Lifehacker reader Delerium explains how to keep an eye on your house while you're away, using just a webcam and the Hangouts feature of Google+.We've discussed setting up a home surveillance system with Apple's FaceTime before, and it's even easier with Google+ hangouts (and cross platform, too). There's no need to hack around anything, since once you start a hangout it'll automatically answer other users that join:
You can use Google Hangouts as an on demand remote camera viewer. First, create a second Google Account, and put the alternate account in its own circle. Then, start a hangout with just that circle. When you want to checkup on how everything's going along in your house, you can just join the hangout with your alternate account, and you should see what's happening. Of course, for more complicated and long term camera solutions, you would need some specific software. This is just a no additional software approach to quickly checking up on your house while you are away.
The only hitch is that you'll need more than one Google account, but you might already have one around anyway. Now, with it, you can keep an eye on your house, see if that package has been delivered, and more. We tested this and it works even if your screensaver is turned on, which is pretty nice. It won't work if you set your computer to go to sleep, though, so be sure to turn sleep off if you want your surveillance!