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HolidayBuyer's Guide

This home security camera claims to work no matter what

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Link-Union

Link-Union's founder, Andy Benatti, travels a lot. He tried out a variety of webcams to stay connected to his family while on the road, but felt that they all came up short in one way or another. So, he created his own version: the Link-U Hybrid SmartCam.

Most DIY home security cameras offer either local or remote storage. Samsung's $190, £160 SmartCam HD Pro (SD card local storage; not yet available in Australia, but converts to about AU$215) and Dropcam's $200, £190 Dropcam Pro (cloud server remote storage; not yet available in Australia, but converts to about AU$230) are two such examples. The Link-U comes with both -- an SD card slot (up to 32GB) and cloud access via Google or iCloud Drive.

The Link-U has another intriguing feature: Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, thanks to an internal 3G/4G modem. This hybrid camera also has two power sources, a standard plug adapter and an 8-hour backup battery. That means that your camera should still function and the feed should still be accessible on the Android or iOS app even if your Wi-Fi cuts out and you lose power.

It also has Bluetooth LE. So, you should be able to connect a variety of smart home gadgets, although there aren't any specifics on third-party integrations just yet. This list of features sure seems astounding, especially when you consider that none of the models we've reviewed offer quite as many contingencies in case of spotty Wi-Fi/power outages/both.

The Link-U Hybrid SmartCam recently launched on Indiegogo and early backers can snag one for just $100, which converts to about £60 or AU$113 (the camera is expected to retail for $250 eventually, which converts to £155 or AU$285). The very first batch of production-ready models should ship in January 2015. Find out more on Link-Union's Indiegogo page.

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Link-Union Link-U Hybrid SmartCam

Part Number: CNETLink-Union Link-U Hybrid SmartCam
Low Price: $199.00 See all prices