The same can be said for the included software that suffers from the usual pitfalls of an overly stylised interface that lacks in ease of use. It looks vaguely like some sort of professional hardware video surveillance equipment equivalent but, without the physical controls to match up to the software ones, it's no easier than a more simple layout.
Moreover, thanks to a host of unlabelled icons, some of which don't do what you'd expect, it's frankly a bit of a pig to use. That said, once you get the hang of it, it's quite powerful.
You can control several cameras at once and schedule recordings with options for time of day as well as day of week. These time periods can also be used in conjunction with the motion detection and sound triggering to only record when needs be. All told, there's definitely room for improvement but with perseverance, it'll get the job done.
As for the performance of the camera, it holds up very well. A light dousing with water caused no harm to its electronics and it otherwise survived unharmed mounted outside for a few nights.
Picture quality from the 640 x 360 resolution, 1/5inch CMOS sensor is decent with the 30fps providing smooth motion, but colour accuracy is pretty ropey and a bit of extra resolution wouldn't have gone amiss. With an F2.0 lens it does well in dimly lit scenarios and the eight infrared LED lights have an adequate range for seeing in the dark - we had the camera mounted outside a second floor window and were able to see a fair proportion of the garden. That said, issues with both light bleeding in from the edges of the lens, and the lens having a relatively narrow 62degrees viewing angle meant there was still clearly room for improvement.
Motion detection worked very well and we were able to record footage to our NAS box completely automatically without fuss, whether over Wi-Fi or wired connections.
We did, however, have issues with recording audio and communicating using the microphone and speaker. For some reason the software could only seem to mute both or turn both on, resulting in masses of feedback. We're sure there must be a solution but in the time we had the unit we couldn't find one.
Nonetheless, the EyeSpy247 Ext clearly has enough capability to be a great choice for an external video monitoring solution and the only real stumbling block is price. At around £200, it's undoubtedly expensive and many people might simply be better off investing in an/a better alarm instead. That said, it does offer decent value considering the raft of features it provides, so if you do need one, it's well worth considering.
The EyeSpy247 Ext is the one stop shop for home video surveillance that in one fell swoop will provide automated, external video recording. It doesn't come cheap and has its setup quirks but all told, it's a great purchase for a family or small business looking to take the next step in security.