How do I Choose the Best Home Surveillance Software?

Patrick Lynch

Purchasing home surveillance software to protect the home does not have to be an expensive process. A webcam, i.e., web camera, connected to a computer may be all that is needed in terms of security. All systems must have a motion detection unit to ensure that the video is not recording all day because continuous operation wastes hard drive space. Compressed files can eliminate a storage problem while audio capturing is also useful. Remote access is another necessary feature and enables a homeowner to view proceedings on the Internet.

A laptop with webcam surveillance software.
A laptop with webcam surveillance software.

Home surveillance software is an inexpensive means of protecting a home. It is possible to use one or more webcams connected to a personal computer (PC) as a means of surveillance. Relatively cheap variants can be purchased which allow up to 16 different webcam screens on a computer.

Some surveillance software may be able to link up multiple webcams.
Some surveillance software may be able to link up multiple webcams.

This webcam can also serve as a motion detector that captures movement occurring within its range in milliseconds. This means the webcam does not have to be turned on all the time in order for the area to be secured. This form of home surveillance software also ensures that a computer’s hard drive space is not completely used up.

This is useful because video tends to need a large amount of space on a computer’s hard drive. Continuous recording of a video could use up to one gigabyte (1GB) of hard drive space in a single day. Less bandwidth is required should the images recorded be of a lower quality. It may be a good idea to set a lower frames per second rate which also saves space. None of this is necessary, however, if the computer has a large hard drive of 160GB or thereabouts.

When choosing home surveillance software, it is important to look for certain features. For example, webcam surveillance software should have audio capturing and motion detection. Audio capturing is a useful tool as it can record conversations. Motion detection means the camera will only be turned on when someone or something triggers it.

Remote access and compressed files are also useful tools in any home surveillance software system. Remote access allows a homeowner to access the webcam’s view through an Internet connection. As a hard drive can fill up fast, compressed files are a must as they decrease the size of video files, thus allowing more information to be stored. The best software also has the ability to compress files without negatively affecting the quality.

Webcams are an integral part of an affordable home surveillance software system. Place them in the most important areas around the home with a computer recording the view of each camera. It is also possible to be alerted by email or text if the system’s motion detection device is activated.

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