Jabbakam Starter Kit review

The ideal IP camera for technophobes, but you have to pay a monthly charge for the privilege

29 Sep 2011
Our Rating 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
60
inc VAT

Page 1 of 3Jabbakam Starter Kit review

Specifications

Jabbakam is an inexpensive IP camera that aims to take the pain out of home security. We've seen such claims in the past, but all have failed to deliver on the promise. Not so with Jabbakam.

When your camera arrives, it's simply a case of plugging it into the mains and connecting the 5m-long network cable to your router. There's no configuration at all, so you can immediately log into your account using the email address and password you entered when ordering the camera. You'll find video clips already there in your inbox ready to view, download and share.

This supreme ease of use has required a few trade-offs compared to most IP cameras. The video clips don't actually contain smooth video; they're a series of still images playing at roughly 1fps. This is more than enough to identify potential thieves or keep tabs on your cat, though.

Jabbakam

The good news is that the images are better than average thanks to accurate colours and a fairly wide angle of view. As it's a basic IP camera, resolution is only 640x480 and there's no night vision, so it only works when there are lights on.

Another thing to bear in mind is that there's no way to connect directly to the camera to watch a live video feed. There is a pseudo-live feed available from Jabbakam's website, which shows images from the camera every couple of seconds. It's not bad, but it isn't a patch on a traditional IP camera with smooth video and audio. It's another trade-off for ease-of-use: data flows only from the camera to Jabbakam's servers. This avoids the need for users to grapple with port forwarding in their router, but means you have to pay Jabbakam a monthly subscription fee to access your footage since storage and internet bandwidth cost money.

When you order a camera, you sign up to one of Jabbakam's monitoring bundles. For £6 per month, video clips will be stored for 14 days. For £10, they're stored for 45 days, but the top £14-per-month package buys you 90 days' recording storage. Apart from the length of time, there's no difference between bundles. They all allow unlimited numbers of clips to be recorded and stored, but on every package your images are deleted once the number of days you have paid for has passed. You can download any clips you want to save permanently to your PC, but make sure you do this before the storage time limit is reached for that clip.

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