Keep an Eye on your Home over the Internet

One of the ways that the Internet has impacted us is in the ability to rapidly access information on a moment’s notice. This translates to just about every area of life, including home security camera packages. There are a number of different systems out there that will actually allow you to view your home security cameras in real-time from your work computer, or even from your web-enabled smartphone.

So, how do you use this technology to your advantage? While different home security camera packages will all differ at least a little bit from one another, configuration and use are going to be fairly similar. Here are the general steps involved in watching your home security cameras online:

  1. Install the camera carefully. Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for camera placement and power, and to get it connected to your home network. (If you don’t have a home network, you’re not going to be able to use this kind of camera). Make note of the camera’s static IP address, as you’ll likely need it later on.
  2. Configure your home router to allow the camera traffic. Here again, follow the manufacturer’s instruction. Usually, you’re going to have to set up port forwarding for port 80 on your local area network router. If you’re having trouble with this portion, you can check with your home network’s router manufacturer.
  3. Determine the public IP address of your router. Depending on your DSL or cable Internet provider, you may have an IP address that’s dynamic – that is, it changes from time to time. If you have a dynamic address, you may need to update from time to time to be able to connect.
  4. Use your browser to connect to your local network over the Internet. From the office, your smartphone or another location outside of your house, try to browse to the local network. This may take some trial and error, and you may need to play around with it some.
  5. Many network-based home security camera systems now offer a way to access your camera over the Internet via their servers, rather than by having to navigate to your local area network. If this is an option, consider doing it this way as it’s much more secure overall.
Posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011