Would a TRENDnet camera be at the top of your home CCTV wish-list.?
TRENDnet may not be a name familiar to the average UK homeowner. However they are a big networking technology company that manufactures high quality security camera systems.
Google TRENDnet cameras and you’re likely to find a slew of hits from several years ago. Few are positive because a major security vulnerability in the tech firm’s IP cameras was discovered. This flaw allowed unauthorised users to access the home CCTV camera’s stream.
Every IP camera has what is called a ‘firmware’ running the device. A bit like a miniature version of an operating system, the firmware must be secure to keep out hackers and nosey parkers.
TRENDnet released CCTV camera with unsecured firmware, and the cameras were hacked. The company was eventually fined by the FTC for failing to protect consumers.
Since 2012, TRENDnet have pulled their socks up, and their home CCTV systems are as secure as any other vendor’s. Remember though – you are responsible for securing your home CCTV camera stream.
- Change the stock admin passwords that come with your IP cameras
- Update the firmware of your CCTV security kit to the latest version
- Check your IP camera manufacturer’s website to ensure there are no reported vulnerabilities
Follow this simple guidance and your TRENDnet camera will be as secure as any other D-Link camera, FOSCAM camera or Hikvision camera.
So which TRENDnet camera is our favourite for a home CCTV system in 2015?
TRENDnet camera TV-IP310PI
First up is a 3MP bullet IP TRENDnet camera designed for outdoor use, the TRENDnet TV-IP310PI.
Not exactly a catchy name. Complicated strings of numbers and letters are the norm for CCTV security system cameras.
Three features really stand out for this camera and the first is the resolution. The TV-IP310PI is packing a huge 3MP / 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution. In the world of security cameras this is really massive.
Check out the sample video below. Do note that YouTube compression codecs have smudged the image quality. Despite the YouTube effect, the TV-IP310PI offers super image clarity on a sunny day in America.
But how will it fare in the UK with our – ahem – murkier light?
Well thankfully the TRENDnet TV-IP310PI sports a powerful infra-red (IR) lighting source that claims to illuminate objects up to 30m away.
You won’t see any detail at night with IR LEDs at that range. However the video above does illustrate how a burglar or intruder on your property is going to get snapped. I think you would have a fare chance of identifying a person if they ventured close to the TV-IP310PI at night.
So great IP camera resolution in the daytime, and a home CCTV that is a credible security system at night.
The third feature we like on the TV-IP310PI is Power-Over-Ethernet (POE). One ethernet cable to transfer data and power, and waterproofing accessories in the box to make your IP camera wiring water-tight.
The TV-IP310PI is a stonking bullet camera kit – read more in our full review.
TRENDnet camera TV-IP311PI
Next up is the TRENDnet TV-IP311PI dome camera variant of the bullet camera TV-IP310PI.
See what I meant about the catchy names?
The specs are pretty much the same between the two. The TV-IP311PI camera is packing a 3MP resolution and can record at 2048×1536 pixels for 15fps.
You get a waterproof IP66 housing, POE and the IR LED array. Remember that this night vision feature is no substitute for proper white light illumination protecting your home, but it helps.
Why choose a dome camera over a bullet camera?
|Dome Camera||Bullet Camera|
|Harder for vandals to tamper with or dislodge||Easier for intruder to whack off alignment|
|Not obvious where the camera points||Clearly see where the camera is monitoring|
|Cleaner, tidier look after installation||Aesthetics are not as subtle|
Of course you can look at the advantages and disadvantages of dome cameras over bullet cameras from the opposite side.
You might want it to be obvious to a criminal where your CCTV TRENDnet camera is pointing. Bullet cameras are easier to move if you need to look at a new area. And aesthetics are subjective – these days it’s easy to tidy the cables for a bullet camera as neatly as a dome camera.
Either way, TRENDnet offers two tempting high spec 3MP cameras. The TV-IP311PI dome camera and the TV-IP310PI feature POE and have more than enough oomph to satisfy many home CCTV kit fans.
TRENDnet camera TV-IP320PI
The TRENDnet TV-IP320PI is still HD, and delivers better resolutions than many other home CCTV systems.
Many HD CCTV cameras still ship with 720p sensors.
Again, this is a Power-Over-Ethernet surveillance TRENDnet camera and POE in this case means no wireless camera options.
To be honest, when you’re streaming HD CCTV pictures you probably want an ethernet connection over Wifi. The extra bandwidth is more robust – ethernet will not flake out if your wireless signal loses strength.
The TRENDnet TV-IP320PI is good. If I were going to the effort to wire a POE IP camera though, I would pay a little bit more and upgrade to the TRENDnet TV-IP310PI.
The extra resolution does not cost much more.
I personally would not want get back up my ladder when I finally caved-in to my thirst for more pixels.