Remote Security W/ Skype


Introduction: Remote Security W/ Skype

About: Working wireless-ly.


Now that I'm in a dorm I have to be more careful with my possessions. I thought it would be great if there was an easy way to use my web cam to look over my room when I'm not around. I found a forum online containing the instructions that I am going to use now, and I added some helpful tips.

Step 1: Download Skype

You need to download 2 copies of skype, one on the computer with the webcam in your room, and another on whatever system you will be using to watch the video. I used my laptop to access the camera, and since my entire school is giant wireless hotspot, I can watch my room on my laptop from math class.

Create 2 separate accounts for each computer.

Step 2: Change Settings

On the computer with the webcam, you need to go to tools> options> advanced> and check off automatically answer incomming calls.


tools> options> video> check start video automatically and only from people in my contact list.

On the comptuer you will use to check in, open the skype account, and call the account on the computer with the webcam. On the comptuer with the webcam save the caller in contacts.

Step 3: Masking the Webcam LED

Since most webcams have a LED indicating when they are on, you would want to cover it up. It can be as easy as stuffing a piece of black paper over it, or just drawing on it with a sharpie.

Because the sharpie wouldent hold on the plastic, I stuffed a small piece of tissue over it and soaked it with the black ink. It held and now the light is completely blocked.

Step 4: Final Product

In the picture you can see the video in the skype window on my laptop. Now I can check on my room even when I go back to Queens.



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    35 Discussions

    I am thinking I could use an old laptop to view my front door via web cam and skype.

    Thanks. With divorced parents and a mom wanting foster kids I have to be careful with my stuff. And now most computers have webcams. Plus u can buy USB extension cords

    WOW, a wonderful project, thank you very much for sharing.
    This is one of my top priority projects at the moment.

    I found Yawcam to be the best to use for security reasons, I use it at home and it works with you wireless router and IP address so you dont have to have skype just look at it from anything with internet.

    Or if you have an iphone or ipod touch (you need wifi for the touch but edge, 3g or wifi will work with the iphone), you can get the app 'icam' and then download the program for your computer. It lets you get on and you can see whats going on. I might make an instructable of it.

    you can also use yahoo messenger or any kind of chat messenger with webcam or call support. Mine I use yahoo messenger to monitor my home via internet when Im in the office at night, just be sure your computer at home is not set to trigger standby or sleep mode.

    What if whoever just swipes your computer? I don't know about you, but other than my textbooks, my comp is the most expensive thing in my dorm room.

    9 replies

    Then you should set it up to record somehow, and you will have evidence of who did it.

    Or you could just set it up to automatically dump the video to a server every so often.

    Well it only takes 20 seconds to enter your room and unplug the computer, you would have to record to a server in real time.

    I'm trying to think of a good security system for my desktop while I'm at college.

    Right now I have a basic loop wire alarm

    But I'd really like something would call/text my cell phone when something happens. Any ideas?

    Are you going to be living with a roommate, because if not you can probably easily set up a webcam to do motion detection. Then set up an alarm, or have it trigger an automatic text message to be sent to your phone.

    Unfortunately I do have a roommate. I could mod a loop wire alarm to send a single to my serial port which in turn sends a text message to my phone, but if they unplug the computer first, it won't work. I think I'll just spend 100$ on insurance not worry about it

    You could always buy the insurance, and rig up the loop wire alarm to a small explosive charge conveniently hidden in a PCMCIA slot, or unused floppy drive slot, etc. Then if someone tries to steal your computer BAMMM! hard drive platter shrapnel everywhere. Collect the insurance money, buy a new computer, and make sure to send a thank you to the family of the burglar including photos of the shiny new machine you were able to buy because of their relatives attempted theft.

    i hope no one gets too drunk to accidentally trigger the detector otherwise...nailed!

    google yawcam. it allows streaming via http. it dumps images to: 1) ftp site, 2) email add 3) to wherever...and captures during motion only. quite cool!