Monitor your home with this wi-fi camera
Network cameras attach to your home network rather than a specific PC.
Many of the ones we have looked at, though, have been expensive and hard to set up. At almost £200, the Y-Cam Black SD is still expensive but it is easy to use.
Like most network cameras, the Y-Cam Black SD is primarily intended as a security device for monitoring a home or office when you are away, or perhaps just for keeping an eye on a sleeping infant at night.
The camera has a maximum resolution of 640x480 pixels (high enough for monitoring purposes), along with a ‘night-vision’ option for recording in low-light conditions, and motion-detection so it starts recording when it detects movement.
A network camera is always more complicated to set up than an ordinary USB webcam, but we were impressed by how easy it was to use this product.
You start by connecting its network socket to your home router, and then install the Y-Cam software onto a PC (there is a Mac version of the software in development). The software automatically detected the camera on our network and told us the camera’s IP address.
From then on, entering that address into a web browser brings up a web page displaying the video image from the camera, along with additional controls for motion-detection and other features.
Using a web browser to control the camera also allows you to view the camera image when you are away from home by connecting to the camera over the Internet.
After the initial setup process is complete you can unplug the network cable and use the camera’s built-in wireless features to connect it to a wireless network, which makes it easier to move the camera into a convenient location.
If your PC is going to be switched off when you are away you can insert an SD memory card into the camera. It will record onto the card and it can even email you a warning when it detects something.
Image quality was grainy, but more than adequate for security camera use. The night-vision mode was also effective.
It’s not cheap, but the Y-Cam Black SD will earn its keep by providing users with extra peace of mind.
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A bit expensive, but this is one of the best wi-fi security cameras we have seen Good points Easy to set up and use; motion-detection and night-vision security features; allows remote monitoring over the Internet Bad points Expensive; image quality could be sharper; no network cable included
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