I have seen the Guardzilla All-In-One HD Video Security System at practically every retail outlet I walk into. This is the second generation of the Guardzilla indoor camera system. It’s quite a bit improved especially in terms of the 720p video quality versus the first generation which checked in at 640×480. Be careful to select the proper model. This article is about the Guardzilla GZ521B model which is the second generation. The first generation is GZ502B. Avoid the first generation.
Let’s take a closer look at the Guardzilla All-In-One HD Video Security System.
You can access the Guardzilla All-In-One HD Video Security System with your Android or Apple iOS smartphone. As of today, there is no web portal.
The smartphone apps are well done. You can view multiple cameras from here as well as perform configuration changes and initial setup.
Setup of the camera is fairly straightforward and is done directly from the app. Very typical setup. Download the app, detect the camera, identify the router and create an account. The app takes care of the rest together with a few prompts for the camera name and other information.
There are five different video quality settings that can be set from the app. If there is a strong signal, go with High or Max. That’s assuming your broadband provider doesn’t limit your traffic. If they do, use low to medium then increase it manually when you need to see the action.
The software allows establishment of a motion sensitivity setting which ranges from Minimum to Max with three settings in between. Putting it in the middle is typically the best advice but something you need to experiment with. Notifications can be received via email, text or via smartphone alerts.
Guardzilla provides free cloud storage. Their free basic cloud storage retains five second video clips of all motion events. You can download these to your phone. There are additional paid plans starting at $4.99 monthly that increase the length of the video clip stored in the cloud as well as period of time up to seven days. I suggest using the free plan and supplement it with a 32GB micro SD card which inserts into the side of the unit. While five seconds isn’t a lot, it’s enough to get a look at a potential intruder and download it to your phone.
The Guardzilla All-In-One HD Video Security System is an oddly shaped camera. The triangular faced device measures 4.5 x 2.5 x 5.5 inches.
A two-way conversation is supported by the Guardzilla All-In-One HD Video Security System supports. There is a speaker and microphone integrated into the camera.
The 720p lens will provide clear video day and night. There are nine infrared LEDs which illuminate up to roughly 30 feet for night vision.
The Guardzilla homesecurity camera features a siren. There aren’t many cameras that have this feature. I like it as a deterrent. It’s activated from the app or can be triggered by motion. Great for scaring an intruder. I recommend not automatically kicking off the siren whenever unexpected motion occurs. There’s just too many false motion events that will occur. I can’t imagine living with a 100 decibel siren going off unexpectedly throughout the day. The first time it happens, it’s pretty funny. After that, it’s time to turn off that feature. You can turn it off under settings. It can always be instantly activated from the Panic option within the app.
There is a micro SD slot at the side of the camera which accepts cards up to 32GB. These cards are cheap so get the largest possible for onboard storage. The micro SD card is a nice feature but I’m not fond of how Guardzilla implemented this feature. You need to remove the card from the camera then insert it into your PC to view the video. Difficult to do if you aren’t home. Hopefully this is something the company overcomes as their competitors permit live viewing without removal.
There are a set of rubber feet on the bottom to prevent marking up your furniture and to keep the unit in place.
Connectivity refers to the connection of the camera to your home router. There is no base unit. This is a pure wireless camera. The camera will connect to your home router at 2.4GHz using 802.11 b,g or n. The 5.0GHz frequency is not supported.
The Guardzilla All-In-One HD Video Security System is a pure tabletop home security camera. There are no mounts. This is one that you put on a shelf or table.
Fun and Different
The Guardzilla app has a few unique features I haven’t seen before. For example, there are signal strength indicators within the app to show how strong the signal is between the router and Guardzilla camera. I find that to be useful in judging if the camera has been placed too fard from the router. It’s a feature other manufacturers should think about integrating into their app.
The Guardzilla All-In-One HD Video Security System provides some nice features at a very affordable price. It’s certainly not the best, especially in terms of video quality or that quirky SD card feature. However, some free cloud storage and a decent app make this a good entry level home security camera consideration.
|Video Quality||Field of View||Cloud Support||SD Support||Night Vision||Mobile/Web App||Alerts||Outdoor|
|1280 x 720||89 Degrees||Yes||Yes, up to 32GB||Yes||Yes/No||Yes||No|
Manufacturer Link: Guardzilla
All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way. I have owned and tested dozens of cameras. Manufacturer support varies. There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions. There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).