Pros Ease of set up, video quality
Cons Camera is way too big, platinum extra's cost $79 a year, no platinum demo software, depending on your home, may not work for you
Summary My house has a lot of windows, more than most homes have, but because of the size of the WiLife cam, I still couldn't find a convenient way to place it on the inside, so it looks out.
Wilife offers a platinum software service that could have resolved my placement problems. The platinum software lets you pan and scan and tilt and zoom the camera from your desktop (and to be fair, you can manually move the lens, too) but WiLife doesn't offer a demo of the platinum ware, and according to the company, if you buy the software (at a steep $79.99 a year!!!) and it doesn't solve your placement problems, there are no refunds.
A timed, limited use, one day demo would be nice.
Having spent $270 for my kit, the prospect of handing them another $79.99 for nothing didn't make me happy. Neither did the $270 price for that matter.
But let's look at what WiLife is really asking you to spend.
If you want to monitor four sides of your home, and adjust each camera from your desktop, you're spending over $1000 for the first year only, and another $79.99 a year every year after.
If you don't have an open wall socket, or a power strip with an open socket within a few feet of your PC, you're out of luck. If you don't have an open wall socket near where you intend to place the WiLife cam, you're also out of luck.
Of course, you can always visit the WiLife store and buy some extension cables, or you can pick up a longer ethernet cable for less, (the cam to wall socket adaptor uses a standard ethernet cable) but then you're running a cable over a door or a window sill, or through a wall, and that kind of defeats the whole point of the WiLife system to begin with.
Out of the box, it takes about five minutes to realize that WiLife is more interested in your money than they are anything else.
The included WiLife command center is promising, but needs revisions before it lives up to that promise, and as far as the idea of it all goes, WiLife is a great idea. It just suffers from the same security cam problems they all have. Cables that are too short, and costs that are too high.
When the cam is smaller, and the included cables are longer, and you can test their platinum services, then I'll be interested again.
I'm returning mine today. I'd rather suffer the hassles of X-10 cams than I would be a WiLife customer -- at least for now.
Pros Easy to set up and use. Great recording on motion. Very good video quality. Great suction cup mounting.
Cons A bit of work getting the cameras focused just right, otherwise none.
Summary After trying the low-end solutions like X-10, D-Link, and Linksys, I was looking for something that would work and had decent recording capabilities. I ran across this in December and it worked better than I had expected at that price, far far cheaper than the other systems I was considering. I was a bit put off by the price thinking I was back into the same class as the other products I had tried, but I couldn't have been happier.
Video quality is very good, much better than I expected for powerline networking. It took a bit of trial and error to get the motion zones set up and triggering on what I wanted but ignoring motion I didn't want, but I got it pretty close.
The only downside is that the PC I wanted to use didn't have any spare wall outlets near it so I had to use a different machine in another room. I also had problems getting to outlets near where I wanted to put the cameras, but a little rearranging and an extension cord solved that. I would have liked to use an existing CAT-5 I had nearby for one of the cameras them though, but it all worked out.
Unlike the C-Net reviewer, I didn't have any problems setting up the system on the two computers I tried. Both went without a hitch of any kind.
As for hanging the camera on the window with a suction cup, why hasn't anyone else thought of that before? I love the shape of the camera as well. The blinds can close without touching the camera. Nice touch.
Pros None that I found, especially from their Customer Service Dept.
Cons Product does not work as directed, Customer Service/Tech Support unresponsive! :(
Summary My Boss purchased this product and asked me to give it a go, so I did. I'm a technical professional (serving in the Helpdesk for 4.5 years) and now work in the Facilities Dept. This was to be a solution for security for our Receptionist but I hooked it up in one room where the plug is next to my laptop and hooked up the camera 4 plugs away in the same electrical run for testing & setup.
Camera would never connect and so, I contacted WiLife's Technical Support. They responded to my inquiry giving me one email asking for more information, then gave me a second email telling me to uncheck a network setting.
After completing the setting change, I emailed them back for further instructions because it STILL didn't work. Waited and waited but they wouldn't respond. Emailed them again... no response.
I'll have to agree, the company is out for your money and have no support in the product. Good luck to all those out there spending even MORE money with them as a yearly contract!!! We're returning ours immediately!!!Updated
Well, it took a couple days but their Tech Support has responded and their suggestions have helped resolve the situation and get the product working. I am going to be contacting CNET's Division to have my post modified from 1 to a 7 because the device is picky on what plugs it works on.
Pros Easy to install, both the software and the cameras
Cons I wish the cameras had better resolution, but it is the best available for security cameras unless one spends many thousands of dollars.
Summary Many of the negatives I have read on Cnet about this system I have not experienced. The software loaded very easily. I bought the started kit at Radio Shack for $249.00. It had the older version of software, but it was updated to the current with no problem. The system DOES NOT require a dedicated computer. I can run other programs while Lukwerks is running including surfing the internet. The comments about the problem of finding an electrical outlet near one's PC is confusing unless those making the complaint have a PC that runs on batteries. Most people have their computers near an electrical outlet since electricity is needed to run the computer. It is an inconvenience if an electrical outlet is not near a window where one wants to place the camera. This can be solved by running a small wire extension cord from a nearby electrical outlet. Compared to systems that require running cables from the computer to the camera, it is not problem at all. It would be very difficult and time consuming to run cables in my house. Many people would have to hire an electrician to run the cables. Taking into consideration the time and cost of running cables, the LukWerks system is very, very economical. Also, with LukWerks one can move their computer to another location with an outlet and no cables have to be relocated. This is a very big plus. (Because of the problems with interference in the transmission of wireless systems making them inefficent and because I feel that the wireless transmission is a health hazard, I do not consider them in my evaluations.) The cameras have the capability of a maximum resolution of 480 lines. I have looked at many other surveillance cameras and I found one that had 520 lines which is not much better, but it cost more and it did not have motion detection capabilities. Many of the other cameras were less than 480. I rated LukWerks as a 9 only because the ideal system for me would have cameras with far better lines of resolution and because the night vision is dark unless the area is well lit, such as with spot lights or a bright porch light. (I monitor the outside of my home by using indoor cameras mounted on a window.) The night vision can be improved by purchasing LukWerks infrared illuminator,which I did. The infrared illuminator can only be used with the indoor camera and it is not as subtle as one is led to believe. There are little red LED's in the illuminator which can be seen very easily in the dark. I hope LukWerks comes out with a lower lux camera in the future and illiminate the need for the infrared illuminator. Another big plus is that the motion detection sensitivity can be set real easily from the computer for each camera and can be specified for one or many areas within the camera's view. I am not aware of any annual fee of $79.99. I know that it cost $79.99 a year to get the Plantium software, but this software is not required, unless of course, one wants the extra features such as remotely controlling the zooming, tilting and panning of the camera(s), storing video at a off site location,etc. There is so much that can be done with the basic package that one can have a very good surveillance system without purchasing the Plantium upgrade. Another big plus is that the monitoring can be done on a PC instead of requiring one to purchase a separate monitoring system with a TV and a recording device with a hard drive that can only be used for montoring and nothing else. I believe this is an excellent surveillance system and one that will give great competiion to the security businesses that make surveillance systems a mystery that can only be solved by their "professional" installers for a large fee.
Pros Easy to set up and use, great recording, video quality is very good and the range on the cameras from the base is pretty good too.
Cons The only downside is having a dedicated PC. When we have burnouts the whole entire system goes down and will not come up until the PC is turned back on again.
Summary I looked and researched many systems before deciding on the WiLife System and the one thing that really sold me is that I could monitor my home from an outside source via the internet.(whether your at home, work or when your on vacation) It is great to be able to jump on the internet and take a peek and know that everything is OK at home.
This was very easy to set-up and use I didn't have any problems setting up the system on all of our computers. All of it went without a hitch of any kind. Video quality is very good. I would highly recommend this system. We have 4 indoor cameras and two outside cameras. It took us approximately 20 minutes to install the inside cameras and about an hour and half for the outside cameras. Click on the PC for a reboot and all 6 cameras were up and running a few minor adjustments and were done. I had specialty security companies give us quotes on similar systems and they all were over $3K. This system was purchased through Sam Club Auctions and it set us back just under $1000.00. I think it is an outstanding value.