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This review is from: TP-LINK TL-NC230 720p HD Wi-Fi Day / Night Cloud Camera
Pros: The camera comes with a white 4 foot Ethernet cable, a small wall wart with TP-Link embossed on it and a power cable extension cord. Also included is a tiny Technical Support pamphlet, a much more extensive GNU General Public License Notice in a number of languages and a Quick Start Guide. That’s it for the accessories.
I look at software for these reviews from the perspective of someone not expert at computer hardware. I’ve been doing this for a number of years so I can usually figure out obtuse software and misleading or missing instructions. If a newbie can do it then it’s good software. If it frustrates me then it’s not. This most definitely falls into the frustrating category. See Cons below.
Cons: OK, you hook up the camera and realize you need to download… something. Of course no software disk is included. The quick start guide really doesn’t give you a lot of guidance but I went to the website and it instructed me to register. Registering is easy: e-mail address and password. When you log in it tells you you need to configure your camera using the tpCamera app. Your natural inclination is to go to the ‘download’ tab which dumps you on a page that shows 3 cameras, none of which are yours and which tells you they are no longer providing the ‘Setup Wizard’ any longer and tells you to download the UG for your camera, which isn’t shown. Hmmm? There is one of those ubiquitous smart phone bar codes so I suppose they’re telling you unless you have a smart phone you’re out of luck because there’s nowhere else to go.
I did find the computer setup software by going to the TP-Link Cloud camera site then going to support and then ‘Download Center’ and then finding the NC230 under ‘Smart Home’ and then downloading the ‘Management Utility’.
After you download and install the program it asks you for an account. It doesn’t say whether this is the account you registered before so I typed in my e-mail address and password and was dumped on a cryptic page showing the camera name and Mac address. No hint as to what you’re supposed to do so I highlighted the ‘Live’ tab and was asked for the camera’s account and password. The account name was ‘admin’ and not able to be changed so I immediately suspected there was a separate name and password for the camera. Now bear in mind this information is not included anywhere on the camera or the included documentation. Hmmm again? I finally simply Googled ‘camera password’ for the NC230 and found the password was ‘admin’. Finally after an hour of futzing around I was rewarded with a picture from the camera. This is where I go take a long break so as not to toss this camera in the trash.
OK after the debacle of installing the software comes the actual operation of the camera. I configured it with the computer and couldn’t figure out how to get the wireless working. Finally I realized you have to use the smartphone app to do that. I will say the wireless works well and downloading it and installing it were easy.
Now we get back to bad software again. Maybe I’m just missing something but it seems like TP-Link is making this as difficult as possible. The camera works and it works fine. The picture in full screen on the computer monitor is soft and fuzzy but on my cell phone it’s fine. I can log in to their Cloud site and view the live picture. It’s not really even as good as a high end webcam but then this is a different kind of device so I can forgive that. But the point of this thing is to watch over your house and notify you if it senses something. Good idea but then you try and figure out how to turn that feature on and… Hmmm a third time.
So I looked. The User’s Guide I downloaded wasn’t helpful. I was pretty sure it had to be in the local ‘Camera Control’ program but to be honest that program was a little obtuse. But finally through clicking on everything I could think of I found a new tab under ‘Devices’ called ‘Open Web Page’ that took me to a login screen asking for a username and password. It didn’t want my information from the Cloud login but the admin information from the camera. Finally this took me to a webpage that contained all the information and setup options I’d been looking for. It allowed me to change the camera settings including FPS and backlight and had an “Advanced’ tab that allowed me to set the motion or sound detection and a rather formidable setup option for how you want to be notified that miscreants are in your house. It’s a little intimidating but I got through it and amazingly it worked. I started getting e-mail alerts whenever I walked through the camera’s field of vision.
Other Thoughts: The bottom line is that the TP-Link NC230 camera works. The ability to use it wirelessly means no Ethernet cables so you can put it almost anywhere. It’s a reasonably priced piece of kit that is only let down by the software. If I was someone not familiar with computers and software I would have been lost. I’m no novice but I spent a good part of a Saturday getting everything to work. TP-Link needs to collect everything on one webpage and point the user there and explain what they need to do and how to do it. Until then this camera is for people who don’t mind wading hip deep into bad software. A thumbs up for the hardware and a big thumbs down to the software.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: This thing is cheaper then a meal at a fast food restaurant and yet it just works. Five minutes after FedEx dropped it off I had it working. Right now simply using an older 80 Gig Intel SSD but will soon upgrade to something larger. No problems at all.
Cons: It's cheap and made of plastic but that doesn't seem to effect performance.
Other Thoughts: Would recommend this to anybody as virtually foolproof. Don't even have to pick up a screwdriver.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Was forced to buy for a Skylake NUC and these modules solved all my problems. Like all Corsair products they just work as advertised.
Cons: Extra speed above 2133 was wasted but I can live with that.
Other Thoughts: Should have purchased 16 gigs but I guess hindsight is a beautiful thing.READ FULL REVIEW