by Jonathan Heller
Practecol Inc’s new Guardzilla is designed as an alarm/monitoring device with a wide view camera. It is sold as a smart device ready program with software developed for iOS 7.0 or greater and Android 4.1 and above. It can give a silent alert or a 100 decibel ‘siren.’ You operate in alert or monitor live mode. There is a unique identifier serial number that identifies the device systematically, so you can activate and name the location or device as you choose. The program will allow monitoring multiple WiFi devices.
Up and Running
I unwrapped the power cord and plugged it in, as directed, and an LED came on to show it was ready to activate. The next step is simple – download the Guardzilla app from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for Android. I activated it on my LGE G3 and the download took only about 20 seconds. Once I did so, I was instructed to go to my WiFi selector and choose the Guardzilla device to sync the detector and activate its functionality. Once linked, I named the device and verified it was functioning by live monitor. The set up next switched to my local WiFi and the set up was complete. Easy, fast, and error free! Set up in less than four minutes. One nice feature is that the entire setup can be done with a mobile device. You never need to connect with a computer.
It comes with a hi-res color camera with an 89 degree wide angle lens. It includes both a speaker and a microphone. It is also night vision capable. The siren emits a 100 decibel blast. It can make use of a micro SD card to expand storage. It features Wi-Fi connectivity.
This is a sensitive monitor for doorways, rooms, or any interior application. You can set it to an audible sound (siren), or silent alert to your mobile device. You can set up or add a device within minutes. Once armed, the device is ‘sensing’ constantly, but once it detects an event (motion) it records the event occurrence. You can adjust sensitivity, including a setting for pets. You can also adjust the length of time the siren is activated, or you can turn the siren off. All of this is accomplished with an intuitive, easy-to-use application from your smart device. You can set up an auto arming and disarming for one device. You can adjust picture quality. In fact, you can completely control and modify settings from your smartphone!
I found the device very easy to set up, although I had a momentary problem when I set the alarm and triggered it to test. I could not find a simple way to turn off the alarm after it was triggered. However, it worked well and was reliable. It is designed for simplicity, so you can deactivate the system before you walk into the house, again directly from you mobile. It is portable and just needs about 4×5 square inches of shelf space and a power source within 6 feet.
You can monitor live, or review events. Help is available from a text linked phone number provided once you register the device. It records the audio of the event or the live monitor mode seems to be delayed about 3 seconds. Once it’s up and running, it records activity and will text and or email alerts and detections. Once an event is detected, the device can push an alert pop up to your mobile.
I was impressed with the ease of use, but I must admit the ‘siren’ is more of a beep noise and did not seem to wake my cats or alarm the dog. I would like to have seen a louder speaker. The performance of this device, and others like it, is completely depending on the quality of your WiFi system. Also it will advise when you have motion inside your room. It is not designed for exterior usage.
Another detail I noted was that it records events, but does not ‘replay’ the events, just shows the image or images captured. You need to be careful with placement or you may capture an image before the camera sees the person. I noted an image capture event and motion capture event. When it captures motion it does so in a series of still shots only. The unit sells for just about $100, making it a bit less costly than many of the other wireless security systems we’ve seen.