We recently reviewed the Logitech Alert 750e Outdoor Master System (compare prices) which is Logitech's latest entry into the IP security camera world. The 750e system came with an outdoor-rated weatherproof camera and a pair of HomePlugAV-compatible Powerline Ethernet Adapters for network connectivity. Logitech sells an indoor version of the Alert master system, as well as individual add-on cameras of either the outdoor or indoor variety. Since we've already had a look at the outdoor camera in our last review, this review will focus on the indoor version.
Compared with the outdoor model, the indoor version is a completely different design. The indoor-only Logitech Alert 700n (compare prices) is extremely lightweight due to the fact that there is no need for weatherproof housing. What the 700n lacks in the weight and waterproof departments, it makes up for in available mounting options.
Most indoor camera makers offer basic wall and ceiling mounting options. Logitech goes a step further and adds something else: a forward-facing suction cup mounting option. This is by far my favorite feature offered by this camera.
The forward-facing suction cup lets you mount the camera on the inside of a window facing the outside world. It gives you the ability to monitor the outdoors, without requiring you to place the camera in harm's way. For people who have side light windows next to their front doors, this is a near perfect mounting option for placing the camera where they can check to see who is at the front door.
The suction cup and lens are aligned in such a way that there is no glare present from the window glass, even when the night vision LEDs are on (a common problem for other night vision cameras).
Image quality on the Logitech indoor camera was solid in both daylight and nighttime conditions. The camera features an extremely wide viewing angle which allows it to monitor a large area. The one side effect of this wide viewing angle is that it gives the image a fish-eye lens look with the outer edges of the image becoming slightly distorted.
Camera Monitoring Software:
The camera is controlled and set up via Logitech's Alert Commander software which is bundled with the system and is also available from the Mac App Store as a free download. The software allows for live viewing of up to six cameras at once, which is also the maximum number of cameras supported by the alert system. Setup involved plugging the camera in, waiting for the software to detect it, and following the onscreen instructions. A free mobile app for iPhone and Android is available as well for viewing the camera feed(s) from your smartphone.
In addition to watching the live camera feeds, the Alert Commander software allows for playback of recorded video via a timeline-based user interface. The user just scrolls to a time of day they are interested in and presses play to see video from that time (assuming the camera was motion triggered during that period). If no clip is available the software moves to the closest available time where video is present. One of the more professional-grade features of the software was that the DVR playback allows for synchronized viewing from multiple cameras, at one time.
While the computer-based DVR feature is great, the Logitech Alert cameras also feature an SD Card-based on-board DVR built into the camera for recording video even if the network connection is lost. Once the network connection is reestablished, the footage from the SD card is automatically saved back to the computer-based DVR. The included 2GB SD card can be replaced with a card of a higher storage capacity (up to 32 GB) if desired.
- High resolution (720p) recording with excellent color accuracy
- On-board SD-card DVR
- Flexible mounting options with behind the glass forward-facing suction mount
- Excellent user interface for viewing security recordings
- No 24/7 continuous recording option (motion trigger recording only)
- System has limited expandability (limited to 6 cameras total)
Of the 5 or 6 IP cameras I've tested, the Logitech was by far the easiest to install and use. The timeline-based DVR makes reviewing footage a breeze. Most other cameras that I have tested required going to the footage files in the directory where the footage was kept, and playing back each file manually in a media viewer. This was much more tedious then just using the timeline viewer in the Logitech Software. If you're a home user or a small business looking for an entry to mid-level security camera system, then you should definitely consider the Logitech Alert system.