Review: Axis 211A Network Camera

Alerts, Motion Detection, Live Video

Customized alerts and motion detection areas can easily be configured. Multiple motion detection zones can be drawn on a live preview screen, and you can give each zone a name and different motion detection tolerances. An activity window in the bottom right corner also shows a real-time graph of activity. (In Figure 9, the graph is blank because the camera cleared the screen before I could run back to the laptop and do a screen capture.)

Figure 9: Setting up motion detection areas
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Different email alerts can be sent for different detection zone triggers. In the example scene above, if someone steps in front of the water cooler, an alert will be sent to one email address. But if someone steals snacks from the top shelf, a different email message is sent to a different email address. The email subject line and content can be customized in almost infinite ways.

Email alerts can be sent 24/7 or can be tailored to ignore certain time periods. For example, you may want to ignore motion during business hours, and then turn on detection after 6PM and all day on weekends. In addition to sending alerts, "snapshots" can be saved on either FTP or HTTP servers.

Figure 10: Axis 211A Live Webpage View - Lens on widest setting
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As I covered earlier, the live video feed from the camera can be easily accessed. But taking advantage of the 211A's audio features or taking frame-grab "snapshots" requires using Internet Explorer since the features use ActiveX controls.

Figure 11 is a Firefox screenshot, where you can see that the toolbar visible in the bottom of Figure 10 is missing.

Figure 11: Non-IE browsers have some features disabled
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Note that in contrast with some of its less expensive competitors, the 211A does not include a way to capture video.