Little background: Everyone has a little paranoia. We all have a little fear inside and wonder what if? I have some expensive toys and I’d like the peace of mind knowing their safe along with keeping an eye on my little fur child Shadow while I’m away from home. Turns out, doing this isn’t nearly as hard as one might think…
Fast forward a couple weeks of planning and I have a solid DVR and wireless system running that allows me to monitor and record any activity while I’m away from home, using off the shelf WiFi cameras and freeware.
- D-Link DCS-5010L Pan & Tilt Wi-Fi Camera (Black)
- Foscam FI9800P Outdoor 720P HD Security IP Camera with Motion Detection, Night Vision and Cloud Storage
- D-Link DCS-934L Day & Night Wi-Fi Camera (Black)
- D-Link DCS-960L HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi Camera (Black)
- TP-Link AC1200 Gigabit Wireless Wi-Fi Router (Archer C1200)
- The “server” (old laptop): LATITUDE E6500 15.4″ C2D-2.53GHZ 4G/250G RW BT WC
The actual set up didn’t take long. The most time I spent was figuring out where to actually mount the cameras, and doing firmware updates which can always be a little hair raising.
The laptop runs without complaint using a copy of Windows 7 and using a software suite called iSpy. The software has a slight learning curve but not bad to someone a little versed in networking and basic troubleshooting of such. The software also provides an extremely handy set up wizard which supports hundreds (if not thousands) of models of IP cameras. This is made MUCH simpler using either static or assigned DHCP addresses as well.
An afternoon of tinkering and getting stuff talking to each other, and the laptop now reaches out and pulls the live streams off the cameras into one central place for either live view or DVR upon movement detection. Peace of mind is a wonderful thing.