If you’ve ever been on the road and wanted to see what was going on at home but didn’t have a way, now you do. All you have to do is to connect a few CCTV cameras to the Internet and you can monitor as many rooms in your home or office from any computer that’s online, anywhere in the world.
1. Buy a few closed-circuit television cameras that can be connected to your computer. Some older CCTV cameras will allow you to connect only to a VCR for recording. However, most of the newer ones will allow you to use a digital video recorder, or a computer hard drive. Just make sure to purchase a camera set that can connect directly to your computer. This is usually done through a USB cable.
2. Sign up to HomeCamera.com. Do this once you have the cameras installed and configured with your laptop. This service is free as of 2009 while it is in beta testing, but the company plans to charge $29.95 a year starting in 2010. Download the software and follow the instructions for installation.
3. Configure HomeCamera.com software. This is a simple process. You log into the software and assign a name, such as “living room,” “entrance,” or “study,” to each camera that you wish to monitor. You will then be able to sign into any Web-enabled device such as a personal digital assistant, cell phone or computer and see exactly what the cameras are seeing, via the HomeCamera.com website.
4. Share the camera feeds with friends or family if you wish. If you’d like you can also set up the cameras as motion detectors, and you will receive an email or text message along with a photo every time someone walks by the cameras. In addition, the website can be used as a recording device and can take pictures every few minutes and upload them to the HomeCamera.com servers.
5. Get creative. CCTV cameras connected to the Internet can be used for a lot more than just home security. For example you can use them to watch wildlife, for distance learning, video conferencing, and more.