How To Protect Your Home With A Camera

Like most people, I am not a big fan of most home security systems as they often come with lengthy contracts, in addition to a monitoring company being alerted to every false alarm being set off by family members. Yes, keeping your home safe should be a big priority, but not in every case does a traditional system make sense. Every home is different, as are the needs of the occupants.

Webcam/network camera solutions

Regardless of the OS you use, there are a number of great options you can use to assist in keeping your home under a watchful eye. Whether it’s relying on motion detection technology or something that just works as a DVR, the only real challenge here is locating the right software for the job. Well, that and selecting the right kind of camera to make everything come together.

In a perfect world, you’re going to want to use a network cam vs. a webcam, as it can be run with Ethernet cable instead of using a USB cable. Even better, go Wi-Fi.

How To Protect Your Home With Camera
Photo by Uwe Hermann

Selecting the right software

Windows - While there are dozens of great programs for this platform, I have heard great things about the application called Webcam Monitor. It provides motion/sound detection, which triggers recording. It can alert you via text or email, plus it will upload video to a remote location like an FTP server.

Linux - Having tried a number of options, I’ve found the best solution providing much of the functionality above is from an application called ZoneMinder. Multiple zones for monitoring multiple cameras, sending email alerts — it’s got some fantastic features. You can even control camera movement with this software.

OS X - I think that based on my review of most of the software out there, SecuritySpy remains among the best of the choices out there. Multiple cams, camera control, FTP images/video, motion detection. You name it, this application for OS X is a good choice.

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  • IRalph

    At $70.00 for Webcam Monitor I don’t see much improvement over the many Free applications already available.

  • http://www.matthartley.com Matt Hartley

    Well having tried some of those “free options” for Windows, I can tell you one significant difference — dependability and updates. ;)

    Most of the free options, are crap. But hey, if it’s merely a toy someone wants, then that might be a good option. ;)

    Just sayin’…

  • http://tesgo.co.uk Tes

    Matt, this is just the info I was looking for. You have saved me a ton of time.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.gotocamera.com Monitoring Software

    You rock! I have subscribed to your RSS feed. Cheers.

  • http://www.ipcamera-store.net/ Ip Camera Man

    Another alternative for Windows is webcamXP!