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Wireless security systems come of age

Security systems don’t have to be complicated, expensive or, worse, inconvenient. In fact, you can now place security cameras anywhere you want them—inside or out—without the hassle of wiring up the system. Price? Spend as little or as much as you want. Places with serious surveillance needs can look for extra features like Internet video monitoring, cell phone and email alerts, motion sensors and two-way audio. Whether you need to keep an eye on the door, record activity at the counter or...

Security systems don’t have to be complicated, expensive or, worse, inconvenient. In fact, you can now place security cameras anywhere you want them—inside or out—without the hassle of wiring up the system. Price? Spend as little or as much as you want. Places with serious surveillance needs can look for extra features like Internet video monitoring, cell phone and email alerts, motion sensors and two-way audio. Whether you need to keep an eye on the door, record activity at the counter or keep tabs on the kitchen area, there’s a wireless surveillance setup that will fit your budget and needs. Turn the page and you’ll discover six cameras and security solutions running upward in price and features from entry-level to high-end.

Swann Communications
BlackKnight
High Resolution Wireless Camera
This color camera features 27 LEDs for night vision and a weatherproof hood for outdoor deployment.
It can transmit up to 330 feet on the 2.4 Ghz radio frequency, giving you flexibility of placement. Just be careful about interference from other 2.4 Ghz devices, like certain cordless phones. The wireless receiver is included in the box. If you don’t already have a recording system, then pair it with the $500 Swann DVR4-Net digital video recorder and you have an up-to-date system with digital recording capabilities. It’s like having a TiVO for security.
www.swann.com.au

Panasonic
BL-C30A
This color 802.11b/g wireless camera can be monitored from a Web browser or compatible cell phone or PDA. The pan and tilt feature covers 120 degrees of pan and 90 degrees of tilt—all controllable remotely. It’s designed for easy setup and use with automatic configuration software. The camera can be set to an email notification when its heat sensor is triggered. It can also be configured to send images by email at predesignated times. This camera walks the line between consumer and business use, but would be a simple and handy addition to a restaurant.
www.panasonic.com

Axis Communications
Axis 207MW
This compact camera features some nice tech specs, like 1.3 mega-pixel resolution, 802.11g Wi-Fi, Ethernet and
support for the WPA2 protocol. That jargon essentially boils down to a small camera with up-to-date wireless technology, a choice of security levels and good picture quality designed to handle varying light situations. Its built-in Web server allows you to monitor the camera via a Web browser and a built-in microphone adds audio capabilities to the mix. It would pair well with a restaurant’s existing wireless network.
www.axis.com

D-Link
DCS-3220G Wireless Internet Camera
The D-Link DCS-3220G adds some intriguing extras to the standard wireless video camera. Like many of these devices, the camera can be remotely monitored using Internet Explorer. On top of that you can control a 4x digital zoom while watching and listening in through the Web interface. Add a powered speaker to the package and you can then talk back to anyone at the camera site. Thinking beyond security, that feature opens up possibilities for remote monitoring of employees where you can provide feedback on the fly. Outdoor enclosures are also available for mounting the camera in more demanding environments.
www.dlink.com

iControl
Advanced Starter Kit iControl fits a lot of hardware into this kit. You get a control hub, a door/window sensor, a wired camera, key chain remote, lamp module, motion sensor and a wireless camera. Additional cameras and sensors are available. The subscription service allows you to access the iControl system from a Web browser, adjust schedules, receive email or text messages of alarms and check up on the system status and activity. Those advanced control and alert features make the subscription service worthwhile; do-it-yourselfers can save a bundle over hiring an outside security company.
www.icontrol.com

Sony
SNC-RZ50N PTZ Network Camera
A big step up in price—and features. You’ll have to add the wireless capability yourself with the SNCA-CFW1 wireless card, but you’ll get a high-end, feature-packed surveillance camera. The camera comes with intelligent motion detection, integrated Web server, high-speed pan and tilt, image stabilizer, intelligent alarm function, anti-tampering technology and a powerful 26x optical zoom. For low-light situations or extreme detail, it’s hard to top the features of this powerful camera.
www.sony.com

(March 15, 2008) 

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