A laptop can be used to access a home-based computer and view the video being displayed by an attached video camera, providing that remote access software has been installed on both computers. There are a number of free remote access programs that will let a laptop access another computer; these programs all operate in a similar manner using the Internet to connect the computers to each other. The procedure is straightforward, if a bit involved, and will in no way harm either computer.
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Go to a website that offers free remote access software, for example, the LogMeIn website. Click on the "Create Account" link. Enter the information required; in order to activate the remote access software you must create a username and password. Click the "Save" button on the web page to activate your account.
Download the remote access "Source" software to the desktop of the computer that is to be accessed by the laptop. Double-click the file once downloaded. Follow the menu commands to install the program onto the hard drive, including clicking the checkbox to have the program run automatically in the background at all times when the computer is active. Restart the computer once the installation is done.
Right-click the icon of the program that is now in the System tray at the bottom right of the screen. Verify that the program's "On" checkbox is checked when the pop-up menu appears. Select "Server" from the pop-up menu. Enter the name of the computer and the administrative password into the text fields of the window that appears. Click the "OK" button to close the window.
Launch the video camera viewing program by selecting it from the "Start" > "All Applications" pop-up menu. Drag the video window that has appeared on the desktop to the centre of the screen. Turn the monitor off.
Return to the remote access website, only this time on the laptop. Enter your username and password in the "Login" text fields on the page. Click "OK" to log into the website.
Download the remote access viewing program to the desktop. Double-click the file once downloaded and follow the menu commands to install it on the hard drive. Restart the laptop once the installation is completed.
Launch the remote viewing program by selecting it from the "Start" > "All Applications" pop-up menu. Enter the information required into the text fields; this will include your username and password for the website as well as the name of the computer that is to be accessed and the corresponding administration password. Quit the program after clicking the "Save" button in order to save everything that has been entered.
Launch the remote viewing program again in the same manner. Enter your username and password into the text field on the screen that appears. Click the "Start" or "Log me in" button on the screen. Select the name of the computer that is to be remotely access from the list of choices presented beneath "Server" on a new screen. Click the "Go" or "Start" button to bring up the desktop of the computer.
View the video window on the desktop to watch what the camera is displaying remotely from the laptop.
Tips and warnings
- Firewall settings on the computer that is to be accessed have the potential of blocking the Internet connection with the laptop. You may need to change some of the settings.
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