I have often wondered what my dog gets up to when I go out, does he just lie there in his basket or does he get up to all sorts of mischief. Recently I was given the chance to find out when I was sent the WatchBot monitoring camera to review. The WatchBot is a home security camera that connects to WiFi, allows you to monitor your home when you are out and even lets you interact with what you see happening. I was really interested to see how it would work.
The box comes with everything you need to get the WatchBot monitoring camera up and running. As well as the WatchBot itself you also get a DC power supply cable, a network cable, a setup CD and a step by step quick setup guide. There is also a wall mounting kit with screws supplied, in case you want to mount your camera on the wall.The WatchBot itself almost resembles a high tech pet, with a jewelled eye glistening and watching you. Shiny black in colour (other colours are available) it sits on your mantelpiece surveying all you do.
The camera can swivel left and right and up and down giving you a full view of your surroundings. This can be controlled remotely by the user. The WatchBot also has night vision, allowing you to see what is going on in the dark. At the back of the WatchBot you find an antenna for wi-fi , and ports for alarm, audio, and ethernet cables as well as the power cable. The power cable is not that long so you need to situate the WatchBot near to a plug or use an extension cable.
Setting up the WatchBot is a little complicated, you need to ensure that the WatchBot program is installed on your computer and then connect the ethernet cable so the camera is detected. The first few times I tried it did not work but then suddenly it all began working. Once I established a connection using the ethernet cable it was easy enough to connect the WatchBot using wi-fi instead. The video stream can be watched via an internet browers, an app or using the program. I moved the WatchBot to my kitchen to watch my dog.
You can connect up to nine cameras into the WatchBot system, although I only had one so could not test this. The monitoring screen is very easy to use, you have buttons to pan and tilt the camera. You can save the video as an avi file and you can either watch the video live or set the camera up to respond to motion. You can configure it to send emails containing a series of images when it detects motion. This is especially useful if you are out of the house as the images will be saved even if someone unplugs the camera. The photos arrive in a series of five images.
The video is clear and you can see what is happening. The night vision also works well, it just looks like a black and white image but you can still see the details. You can also set the WatchBot up for audio so you can hear what is going on.
As well as watching what my dog was up to I also found another use for the WatchBot, I was able to sit on my computer upstairs and know if my son was raiding the fridge. He assumed that he hadn’t been seen and was amazed when I told him I had been watching him.
As a security device the WatchBot works well, it is sensitive to motion and quickly captures video to show you what is going on. The overall look and feel of the WatchBot is not intrusive and it is reasonably easy to set up. The user interface is a little unfriendly, it could be made much more intuitive to use. The manual does explain it all but it would be nicer to be able to just set it up without having to check what things mean first. Hopefully this will be improved in the future. I am very happy with the WatchBot though and know that my house will be watched over while I am out. You can find out more information on the WatchBot website.
Disclosure: I was sent a WatchBot camera in order to do an honest review. I was not told what to write and my opinions are my own.