Monday, September 10, 2012

Post image for The Logitech Alert 700n Indoor Camera Gives You a Day or Night View into your Home or Business

I’m all about wiring my home up for security and peace of mind. Whether you are on vacation or just want to check in to see if your pets are on the furniture or your kids are doing their homework, it’s simply convenient to be able to open the digital eyes of your home from wherever you are. A few years ago, I installed a series of external Logitech webcams around my house. You can read the review of that system and the install process here. With that system, I have been able to see when packages arrive, when my kids get home from school, if the gardeners are working and I even caught a potential burglar testing the car doors of our vehicles parked in the driveway.

That’s security and peace of mind. But that was only the vision around my home. Recently, Logitech introduced an interior camera that works with the same HomePlug powerline technology (which I will explain) to hook into your existing system, specifically designed for the inside of your house. The Logitech Alert 700n Indoor Camera is this indoor solution. If you have an existing Logitech Alert system, your installation is literally minutes. In fact, I simply hooked up the 700n camera, plugged it in, and instantly it was streaming video and audio, all integrated into my existing system. Practically zero configuration. If you don’t have a system already, you can get the Master System (the 750n) which includes the components required to hook to your router and the 700n Indoor Camera as well.

logitech-alert-front-view

The first thing to know about the Logitech Alert system is the fact that it doesn’t use your WiFi. It uses a different technology called powerline (HomePlug). Essentially, what this protocol is, is a way to transmit a network via your home (or businesses) power. You simply connect one adapter into your router, plug that into a home power plug, then plug in your camera somewhere else in the electric grid that runs through your house. And then, via the magic of networking technology, your two end-points should be talking to each other. It’s important to point out that there are some limitations, as I found with my previous installation, to this networking technology. For starters, you will want to plug in directly to a wall socket as there is potential signal degradation or loss if you use a surge protector or power conditioner. Some surge protectors filter out extra “stuff” (to use a technical term) meaning that your signal could be dramatically reduced or cut off. Or, if you have multiple wiring circuits throughout your house, there may be no way to actually “connect” the network. My house, for example, has new and old wiring, complete even with a set of fuse boxes. So, I had to ensure that I used the older circuits to complete the network.

When installing your Logitech powerline (HomePlug) network, be sure to test it all out before you mount any cameras. The nice thing about the 700n indoor camera is that it is very portable, meaning you can test location and signal strength throughout your house pretty easily. There are lights on the 700n that let you visually see if you have connected properly to the HomePlug network and that your camera is talking with the base as well as to the Internet. Be sure to have the color light key handy. There are LED indicators on the camera, the back of the camera and on the plug that will easily give you a visual status of your 700n.

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