The other day I was away from home and my house alarm went off. I couldn’t get home to check it and it was driving me nuts. Thankfully a family member was nearby and was able to go check on the house for me. But this got me thinking, if it happens again, what’s the easiest way for me to check on what’s going on without waiting for a neighbour or the alarm company to check it out.I had a couple of webcams, a computer, and my iPhone. I thought, surely I can figure out a way to use these to see whats going on at home from wherever I am. Here’s what I came up with.
After you install iCamSource on your computer, you’ll need to configure your first camera, so open the iCamSource preferences windows and choose the audio and video device that you’d like to use. If it’s a built in camera it will show up automatically. If it’s an IP camera just enter the camera’s IP address. Once you have the camera set up also enter a username and password to protect your camera streams. On the right side you’ll notice controls that will let you set up motion detection. This will detect motion in your camera and automatically record the motion for you on your hard drive if you wish. In a pretty slick move, it will also send you a push notification on your iPhone or iPad letting you know that your camera has detected motion.
If you’re behind a router, check the Port Forward Range and configure your router to forward requests to those ports to the computer that iCam is running on. If you need help doing this, check out this site or the iCam support forums.
Once iCamSource is set up, open up iCam on your iPhone or iPad and enter the username and password for your camera, set your options and hit done. You should see the 4-up view with the feed from your camera in the first slot.You’re now viewing your camera live!
To view a particular camera larger, just tap on the image and to adjust options for that camera, tap on the feed once it’s open. To return to the multiple feed view, just double tap the image.
It’s important to note that iCam doesn’t just work with regular webcams, you can use it to view any IP enabled security camera that’s connected to your home network as well.
Matthew Panzarino is a writer, photographer, gadget enthusiast and time-travelling dwarf. Currently Matthew is Editor-In-Chief of The iPhone Guru and The iPad Guru. You can read more of his writing here.