Last year, we reviewed the Dropcam, a consumer video monitoring system that integrates into your Wi-Fi network. Previously, you could remotely monitor video feeds from a Internet-connected computer or an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, running the Dropcam iPhone app. Now the company has brought that same remote mobile monitoring to Android devices in the form of a free Android app.
What we liked about the Dropcam was how simple to set up it was. The network-enabled Webcam produced by 88Volts uses hardware made by a company called Axis. Two models are currently available: the standard Dropcam ($200), which just captures video, and the Dropcam Echo ($280), which captures both video and audio.
Once you buy the Dropcam of your choice, you connect it to your router/computer via a wired Ethernet connection (don't worry, Wi-Fi is available, but that comes later--see below). You then sign up for a Dropcam account online, key in a number associated with your Dropcam, and set up the camera in a few steps. In all, the process isn't unlike that of linking a Netflix account to a Blu-ray player or game console.
Both models are Wi-Fi-enabled and, as part of the wired setup, you're prompted to link the Dropcam to your wireless network. Once you complete that part of the setup (if your network has a password, you enter it once, and you're good to go), you can then disconnect the Dropcam from the Ethernet connection and place it anywhere in your house that's within range of your network.
Basic remote monitoring from a PC or mobile device is free, but the company offers a premium version of its service that gives you full-blown DVR functionality starting at $8.95.
Read the full review of the Dropcam here.