DIY Security Cams
Ah, summer. For most of us, that means it's time to pack up and take a well-deserved getaway. However, before setting sail or flying the friendly skies, you may want to look into having your home equipped with a camera monitoring system for that added little peace of mind. Setting up a home surveillance system used to require hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in equipment and some major professional installation skills. Luckily, things have gotten much easier with the advent of Wi-Fi, mobile technology and built-in cameras.
You probably already have two or three webcams in your home that you can utilize for the sake of home monitoring or security. If you'd like to avoid packing all those camera-toting devices with you while on vacation, then home monitoring is just an app away. One of the most feature-laden and well-reviewed apps is iCam.
This app works in conjunction with your laptop or desktop to basically do it all: stream multiple cameras (up to 16 on an iPad) with audio feeds, send motion detection alerts to your smartphone and record motion events. iCam is also very accessible with offerings for Windows and Mac computers as well as Android and iPhone users — even users without a smartphone can view the video streams through a web browser with iCamWeb.
If this sounds like the ticket for you, simply download the server app to a home-network-connected computer that you plan to leave at home. Once the software is configured with your network-connected cameras, you're free to view your streams through the $4.99 smartphone app or your web browser. Cheap and simple.
Don't have any extra webcams, or planning on packing that laptop or computer with you? Then perhaps you want to look into the easy-to-set-up and quite versatile VueZone camera system. The VueZone is an expandable solution that lets you easily add standard or motion-detection cameras that you can set up discretely around your home.
This is actually the way I monitor everything while I'm away from home. The system works by connecting the base station directly to your router or cable modem. You then, quite literally, peel and stick the included mounts to the location of choice. The camera(s) snap onto the mounts with the power of magnetism — no wires, no cords, just done.
Like the iCam, you can view multiple feeds, set motion-alerts and even record motion events once things are configured. Check on things at home with the convenience of a smartphone app (available on Android and iPhone) or through the web. The standard system, which includes the base station and one motion-detection camera, will set you back $199.99, with additional cameras running from $79.99 (standard) or $99.99 (motion-detection). It's not a bad investment for a home monitoring system that is this seamless and easy to set up.
Have you tried any of these web-connected monitoring solutions?