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Security Guide

How To Turn Your Webcam Into A Security Camera

“Can a webcam be set up as a security camera?” Yes, if you cannot afford to have a high-grade surveillance system installed then I am here to offer you an alternative.

Here is how to turn a webcam into a security camera, and you will learn the detailed steps to set up home surveillance with a USB-connected webcam or built-in PC/Mac webcam to protect your home when you are not there.


What is A Webcam?

Even though most people probably know what a webcam is, we should still start with an explanation, in case someone doesn’t.

Today, the majority of desktop computer screens and laptops have a camera already installed. However, if yours doesn’t, then purchasing a webcam will enable you to, for example, have a video call through platforms like Skype or Zoom.

Top 6 Free/Premium Webcam Security Camera Software

How to use the webcam as a CCTV camera? Can I use a laptop camera as an IP camera?

To turn a webcam into a security camera, the first thing you need is the webcam security camera software.

Through the particular software to use a webcam as CCTV, you can view and record live videos detected by a webcam. The webcam security cameras also enable motion detection, sending email alerts and uploading videos to FTP. When you are out, you can remotely access the webcam security camera to stay informed about your home and loved ones.

In the following, I instead highlight some of the most widely-used webcam security camera software, that we really trust and guarantee will serve as a complete surveillance solution for you. They can turn a webcam into an IP camera easily and quickly. Which are these software?

Working strictly over the internet, Ugolog harnesses your webcam as a security camera without any software installation (you need to use a webcam with motion detection capabilities).

Video is recorded directly to Ugolog’s servers and you can tune in any time you like to watch a live stream of what your webcam is seeing.

Windows users will want to check out Yawcam, a free piece software that turns your webcam into a motion-sensitive security camera.

You can also view live video over the internet, shoot time-lapse movies, and set it to upload images to an FTP server however you like.

If you’d like to make your webcam viewable to the public EyeSpyFX’s MyWebcam Broadcaster is set up to make your video feed as public (or as private) as you like.

You can view your feed from anywhere you like on your mobile device — just use the MyWebcam app, currently available for Android, Blackberry, Java Mobile, iPhone, and iPad.

The killer feature for EvoCam is “Actions,” a way to make the software perform certain tasks when certain environmental things happen — “create timelapse movies, record movies when motion or sound is detected, publish a webcam image on a web server via FTP, or integrate EvoCam with your security system or home automation software.

iSpy was originally created to hunt UFOs, but it has plenty of security applications as well. Monitor your home or office and supervise your nanny remotely. It can also pair with existing home automation systems.

For example, if it detects an intruder, it can “instantly turn the lights on, play a sound of a dog barking and send yourself a framegrab directly to your mobile phone.”

iSpy was originally created to hunt UFOs, but it has plenty of security applications as well. Monitor your home or office and supervise your nanny remotely. It can also pair with existing home automation systems.

For example, if it detects an intruder, it can “instantly turn the lights on, play a sound of a dog barking and send yourself a framegrab directly to your mobile phone.”

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How to Turn a Webcam into a Security Camera: A Detailed Guide

Transforming your webcam into a security camera is easier than you might think. Here is how to do it step by step.

Now, take out your web camera and connect it to your computer via USB. If you don’t have a suitable web camera, we recommend a zosi web camera C866, this web camera with microphone, plug & play, USB camera, compatible with computer laptop desktop, and versatile adjustable clip, the lens cover shields your webcam when not in use.


Step 1: Place the webcam in the area you want it to monitor, such as the front door, the backdoor, the living room, etc.

Step 2: Unless your webcam can be connected to the computer by Bluetooth or Wi-fi, connect it to your computer using a really long USB cable.

Step 3: Install a webcam security camera software. There are plenty available on the internet (for example, iSpy, Dorgem, or Yawcam), so you can choose the one that will be the easiest for you to navigate.

Step 4: Add your webcam to the software, and give it a name – the most straightforward way would be to name it after its location so that you won’t confuse it with others.

Step 5: Check whether the camera is working and adjust its position until you are satisfied with its view.

And voila! You transformed your webcam into a security camera. Once your webcam is added to the software, you should customize it, as it gives you additional options to choose from, such as periodical alerts or turning on the microphone.

Note: To use iSpy for video surveillance, you have to keep your laptop running all the time. So you should turn off your computer’s sleep function to make sure it is always on.

Using Webcams as CCTV: Pros & Cons

Just like with everything, turning your webcam into a security camera has its advantages and disadvantages.

The Pros of using webcam as IP camera

  • You can use an OLD laptop as an IP camera.
  • It is extremely easy to setup, requires little or no configuration.
  • A laptop/PC includes local storage.
  • A laptop has battery.
  • It can connect to multiple webcams (incl USB webcams).
  • Some laptops have very high resolution cameras than IP cameras.

The cons of using webcam as IP camera

  • Images and videos captured by webcam security cameras are a little fuzzy than those captured by IP cameras.
  • Webcams usually don’t support night vision, so you can’t monitor what happens when it gets dark unless you keep a light on.
  • You have to leave your PC running all the time if you convert a webcam into an IP camera for video surveillance.
  • Webcam security cameras are limited to their monitoring locations since, generally, they are not designed for outdoor surveillance with the USB cable limitation. Some of you may consider placing the webcam security camera at the windowsill to watch the driveway for you, and that may cause some potential image issues.
  • Using a computer camera as surveillance may increase the risk of getting hacked. Your daily life can be exposed to the public when you don’t even realize it. (Tip: click here to learn how to tell your security camera is hacked.)

Recommendations for Webcam Security Camera Alternatives

A DIY wired or wireless webcam security camera does provide video surveillance for your home to some extent.

Check this post to shop the best webcam security cameras.

Well, if you are serious about home and business security, a more professional security camera is highly suggested, for providing much clearer 4MP/5MP images to identify faces or plate number and real night vision for 24/7 monitoring.

Actually, other than turning webcams into surveillance cameras, the webcam security camera software, like iSpy, is also capable of connecting to 3rd-party compatible IP cameras. So, you can build a centralized security camera system and take the best advantage of it.

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If you want a more portable solution, say no wires so that you can place and replace it anywhere indoors and outdoors, a mini wire-free battery security camera may suit you better with easy installation.

Conclusion About Webcam Security Camera

With so many break-ins, burglaries, and other crimes being committed daily, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that their family’s safety is a priority for many people. However, installing a full CCTV system is often not possible due to its high cost.

In this case, turning a standard webcam into a security camera is your best choice – while it might not be as good as a regular security camera, it still can give you peace of mind. Besides, the transformation process is not complicated, so what harm will it do trying it out for yourself?