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Features

The feature set of the NetCam HD is meager, but adequate for home use. I used Belkin's NetCam site and the NetCam app for all of my testing. In the NetCam app, I noticed the Zyxel IPC-4605N I reviewed last year at this time was populated. The reason for this is the NetCam app appears to use the Seedonk iSecurity+ technology just like the Zyxel did.

As you would suspect, the iSecurity+ app also works for the Belkin camera, with similiar, but slightly different features. Port 80 is open on the NetCam HD, and connecting to it does give you a login which can be accessed using admin:admin. But once authenticated, I got nowhere. The User Guide does not indicate local administration is a possibility either. This means the NetCam HD can't be used with software such as Blue Iris, the Surveillance Station software on popular NAS or Android/iOS apps such as IP Cam Viewer.

As a one camera system, or in place with other cameras using iSecurity+, I guess that isn't a problem. But it means you're stuck using whatever app is given to you vs. integrating with something providing more features. You also don't have the option of recording to a network share, FTP or an SD card. Both the Belkin NetCam app and iSecurity+ give you the option to take snapshots, record video and enable audio. I was surprised to see only the audio function available when accessing the camera via browser. I did not see a way to take a snapshot or record video via browser, which I felt to be a big oversight. The image below shows the camera screen of the Belkin NetCam site.

Belkin Cloud Main Page

Belkin Cloud Main Page

The camera settings screen in the cloud gives you access to a few key camera features, which you can see below.

Belkin Cloud Camera Settings

Belkin Cloud Camera Settings

Motion detection in the cloud lets you set sensitivity, which you can also set on the NetCam app. Motion detection is all trial and error, with no indication of what "tripped the threshold" as some cameras have. The app does attempt to guide you to making the right selection with options such as "only when large movements occur" and "for a lot of motion". I found motion detection to work ok, although Gmail did flag the emails, which came from Belkin by way of amazonses.com, as spam. Motion detection is still image only, no recording of video.

Belkin Cloud Motion Detection Settings

Belkin Cloud Motion Detection Settings

Since the camera is wireless only, its wireless range has to be considered. In my testing, I found the camera to have great wireless range, fortunately. The outdoor images that follow were captured while connected to our main access point on the opposite side of the house from where the camera was. My laptop often has trouble in this location due to the two exterior walls (one being brick) and several interior walls, so the camera working fine there was very impressive.

One last item to note. I log all of my DHCP requests as a weak form of intrusion detection. I noticed that about every 20 seconds the NetCam HD was sending out a DHCP renewal request. As these requests are broadcast messages, I did see a noticeable decrease in wireless performance from other devices on my network. I sent a note off to Belkin to get clarification and to see why this was possibly happening. I haven't yet received a response, but will update this article if I do get one.

Image Quality

I ran the camera through my typical test procedures, which involve standard day and night indoor and outdoor images. Because of some questions I had while running these tests, I ran some additional images on our main floor at night.The image below is the daytime control picture from our Nikon D5000 DSLR, which I reused from an old review and did not take new.

Nikon D5000 DSLR Indoor Day Control Image

Nikon D5000 DSLR Indoor Day Control Image

Now let's look at the NetCam HD indoor day image.

Belkin NetCam HD Indoor Day Image

Belkin NetCam HD Indoor Day Image

For comparison's sake, let's compare that to the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI since they are both roughly the same price. The TV-IP572PI is still one of my favorites. Both images are fairly comparable, with a little bit better sharpness on the TV-IP572PI image.

TRENDnet TV-IP572PI Indoor Day Image

TRENDnet TV-IP572PI Indoor Day Image
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