In the following guide we will show you how to monitor an environment with the PCusing the built-in webcam on laptops (or the USB webcam on desktop computers), with the help of some free programs designed to monitor the environment.
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The program YawCam it is the best for monitoring an environment with a PC while we are not at home.
YawCam requires Java installed on your computer; after installing Java, all we have to do is start YawCam, which will thus be able to immediately recognize the webcam connected to the computer and show a preview of what is taken from it.
From the settings, you can choose the webcam to use which can also be a network device (the IP Camera). A proper video surveillance system requires that, the recovery of the webcam, is visible via the internet from any computer so that you can remotely control what is happening.
On YawCam we press on HTTP to activate streaming, which publishes the filmed broadcast online. By opening the web browser and typing as address localhost:8081 you should also see the video from any web browser; taking us on the path Settings -> Change settings -> Connections we can check at which internet address (URL) the footage can be viewed.
To make shooting on the go accessible it is always advisable to open the ports of the modem or routerchecking with the phone (in LTE or 5G mode) if the URL provided by the program works outside the home.
Another popular feature of YawCam is the alert and notification system that we can use when someone passes in front of the PC camera: this function can be activated by pressing on Motion capture o Motion Detection in the program home.
Dal menu Windowopen the one relating to motion capture to configure both when taking photos and when the program should send an alert or alarm; in this way YawCam will take a photo every time a change or movement is detected in the framed shot and will warn the user with a notification as soon as he returns to the PC.
Another excellent program to monitor an environment with the PC is Webcamoidavailable free for Windows.
Webcamoid allows you to record with the webcam during our absence, it can take pictures of those who pass in front of the PC. This application also makes us choose whether save the webcam recording to a local file or a network resourceso that we can always check it even when we are away from home.
This program also offers other interesting tools for those who want to work with videos, such as Chroma Key, over 60 different video effects and a system for generating virtual cameras (for programs that require multiple connected cameras).
The best alternative to YawCam to monitor an environment with a PC even remotely is definitely Contacamavailable for free for any version of Windows.
Contacam can control the shooting of the webcam or any other camera connected to the PCprovides an internal encrypted web server to access recordings from the outside and can also guard specific areas of filmingso as to warn the user in case of unauthorized access (complete with registration and photos of the event).
Probably the best app we can use for free home video surveillancealthough it is certainly necessary to spend some time nearby to configure it to the fullest.
4) Sighthound Video
Another excellent video surveillance program that we can install on PC is Sighthound Videowhich we can try for free on Windows.
This application is a true portable surveillance center: we have all the cameras that can be managed in the appropriate box, we can also easily add our computer’s webcam and, very importantly, we can take advantage of the motion detection technology to send alerts, alarms and start event cloud recordingso as to always know who enters a certain environment that we are monitoring.
This application is a level above the competition, but can only be tested for free for a limited period of time.
5) Netcam Studio
Another valid video surveillance system that we can activate on our PC is Netcam Studioavailable for free on Windows.
Netcam Studio allows you to add up to 64 different cameras, it also supports IP cameras and CCTV cameras and, by adding our webcam, it can notify users when someone enters a roommaking a photo and a recording of the event.
The recordings can be saved both as a local file and as a file on one of the supported cloud services (OneDrive and Google Drive): in this way we can immediately retrieve the recording and find out who entered the house or room while we weren’t there .
A home video surveillance system is not difficult to create: using a simple webcam and one of the programs seen above, it can be installed in a couple of hours, it works great for any need, it uses the motion detector to signal the entrances, it also records on the cloud and is also accessible outside the home.
For further information, we can read our articles at Free to use video surveillance app come on how to create a “baby monitor” with phone or PC.