Belkin's $130 NetCam HD+ (£130 in the UK, and AU$170 in Australia) is an updated version of the brand's existing NetCam HD. The basic NetCam HD had decent specs already, but Belkin added two-way talk and WeMo product integration to its latest iteration -- these extra features give the new NetCam HD+ Wi-Fi camera a unique edge over other DIY security IPs.
While its 720p resolution didn't match the $1991080p, it still returned a pretty clear image on both the web and mobile apps (although that could vary depending on your Wi-Fi connection). And, if you spend $10 a month or $100 a year on the optional Cloud+ services, you can save 14 days of clips and receive instant push notifications whenever the built-in motion detector senses activity. Overall, Belkin's $130 NetCam HD+ delivers high-end features at a comparatively affordable price and I think it's a great fit for anyone interested in a solid lower-cost IP camera -- just be prepared to trade some video quality for the HD+'s value.
The NetCam HD+ has a white finish and is made up of plastic components, with the exception of a small metal joint that connects the camera to its stand. That metal component makes it very easy to adjust the camera angle as needed. While the HD+ doesn't feel as durable as the Dropcam Pro, it is well proportioned and nicely designed -- especially compared with Samsung's top-heavy $189.
The box includes the camera, an integrated stand, a power cord, and hardware for optional wall mounting. It has a 95-degree diagonal field of view and a glass lens. Since the $199has a 180-degree glass fish-eye lens, this 95-degree lens isn't particularly impressive. But, that shouldn't be a problem if you want to monitor a smaller room or a particular section of your home or business.
While Belkin's HD+ doesn't have Dropcam Pro-level optics, the local SD card storage of the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro, or the Z-Wave compatibility and additional environmental sensors of Piper, a side-by-side comparison may make you think twice before spending $199 on a Dropcam when you can get something pretty similar for $130.
The HD+ has a speaker and a microphone, free real-time monitoring, night vision, and the option of 14-day cloud storage and motion-related push notifications for an additional $10/month or $100/year. You can also set up rules with Belkin WeMo products on the WeMo app.
Here's a rundown of the NetCam HD+'s options versus the competition:
|Belkin NetCam HD+||Dropcam Pro||Piper||Samsung SmartCam HD Pro|
|Field of view (diagonal)||95 degrees||130 degrees||180 degrees||128 degrees|
|Cloud storage||Yes, $10/month or $100/year for 14 days||Yes, $10/month or $99/year for 7 days or $30/month or $299/year for 30 days||Yes, saves up to 1,000 clips at no extra cost||No|
|Local storage||No, but you can download clips from the Web app||No||No||Yes, SD card|
|Mobile app||Yes, Android and iOS||Yes, Android and iOS||Yes, Android and iOS||Yes, Android and iOS|
|Motion and sound alerts||Motion only, and limited to email alerts unless you subscribe to Cloud+.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Protocol integration||No||No||Yes, Z-Wave||No|
This IP camera was very easy to set up. Basic instructions are included in the box, but the Belkin NetCam Android or iOS app can also guide you from start to finish. The whole process took less than 10 minutes.
It was as simple as plugging in the camera, connecting to the Belkin NetCam Wi-Fi network, and downloading and launching the app. The app immediately recognized the new camera and walked me through registration and final steps.