|At a Glance|
|Product||Belkin F7D7602 NetCam HD Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision [Website]|
|Summary||Cloud-enabled Wi-Fi only camera with 8 IR LEDs for night vision|
|Pros||• Nice long power cord
• Great wireless range
• Solid construction
|Cons||• Lack of local interface means no integration with other surveillance apps
• Essentially unusable night vision
• Not many features
• Crude motion detection setup
• Some features not available via browser, i.e. app only
Belkin has just started shipping its NetCam series of cameras. The Belkin NetCam HD Wi-Fi Camera, which we'll be looking at today, is positioned for home use to keep an eye on kids, pets and grandparents via easy cloud access and HD quality. It supports 720p resolution via a wide angle lens, has infrared night vision and a built-in microphone for audio. The camera is 2.4 GHz wireless only.
I didn't pull the NetCam HD apart because the FCC ID site had great and detailed pictures. The main processor, which also handles the 802.11 b/g/n wireless functions, is the popular Ralink RT5350F wireless SoC. Dual Winbond W9825G6JH-6 256 Mbit SDRAM chips bring the DRAM to 64 MB. And a single Winbond 25Q128FVSG chip provides 16 MB for flash. The image below shows the front and back of the NetCam HD's board.
Belkin NetCam HD Board Views
On the camera side, eight IR LEDs provide night vision spec'd at up to 8 M, which is just over 26 feet. I was excited to test this as most of the cameras I've tested lately have less in the way of IR LEDs.
The lens has a 78° horizontal viewing angle and a 45° vertical viewing angle. Looking at some of the other cameras we've reviewed, 78° is a nice wide lens which allows for a wider viewing range in a static location. On the outside, the camera features are meager, but functional. The front side has the light sensor, a microphone, the LEDs and the lens as you can see in the image below.
Belkin NetCam HD Front PanelOn the rear there is simply a switch for Setup Mode, which I'll talk about later, and a Reset button. You can see these two features in the image below.
Belkin NetCam HD Rear Panel
Lastly, since I criticized the D-Link DCS-942L camera for having a cheap soft plastic ball and socket joint, I feel it's relevant to mention the NetCam HD has metal ball and socket joint as you can see in the image below. For an inexpensive camera, it feels very solid overall.
Belkin NetCam HD Metal Ball and Socket
In the box came the NetCam HD camera, a quick install guide, mounting hardware and a very long power cord, which I very much appreciate. I've done way too much soldering of additional lengths to power cords when a camera only comes with about 4 feet. Throughout all my testing it was more than enough power cord to reach each test location.
Belkin's marketing literature mentions that no computer is necessary for setting up the NetCam HD, so I put that to the test. The NetCam HD is wireless only, so there is no plugging it in to the network and letting it set itself up by DHCP. Instead the NetCam HD has a setup switch on the rear, which as the name would indicate, puts the camera into Setup Mode.
Belkin NetCam HD Setup Mode switch
In Setup Mode, the camera serves as a wireless access point that you access from any wireless client. Once connected to the camera's wireless network, you use the NetCam app for Android or iOS. A message indicates a new camera is found and you are walked through the setup process that connects to your home or business wireless network, gets you set up on the NetCam cloud and then disables the camera's own wireless network.
Belkin is marketing this as a camera to watch over the house when you're not there. But the mischievious side of me wondered what would happen if I flipped the switch to put the camera back into Setup Mode once I'd already set it up and connected it to an account, so that's just what I did. To my surprise, accessing the app simply said, "I see a new NetCam HD. Would you like to set it up?". Walking through the setup let me choose a different wireless network and different Belkin account. As a home camera I guess that is ok, but I wouldn't be comfortable with that in a business security situation. It also made me wonder what exactly the reset button was for if Setup Mode brought you back to ground zero. Beyond my mischief, the camera set up quickly and easily and I was ready to go.
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Average user rating from: 4 user(s)
NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.
|User Rating [Back to Top]||Overall:||1.6||Features :||1.8||Performance :||1.3||Reliability :||1.8|
September 02, 2014
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Bought the HD camera over a year ago and have had nothing but problems. HD is not clear, night vision is dark and unusable, framerate even with a high speed connection (30mbps) is choppy and delayed, and motion detection is unusable. The camera is so bad that if it detects motion it waits a couple minutes before snapping a picture (just enough time for whatever triggered the detection to leave the frame), and when it does get lucky enough to capture a person in the picture it's blurry (unless of course you can stand perfectly still for 2-3 minutes). Even when it's set to the lowest setting possible, the motion detection email alerts send false positives every 2-3 minutes so if you have to leave it on for a couple hours you can expect your email to be crammed with hundreds of alerts showing the exact same thing.
If you happen to reach out to Belkin for help, they redirect you to their "community" (unless you're willing to pay them for their "Premium Support"), where you get to join a multitude of others asking for help while Belkin turns a deaf ear to their pleas.
Belkin Net Cam
January 09, 2014
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I have owned this camera for about 1 year now. The infrared leds on one side (4) have burnt out on my unit. Night vision does leave you guessing as it is only black and white. The interface is slow at best on an I phone. I have a very fast connection [Comcast Xfinity] and still the lag is tough to deal with. On a PC the lag is not as bad and the daytime in color resolution is decent. I suggest that the average $100.00 and up price tag is not supported by the quality. If you need a simple plug and play camera this is fine but still overpriced for the performance.
Complete waste of money
October 14, 2013
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I bought the HD version and the resolution is pathetic. The video motion is something I would expect of 1990 technology. Horrible picture quality. Don't waste your money or time. I'm sure any other solution would produce better results.
belkin hd netcam
August 21, 2013
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Night vision sucks even at five feet away you can't see anything .you would think the company would perfect that feature .