Home security cameras have been around for a number of years now and they've been steadily improving all the time. However, most affordable models are either for indoor use only or require an external housing to keep them protected from the elements. Hoping to finally provide a complete, one stop, low cost security solution is EyeSpy247 with its originally-named EyeSpy247 Ext that is waterproof, has infra red night vision, Wi-Fi, and both a speaker and microphone.
You might not expect the EyeSpy 247 Ext to be so hardy given its external appearance. While its metal construction gives a clue, the unprotected network, aerial, and power ports suggest otherwise. Its dimensions of a mere 103 x 94 x 37mm also suggest a more delicate product – certainly this is a far cry from your classic CCTV box or the external mountings available for most IP cameras.
So clearly this thing isn't built to survive a bombardment from stones or baseballs bats, and you'll want to mount it in a secure place, out of reach. Where the weather protection comes in is via the provided cables. Incorporated into them are rubber covers that envelope the plug and socket, thus keeping the water out – the rest of the cable is left to battle the elements by itself.
One early slip-up in this respect is the shortness of the supplied cables. Each is only about one metre long, which given the allowance of a few feet to reach the internal sockets and get through your wall, doesn't give you much wiggle room. You can remove the rubber seals and attach them to longer cables, but this will require either cutting the original cable or stretching the seal more than we'd feel comfortable with.
A mounting bracket is supplied, which consists of a three inch steel rod attached to a circular steel plate for mounting to a wall, and a ball joint at the other end for allowing freedom of movement for the camera. Loosen the retaining screw and you can move the camera to aim in almost any direction, given a bit of perseverance. Bar the effort of drilling routing holes for the cable and mounting holes for the bracket, it really is a cinch to mount and get pointed in the direction you want.
Once mounted and connected up, the rest of the setup can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. If you're happy to use a wired network and simply setup a generic movement sensor then you just open a web browser, navigate to the IP address of the camera and use its inbuilt web interface. Or if you're a novice, you can install the included software, which will find the device (whether connected by wire or Wi-FI) and install the drivers for you.
The web interface enables you to view the video stream in either MPEG4, AVCHD or MJPEG formats. The former two require installation of the Apple QuickTime plugin while MJPEG works natively with Java, which is also required to use the few options that are present in the web interface.
At this point you can simply watch the video, manually record it or setup motion detection to automatically record footage to your PC or a networked storage device. It's all a bit rudimentary with the icons being rather ambiguous and the interface somewhat slow but it's not too much of a headache to setup.