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Linksys WVC54GCA review

Kat Orphanides
10 Aug 2009
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
83
including VAT

Thanks to a simple interface, wide browser support and good video quality, this is a great little camera, but it can't move.

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Linksys's WVC54GCA is one of our favourite webcams, packing a lot into a small case. Its stand can also be screwed into the rear of the camera for wall mounting, but you'll have to supply the hooks or screws yourself.

The camera has a maximum resolution of 640x480 at 30fps. There's a choice of MPEG4 and MJPEG video formats; the latter uses less bandwidth at the expense of quality. You can also enable streaming to a mobile phone, which limits the resolution to 160x120 at 15fps.

Installing the WVC54GCA is a breeze. You connect it to your router using the bundled network cable and run the CD-based setup wizard. This guides you through finding the camera on the network, naming it, choosing whether to have a dynamic or fixed IP address and changing the default password. It then searches for wireless networks and prompts you to choose yours and enter its password.

Logging on to the camera's web server brings up options to view live video or go to the advanced options. These include creating users who have permission to view the video or adjust the settings, configuring motion detection and altering wireless, image quality and streaming settings.

If you want internet access to the camera's video and audio, you'll need to forward ports in your router's firewall. Disappointingly, the only dynamic DNS provider is TZO (which is a paid-for service) rather than DynDNS.com (which is free). This isn't a problem if your router has its own DDNS function, though.

Motion-detection settings include the ability to set up to three areas for detection, or the full frame. You can set the detection sensitivity individually for each area; be careful, though, because the sliders are the opposite way round to what you might expect.

There's the option to email a JPEG or a short video clip (up to seven seconds) when motion is detected to three email addresses of your choice, but bear in mind that you'll need access to an SMTP server to do this.

Thanks to its simple installation, good video and audio quality and relatively low price, Linksys's WVC54GCA is an excellent choice.

Details

Rating*****
Maximum image resolution640x480

Networking

Ethernet connection speed10/100
Wireless networking supportYes
128-bit WEPyes
WPAYes
WPA2yes
upload images to FTP serveryes
Dynamic DNSyes

Other Features

Night visionno
Weatherproofno
Audioyes
Video recording formatMJPEG, MPEG4
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
Motion detectionyes
Software includedLinksys Camera Utility
Power consumption on3W

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years RTB
Price£83
Supplierhttp://www.kikatek.com
Detailswww.linksysbycisco.com

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