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TP-LINK NC200 Motion Detection Built-in Microphone Wireless Cloud IP Camera
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

3 out of 5 eggs A Good Place To Start 02/04/2016

This review is from: TP-LINK NC200 Motion Detection Built-in Microphone Wireless Cloud IP Camera

Pros: The best thing about the camera is the price. It's very inexpensive for what you get. A good entry level piece of home security equipment.
If you've ever wanted a home surveillance system, but can't justify the price, then this is a great place to start.
There are multiple ways to use this camera. There are apps for iOS and Android, which work well and are easy to use. There is a browser viewing mode that works with Safari, Mozilla, Firefox and Internet Explorer. Now there is also software you can download from the TP Link Cloud website.
The browser based viewer is the one that allows you to set up some of the more advanced features. If you can't, or won't, use one of the compatible browsers then you can't use those features. The app and software don't offer access to the advanced features at this time.
Your camera can connect to your network via Ethernet or wirelessly.
The first time you open the TP Link Cloud software or app it will let your create a user account that binds your camera to your account. So you will be able to gain access to the camera away from your home network.
Once your camera is configured you can set up the advanced features. You can connect multiple cameras together simultaneously. In the camera viewer software, you can flip through each cameras feed one by one or select a grid to view them all on a single screen.
You can record video or take still pictures. The app or program will create a folder where you can find your recordings and stills.
This camera and its recordings support stereo sound.
In the TP Link Cloud browser based viewer, you can configure this cameras most interesting features. There is an option where you can set specifically when, according to what days and hours, you want your camera to be on and recording.
While the camera is on, you can setup the motion detection option. Which is pretty nice. If you enable this feature, when the camera senses any significant motion, it will take a still image and automatically email a copy to you or it will send a copy to any other type of FTP (File Transfer Protocol) source or data cloud. At which point you can decide to ignore the possible threat or to access the live feed and investigate further.
This camera also has the ability to act as a range extender for your wi-fi. With a potential maximum bandwidth of 300 Mb/sec.
Mounting this camera is easy. The camera comes with some double sided tape, cut to follow the contour on the bottom of the cameras base. The base lets you to swivel the camera, allowing you to mount it in virtually position.
The way the camera gets power is via a standard DC power adapter. The cord length is average, but they also provide you with a few extra feet extension cable you can connect in line with the original power cable.

Cons: TP Link Clouds browser viewing site is not compatible with Microsoft Edge or Chrome.
Because of this, anyone using these browsers won't be able to use the motion detection feature. That feature isn't supported by the TP Link Cloud app or the Cloud program for Windows either.
Video quality is poor. This camera supports a maximum resolution of 480P or 640x480. Which is the same resolution of the older type of standard tube style TV. Although, you can't really expect high definition for this price.
Due to the poor quality of the recordings, it's difficult to identify people and things that aren't within 10 feet of the camera. It would be even more difficult to ID someone you weren't familiar with.
There is a bit of lag from the camera to the viewer, even on the same network. Not really much of a problem or unexpected.
This camera records at 20 frames per second. At 20 fps, the video stream is a bit laggy. It's not horrible, but far from ideal. Most movies play back at 24 fps. But as most people can tell, scenes in movies where there is a lot of movement can create a blurring effect where it's difficult to clearly see what's on the screen. Which is why most decent TVs will have some kind of anti-blur, motion enhancing feature or a higher refresh rate. The lower the frame rate, the worse the clarity of the image will be when there is movement.
Sound quality from the cameras microphone is mediocre at best. But it's not difficult to determine what people are saying if they're close enough.
Does not support power over Ethernet
This camera isn't meant to be kept outdoors where it will be vulnerable to the weather.

Other Thoughts: At first, I wasn't able to do anything with this camera. The TP Link Cloud websites camera viewer doesn't work with Microsoft Edge or Chrome, the only two browsers I have on my Windows 10 PC. There is compatibility for iOS and Android devices, but for iOS it required iOS 7 or newer. My iPod and iPad are older models and don't support the latest iOS versions. I don't know much about Android. So I borrowed my daughters iPad and downloaded the app, which did work. Then eventually TP Link released software, which you can download from the TP Link Cloud website, that works with this camera.
What was really confusing was the instruction manual that came with the camera showed this software in the instructions before they ever released it for the public. Which really had me irritated, as I was searching for it everywhere and it didn't even exist yet. Clearly other people without access to a smartphone or tablet weren't able to use it either, according to the other reviews I've read.
If you're searching for an inexpensive way to start learning the basics of home surveillance, then this is a good starting point. However, if you have a serious need for security, and you like this option. I recommend getting one of the high end versions of this camera that supports higher resolutions. This line of cameras simplicity and features make it an excellent option for the average person.
This is the base model in this series. It's good for keeping an eye on something while you're away from home or as a start in the field of home security. If someone is creeping around your property, this camera will detect it and send you an email. Which is a really cool feature. But due to the poor image quality, you may not be able to identify the creeper. If that's important to you, buy the better version of this camera. Or at the very least, you can buy this one for a minor investment and get acquainted with the functions and abilities of this type of camera. If you like it, fine, keep it. If not, you can either upgrade or find something that fits your situation better. Either way, you didn't risk much and I'm certain there's someplace you can use this device.

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Belkin F9K1113 AC1200 Dual Band Wireless AC+ Gigabit Router
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

4 out of 5 eggs Excellent Parental Control 01/14/2016

This review is from: Belkin F9K1113 AC1200 Dual Band Wireless AC+ Gigabit Router

Pros: As a mid range router, this Belkin AC1200 router has been a very pleasant surprise. It offers some features usually reserved for high end routers and another very useful feature I've never seen before.

This Belkin AC1200 is a dual band router with 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and a single USB 2.0 port. It supports up to 867 Mb/sec on the 5 Ghz and 300 Mb/sec on the 2.4 Ghz.

The USB 2.0 port performs as well as you would expect. It's primary function is to offer network access to your home printer or your media library via external hard drive. The best you can expect from the USB 2.0 port is roughly 30 MB/sec sustained transfer speeds. Which is typically enough to stream nearly any type of media with uncompressed ultra HD 4K video being the sole exception.

Wireless performance is pretty good. As long as you're in range, signal stability is reliable. Even for multiple sources. There is also a guest network you can enable, which provides limited access to your network.

Router setup is quick and basic. Just plug In your router and connect to it via any device you've got on hand with the supplied credentials on the bottom of the router. It will automatically initiate basic router setup. Once you've chosen your routers name and password, you can leave settings at default, which will be good enough for most people, and get to streaming Netflix, YouTube or whatever is your hearts desire. Or, if you prefer, you can configure advanced router settings.

This router has a host of advanced features you wouldn't ordinarily expect to find on a mid range priced router. The Intellistream feature is mainly bandwidth prioritization for media. Your router will run a speed test to determine your networks capabilities, then when it detects a program or app associated with critical bandwidth requirement to maintain your streaming, it will prioritize your networks bandwidth so that the program will get enough bandwidth to continue smooth playback or maintain low latency.

You can also view any device connected to your network and deny access if you like. There is a remote access feature with which you can specify from where you will be able to remotely access your router and network. You can configure it for access from specific IPs or any location. There is a self healing feature where you can set a specific day and time for your router to automatically reset and refresh all your connections. You can also configure settings for your firewall, wireless bands, guest network and media storage like you would be able to with any ordinary router.

The media server feature works pretty much like it would with any router with that feature, where you can map network drives on any connected device. But there is also an app you can download to your smart phone that will allow you to access and play your connected media from anywhere. There is also a program you can download, there's a link in the routers setup page, to interact with your network printer. Although, there could possibly be an issue with their software. On the Belkin support page it states that the software only supports Win 8 and earlier. With Mac it's osX 10.8 and earlier.

Another neat feature allows you to adjust the brightness of the routers LED status lights by specific days and times.

The most useful and surprising thing about this router is the Norton Connect Safe Web Filter. I've never seen this feature with any previous router I've had any experience with and there have been many. It has the potential to be an extremely useful feature. It pretty much acts like an anti-virus and parental control combined. It has 3 different security levels. From low, which just watches for viruses and spyware. Medium, which has the same security as low but also blocks XXX content. The highest level does all that and blocks pretty much any type of mature content. From violence, cults, gambling and hate to illicit substances, alcohol and tobacco. The way it works is, each requested site is quickly checked against Norton's database for your selected filter. As a parent, I am extremely pleased with this feature. Every other router I have ever configured , that offered parental control, made you do all the work. You would have to input specific web pages that you would want blocked and it certainly didn't act as an anti-virus in addition to that basic service.

One simple thing that I was happy about was the orientation of the power adapter. Most companies don't put much thought into how their power adapter is laid out. In this case Belkin gives us a side ways facing power adapter. So the plug itself blocks as few outlets as possible on a power strip or wall outlet. Depending on the strip or outlet, it may not block any with this design.

This router has IPv6 support to safe guard against future problems.

Cons: This routers range leaves something to be desired, despite the "Ultimate Range" rating given to it by Belkin. There are no external antennas, which may limit the range in any particularly desired direction. As you can't aim your antennas where you want your signal to go.

I live in an area pretty much devoid of human life. The closest neighbor lives about 1/4 mile away. So overlapping wireless signals on any given channel isn't the cause of my range issues. Inside my house, the signal is strong from one end to the other. But the 2.4 Ghz band doesn't extend far beyond the walls of my home, which admittedly isn't very big. In defense of Belkin, the range of this router is on par with 90% of the routers I've tested over the years. Very few routers offer truly outstanding range. So this routers range may not be great, but it is average.

This routers cosmetic appearance isn't particularly appealing. It has a glossy finish, prone to finger prints and smudging. Although, if you have a narrow spot on a book shelf, this router will fit in perfectly and barely be visible.

Other Thoughts: All things considered, I am very pleased with this router. The price is a bit high for a router that doesn't have outstanding range, but all other aspects of this router have been excellent in my opinion. I previously had a very expensive high end router, but I intend to permanently replace it with this router because I am so fond of the Norton Connect Safe Web Filter. If you have kids and you're having trouble monitoring what they're getting into on the internet, then this router offers a one time purchase to help solve that problem. Just like it says on the box, this is really a great router for streaming media. I have Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Xbox Live, Playstation Plus, Steam Network Streaming and more and more. Inside my home they all work flawlessly.

I am giving this router 4 Eggs. If it was a bit less expensive and if the wireless range was a bit better I would give it 5 Eggs. But as I was so satisfied with it, I can't see rating it any lower than 4.

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Mushkin Enhanced ECO2 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: The price is very reasonable for a 120 GB solid state drive.

Unfortunately due to my personal experience with this drive, that is the only Pro I am able to come up with at this time.

Cons: Originally, I was persuaded to purchase this drive due to the price, which was very reasonable for an SSD, and a review stating that this drive had excellent performance. Well I can't argue the price, but for me, the drive performed far less than what I had hoped for.

SYSTEM SPECS:
Core 2 Quad Q8300 3.0 GHz
Nforce 780i
4 GB DDR2 Dominator 1066 MHz
GTX 580 3 GB
TX750 PSU
Blu Ray, HDD, SSD
Win Vista 32 bit

The PC I installed this drive in is primarily an HTPC. So speed isn't a major concern, but still, I want it to be fast. It must be said that my system only has support for SATA 3 Gb/sec, so I can't utilize this drives full potential. But, that being the case, benchmarks with other SSDs provided bandwidth double of that I received with this drive. Using several HDD and SSD benchmarking software, including AS SSD, Crystal Disk Mark and AIDA 64, I received a MAX of 125 MB/sec sequential read speeds and 110 MB/sec sequential write speeds. Those speeds were reliable and I rarely saw bandwidth dip below that. But still, I expected upwards of 200 MB/sec at least. Even the first gen SSDs could achieve those speeds. I tried various SATA ports and I also tried several different SATA cables. The bandwidth stayed the same regardless of which port it was connected to and different cables, even brand new ones meant for use with SSDs didn't affect the speed in one way or the other.

I configured this drive brand new out of the box with a clean install of Windows. Given, Vista is not the ideal OS for use with SSDs. But even so, a new SSD should have been wicked fast. The only thing Vista lacks is TRIM. For me, even though I don't have access to TRIM support, it's not really a major concern as I'm using this drive as a primary OS drive. I won't be writing to it very often, so read speeds are the only thing I'm really concerned with. TRIM doesn't really affect read speeds as it does writes. I assume the drives onboard garbage collection process should help negate that disadvantage.

Mushkin doesn't offer any type of software for their SSDs. Many manufacturers offer software to optimize and clean up their SSDs for operating systems like Vista that don't support TRIM or other important features.

There are no firmware updates available for this drive. I hadn't anticipated needing one, but when I searched all I could find was firmware updates for the Chronos series of Mushkin drives. You would think that there would be firmware updates for more than just a single series of SSDs.

Other Thoughts: The drive worked for me out of the box just fine. But my system eventually started freezing. I swapped out the SATA cable and haven't had any trouble since then. But I am very nervous that it might not stay stable.

As I cannot confirm without any reasonable doubt that this drive is entirely to blame for the pathetic performance I recorded during my benchmarks, I can't give it an overall score that reflects that. So I am giving this drive 3 Eggs. The price is reasonable for a newer series of SSDs. But, if your mother board doesn't support SATA 6 Gb/sec or especially if you're using an Nforce 780i, then I do not recommend this drive.

For anyone else thinking of purchasing this drive, I would not take the top favorable review posted on Newegg without a bit of skepticism. Either that person is running RAID and failed to mention that, their system is the absolute ideal configuration for this particular drive or it was a review posted by someone who was intent on creating a very favorable review, regardless of the real world performance. I seriously doubt most people can hope to achieve over 500 MB/sec sequential read and writes. It is possible I may be wrong. I wish I had a different system to test it on. Although my personal experience with this drive has been less than stellar, my mother board may be the culprit here, not originally being designed for use with SSDs. Take more time than I did and read more reviews than just one that makes this drive sound too good to be true.

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David K.'s Profile

Display Name: David K.

Date Joined: 12/02/07

Achievements:

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  • Reviews: 133
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  • First Review: 09/18/08
  • Last Review: 02/04/16
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