Netgear VueZone Review – The VueZone is the most comprehensive security-camera kit we’ve ever seen – but then it should be given the relatively high price. You’ll find everything in the box to keep tabs on your home and its contents, including two security cameras and an infrared light that lets you keep watch when it’s dark. Unlike some security-camera kits, the VueZone is a doddle to install. Using the six-step instruction guide, we got everything up and running in a little over 10 minutes.
The two cameras comprise one daytime camera and one night-and-day camera. You’ll also find screws and fixtures for mounting the cameras, a base station to connect the cameras to the internet, the infrared light and all the cables and batteries you’ll need. The cameras are completely wireless and are powered by two small batteries (also included).
Netgear VueZone, A comprehensive security-camera kit – but the best features cost extra
For the cameras to work, you’ll need to connect them wirelessly to the base station, which in turn is connected to your router via the supplied Ethernet cable. With the cameras hooked up to the internet we then created a VueZone account via our computer’s browser. As the cameras themselves are small, lightweight and battery-powered it was easy to fix them to walls, ensuringNetgear VueZone they had the best possible viewing angles. Netgear claim the supplied batteries should last about six months.
Given the price, we’d expect features such as motion detection and email alerts to be included, but these cost extra as part of the VueZone Premier service, which also features support for up to five cameras, 250MB of online storage for videos and photos captured from your cameras, and access to iOS and Android apps for viewing footage on your phone or tablet. A one-month free trial of Premier is included, but after that you’ll pay £34.99 a year or £3.99 a month. While this isn’t extortionate, it’d be better if a one-year subscription was included, because without these paid-for features the system’s effectiveness is heavily reduced. The free package supports two cameras and only allows you to view footage on a computer. Put simply, without the VueZone Premier package the whole system is pretty basic. Using the one-month Premier free trial, we put the cameras through their paces by staging a break-in. Any ambitions we harboured as burglars were quickly quashed.
With motion detection turned on, the cameras picked us up instantly, even when we crawled slowly along the floor in the dark. Within seconds of spotting us, we received an email alert complete with a picture of our thwarted break-in. We could then log into our VueZone account to view more photos and videos of our staged burglary. Video quality was not too bad, but colours were often distorted and details hard to make out. Other than in close-ups, it was difficult to recognise individual faces, especially with night vision turned on. While the infrared light worked well, it couldn’t compensate for the low-quality cameras. Unlike some cameras these don’t capture audio, but that’s not a big flaw for a security camera.
The VueZone website used to monitor and configure the cameras is easy to use, from changing settings to configuring motion-detection alerts. The iOS and Android apps are equally intuitive. Viewing photos and videos is easy, as is manual recording. The Netgear VueZone is a reasonably good security-camera kit, but you have to spend extra to get all its features and video quality is disappointing. It’s not bad value, especially if you want multiple cameras for a bigger property, but for most people the Y-cam HomeMonitor is better.
Netgear VueZone Specification
- 640×480-pixel video resolution
- 1600×1200-pixelphoto resolution
- 15ft motion-sensor range
- Part code VZSX2800