Every once in a while I’ll request something to review that I can’t fully evaluate because I am a MAC owner. When I request products I just assume that they will work for a MAC because MAC’s are the best! At any rate, I am here to review, to the best of my technological ability, the Swann Networking IP-3G ConnectCam 1000. For the sake of not copying and pasting that long name, I’m going to just refer to it as the IP-3G from here on in.
The IP-3G is a day & night wireless 802.11G network camera that can be used across a wide spectrum of applications: a security device in your home or business, or as a video chat camera, or even as a monitor to see if your roommate is using your HDTV when he shouldn’t.
Let me make this abundantly clear, the IP-3G is not made for the MAC! This first thing I will say about Swann as a company, which is widely recognized for their security cameras, is that their customer service is fantastic! They fielded my tech questions and had responses with in 24 hours, which was impressive. They said that I would not be able to get the IP-3G to work with a MAC whatsoever, but with the help of a MAC guru buddy, we got it to work ‘visuals only’ through a Linksy’s router. Simply put, the IP-3G has a web server that you need to connect to. It can be accessed through local and global IP addresses. We got it to work by “port forwarding” it through the router and giving it a fixed IP address. We had to take this route as none of the included software worked on my MAC, but we got the core feature, the visuals, to work at least. The quality of the visuals were moderate at best, with day usage lacking colors, and you could tell it had a night vision grain to it. The night vision was nice and very reminiscent of anything night vision you’ve seen in movies or video games.
As far as features are concerned, the IP-3G has a plethora. From the general audio-visual admin and network menus, you can do two-way audio, MPEG4 & MJPEG compression for storage via USB stick or hard drive, and set the motion detector to take a snap shot and then email it to you. The latter feature, the motion detector email, is something conventional security camera’s don’t even touch. Additionally, you don’t need a PC to set up and use it if you have a 3G enabled phone, just not a 3G iPhone!
The IP-3G is constructed of a high density bright white plastic that looks attractive. It’s also fairly small, but I wonder how well it would deal with rainy, windy, or inclement weather conditions. And despite the fact that it’s wireless, it still uses a wired power source which could prove to hamper some set up scenarios. To be noted, the IP-3G isn’t a huge bandwidth leech as it only impacted my speeds around a negative megabyte per second, and you can run it wired if you like through the ethernet jack on the back. Also on the back is an eighth inch jack to plug speakers into, as well as a microphone on the front in order to accomplish the two way audio feature. All in all, the IP-3G has a ton of cool features allowing for some deep customizations styles and options to tool around with, just not for the MAC.
When it comes to technology you should always research before you buy, and as I have just learned, I should research before I review, instead of just request. Oh, this looks cool…not anymore! Chalk it up to a lesson learned, and I will not make the same mistake again! The IP-3G seems like a great piece of gear from the way I see it, though the way I see it is not an optimal one.
- Many Customizable Features
- Theoretically Easy Setup
- Small Compact Design
- Is Not MAC Compatible! Weak Sauce!
- Pricey For A “Web Cam”
- Still Needs Wired Power Source
Buy it for $260 here