A security camera can be great for keeping an eye on your home while you are at work or even on vacation. You can easily pay several hundred dollars for a top-of-the-line security camera system. However, if you just want something simple you can make a homemade one with a webcam and some free software tools. It's pretty easy to do and takes less than 30 minutes to set up.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Webcam broadcasting software
Choose a software program to use with your webcam. A few you can consider are HomeCamera, Yoics and Yawcam (see resources below). As of 2010, all of these are free. These programs will allow you to watch the video stream from your webcam on the Internet using a computer, a PDA or smart phone.
Download the software to your computer and install it by following the instructions.
Set up your webcam to monitor the area you are interested in keeping an eye on. Make sure the camera is level and sitting on a flat surface or is securely attached to a wall. If you need to lengthen your USB cable to facilitate placing the camera further away from your computer, then you can purchase a extension kit (see resources).
Start the webcam software up by going to your “Start Menu” and clicking on the program. Once it is open, it will automatically detect your camera.
Follow the directions in the software to set up the motion detection feature. This will vary from program to program. Once activated, it will cause your camera to start recording anytime it senses motion. This way you will not get hours of boring footage. All of these programs can be configured to e-mail or text message you when it detects movement.
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