Some IP cameras even have built-in Micro SD card slots so they can record directly to that physical media — they may even have built-in servers so you can access the recording remotely.
We’re not focused on full security systems with alarms and other features here — just cameras so you can keep an eye on your place with live streaming and video recordings.
Many manufacturers are trying to make this even easier, offering plug-and-play solutions linked to web services and smartphone apps.
The above devices are convenient and easy to set up, but you may not want to store recordings on a service’s remote servers when you could keep them for yourself.
If you want to do this yourself, you’re looking for an “IP camera.” This just means it’s a digital video camera that can send data through the Internet protocol on a network.
These don’t require you connect the camera to a computer or any other device — you just need the camera and an Internet connection.
Google’s Nest Cam works this way — Nest actually purchased Dropcam, which pioneered this.
Storing the recordings “in the cloud” on the service’s own server does have one advantage — if someone breaks in and steals your equipment, you’ll still have access to the footage.
Other manufacturers have made similar solutions, from the simplicam to the Home Monitor to the Belkin Netcam HD.