. There are mixed reviews about the software provided, and MAC users must know that while you can view the video feed on a MAC, you must have a PC in order to set everything up.
Most users said the video quality is decent, with pretty god picture and color; and that the night vision works great. However, many are frustrated by the pretty horrible sound quality which might be a drawback if you are planning to use this as a baby monitor and want to hear if your child might be awake and crying.
This Foscam monitor has many of the features of the Loftek model such as wireless capabilities, two-way audio, ability to transmit and record video, and night-vision capabilities. However, with a higher price point this model comes with a few additional features including a filter which automatically adjusts exposure for different lighting, giving more accurate color to pictures, a higher quality external housing, and a 2-year warranty. The warranty also includes telephone customer support.
The product reviews on the Foscam model are also mixed, but this monitor has vastly more 5-star ratings than 1-star ones. While many reviewers had trouble with the setup and remote access, many indicated there is a lot of help online if you get stuck. Some reviewers didn’t like the video quality, but most thought the quality was at least acceptable, if not great for the price of the monitor. And once again, there is quite a bit of disparity about the sound quality.
The cameras mentioned here are considered to be “IP cameras” or “internet protocol” cameras and they are designed primarily for surveillance purposes. Some bit of network or internet knowledge is needed to set up and monitor correctly, but if you have that knowledge this type of camera may be an excellent choice as an internet baby monitor. Most official baby monitors that use the internet are easier to set up and may have better audio, but they are much more expensive than these IP cameras.
Overall, the wise consumer will spend time doing the right research to determine what type of baby monitor will best meet his or her needs. But the price of these options alone may be a large factor in your decision. And may serve to give you great peace-of-mind as you are able to check in with that precious and adorable baby while away from home.