A security camera system used to be considered a luxury. Nowadays, due to common break-ins and burglaries, a security camera has become mandatory. We will advise you on how to secure your home!
The good news is that most laptops on the market come equipped with an inbuilt camera. The same can be said about a few PC models, but it’s not that common. Installing security cameras for home has never been easier and more convenient than nowadays. Turning the camera on is a simple task that can be done on any version of Windows by using the search function coupled with the word ‘camera.’ Once you have found it, choose the option that has an app behind it and run it. Afterward, we will help you set up the best home security camera.
How to Transform Laptop Camera Into a Security Camera
Laptop cameras are somewhat frowned upon by the average user because they think someone could control the video cameras and spy on them. But that is not the case. If used wisely, laptop cameras can be turned into security devices, and they can help identify a criminal that has been in your house or offer clues that could lead to solving a case using security camera footage.
The first aspect you need to consider before any webcam software setup is the battery settings of your laptop. You can either find a battery icon on the right lower side of the screen or use the search function to find it. Battery saver mode has to be enabled if you want your laptop to be able to record for an acceptable amount of time. Another option would be to keep its charger plugged in, but this will greatly reduce your laptop’s battery life.
Laptop Security Camera Pros & Cons
Using your webcam as a security system is usually the right choice if you have some concerns about your home safety but do not want to waste money on an IP camera. The greatest advantage of a webcam as a security camera is that you do not need to invest anything but your time and patience. A laptop or PC with a camera and top-notch surveillance software is all you should set. Not only is this investment free, but it is also a great DIY project that you can learn something from. This all sounds great so far, but there are some disadvantages you have to keep in mind if you want to turn your laptop into a security camera.
- You can expect the video and image to be of low quality when compared to wireless outdoor security cameras. The top wireless security camera system on the market right now can capture video at 5MP+ resolutions.
- Lack of some features. For example, night vision is hard to obtain, which means that you cannot record when it gets dark unless you keep a light turned on.
- Your PC or laptop has to run at all times if you want to use it as a security camera.
- A webcam will be limited when it comes to location, as it cannot be used for outdoor surveillance. You could theoretically use the webcam as a security camera on your driveway, but you shouldn’t expect a video quality good enough for such a distance.
- You could end up getting your webcam hacked and used against you.
Webcam Security Camera Software
The only thing you are missing if you have a webcam is the software to turn it into a security camera. You can find software that enables you to use your webcam as CCTV, and you will be able to record live and store videos. Some webcam security cameras also have an option to switch on motion detection, send an email alert, or even upload the videos directly. You also can remotely access your webcam using a phone app and see what is happening in your house in real-time. Below you can check out a list of popular software that will turn your webcam into a Wi-Fi security camera.
- iSpy software can use your webcam as a security camera that will detect sound and movement. The application is free to use and has some premium features (remote view, for example). It works only on Windows operating systems.
- Yawcam is a Windows security camera software that will keep track of your home while you are gone. Reliable motion detection and FTP upload are some of its key features coupled with the fact that it is free to use.
- SecuritySpy is a program that is compatible with iOS. Can detect movement and will send you an alert right away. It is not free of charge, and you can expect it to cost anywhere between USD 30-90, based on the number of security cameras you connect to it.
We hope that now you’re well-informed with the options to secure your house. Fortunately, with modern technology constantly evolving, there is a vast range to choose from. We would love to know your opinion about using your laptop or smartphone as a security camera. Have you ever used these devices in such a way? Share your experience to help other readers as well!
Ronald Pratt started working in Internet Security, driven mainly by passion. Due to his work, Ronald realized that people didn’t take their online security seriously, so he decided to write articles on the matter, hoping to help people understand it better. Now Ronald is an expert on the HomeMakerGuide and he likes to write about different things related to home improvement.