How to Set Up a Webcam Security System

Written by j.s. copper
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No longer does home security featuring motion-sensing cameras have to be solely for the rich and famous. Now because of the increasing affordability of webcams, homeowners can harness the power of their computers to easily monitor their homes and personal belongings. Setting up a home webcam security system is much cheaper than the cost of similar security systems and services. Follow this guide to learn how to turn your ordinary webcam into a security cam.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Windows computer
  • Webcam
  • Free webcam capture utility

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  1. 1

    Install your webcam and the necessary drivers according to the included instructions. If you have lost the instructions, most manufacturers have the information and downloads available on their websites. Place the webcam in the desired location.

  2. 2

    Download and install a free webcam utility. There is a direct link in Resources to one program, but you can also do an Internet search to find other available programs. You are looking for a utility that allows for the capture of images based on movement within the monitored area. A good webcam utility should be able to snap a picture of any movement every few seconds throughout the duration of detected motion. A program that simply records everything will overload your computer with useless image captures of zero action.

  3. 3

    Launch the downloaded program. Select the model of your webcam from the drop-down menu. The utility should be able to detect and access the webcams installed on your computer.

  4. 4

    Adjust the camera's settings to focus on the area you want your webcam to cover. Additional adjustments can be made according the instructions provided with your webcam.

  5. 5

    Follow the instructions provided to ensure that your webcam can detect motion and then click "OK."

  6. 6

    Create a folder in your webcam utility program to store the images from your webcam and then enter a name that corresponds to the area you wish to monitor.

  7. 7

    Set the interval your webcam will capture images to two seconds by following the directions provided with your system.

  8. 8

    Jump and dance and move around in front of the camera for a few minutes. Check the folder you selected to save the images and it should contain images captured of you dancing around. Your webcam is now working properly and ready to monitor your home.

Tips and warnings

  • If you run into any trouble setting up your webcam, view the application's help files or visit website for troubleshooting tips and advice.
  • You may want to use a spare or old computer if you are planning to create a dedicated home monitoring system. Make sure the computer is out of plain site of the monitored area to avoid being an enticement to thieves.

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