How to use a computer as a monitor for a security camera

Written by james highland
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How to use a computer as a monitor for a security camera
(Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Closed circuit television (CCTV) monitors are typically used to monitor conventional security cameras. However, CCTV monitors are considerably more expensive than computer monitors. While it is possible to instead use a computer monitor, the connections are not usually the same, and some extra hardware is required. However, the wireless webcam security system is growing in popularity, and uses different protocols than CCTV security. These devices are designed for use with computer monitors, and thus connectivity is streamlined. Regardless of your security system set-up, it is possible to use a computer as the monitor.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Computer
  • 2 Ethernet cables
  • Security camera
  • Security camera software, if applicable
  • Video to VGA converter
  • VGA switch box
  • 2 VGA cables, if applicable

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    Webcam Security Camera

  1. 1

    Attach your computer to your wireless network router, if it is not already connected. Computers are the standard method for monitoring security cameras constructed with wireless webcam technology.

  2. 2

    Attach your wireless webcam security camera to the same wireless router using another Ethernet cable.

  3. 3

    Run the webcam set-up software included with the webcam. This will configure the computer to access the webcam, and prepare the camera for wireless security monitoring.

  4. 4

    Remove the Ethernet cable from the webcam. The attachment is only necessary for configuration.

  5. 5

    Install the webcam in any location you wish to monitor.

  6. 6

    Monitor the webcam on the computer using the software provided by the camera.

    CCTV Security Cameras

  1. 1

    Acquire a video-to-VGA converter box. Computers use VGA inputs to display analogue video data. However, CCTV security cameras use standard video ports comparable to a television. The two connections do not offer native compatibility.

  2. 2

    Acquire a VGA switch box. A single computer monitor will provide the display for one VGA signal at a time, and monitors usually have only one VGA port. Unless the computer monitor is used solely for the CCTV security camera, you will need to share the monitor between the camera and computer video feeds.

  3. 3

    Attach the video feed cable from the CCTV security camera to the video-to-VGA converter box. Attach a VGA cable between the converter box and the VGA switch box.

  4. 4

    Plug the computer's monitor cable in to other port of the VGA switch box. Attach a VGA cable from the switch box to the computer monitor.

  5. 5

    Monitor the security camera by switching the video feed from the computer to the camera. Press the switch again to return to the computer's display.

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