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A few weeks ago I was sent a Watchbot 3.0 to review. I had some problems getting it setup but now that its working wirelessly I’m using it to spy on the cat at night, because she cries all night and this way I can check if she’s ok without getting out of bed.

tl;dr, This thing is awesome, very easy to setup if you have windows, or a phone and a normal router!

Plug the camera into router and power. Download correct software from here – or use the cd.

Open the software, go to Preferences and at the bottom click Camera list, scan for the camera, click add, close and go back to the camera tab, select the camera in the list on the left and tada, webcam feed!

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watchbot_windows_3 The error messages are very blunt!

 

If you double click you get the options for that camera, so you can input your wireless settings, then unplug power and network cable, then plug power back in and tada wireless camera! :D So ridiculously easy!

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Totally Wireless!

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Of course the first thing you should do is change the default username and password especially if your going to be viewing it from outside your home network.

The video quality is not that great but the IR mode is really clear. The software, when it works, will send you screenshots when it detects motion you can also upload images to ftp so if you didn’t want people accessing your camera remotely you could have the images display on a page that refreshes every few minutes, very 90s!

The first problem I had setting the watchbot up is not really a problem, for me, but it is for the watchbot. I have a mac, my family has macs, my friends have macs. The Watchbot Camera has no software for Mac. It is coming apparently though. 

Secondly, I have Virgin Broadband, the side effect of Virgin Broadband is the super hub which can cause problems. In an unrelated conversation I discovered the super hub was the reason I couldn’t connect to the vpn at work. After I changed the subnet mask suddenly the IP Scanner software could find the camera but as I have a mac, I have no software options and entering the IP address into the browser didn’t (and still doesn’t) work, on Windows or PC, in any browser.

Then I tried the watchbot app which is awesomesauce. It works beautifully and saved the day.  The QR scanning option is so handy, you just click add and scan the QR code on the bottom of the camera and it inputs the fiddly camera ID and default username/password for you and tada, camera! The in app purchase to be able to record video/save pictures is annoying though, :(

By this point I was resigned to the fact I’d only be able to use the camera with my phone but then I remembered, Mini Vinni, my netbook, which still has (on a very small partition) a copy of XP!

watchbot2 My high end monitor stand…

When I first looked for support on the website. I didn’t find it very helpful, which I think is because the FAQ & Support on the site is for an older watchbot model, which isn’t made clear. The watchbot ships with one of those mini CD’s but they don’t work in macs and netbooks don’t have CD drives! So I tried downloading the software from that page, which of course wont work because its for an older version! At some point through all this I emailed for help and they offered to set up a call to guide me through it but unfortunately I’d be at work during their support times! They did send through a document though which is how I got the app working.

There is also the watchbot support website but the separate domain was odd and confused me at first, why have support in two different places? At some point since I started setting the camera up I think that site was updated and is now much more helpful, it gets you to select your watchbot model so you know its relevant to your device – and the software I download from that site worked – immediately!

You will need a screen resolution higher than 1024 x 768 to be able to see all the options in the software though!

 

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oops turned too far, the antenna is in the way!

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Apparently some people have had trouble with their encryption being WPA and the Watchbot apparently deals better with WEP so if your having problems try changing your encryption. I’ve not had this problem though.