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Peak Wi-Fi SOHO Internet Camera

A low-cost net-enabled security camera

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Review Internet enabled security cameras have gained quite a bit of popularity as prices have come down, not least because of the ability to use them as an affordable home security device.

PEAK has gone one step further than most by adding Wi-Fi to its camera, which means it’s much easier to put it where you need it to be. It still needs power, but it’s much easier to locate a power socket than having to route a length of Ethernet cable around your house...

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The camera itself is rather unremarkable, although it’s larger than your average web camera due to the integrated hardware. At the rear is an Ethernet connector, antenna connector, a small reset button, and a power connector. The lens has a focus ring for obtaining a clear picture.

Mounting the SOHO Internet Camera has been made as easy as possible - there’s a mounting hole in both the top and the bottom, as well as a small stand, which is intended to be screwed into a wall or ceiling. A ball joint on the stand enables you to adjust the angle of the camera if it’s not lined up correctly. You also get an Ethernet cable (needed to set up the camera up for the first time if your network settings differ from the default ones), and a power adaptor.

Though mounting the camera is a piece of cake, set up could prove more taxing. The supplied utility is fairly basic, and the wizard is easy enough to figure as long as you have some basic ideas about how your network is configured. If you don’t, things can get difficult quickly - you have to manually assign an IP address to the camera and establish some of the wireless network settings to get it working. If you’re running WEP or WPA things get slightly more difficult, but the camera supports both encryption standards. There is also UPnP support, which works over both the wired and the wireless connection.

Rather unusually for a wireless network device, there is no support for 802.11b networks - video takes up a lot of bandwidth and the older standard just isn’t fast enough for the highest resolutions. So unless you have an 802.11g compatible network, you won’t be able to use the camera over the wireless connection. The wired Ethernet connection is of the 10/100Mbit type and can be plugged in directly to a router or switch.

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Next page: Verdict

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