PC-Based Home Security: Do It Yourself

Inside the M1054

For security, few options matter more than how you can set up and manage triggered events. As you can see below, Axis offers quite a few options for what to do in the event of…um, an event. Each event can be given a priority, reacted to based on a schedule, and generate notifications via email, HTTP, and/or TCP. As with the M1011-W, you can monkey around with the animal audio clips. You can also set triggers according to eight types: input ports, PIR sensor, manual trigger, motion detection, audio, on boot, temperature, and camera tampering. This last one is pretty handy for times such as when the image gets too dark for too long, as when someone throws something over the camera or turns off the lights in a room that is meant to stay illuminated.

I also like the M1054’s motion detection parameters. You can drag zones across a live view, just as with the D-Link DCS-1130, but Axis gives you much more control, allowing you to name each monitored area, select whether to include or exclude it from the monitored scene, and set thresholds for object size, historical histogram activity, and sensitivity. If you’re going to use visual motion detection, these options give you a lot more control over weeding out false positive events.

But let’s cut to the chase. Is the M1054 worth $399? As you might expect, the answer depends on your situation and needs. The extra image resolution is better, but not $300 better. POE is great, but it’s mostly for people who have POE-enabled routers and need to hang their cameras from a ceiling. The added stream security is definitely valuable if you’re monitoring something that shouldn’t be made publicly known. You get the idea.

Consumers are likely to miss wireless networking, and the lack of both mobile-friendly streaming features and a friendly monitoring and management utility is significant. Axis seems to presume that users will have a tool such as Security Monitor Pro at their disposal…but D-Link didn’t assume this. If you want to see your Axis camera’s video on your cell phone, you need to do so through a paid-for third party. This type of arrangement grows more outdated and out of touch with current market capabilities by the day. But Axis has a long history of supporting its channel partners, and it’s hard to turn that big ship aside, even with an iceberg dead ahead.

Is the M1054 a great security camera? Absolutely. Is it a good fit for most consumers? Probably not. That said, at $199, it would be irresistible.

William Van Winkle is a freelance editor and tech journalist who has been writing for more than 20 years. His work has appeared on Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, Tom's IT Pro, AMD, Seagate, Computer Shopper, and more. He is also an author, writing poetry, short stories, and science fiction and fantasy books.

  • thegreathuntingdolphin

    Cool article. I have been looking into security cameras for the home, especially ones that are outdoor or pointed outdoor (some noobcakes have been hitting cars and driving off in my apartment complex). I am a bit dissapointed that most of these don't really seem good for outdoors or for long distance night recording (I know some of these said up to 20 to 30 feet but in my experience that means they are really only clear at 10-15 feet). Foscam has a number of cheap IP cameras with pan and tilt, are for outdoor use or longer night vision use. Do you have any experience with them?

    The Schlage system is looking good. Hopefully others will jump on the bandwagon and get more products out. I am glad the Schlage deadbolt is not motorized like the Kwikset one since it greatly improves the battery life. Whenever I get a house I am definitly going to do something like the LiNK system.

    I too am disappointed in the current IP-based offerings. The perfect IP-based camera seems illusive. Too many have half the features. Most the N wireless ones seems to lack really good night vision capabilities and the ones with good night vision capabilities usually are G only or have N are stupidly expensive.
  • Nice article!
    It’s interesting how IP cameras and emerging technology, such as Jabbakam.com enable average people to transform a home surveillance system into a shared camera network that can be accessed by whoever is invited by the camera owners, to view the footage via an online account accessible from anywhere at anytime.
    Jabbakam is a system where you have complete access to your footage, to manage and share as you want. You can easily create a network (public or private) and invite your friends or neighbours to join and add their cameras so that you all have access to the footage of the cameras as a group.
    You can set up alerts so that you will be notified by email or sms if your camera detects something happening in front of it, and you have peace of mind that your camera is doing its job and working, thanks to a monitoring system that checks your camera status every few minutes. The Jabbakam website offers users a lot more functionality besides. Check us out, and join us on Facebook.com/jabbakam and Twitter (@jabbakam). We’d love to hear from you!
  • It is still an annual subscription of $80 a year it is only very well hidden by Logitech (just try and buy it and you will figure it out).
    The hiding of subscription cost itself is terrible, but also that they sell you just part of a product is outragous. It makes me mad and takes some of the joy of owning such a cool (and expensive) product.
  • I'll never buy a product that requires a subscription or is dependent on another site or "the cloud". Excellent article, except for the WPS thing.. WTH is that?