How to create an IP surveillance camera with a USB cam

Written by ma wen jie
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A surveillance camera is a good addition to a home surveillance system. IP-based security cameras can be expensive and may not offer functionality like remote viewing from a iPhone or a computer outside your network. By using an inexpensive USB camera and IP-based security software, you can use an existing computer to broadcast video to a variety of clients or off-site to an FTP server.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • USB Camera
  • IP-based video or still image broadcast software

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  1. 1

    Select an IP video surveillance package. Although some USB cameras may come with this, most don't. There are many good packages available as freeware and even more available commercially. Select the package based on your needs. Some surveillance packages will upload still images and video to an FTP server. Others offer remote clients for computers and devices like the iPhone.

  2. 2

    Install your USB camera and software by following the manufacturer's instructions. Some cameras will require you to install the software before the hardware. Other cameras require hardware installation before software.

  3. 3

    Install the IP security application after your camera is connected and working.

  4. 4

    Configure the IP security application. Some applications can e-mail you still photographs whenever the camera detects motion. Others need to be configured to send the images or video to an FTP server. Some applications, like EyeSpyFX, offer iPhone applications to allow you to view the camera's feed.

  5. 5

    Configure the client, if your IP security camera software offers one.

Tips and warnings

  • Read the specifications of your IP broadcast software carefully to make sure it will suit your purposes. Software that uploads stills or video to an FTP server will require that you have a functioning FTP server. If you don't have one, you will be better served by a package that allows you to access the computer through the Internet based on your home network's IP address.

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