EyeSpy247 HDSD review
The EyeSpy247 HDSD is as much a web service as an IP camera. The camera is tied in to an online portal which helps you view its video feed as well as store captured images and video clips, to make it easy to review them from anywhere.
It’s rather like a more advanced version of the mydlink service, which we first saw on the D-Link DCS-932L. You get a minimal 20MB of storage for free, and after that you can buy storage as you go from the www.eyespy247.com website, or sign up to a £25-per-year subscription to get 512MB.
The service is also meant to make the camera easy to set up to view over the internet, but this is where we came unstuck. It was simple enough to set it up on our wireless network; we just had to plug it into our router, run the Windows setup program to detect the camera then scan for and find our wireless network and enter the Wi-Fi password. Once it had successfully connected to our router we could unplug the Ethernet cable and put the camera wherever there was a power socket.
Unfortunately, the camera refused to register with our online EyeSpy247 account, even though its web interface seemed to have all the required information. You can add a camera manually from the EyeSpy247 portal’s web interface, but this requires some specialist knowledge; we had to set up a Dynamic DNS account with our router’s external IP address, go into our router’s port forwarding settings to forward all incoming requests on port 80 to the camera, then enter all this information into the IP camera’s settings page as well as the EyeSpy247 portal.
Once we’d done all this the camera worked perfectly – we were just hoping the portal would help us avoid the usual hassle of accessing a device on your internal network from outside it. We could see the camera on the EyeSpy247 website, click on it to bring up a live feed in our browser and view and download video clips captured by the camera. You can also manage alerts – you can set the camera to start recording on sensing motion or sound – and define whether alerts will be sent to you by email or text. You'll need to sign up to a £25-per-year subscription to qualify for alerts, though. You also need to enter some settings into the IP camera’s settings pages, but the EyeSpy247 portal tells you exactly what you need to make it work.
a tad unfair?
Good review of the camera but I must say that it does sound a trifle unfair IMHO :)
The only reason I say that is because in my experience all IP cameras need some measure of config work and in most cases port forwarding and DDNS set up, in my experience at least.
I know EyeSpy have a system which enables the camera to auto connect and set up with their online platform but also know that this uses UPnP which I know some routers don't support - or at least not as well as they should (the netgears being a case in point which in my experience have a habit of dropping their port mappings quite regularly).
Aside from that I do have another of their cameras and must agree that their desktop viewing/recording software is just shy of being pants but I do think their web platform does make up for the shortfall.
The cost of this cam does appear to be a little high - definitely out of my reach for now - but as its not that much more than say a Ycam SD I don't think its too badly priced....I hope I haven't jinxed a price drop on the HDSD now ;)
Just to add for desktop recording I think http://vitamindinc.com/ is absolutely fab and they have both Win and Mac versions.
By smify on 15 Sep 2011
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