We recently discovered a new DIY whole-house security system by Logitech. How DIY-friendly is it, we thought? Our writer pokes around to find out.
"Introducing Logitech Alert Digital Video Security: Be there Even When You're Not."
When I first read this tag line in the Logitech Alert press release I couldn't help but roll my eyes. Then, I read on. I take back my eye roll because this product is seriously impressive!
The complete HD video surveillance system -- touted as "the DIY security system" -- is customizable to meet your personal needs. You can use it to keep an eye on your house, a rental property, your workshop
-- you can even use it as a baby monitor.
Logitech Alert indoor camera. Photo: Logitech
The HD cameras come in two types: the 750i Master System
for indoor use (pictured) and a 750c Outdoor Master
with night vision and a waterproof design waterproof outdoor use. Both cameras boast 130-degree wide-angle lens' making facial recognition and picture on license plates of other text more accurate.The Logitech Alert system is easily expandable, and more cameras can be added to customize the surveillance and best fit your needs.
Each camera comes standard with a 2GB Micro-SD card which can store approximately one weeks worth of motion, based on the motion-triggered recordings in an average home. This means you don't need to leave your computer running all the time. When you do connect to the network, your recordings will automatically backup onto your computer.
The cameras are impressive (and kind of futuristic looking in my opinion!), but what's really revolutionary is the tremendously powerful PC and Web software.
You can define up to 16 areas of your home as "motion zones". The built-in DVR (Digital Video Recorder) will automatically record when motion is detected in those areas. This allows you to ignore the den, where your cat routinely knocks down dusty books, but pay attention to the secret vault where you keep all your riches (what, you don't have a secret vault?). You can even sign up for email updates when motion is detected.
You also get free access to real time footage through a secure website or free smart phone applications for iPhone®, Blackberry® and Android®.
It sound like a pretty great product, but we're savvy consumers, and being sold on cool technology isn't enough. We still have two burning questions:
1. How much will this cost me?
2. Is it really
DIY-friendly? Can I install it myself without breaking a sweat?
A basic system is surprisingly inexpensive, but could add up quickly if you are needing many extra cameras. Here are the suggested retail prices:
Logitech Alert 750i Master System (Indoor): $299.99
Logitech Alert 750c Outdoor Master System: $349.99
Add-on 750i camera: $229.99
Add-on 750c camera: $279.99
Logitech Alert Web and Mobile Commander: $79.99/year after a 7 day free trial
Can I install it myself? The price of systems like this can be misleading because there are often extra installation costs. Even products that tote themselves are DIY-friendly require some kind of expertise or have very confusing and time-consuming instructions.
By all reports, the Logitech Alert is DIY through and through. According to Meg McCormick, Account Executive for SHIFT Communications, "Logitech Alert features HomePlug® AV networking, which means connecting your Logitech Alert camera is as easy as plugging in a toaster (perfect for DIY'ers). There's no new wiring or networking hassles – HomePlug AV uses your existing electrical wiring and outlets to connect your cameras to your network."
In three easy steps your video surveillance system is up and running:
1. Install the Logitech Alert software
2. Connect to your network
3. Plug in your camera(s)
Here's a little fun aside:
Video surveillance and motion detectors are a surefire way to catch intruders, but they are also good for a laugh from time to time. A bear on your porch, a cat with a bouncy ball, a teenager sneaking out through the window? Send Logitch your funniest surveillance footage and you can be featured in their Busted! Videos
. Both new Logitech Alert customers and those using the previous WiLife product are invited to enter the contest for a chance to win Logitech products and services. Even if you're not going to buy the system or enter the contest, the videos are good for a laugh.
Check out our this first-person review of the Logitech Alert Digital Video Security system, via our friends at Engadget.