Better than an old man with a shotgun
Webcams are everywhere these days, including on the computer or mobile device you’re probably using to read this. If you have an old device around the house, you can repurpose its webcam into a surveillance tool for your home or business. If not, you should be able to find an old webcam nobody’s using, or buy one from a big-box retailer for less than $50.
There are plenty of free apps that will help you turn that webcam into a tool that will help you keep an eye on your property when you aren’t home. As long as your camera has the appropriate sensors, you can even find solutions that will support motion detection.
Here are some of the best to consider.
Ivideon Video Surveillance
Whether you just want to keep an eye on your pets or you’re looking for full-scale recording, Ivideon Video Surveillance is among the best out there. You can even set up cameras in multiple locations and see them all from one screen. Your footage is archived to the Ivideon cloud, which means you can access it later if an incident arises.
Short event videos are recorded and stored for one day in the free version, with full recordings of all events and longer storage available with a paid monthly subscription. You can set the camera’s motion sensitivity to reduce false alerts.
Windows PC owners can use an open-source tool called iSpy to view their webcams from a smartphone or tablet. You can record video feeds to your desktop, as well as upload any videos you want to keep to YouTube or the cloud.
One of the best features of iSpy is that you can connect an unlimited number of microphones and cameras to the software and capture audio and video throughout your property. There are also special add-on features like enhanced license plate recognition and barcode scanning.
With the free version of NetCam Studio, you can connect up to two video sources and monitor audio remotely using a computer or mobile device. NetCam Studio not only detects motion, but it also kicks in with sound for even better security than you’d get with other free software.
If you see something while you’re monitoring that you want to save for later, you can capture it remotely, then later go back to watch it in the stored media section.
Short for Yet Another Webcam Software, Yawcam is geared toward Windows-based machines and isn’t limited to security purposes. You can use it to capture video and audio during video calls or to share live videos with your social media followers.
But as a surveillance tool, it can take action both when motion starts and stops. It also comes with a built-in web server for storing videos. You’ll probably notice the interface is dated, but its simplicity also makes it easy to use.
Keeping an eye on your property when you’re away has never been easier. All you’ll need is a webcam and the right software, and you can set your equipment up to capture anything that happens in your home when you’re away. Experiment with a few tools and find the one that fits your own preferences.