Webcams for Easy Surveillance?

What is a Webcam? It is a simple digital camera, usually quite inexpensive, ready to be connected to the Internet. The purpose is to permit continuous uploading on the Web of snapshots taken at regular intervals, for any purpose and for anyone to see.

Well, not exactly for anyone, but at least for the authorized happy few. The technology has become so inexpensive and the instructions so uncomplicated that actual implementation of a simple system should be well within the capacity of almost anybody.

And that is exactly what one would want to get from a simple Surveillance system.

Webcams are offered for almost any price range you can imagine. Of course the higher the quality the higher freecam the price. But for a first installation intended primarily to get acquainted with a simple system and to evaluate its efficiency, the cost should not be an obstacle.

What is needed for a simple system? Besides the Webcam, a Personal Computer (PC) is used to connect the camera with the web server. Except that, for certain Webcams containing the hardware, the connection can be made directly without going through the PC.

Then Software is needed, either supplied with the Webcam or downloadable from the Internet. Most basic software packages are available at no cost. Those displaying additional functionality can be purchased at nominal cost.

Communication lines (either telephone lines or cables) should be available, as well as a subscription to an Internet Service Provider (ISP). This is not different from what one uses for browsing the Internet or for corresponding by e-mail.

Establishing the connection is generally performed following the step-by-step instructions supplied by the Wizard, a short program written exactly for helping the less expert customers. In case that fails, phone assistance from the ISP should be sufficient.

Once connected and tested, the system needs no additional attention except in case of major disturbances. Current Webcam views will be easily reachable on the Internet anywhere on earth, although this amazing fact strucks every time anew older observers hard to get accustomed to the wonders of modern technology.

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