Gadget Guide: iZon Remote Room Monitor Camera System

PHOTO: iZon Remote Room Monitor

When I'm home my dog stays off the couch and is pretty obedient. When I leave for work -- all bets are off.

As soon as I leave she goes where she wants. As soon as she hears the keys in the door at the end of the day she sprints back to her doggy bed and pretends she was there all along.

That's why I was excited to try the iZon Remote Room Monitor -- a $129 camera system that allows you to monitor what is going on in your house using your home network and the Internet.

I've tried webcams before. They often clogged up my computer's hard drive and were a bear to set up. Some required a streaming server to run on a local PC. Others required NAT configurations of my home router, while others required Active X software instillations on the device I wanted to watch on. Not fun.

The iZon was a snap to set up and was up and running within minutes. It has its own internal hardware and software; no Mac or PC necessary. You do need to have a standard wireless Wi-Fi network. Plug the iZon Stem camera into a power outlet, download the free Stem: Connect App for iPod, iPhone or iPad, and configure the camera however you want.

You can monitor audio and video over the Internet and you can even set it up to upload files to a private YouTube channel for archived viewing. You can receive notifications when there is any movement detected by the camera. There is no limit to how many cameras you can set up in one room or anywhere in your house. The better the speed of your home network the better quality the video will be, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much of my house I could see.

So now I know for sure that as soon as I leave my dog is up on the couch, but the manufacturer says there have been some more serious wrongdoers caught by the iZon system.

According to news reports, Dru Ackerman, an elderly woman in Boynton Beach, Fla., believed a friendly neighbor might be sneaking into her condo while she was out. Ms. Ackerman set up an iZon -- and the next day she caught the neighbor entering her home and stealing prescription medication. The neighbor was arrested.

The iZon Remote Room Monitor is a simple-to-use system for keeping an eye on valuable goods or valuable loved ones -- even if the loved one is a dog.

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