I was wondering if it’s possible to set up webcam to monitor my house while I’m out. What’s the best way to do this?
There are a couple of options on how to do this. My very first setup, many moons ago, consisted of a laptop with a couple of USB webcams connected to it. I was using software to upload an image to an FTP server every 30 seconds. It did the job, but was a pretty flimsy setup.
Today I would recommend an out-of-the-box solution called Watchbot. I have one of these little babies set up at home, and it was a doddle to set up. Here’s a photo of the little gadget:
You’ll see the little Wifi antenna sticking out of the back of the camera and that’s what makes it so awesome. All the camera needs is power, and it can handle everything else. It uses your Wifi network to connect to the web, it has pan and tilt controls which you can control remotely, and can raise an alarm if it detects motion. A fantastic piece of kit.
Setting up the camera is pretty easy, namely a three step process:
First you need to download the viewer software:
Next, there’s an option to Search on your network; which will scan all the devices on your network and find your webcam. The nice thing about this is that it takes the geekery out of the process and means anyone can set it up:
Once it’s all done, you can then see your camera on the main screen of the software. As you can see, it can handle 4 cameras at once, allowing you to see any angle you wish:
One of the features I love about Watchbot, besides how simple it is to set up, is that it has a “Talkback” function, which lets you set up two-way communication with the device. If you’re using it as a baby monitor for example, you can talk to your baby from a remote location; also great if you spot the kids misbehaving.
Interested, check it out on the Watchbot site.