When you think of home security, most people think of elaborate setups that include installing cameras throughout your home instead of using an item they already have, like a computer or smartphone. However, new apps designed for computers and devices with a camera like a tablet or cell phone can make it easy to monitor your home when you’re away.
Home security and monitoring apps aren’t as sophisticated as a full-blown alarm system – something most homeowners should consider investing in. However, they can be a helpful inexpensive tool as simple webcam is all you need to be able to use most home security and monitoring apps.
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iSentry is a free app that uses the webcam on your computer to record what’s happening in a particular room. However, unlike a traditional security camera where it continues to record and you would have to sift through the footage, it can send a video or photo to your smartphone or mobile device whenever movement detected in the room exceeds the motion sensitivity limit. You also have the option of saving the data on to the iSentry’s web service.
iSentry can also be setup to control activation time, motion sensitivity, sounds, alerts and email notifications remotely, making it a simple yet powerful home monitoring tool, even if it will only see as far as the camera on your computer can.
Designed for use with Apple computers, Tattletale utilizes the built-in camera on any Mac like the Apple Display, iMac or MacBook Pro. Tattletale does something a bit different than other webcam based programs.
With Tattletale, the camera and program wake up when somebody logs onto your account or wakes your computer up and actually takes a few snapshots of who’s sitting there. The images can be sent to your email, and Tattletale also provides location information, which is a great feature if your computer ever gets stolen and somebody tries to open and use it.
Who’s Looking is another app that can help provide security for your personal computer. The app takes random snapshots using your computers webcam at certain intervals that you can set in advance – every five minutes, for example. From there, the images can easily be viewed and sorted.
Who’s Looking can also be set to take a single image or a string of images when your computer wakes up from sleep or is turned on. The app runs in the background so the person using your computer will never even know it’s on. The Who’s Looking app is also password protected, so nobody will be able to see the images and delete them or the app itself without knowing your password.
Home Watch is an app that snaps pictures from your computers webcam when motion is detected in a room. Home Watch can also be set up to take pictures at set intervals even when motion is not detected. It’s a great app to use as a nanny cam or just to keep an extra eye on your kids while you are at work.
Images can be saved directly to your computer or sent to you through a cloud service such as Dropbox so you can view them even when you’re away from home.
Home security apps can be set to take pictures of anybody using your computer. / Image Courtesy of Flickr
iWatchU is perhaps the most advanced home security app that uses your webcam as a surveillance device. While it might sound the same as the other apps, iWatchU has advanced algorithms programmed into it to make sure all motion and intrusion is captured.
Best of all, iWatchU supports multiple cameras that can be used in different rooms through a wireless network, USB or Firewire. Another advantage of this app is that you can access real-time footage of your home through your phone to see if there is an immediate need to call the police.
Once recorded, the video can be sent to you by email or uploaded to a file so you can view the footage later.
These apps are some of the best out there, but there are plenty of plenty of other home security apps that function as security cameras. They might not be as effective as a full alarm system, but at the same time, many of these apps can also help you to alert the police or your security company immediately of a burglary without the thieves ever knowing.
These security apps are also ideal for businesses where you want to protect important files or documents on your computer, as well as the computer itself.