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Setting Up

The initial setup is simple - you plug in the camera to your LAN and then insert the install CD on any Win 98 SE,ME,2000 or XP computer. A setup program will autorun and find the camera without intervention - no hunting for IP addresses or guessing. You then can change the IP information or the wireless settings. The wireless security settings can also be entered using the setup utility.

Wireless settings

Figure 4: Wireless settings

The camera supports WEP with 64/128 bit encryption and I was pleased to see it also supported the more secure WPA-PSK. If Actiontec intends to have many small-business buyers, however, they should add WPA-Enterprise and preferably WPA2 support soon. After the initial setup, you can fire up your browser and enter the IP address of the camera and go directly to a webpage where you can view live video from the web camera (Figure 5). You will also hear what is happening if you have turned on the audio feature.

Camera webpage view

Figure 5: Camera webpage view

Mozilla / Firefox users will probably not like this camera, since its webpage requires ActiveX. While there are ActiveX plugins for Mozilla, I don't think users are likely to install them, since getting away from IE's security problems is why many users switch to Mozilla / Firefox in the first place! I asked ActionTec if they plan on supporting alternate browsers and here is their response:

"The camera requires active-x support in the browser. Presently there are not plans to support other mechanisms (java, etc.) We only support IE 6.0 or above, but you can get active-x plug-ins for other browsers like Firefox which would then allow you to view images with the Camera."

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