British firm EyeSpy247 pairs its IP cameras with a cloud-based video-monitoring system. This software removes some of the hassle from setting up a digital surveillance system, since it can be used to remotely check a camera’s feed, send automated email and SMS alerts, and store a limited number of images and video clips. See Security Advisor.
Its latest IP camera, the EyeSpy247EXT+, can be used independently or in conjunction with this online portal. It’s designed to function indoors or outdoors, with a slightly ruggedised design. The EyeSpy247EXT+ is made from a strong polycarbonate material, and the supplied power and ethernet cables have tough rubber connectors that leave no electrical parts exposed. It comes with a mounting stand, too. See all webcam reviews.
The bundled software is rather basic, with a video viewer and a simple tool to set up the camera. This software works only with Windows; the Mac version simply directs you to the camera’s online administration page, where you can set up the camera, adjust its settings, and register it on EyeSpy247’s portal.
As with a previous model, the EyeSpy247HDSD, we ran into problems with automatic registration of the EXT+. We instead forwarded two ports on our router and copied the user details on to the website. The camera then showed up and we could view its feed, and it began sending us emails with a screen capture attached whenever motion was detected in the room.
You can create three presets for recording quality and adjust them as required. Bitrates range from 512Kbps to 10Mbps, at up to 30fps, with a choice of H.264 or MJpeg encoding and either Flash or Quicktime formats.
The EyeSpy247EXT+ can record 720p video, with three lower resolutions also available. At its highest setting video is clear, although its audio quality is somewhat muffled - especially from a distance. Subtle infrared lights permit nighttime recording, with short-range objects clearly visible even in pitch black.
The higher the recording quality, the more likely you'll run out of storage space. The EyeSpy247EXT+ comes with a non-removable 32GB SD Card, and video streams can be uploaded to an FTP server or a Samba device on the network (such as a NAS). Recordings are manually triggered via audio or motion detection, or occur automatically at certain times of day.
With a free EyeSpy247 account, you get 20MB of space to store video on the firm’s servers.
A £24.99 annual subscription upgrades this to 512MB, lets you monitor up to five cameras, and gives you unlimited email alerts (the free account limits you to 20). The first year's subscription to this full service is for free.