Introduction: Remote Security W/ Skype

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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.

then

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.

Comments

author
zinoulion (author)2015-02-08

What is Srial pro webcam skype

author
mdlunn (author)2014-11-18

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

author
Arr0gantExp3rt7 (author)2014-01-16

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

author
yasirafzal (author)2013-04-25

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

author
cliffyd (author)2010-11-05

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.

author
some114 (author)2009-08-01

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.

author
rush_elixir (author)2009-04-02

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.

author
ElectricJ (author)2006-10-02

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.

author
Tetranitrate (author)ElectricJ2006-10-02

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

author
PR22 (author)Tetranitrate2007-08-07

Only if you get the computer back...

author
Tetranitrate (author)PR222007-08-07

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

author
PR22 (author)Tetranitrate2007-08-07

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
http://www.discovercircuits.com/H-Corner/secwireloop.htm

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

author
Tetranitrate (author)PR222007-08-07

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.

author
PR22 (author)Tetranitrate2007-08-07

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

author
Tetranitrate (author)PR222007-08-07

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.

author
Insaneisfun (author)Tetranitrate2008-05-02

Or rig up a Rail gun like I did.But do not do it if you have pets.My cat set it off......Not pretty.

author
cloner (author)Insaneisfun2009-03-02

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

author
cloner (author)2009-03-02

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!

author
AnarchistAsian (author)2008-12-15

woah, nice, I LUVZ SKYPE

author
cctvtracy86 (author)2008-12-08

Unfortunately I do have a roommate too.

author
redneckobsessed (author)2008-06-13

can i use the skype on my psp? and does any1 know where you can get the special cam for psp ?

author
cooldog (author)2008-01-13

depending on the webcam you can take photos with it from skype so if you see someone in your room click the button in skype and you have an instant photo on your computer

author
jamnoopers (author)2007-11-24

This is pretty cool. but.. If you have to keep the computer in your dorm room logged on in order for the webcam to record, doesn't that leave it somewhat vulnerable?? or did you rig it up a special way?

author
douchrti (author)2007-06-02

I'll give it a try, thanks

author
zachninme (author)2006-10-05

I would also install some software that waits for motion, then starts a video recording, for say 10 minutes. This way, you can have it automatically record all video, without wasting 100GB of space, not to mention all that time reviewing the tape!

author
maluzi (author)zachninme2007-04-16

For recording Skype video & audio I always use SkypeCap. It's very useful in my job and for my hobbies.

author
rocketbat (author)2007-03-14

set up your own big brother (shudder) that only you know about,..... until you have enough blackmail! MWA HA HA HA HAAAAA

author
Weissensteinburg (author)2007-01-28

I just set this up, but I took it one step further. I have a really old webcam besides my current one. I took apart the old one so all I had left was the small circuit board and lens, and then I hid that, so now ive got a hidden security camera. I do see a possible problem with this...because now you have a rommate..what if you look at your dorm and he happens to be changing...or has someone over ;) ;)

author

Then I probably shouldn't mention the C:\nakedroommateporn folder on my computer. ;)

author

lmao..probably not..but watch your roommate turn out to be a nudist

author
debben (author)2006-10-06

I am using this to watch the alcoholic squirrel that lives in my apartment, if I fon't watch him he'll drink too much and throw up nuts all over the place.
http://www.computerlabs.org/alchisquirrel.JPG

author
Myself (author)2006-10-04

This is deceptively simple but it looks like it solves a lot of awkward problems that other video systems have had over the years, specifically NAT and firewalling. Sweet! I'm looking at setting up a real video surveillance system around here, something with lots of logging and motion detection, and I'd like to have it running by devil's night. I'd better get off my ass!

author
trebuchet03 (author)2006-10-02

It wasn't anything fancy...

Materials:
Duck Tape
*May require extension cable

Instructions: apply liberally :P

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I used www.webcamplanet.com - which is the same people that do ww.com -- yes, that's a site. Just know that some people are not what is considered "Child Safe." The software was a little flakey at first - but let it do its thing and it would stop hanging on you and work quite well (motion detection and such for bandwidth control). The site also lets you take snapshots from anywhere with a web connection.

AND, if you do what I did... post up an eMail address and get some really weird responses. I don't even want to know what's involved in a "sole reading."

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All that said... if you're in college and in the dorms... I HIGHLY recommend theft/vand. insurance. This literally saved my ass - my laptop (I paid $1300 before rebates and such) was stolen from the mailroom when it was being sent for service... I used http://www.collegestudentinsurance.com/ . I paid $50 - making a claim was easy, service was great and return on my claim did not take too long. The trick is always to file a police report when something like that happens ;)

author
Tetranitrate (author)trebuchet032006-10-04

I admit the camera is more for fun then security purposes. I am getting theft insurance on my electronics too. For the door I was thinking about printing out a big picture of an eye, and then taping it on the outside of my door, with a hole cut out in the pupil for the peephole. Then underneath I would list the website for it.

author
leevonk (author)2006-10-03

can also do it with yahoo messenger. Have to create two screen names, sign on with one in dorm room, click, broadcast webcam, then sign on with the other user name wherever you are and watch your rooms webcam. I do this to monitor my experiments.

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