IP Camera Review: HooToo HT-IP211HDP
Home IP Cameras can be a great alternative to expensive home security monitoring services. You can use your existing internet connection to “check in” on your house while your away with no additional monthly fee. However, configuring them can be tough, which we don’t want since we want technology to work for us. HooToo helps make things easy with their Wireless HD IP Camera, the HT-IP211HDP.
The camera comes with a QR code attached to the bottom. You simply plug in the camera and use either: (1) the included PC software to configure it to your router or (2) hold down the WDS button for 10 seconds, connect to it from your smartphone, then use the HooToo MyCam Pro app to configure it.
Once the camera is on your home’s WiFi, you would normally need to configure a static IP address for the camera, setup a DDNS service, then setup port forwarding on your router to point the DDNS to your static IP address. With the HooToo camera, just use the app to scan the QR code on the bottom of the camera, and all the configuration is done for you. I tested the app by disabling my phone’s WiFi connection and then scanning the code while connecting to the cellular network. Normally, my phone would have no idea how to connect to a device at my house, but HooToo’s P2P technology did its job and the camera’s feed instantaneously appeared without needing to mess with my router.
I did notice in my router’s logs that the camera connected to an external, third-party IP address while the P2P feature was enabled. I assume this connection is to a service that matches up cameras to apps, but I wanted to point this out in case anyone is wary of their camera connecting to a third-party (please note that you still need to use a password you set on the camera itself to use the P2P feature, so I have no reason to believe that the third-party can actually see your camera’s video feed). For the privacy-minded, you do have the option of disabling the P2P function completely and configuring the camera “the old fashioned way” with a DDNS.
- High resolution images and video feeds (1280×720)
- Excellent night vision and IR filter.
- Web-based admin interface that works with most browsers (even Safari on the Mac, although the video feed was stretched)
- DDNS support for 3322 and DynDns.
- Works with my personal favorite camera app: LiveCams Pro (I couldn’t find this exact model in the app, but found the entry for WANSViEW works well and supports the pan/tilt controls)
- Many alerting options, including motion detection and occlusion detection (for when the camera is covered by another object).
- Great documentation (you can access the Advanced User’s Manual on HooToo’s website).
- Easy setup with P2P technology (which may also be a con; see below)
- The official HooToo MyCam Pro app doesn’t support the pan/tilt controls at this time (but they do work with the LiveCams Pro app, as noted above).
- The P2P feature requires use of a third-party server, but it can be disabled.
- No HTTPS access, so please note that if you use public WiFi, your camera’s password may be sent in plain text. Select a password that you don’t use anywhere else and change it often (or avoid checking your camera on public WiFi; instead use your phone’s cellular data connection). This seems to be the norm for most IP cameras that I’ve used.
Overall, I’m impressed with this camera’s image quality and robust web admin interface. I’ve found this camera a lot easier to setup (even without the P2P feature) than most other camera’s I’ve used, including those by Foscam and TrendNet. If you’re looking to increase the security of your home without investing in an expensive total home monitoring solution, the HooToo HT-IP211HDP is a practical choice.