The Linksys WVC54GCA internet security audio/video camera enables you to check whether the kids really have gone to bed when you told them to and can be used to keep an extra eye on your home for peace of mind.

The Linksys WVC54GCA's built-in web server connects to a network, so the camera doesn't have to be connected to a PC to be used. This also means that it can be positioned in exactly the spot you want to spy on.

Linksys claims the WVC54GCA will work with WEP-64, WEP-128, WPA and WPA2 secure networks. However, when we tried to set the Linksys WVC54GCA up on a (non-Linksys) WEP network, we found the wizard designed to configure the camera wouldn't work. Instead, we had to configure it manually.

On a more secure WPA network, the wizard successfully configured the Linksys WVC54GCA within a matter of minutes.

We were able to view images from the Linksys WVC54GCA on all the PCs connected to our network. Once we'd changed the port forwarding settings on our router we were even able to view the images from any PC, via the internet.

The Linksys WVC54GCA gave us the option to create password-protected accounts and restrict each account's access to viewing the live stream from the camera as well as adjusting the resolution and frames per second (fps) rate at which the video is played.

We also liked the Linksys WVC54GCA's inobtrusiveness. The lightweight and compact camera measures 90x120x37mm and weighs 130g.

The Linksys WVC54GCA comes bundled with a camera stand/wall mount, ethernet cable and power adaptor and features an internal antenna and blue LED light, which lets you know whether the camera is on and connected to a network.

The more security conscious can activate Security Mode, which ensures that when the camera detects any motion in its field of view, you are sent an email to alert you. Then with the Viewer and Recorder function you can record the audio/video stream in Mpeg4 format, direct to your hard drive.

See also:

Genius IPCam SECURE300R review

Linksys WVC54GCA: Specs

  • Up to 640x480 video stream
  • MPEG-4 or Motion JPEG
  • CMOS
  • 3mm focal length
  • ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX, 802.11b/g
  • built-in microphone
  • 90x120x37mm
  • 130g
  • requires: 2GHz or faster processor, 512MB RAM, Windows 2000, XP or Vista, 500MB hard drive space, graphics card with a minimum of 128MB, internet connection
  • Up to 640x480 video stream
  • MPEG-4 or Motion JPEG
  • CMOS
  • 3mm focal length
  • ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX, 802.11b/g
  • built-in microphone
  • 90x120x37mm
  • 130g
  • requires: 2GHz or faster processor, 512MB RAM, Windows 2000, XP or Vista, 500MB hard drive space, graphics card with a minimum of 128MB, internet connection

OUR VERDICT

Linksys' WVC54GCA is ideal for keeping an eye on your home while you're at work. Priced at £79, it's good value but its worth bearing in mind that you'll need some knowledge of implementing port forwarding, and if you're using WEP encryption on your network you'll need to manually configure the camera.

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