Watch what’s going on outside your house
The Eyespy247Ext network camera is designed for external use. Like its predecessor (see sidebar) it connects to the company's web service, but it's weather-proofed and has an infra-red mode for night-time surveillance.
It comes with rubber attachments that protect the power and network cables from rain and it can also connect to your home wireless network. It's compact at around 10cm square.
Setting it up was simple compared with other cameras, though even if you're using the wireless connection it first needs to be connected to your router using the supplied network cable.
The included software has several parts, and though the supplied setup sheet used more technical language than necessary and so was a little confusing, setup was painless.
There were a few flaws such as when, having installed the monitoring software we couldn't view video, and found we needed to click the Install Decoder button in the setup program – something that wasn't explained anywhere. A separate setup sheet explains how to connect to the web service.
On many network cameras, allowing access from outside home is a real pain, but here it's just a matter of clicking a button. It didn't work the first time we tried, but we left it for a few minutes and tried again, at which point it connected. Eyespy247 says that this process, using a technology called UPNP, works on most routers, but if it doesn't work on yours the company's technical support people are able to talk you through doing it manually.
Through the website you can set up motion detection so that the camera records video and audio each time it detects movement with an email or text message notification each time – emails are free but text messages cost 12p, credit for which must be bought on the website.
Clips are stored online so they can be viewed from anywhere. The package comes with 512MB of storage space for one year, enough for around 40 clips. If you run out it can be set to delete old clips or you can pay extra. Clips can also be viewed on some phones, if they support what's called 3GPP streaming, otherwise still images can be seen on most phones.
It's not exactly high-definition: images were low-quality compared to modern webcams but easily good enough for surveillance.
This camera worked well and the Eyespy247 service is a great way to automatically capture video without fuss.
It's not as robust as the Y-Cam model (see sidebar) but for the price and ease of use it's a winner.
Read more reviews
A good security camera that was surprisingly easy to set up and use
Simple setup; email and SMS motion alerts
Some overly technical language in setup process
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