The wireless IP camera makes so much sense and yet it’s quite surprising how few vendors have taken wire-free surveillance seriously. Axis is one of very few and started on this road a couple of years ago with its 206W which took a standard 206 and added an 802.11b wireless card. A great idea but ultimately flawed as a single 206W running at its maximum frame rate could soak up as much as a third of available bandwidth.
It’s taken an inordinate amount of time but the latest 207W adds support for higher-speed 802.11g wireless networks. Apart from the side mounted aerial it’s the same size as the 207 and is designed for indoor use only. The 207W has all the same features as its wired compatriot.
You get a 1/4in. progressive scan RGB CMOS sensor and it can handle low light levels right down to only 1 lux. When the light has decreased sufficiently the camera automatically switches from a colour to a mono image. Seven different resolutions are supported and the camera can support a top speed of 30fps even up to the top resolution of 640 x 480. Motion detection is on the menu and there’s also an internal microphone enabling you to hear what’s going on in the area under view. No audio output sockets are present so this is a one-way trip only. More trigger options are provided by a small 4-pin terminal connector at the rear which can be used to connect input devices such as a push button on a door and link it to an output device such as a relay for triggering an alarm or a door lock.
Installation for the 206W was a tedious affair as it had to be initially connected to a PC via a USB cable and a setup routine run from its flash memory to configure its SSID, DHCP and encryption settings. Furthermore, it only supported the inherently insecure WEP and if this was changed on the access point first you had a use a USB link to the camera to modify its settings to regain wireless access.
No such problems with the 207W as the USB port has been replaced with a Fast Ethernet port which means you can connect the camera to the LAN and run the Axis IP Utility which will search it out on the network and present it ready for configuration. From a power perspective it’s a pity the camera doesn’t support PoE (Power over Ethernet) as this would have reduced its dependence on a nearby power socket. However, the transformer does have almost two metres of cable and you also get an extension cable which adds a further 180cms