Due to my recent break-in I had ADT reactivated, but really to catch anyone now-a-days it requires either some DNA or some good old footage. Since I already had several webcams I set out to find software to help me use them.
I found this link and decided since they’re free I might as well try them all out.
I was looking for:
- Remote viewing (bonus for Android support)
- e-mail notification
- motion detection with few false alarms
- Multiple camera support
- IP Camera support
I thought that order was important, but I soon realized the motion detection with few false alarms is the most important unless I plan on being glued to the computer all day. Some had great remote viewing, but the motion detector would e-mail me for every gust of wind and I didn’t see anything besides just a threshold to tweak to fix that. Others just had no features. Sure I could watch 16 webcams at the same time, but why? Some would send me a picture after the motion had ended and didn’t keep track of any time before the motion.
I found Vitamin D was #1 for a reason. I found the settings for motion detection were fairly easy to setup. I could define an area and it would only report motion in that area. Vitamin D sends me an e-mail that actually shows me what is going on and highlights the motion. I found some free webhosting with FTP and FTP all of my videos (FTP requires paid version). Vitamin D allows one to specify how much of your hard drive to take up and acts as a DVR.
The drawbacks? The free version only supports one camera. I currently have 2 going and I’m looking to purchase another so I paid the $50 for the 2 camera version. A good example of “try before you buy.” There is no remote viewing even with the paid versions. That’s OK. I have logmein installed so I can check my cameras. At the $50 price point there are probably other good applications, but I had already configured this one and it met my needs. I’d like 4 camera support, but oh well. I can cover what I need to cover with 2 cameras.
Vitamin D has a range of IP Cameras they claim to work with. Those get quite pricey when features like Wifi and night vision are added so I will wait on that a bit until I can figure out which camera meets my needs (I wish i could just take a bunch home and try).
HomeCamera was a nice product as well as far as the e-mail, remote viewing, and multiple camera support went, but the motion detection would always send me pictures where the person had just left the shot. I don’t need backs and legs!