In the last year I have been considering installing some sort of video camera in the house which will add that extra bit of security on the occasions that I am away from home. I knew that the prices had come down and that many of the products were more affordable, but wading through the huge variety of systems available, some of which were wireless, some came with one camera, some two and many came with more, it became extremely difficult to choose the right one, so I did nothing.
I knew what I wanted. One camera would do. It was very important (to me at least), that it was wireless. I really didn’t want the bother of installing miles of wires, let alone it all being very unsightly. Also, I wanted something that would allow me to access the camera and its recordings easily, preferably on my iPad or mobile phone. Then there is the problem of where to store the footage. An extra hard drive was a possibility, but I wanted it to be as minimalist as possible. I also wanted it to email me when movement was detected and most of all it needed to be easy to set up.
So, not really that much to ask! Well actually it wasn't. The Y-cam HomeMonitor seems to achieve nearly everything I wanted.
This system can easily be used by anyone wanting to take the first steps into home security. It could also be used to keep an eye on older relatives (with their agreement of course) which could save a lot of time and worry. I have also used to it see what is going on in my garden (through the windows) but that was just for fun!
So what is in the box? Well the camera itself which is quite a neat little thing, a power cable with three different adapters (UK, Europe and USA), a short network (Ethernet cable) and a wall mount.
What do you need to get it going? A router with a spare network port and a power supply for the camera itself.
It is incredibly easy to set up. You attach the power cable to the camera and then plug the network cable into the back of the camera and into the port in your router.
You then log on to Y-Cam’s website. Here you register with an email address, a username and password and then follow the on screen instructions which are quite simple too. Basically you identify your network name, select it and type in the network password. There are a few other fine tuning options available, but it is now set up.
You remove the network cable and then find a suitable place for the camera. It’s now up to you how you want to control the system. It can either be done from a PC/Mac, or a tablet or a smartphone (or in my case all three!)
On the positive side:
- Very easy to set up. No disks or programs to install.
- Good quality video with sound. The camera has a maximum frame rate of 30fps displayed at up to 640×480 resolution. The frame rate automatically adjusts to the speed of your internet
- Easy to use web interface on PC/MAC, tablet or smartphone
- Can easily turn email notifications on or off
- It allows you to schedule when the motion detection system is on so you aren’t constantly recording movement.(By the hour, 7 days a week)
- The recordings are held free for 7 days in the “Cloud” and are downloadable in that time. They can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
- Its relatively affordable! (£129.99)
- Infrared night vision means it can monitor 24 hours a day. Obviously the quality of the recording by IR is not as good, but it is very acceptable.
- You can add more than one camera to the system even in different locations (at extra cost)
There is little to say on the negative side. The sound recordings can be a little bit distorted but is amazingly sensitive to sound and picks up the minutest detail. It can't be used outside, but there is a more expensive model that can. Some people might think that storing the recordings for seven days is not enough, but you can buy an upgrade so that they are kept for up to 30 days.
It is very versatile and easy to use and as such I thoroughly recommend it.
For more details visit HomeMonitor