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Steve in Lake Villa, Illinois listens to the podcast and asked: “I am traveling a lot this summer. I planted a garden, not realizing I’d be traveling as much as I am. Was hoping I could find an outdoor camera I can put on my garden and keep an eye on it. So I can tell my kids where to weed and see what kind of critters are getting into it – or the neighbors. Looking for a wireless camera, since my garden is a little bit away from my house, that will transmit to my phone.”
Steve, there are plenty of outdoor cameras that can transmit to a phone, we actually interviewed Guardzilla about a very simple-to-install 360-degree camera on last week’s show.
The distance may be the biggest problem here. You can find an abundance of cameras that will connect to the internet and transmit to your phone, and by now most will be reasonably affordable, but the internet will either come from wires, or typically WiFi.
If your camera is out of usable WiFi range, you won’t get a very good or very clear image.
If your camera is far away and you need it to be wireless, there’s a good chance that you need the power to be wireless too, since they run on electricity just as much as every other electronic device does.
That would be one reason to look at that Guardzilla camera we mentioned earlier, that one runs on batteries that can power it for month. That’s not typical, though. Most cameras from any of the big manufacturers (think Netgear, Logitech, all the names you’d recognize) assume a regular setup. That’s partly because that’s the typical use case, and partly because they want to sell you a product that won’t jeopardize their brand, and full wireless devices tend to fail to meet expectations more than devices that always have power and always have a solid signal.
So for your use case, if you’re not willing to just do a video call with your kids and have them show you the lawn and move with their phones to give you a better picture, consider a more expensive camera for the image quality (since color and sharpness will matter to you), and try go wired if at all possible.
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