Linksys WVC54G Wireless-G Internet Video Camera review: Linksys WVC54G Wireless-G Internet Video Camera

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CNET Editors' Rating

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The Good Offers dynamic DNS for those on a dynamic IP address. Wirelessly connected.

The Bad Power cable doesn't neatly at the base of the camera stand. Power cable exposed.

The Bottom Line Linksys's WVC54G offers solid video performance for IP-based video.

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Design
The WVC54G certainly stands out. This is one solid chunk of silver plastic that can be mounted on most surfaces, with a somewhat flexible single wireless (802.11g) antennae sticking out of one side. A mounting stand is provided that can be used to partially obscure the cabled parts of the camera - power is always required, but you can optionally connect the WVC54G to a wired Ethernet connection. The stand does a good job of propping up the camera, although we were irked by the fact that it doesn't sit quite neatly on the power cable, and unless you're careful setting it up, it can wobble in place all too easily.

Features
Setting up an Internet-enabled camera can be a touch daunting for network novices, as in the bulk of cases most broadband accounts don't offer a fixed IP address. This can make getting a camera Internet-accessible into something of a nightmare of firewall permissions and port forwarding malarkey. Linksys offers an interesting service for the network terrified, which they label as SoloLink. It's basically a dynamic DNS service that'll map a distinct user name to the camera of your choice, removing the need for an IP address altogether, in a similar fashion to the way that Internet URLs work. You'll still need to be confident enough to open up a port on your router, but there's a larger catch than that. The camera only comes with a 90-day free trial.

After that trial period, it'll cost you $19.99 for a year's subscription or $34.99 for two year's worth. These are presumably US dollars, although it's never entirely clear. Then again, the sign up form seems to think that the world's comprised of only the US and Canada, so it's probably safe to presume that the fees are in Yankee currency. If you let the 90 day period expire, it's marginally more expensive, which is either a great incentive to sign up early, or incredibly rude, depending on your perspective.

On the software side, the camera is quite simple to administer, and can be used as a security device, detecting motion and sending images anywhere in the world, although as a single fixed camera you'd want to carefully consider positioning in order to capture the best possible images. It's not in the same price bracket as the D-Link SecuriCam DCS-5300G, but those with security on their minds might want to check out that camera first.

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Where to Buy

Linksys WVC54G Wireless-G Internet Video Camera

Part Number: CNETLinksys WVC54G Wireless-G Internet Video Camera

Typical Price: $489.00

See manufacturer website for availability.