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Hands-on Review: VueZone CM2700 Personal Video Network

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VueZone’s SM2700 system includes two motion detecting cameras and a base unit that connects to your home network and allows you to monitor your home, your kids, your pets, etc. It allows you to access the cameras (you can add more for up to 15 total) from anywhere via the web, using a computer or an app on a smartphone. The cameras also have motion detection to allow them to record snapshots or videos of up to 40 seconds in length every time something moves near them.

Setup is really easy. I opened the box, there was a Vue gateway device (a small shark fin-shaped device that requires an AC outlet and to be connected to your router via ethernet cable, which is provided), two cameras, batteries, and 4 magnetic mounts.

The magnetic mounts are really slick, they allow you to mount the camera anywhere, in almost any direction, easily. They’re shaped like a hemisphere, and the back of each camera nests right into the mount, providing easy yet secure positioning.

The back of the hemisphere has an adhesive strip and a slot for mounting on a nail in the wall. The fact that you have four of them allows you to move the cameras to different places.

I plugged the Vue gateway device in to the wall and to my router via the provided ethernet cable, went to Vuezone.com and set up an account. There are three levels of account, the first one is free just for buying the kit. It allows the use of two cameras, ability to view them live on your computer, and you can also view motion sensor snapshots on their website.  For $4.95 a month or $36.95 a year, you can have up to five cameras, view them also on your smartphone, more storage, email alerts when the motion sensors are activated, and panning and zooming remotely.

Then if you want to go all out, for $79.95 a year, you can view up to 15 cameras in all the ways above, plus more storage, and use up to 3 gateways.

Once I selected a level of service, I inserted the provided batteries in the cameras (2x CR123 lithium batteries, providing 6 months of battery life on average use of 5 minutes per day), then turn them on and press the “Sync” button on the top of the gateway. The cameras instantly synced and I was up and running. It was REALLY easy.

I put one in a window and one pointing inside, was able to access them anywhere, trying from several different places around Los Angeles. The cameras record snapshots all the time and upload them to the server for later viewing online, and no computer needs to be attached for that since the gateway is hardwired to your internet connection. And the cameras are wireless, which is convenient. They’re also synced specifically to your Vue gateway which is encrypted, so unlike other wireless camera systems (like baby video monitors), nobody else can see your video.

They’re so easy to position and use, and view remotely, they’re perfect for keeping an eye on your house when you’re gone, imagine being able to pop into an internet cafe in Paris on vacation and see that everything is fine and you can go back to touring the Louvre or your trip to Versailles. You can also use it to check in on an elderly relative, keep tabs on a babysitter, even find out which dog is chewing up your favorite shoes. The possibilities are endless.

There are two other kits available, one has just one CM2040 motion-detecting camera, and another has one CM2040 camera and one non-motion-sensing CI2010 camera, lower in price than the CM2700 kit with two cameras. You can also buy more of the cameras separately. The CM2700 kit is $289.95 on ?VueZone.com.

For more information or to purchase a VueZone Personal Video Network, visit VueZone.com.

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