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Using a Webcam as a security camera -- software suggestions?

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Hey folks,

I'm looking for some (MS Windows) software recommendations.

I'm rarely away from home for days at a time -- but on those rare occasions when I am, I'd like to be able to run some software that does motion detection from a webcam and instantly sends updates to an online source (emailing snapshots would be nice).

The use case I have in mind is fairly specific -- if someone breaks into my house, I'd like to have some images of the event.  I presume they would steal the computer and equipment, so the software is going to have to send the photos quickly before it's disconnected.

Any recommendations, paid or free?

I assume you're asking for a Windows solution, but I do have a solution if you have a spare box or old laptop sitting around, and can install some flavor of Linux on it (*cough* Debian *cough*).  After setup, install a sync service like Dropbox or Copy, then install Motion.
Welcome to the home of Motion, a software motion detector.

Motion is a program that monitors the video signal from cameras. It is able to detect if a significant part of the picture has changed; in other words, it can detect motion.
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It's a command-line program, so it's very light on resources, the sensitivity, snapshot interval time, and snapshot folder location can all be set.  So just configure it to dump snapshots in your Dropbox/Copy/SpiderOak folder, and voila'... remote monitoring.

For Windows, I know WebcamXP was one of the more popular webcam softwares around, and the free version has motion and audio detection.

webcamXP Free and webcamXP Private now with Motion and Audio Detection. We have decided to extend the features of those 2 versions to allow everybody to put in place home security even with the free version. The only feature which remains specific to webcamXP / webcam 7 PRO is the continuous recording (DVR). A license for webcamXP Private allows supporting up to 4 cameras and removing or changing the webcamXP watermark displayed over the video streams and recordings.
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Dunno other than that...

I see WebCamXp folks also make this:

Good catch  :Thmbsup:

If you set up a program like OBS to just record your webcam, you can leave it running while you're gone, just doing a Replay Buffer (of, say a minute) and then hook into that (or some global hotkeys or something) from some motion detection hardware/software to tell it to start streaming when it detects motion. This will allow you to watch your home get robbed in realtime!

And if the thief shuts down your PC in the middle of the stream, the streaming site (such as will have the stream automatically archived for a few days so you can save it or download it or view it.


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