First Alert Indoor/Outdoor Digital Wireless Camera with 7" LCD Monitor

The First Alert Wireless Camera with Monitor is a simple and perfect solution for home security that includes all you need for an indoor or outdoor system to keep an eye on your property.

Ease of Use, Performance: 23/25
Look & Feel: 23/25
Features 24/25
How much I enjoy 23/25

Total: 93/100

First Alert Wireless Camera With Monitor

The First Alert Indoor/Outdoor Digital Wireless Camera with 7” Monitor Model DW-700 is a single camera security system that is wireless for easy setup and protection. First Alert also has a two camera system model DW-702 and a monitor less system model D575 but I could not readily find an add on camera for any system.

The DW-700 one camera system comes with a digital wireless camera, 7” LCD receiver/monitor, camera mount & mounting kit, remote control, 2 power adapters, AV cable, user manual and 2GB SD card. The kit has everything except a screw driver to mount and get your security system working for your home, the office or just about anywhere you need protection as long as you have a power source.

The camera and the receiver both need a power source, common household 120 volt outlets work just fine with the included 5 volt power adapter. Mounting the camera is very simple with the included mounting kit that has a small camera mounting that is adjustable and a screw and plastic anchors set for attaching the mount.

I simply chose over the front porch door and screwed the mount in a handy spot above the door near a screen that allows me to poke a hole through to the inside of my porch. The power adapter needs to be plugged into an outlet so for my situation this worked out well with an outlet installed in my porch.

Whats in the Box

Once the mount was up I simply threaded the camera onto the mount and fed the power cord through the hole above my porch door to plug that into an outlet on the other side of my porch. Once the camera is up and pointed generally where you want you setup the monitor/receiver simply by plugging it in and setting a few features.

The camera has a screw on antenna that uses the common thread size of antennas for routers and other networking products so you can find extended antennas for the camera easily. I used the antenna that came with the system to start which just threads on and changed this with another but more on that later.

I started with the receiver sitting on my desk and moved it to a spot on my wall using the holes for what looks like this exact purpose and a piece of aluminum. The back of the receiver has a stand that swings out for setting the receiver on a desk but you can mount it on a wall easily enough with a little ingenuity.

Plug the monitor in and it should find the digital camera by pairing the camera and receiver in the menu which should only take a minute. The menu is simple and using the remote it is easy to pair the cameras, change resolution and set up the motion detection.

First Alert Digital Wireless Camera With 7" LCD Monitor

You can set motion detection recording setup, resolution and brightness on the menu as well as the pairing and you can manage the SD recording as well. I found the menu worked just fine for the simple system and have had no problems just searching the menu and figuring things out by hand instead of using the manual.

The system is truly simple and the manual is also simple with few instructions as there is not much to it other than basic security that allows you to record from motion and keep an eye on your property. I have had the system setup pretty much out of the box but have tried changing things but for general security the default settings work well except for the motion detection alarm.

The motion detection works great and I have had very few detections from tree branch movement and snow during the winter months I have been using the DW-700. In a snow storm there will be motion detection but mostly cars and people walking by or up to my home causes the camera to record for 5, 10 or 15 seconds.

The recordings are stored on the SD card and you can set up the card to either record over the first recordings or stop recording when the card is full. You can also use a larger card other than the 2GB that comes with the First Alert system, I tried an 8 GB card with no problems.

7 Inch Monitor Receiver

You can connect a TV to the receiver using the AV Out connection on the side for viewing the camera on a larger screen but you will not get a better picture than the 7 inch monitor. The screen view is a 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 screen resolution which on a 26 inch standard definition TV is only a little smaller by the width.

The receiver with its 7” monitor is fine for a single camera but for the two camera setup a small TV screen would be great and it would allow you to record using a VCR as well if you want. You can do all kinds of setup for your particular situation using this less expensive security system and its features with the AV output.

The system watches over your property and for me the front door so I can see deliveries and keep track of the comings and goings of people while I am out. This is not often but when I receive a delivery it is nice to have the front door watched if I’m not home so I can see if anyone comes after a delivery to steal my package.

Video recordings are pretty good for daylight recognition of vehicles and people but this is a less expensive system so actually getting a still picture of a person and recognizing them is a bit tough. Like those security tapes you see of criminals this will be a lower quality video and at night things get a bit worse.

Actually using an image of a person shot at night would probably not be enough for a positive identification for use in a criminal case. This type of setup would be more useful for things like I use it for to get an inexpensive camera system to watch live of an area you need to.

Day and Night Shot

The camera is a digital wireless that gets a good field of view for home security but not as much as my fisheye view that comes with the Logitech system I reviewed earlier. I can see my front sidewalk, part of the street and driveway so I can see when a delivery truck pulls up and when someone walks up my front sidewalk.

Someone could circumvent my security and sneak past the camera but for my situation I mainly want a view of the front of my home so I can see when I get mail and deliveries. My dogs bark when they hear people walking by and when the mailman and shippers drop off packages it’s handy for me to know which is which.

For security I could set the camera on a corner of my porch and get a clear view of my door but I am not concerned much about people stealing my deliveries. You can set the camera up on a higher position to view doors and areas for better security and the system can be used with the two camera one for a front and back door or to have two views for better protection.

The First Alert Digital Wireless system would make a fantastic live view security system for watching a door for a business, watching for deliveries or for a live view of a baby room or play room. I could easily see this as a system for a small business to keep an eye on a backdoor or a waiting room or for customers coming and going in the front door.

The wireless nature allows a faster setup and more convenient way to get the cameras into places that you may not be able to using a wired system as long as you have an outlet nearby. This is usually not a problem as outdoor outlets are usually near outside doors so having the camera near one works well.

Night vision using the infrared lights works very well and for all the nights I have viewed through the camera from bright nights with good snow cover and a full moon to moonless dark nights I can see well enough. I have had no problems seeing enough at night on those dark nights but my street does have some street lights about a half block away.

A few things I did find out was the digital wireless system is not compatible with analog wireless cameras and the company does not readily sell add on cameras. The receiver does allow for up to four cameras but until they start selling the add on cameras you are stuck with either a single or two camera set up.

I had no problems setting up the camera at my front and back door or at a back window overlooking my back yard but with my plaster and lathe walls I do get an occasional signal interruption. The view will disappear for a second and the words No Signal appears to let you know about the signal loss.

I found that I could extend the signal range of the camera by using an antenna that has the screw on connection and a length of antenna wire attached to a wire antenna on a magnetic base. This allowed me to extend the antenna through my porch wall that the camera mounts on and get at least one wall obstruction out of the way.

This additional antenna would add reception to the system as well as being able to get through a single wall to help the signal reception by the receiver. I purchased the antennas off the internet for about ten bucks for three antennas that all use the same common connection that network routers use.

The First Alert Digital Wireless Camera with 7” monitor is an easy solution for home security and allows a simple security system without the need for a computer. The 7 inch monitor and receiver gives you a convenient and semi-portable solution for keeping an eye on your security.

For a simple wireless security system that has its own monitor the First Alert Digital Wireless Camera with 7” LCD Monitor is a fantastic security system. You can find the First Alert Wireless Camera at Home Depot, Menards and Kmart as well as online for about $280 which is about the minimum you can pay for a home security system.

First Alert Website