Home automation is all the rage now and was a big area that was well represented at CES this year. Products are almost universally tied to mobile devices to allow home owners to interact with their residence from anywhere they have a cell or Wi-Fi signal. Home security is something that everyone needs as the FBI reports that every 14 seconds a home is burglarized and 90% of thieves will bypass a home with a security system. In other words, they go for the easy targets. Unfortunately, it can be extremely expensive to equip your home between the costs of the hardware and monitoring services. Guardzilla wants to make that task more affordable buy allowing the homeowner to do their own real-time monitoring. In essence, it’s a Wi-Fi enabled IP camera with software that allows the camera to act as a movement detector to send notifications to the user(s). We got a sample to see how well it works and lives up to the hype. I had some bumps in the road, most of which I was able to overcome and were not necessarily the fault of the Guardzilla product which I get into more in depth. Others still linger so keep reading if you want the details.
Guardzilla is found for sale exclusively at Best Buy for $99.99 with free shipping in your choice of white or black. though Best Buy runs sales often and likely it will show up for a bit less after it’s been on the market a bit. It has quite a long feature list with night vision, pet immunity, built-in siren, built-in speaker/microphone (more on this later), and a micro SD card slot. It comes in a package similar to that of a GoPro with the device in a display cube on top and the contents in a box underneath.
In the packaging we find the AC adapter, an extra clear plastic camera shroud lens, an extra foam foot pad for changing the camera angle, and a sticker to ward off those with ill intent.
Documentation comes in the form of an amateurish setup video (seen above), a short guide and tips plus FAQs from Guardzilla’s site, and the wizard in the app that guides you through the setup. All in all, the available documentation could be more comprehensive as I found several bits of information lacking as I’ll talk about later.