capsule review

HomeGuardian 2

At a Glance
  • SubRosaSoft HomeGuardian 2

    Macworld Rating

HomeGuardian 2 simply and effectively uses your Web cam and your Mac's built-in microphone to monitor activity in your home or office. When motion or sound levels exceed a user-defined threshold, HomeGuardian e-mails photos, videos, and audio snippets of the activity to you remotely. The program works exactly as advertised, but it has practical limitations that restrict its monitoring capabilities to a very small area.

We used an iSight and a Power Mac G4 Cube, but the program is compatible with a variety of Macs and off-the-shelf Web cams. Adjusting the program's sensitivity levels was a snap -- you can easily trip the most-sensitive setting with a balloon gently swaying in a room, while the most-tolerant setting withstood the thunder of three children at play.

Once you set the specifications, HomeGuardian goes about its monitoring business without further input. Even if you don't have a camera, you can use the program to monitor sound. If you use two different cameras, you can capture video in different locations. But if you use two of the exact same cameras (such as two iSights), only one can capture video.

Macworld's Buying Advice

We recommend HomeGuardian 2 if all you need to do is monitor a single room. For that, it works perfectly.

At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Pros

    • Inexpensive video monitoring
    • Easy setup
    • Excellent movement sensitivity

    Cons

    • Two cameras of the same kind won't work together properly
    • Camera can be only 15 feet from computer
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