I need to find a good, wireless "Nanny Cam" that I can install at some dear friends house, people who are my "adopted parents". A wonderful couple I have known for most of my life who are now caring for their 97 year old sister in law.
Here is what I need in my new cameras;
Easy to use and very RELIABLE, these people are not tech savy.
2.4 ghz or 5 ghz wireless WIFI Nanny or Interior Security cameras
3 Megapixels or more (ideally)
App supports multiple cameras and ability to switch from one camera to the next camera easily on the control device
Use IPhone and or IPad to monitor and control cameras
Able to work with WIFI extenders due to the distance between camera locations
Pan, tilt and zoom features would be nice
2 way sound (listen and speak via the cameras).
An App written to be used by English speaking customers
American Based TECH SUPPORT with English speaking customer service / tech people (I don't speak Sputnik).......
Personal experiences with the cameras I just tried
Let me tell you my experiences the last few days trying other products. First, I spent a lot of time on Amazon reading camera set up manuals and user reviews. I found a camera I thought fit the bill, based upon its high number of positive reviews. I ordered 4 of them, What a freaking nightmare that quickly turned into.
First, the cameras were supposed to be almost "self connecting" and really simple to use. I ordered 4 of these and memory cards and took them over to my dear friends home. I tried and tried to get the camera linked into this couple's WIFI network and was not able. My friends have Apple I Phones and an I Pad and I am not that familiar with Apple products, but this isn't rocket science or brain surgery. But it's also not that different than Windows and Android systems for connection issues. I tried to connect on their WIFI system and I tried each of the cameras, I constantly ran into the very same fault where the cameras would not sync with the WIFI network. Same exact fault message at the same part of the install process. EVERY SINGLE TIME.......
After spending 6 hours, over 50 tries with the 4 cameras, resetting the WIFI system, rebooting the cameras so often I almost wore out the reset buttons, I finally packed up everything and brought it to my house. I wasted another 5 hours trying to get these connected to my WIFI system using Android phones, (2 different ones) a Windows computer, nothing. I did get one camera to work briefly on my WIFI system after 15 attempts and I was sitting at the desk where the Wireless Router is located, so I could touch the WIFI source, the camera and the Android device. But the moment I moved away from the desk, that camera never worked again and I had all of the same connection issues.
Incidentally, the cameras I bought have a Cat5 jack on the back of them but it won't work unless the cameras are first connected via WIFI. Many cameras actually work just the opposite, you can use the Cat5 cable to configure and set the cameras up and then you can move the cameras off the cat 5 cable and place them for WIFI use. Why would you have a Cat 5 connection on a camera if you MUST connect the camera via WIFI? Just think about the logic of this set up. By the way, I asked the Tech support why they have Cat 5 ports on the cameras if they MUST be connected via WIfi, I never got an answer. Seems pretty strange to me.......
I returned to my friends after my brief success and double checked all of their router settings and made sure the password didn't have any special characters, etc. I replicated the connection process again and again and reset the cameras every new attempt. I even moved furniture so I could sit at their WIFI router and attempt the camera pairing with the devices within 5 feet of one another. I got nowhere. Not one ounce closer.......I even deleted and reloaded the APP on each device at least 3 times, just in case the APP download had some issues. Didn't matter......
Technical Support contact results
I had tried to contact the advertised 24 hour tech service, but its not 24 hrs, it is instead, 9 to 5 central time. After waiting nearly 12 hours for the first email response each day, when my initial email to them which laid out specific issues was replied to with "Read the manual, and watch Help video" I nearly lost it. They didn't answer one question about the connection faults or error message which I had seen by then, dozens of times.
Their technical service said they had "never heard of the Xfinity router" and I copied all of the properties about the WIFI router into an email and they responded again "never heard of this router" and they implied I should buy a new one, yet every other wireless device they have works flawlessly for this couple including multiple devices and even blood pressure machine which sends to the VA daily. I am not going to purchase a new WIFI router when everything else works fine. They wanted me to "send them a link to my router", not going to happen. If they can't get what they need from the technical summary of the product from the specs page, its not my job to perform their technical research. The only thing I am going to "send" is the box packed full of these cameras, back to Amazon........
A Help Video or merely a Demonstration?
Well, the "Help video" is a nearly 7 minute demonstration of how to connect these "****ing cameras which I had replicated the process step by step so many times, I could do it in my sleep. The "Help video" had NOT ONE SPOKEN WORD the entire video. NOTHING, but watching someone's hands do the process which is cryptically outlined in their "User Manual". It's not a "Help video", its a demonstration and the fact the company doesn't know the difference is simply astounding and speaks volumes.
It's time to talk about English Languge Product Material on China products
A few words about the manuals. I am NO LONGER patient with these companies who are producing "English Language" manuals written by people for whom English is not their primary language. This is a relatively new phenomenon since the invasion of China crap in the last 15 years. Someone copies and pastes the English language together into incoherent sentences and completely worthless manuals. Here are some examples of the language from this cameras manual and other technical sources which were referred to me, the customer......
"Create Profile of your Placement" (Apparently, they meant to register the product...??..)
"Download to your emulator".....(I know what it is to "emulate" something, so I can imagine what this is, but again a complete failure in English, How many of you own an "emulator"?.....)
"Essential critical to pairing, make pairing conenction lights sure are fast flashing double second on all items or failure is alike" (FYI, I spelled the words just as they did)......Turns out, after I searched for the "connection lights, the tech support told me "We use directions for lots of products and not all apply." So, I pressed for clarity "Does the device even have pairing lights?" and the answer was "No." Seriously, WTF? Not only was the above gibberish, it served no point even being in the instructions for this device.
Bottom line, I am going to read every product manual (when possible) BEFORE purchasing any technical items from now on and when I encounter gibberish such as the above, I am moving along. Is it too much to spend some money and hire an English Speaking (as their PRIMARY LANGUAGE) writer to create or at a minimum, edit the documents they are all copying from one another?
My patience with China SHEET is completely gone. I have long maintained that Made in China is more often a warning label and my experiences have borne that out time and again......
Ok, my rant is over....for now.....
I still need to find some cameras which will work. I am relying upon the personal experiences and wisdom of the GTT family.
Camera Brand which I just Tried
Incidentally, the camera brand which was a train wreck for me was the Morvelli Camera Brand, so lets skip that one.......Check out their website, I wish I had before I bought the cameras.
The website is largely pointless, unless you want to drive to someones house in the Chicago area and there is a map for that. None of the links are connected to anything and there is nothing other than the email address for their "24/7 Tech Support" which works 9 to 5 central time.
The Morvelli has 70 5 star ratings on Amazon and frankly, I hope I just got 4 bad cameras, but how else can one explain such failure to connect something which is supposedly simple? I did notice that nearly all of the bad reviews have come in the last 30 days, so I wonder if something is up with their production of these new to the market cameras.........
A sincere thank you for helpful information which leads me to my solution......