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Closing Thoughts

I ran some quick and dirty wireless range testing by putting the camera in my car (which sports an inverter for AC power) and moving it to a point in my building's parking lot about 150 feet (46 m) away. The camera remained connected to my AP, with no discernable difference in picture quality. I probably could have extended the range if necessary, courtesy of the camera's upgradable antenna.

In all, I found the Actiontec Wireless Network Camera to fall short of what I expect from a networked camera. The positives are its wireless and audio recording capabilities, with passable video quality. But it lacks powered focus, zoom and ability to be aimed remotely, although I wouldn't hold those points against it, considering its $200 price point (available direct from Actiontec only).

But while the basic hardware itself seems sound, the software implementation needs work. Motion detection setup could have been much better, especially for setup and debug. And the inability to take snapshots and record video while accessing the camera's built-in webpage is not only frustrating, but limits its customer base to Windows users. Likewise, the ActiveX requirement for webpage access will not endear this camera to buyers trying to move away from Microsoft's IE.

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