I’ve been evaluating a couple of IP cameras during the last couple of months.  Namely the well reviewed Y-Cam Knight available directly from http://www.y-cam.com/y-cam-knight and  a lower cost offering the Foscam : FI8908W  available here in the UK from ebay resellers listed on their site: http://www.foscam.com/ContactUs.asp . There’s a fair difference in the price points so perhaps a bit unfair to directly compare. What’s an IP camera I here you saying? Well it’s effectively a complete computer that communicates across your network. Additionally you can configure the image to be viewable via your network or even mobile phone depending on the specific configuration and network type. These devices are both capable of sending images as attachments via email on detection of movement. In practice the Foscam seems to have most of the features of the Y-Cam , it even adds motorized remote control for pan and tilt!

Still if you don’t know your smtp from your ip you might be best getter an installer to set one of these up. Both cameras contain , Wifi, RJ45 which you could use via ethernet over mains, and importantly IR illumination for night time viewing. In terms of performance, generally the Y-Cam has more sophisticated firmware/options over and  above the Foscam. It also seems to capture images more successfully than the Foscam. Still for a budget remote viewing camera the Foscam represents fantastic value. I paid about £58. Don’t forget these cameras require a mains power adapter (supplied) and consume approx. 3-5Watts all of the time their powered. So you need to make sure you’ve got adequate wifi performance where the camera is installed or be prepared to use an ethernet cable.