How to Turn Your Webcam into Security Camera

It is clear that sometimes, before acquiring a sophisticated and powerful video surveillance system, one wishes “to learn” and judge the usefulness of such a system cheaply. So why not make your contributionwebcam and install a system of video surveillanceamateur without too much difficulty. This is what we offer via this post.

Prior warning:

Although we speak here of an amateur installation, with lower performance than a professional video surveillance system, the fact remains that the rules and ethics of the video surveillance remains fully applicable. If you monitor a public receiving local, or your business, people observed must be informed in advance, and have agreed to be filmed.If it is a private place, we remind you that it is prohibited to film people without their knowledge.

What does it do:

As we have noted, this type of installation is extremely amateur, and can be understood as:

  • an introduction to amateur video surveillance, and judge the usefulness of a professional video surveillance system;
  • a temporary extra surveillance.

Advantages and disadvantages of such a solution:

Benefits include:

  • a relatively simple installation
  • the cost of setting relatively small practice, limited to the purchase of a webcam

Among the disadvantages:

  • an amateur system giving an overview of what can be remote video surveillance
  • the requirement to leave your computer and your internet lit box (Freebox, Livebox, NeufBox …)


Here is the list of necessary equipment for the implementation of a video-surveillance Webcam:

  • a computer (which will stay on), with Windows
  • a webcam: a basic webcam will naturally do the trick. However, more advanced is your webcam, and the better the restored image
  • the free “Webcamfirst”
  • FTP storage space (usually provided free by your ISP)
  • Optional: a USB extension cable if the distance between your computer and the location where you want to install the webcam may not be covered by the cable length of the webcam.

Installation Walkthrough:

First, you must have correctly installed your webcam on your computer, using the driver CD that came with it. Your webcam should work properly under Windows. This is very important because it is obvious that if your camera does not work “not native” Windows, Webcamfirst can not emulate.

1 / visit the site Webcamfirst ( ) and download the software.Pleasant surprise, the software is available in French and without advertising its unlimited and free version!

/ Install the software on your computer. To find your way more easily in any subsequent manipulation, we recommend you keep the default installation path of Webcamfirst.

3 / Once installed, click on “Program”, “Webcamfirst” and in the folder, click the “Webcamfirst” program. The software will then start.

4 ° / Your first action will be to change the language of execution of the program. To do this, click the “Language” menu and select “French”.

5 ° / Good language select, you must then go to the Option menu to set the shooting. By default, the software is designed for manual triggering. If you press the “Photo” picture is automatically taken and stored on your computer: a so quite limited option. If you put your attention there are different options available:

First the ability to trigger an automatic shooting at a fixed time. You can then decide to take such a photo or video sequence all daily from 15h ….

Another interesting option, the ability to make shots at a given frequency, for example every minute.

If you wish to indulge in a video-surveillance, the last option will retain all your attention: it is the possibility of triggering recording on motion detection, ie if a person enters the field vision camera, it will turn on and begin capturing the sequence. For simplicity, we invite you to check the “Automatic”.

You are then prompted to select the photo quality. We advise you to opt for a default picture weighing 30 KB. This weight is reasonable and allows good shot.

6 ° / Then you must go to the “Settings”. In this menu, you can determine how many images you want to see kept on your computer. By default, this number is set to 1, meaning that the new photo comes automatically erase the old. The number of snapshots to keep at your discretion and to determine in place under surveillance and activity taking place there.

At this stage, your camera can thus: taking pictures on motion detection, and store them on the hard drive of your computer. It is already significant, but the interest is rather limited because you can not view the images remotely! Rest assured, Webcamfirst designers have thought of everything, that’s what we’ll see in step # 7 and in the following.

7 ° / Now we look forward to seeing you in the “Options” menu, and we invite you to click on “FTP settings”. To recall, and without going into too technical, the FTP space is a space that you allocated, generally free by your ADSL operator, on which you can store documents so they are accessible on the internet. For these identifiers simply contact your advisor ADSL customers: it will give you these IDs, you only have to see in the various fields in this section “FTP”. Click OK, and the operation is complete.

Now, when an image is captured, it will be downloaded immediately (or rather “uploaded”) on your server: they are online.

It will do more than go to the ftp address of your storage space to view all photos taken.It’s as simple as that !

At this stage, we have: set our webcam, and sent the pictures taken at the remote FTP, therefore making the images available on the internet and available worldwide.

It’s bad, but it could be even nicer to have real videos sequences on the internet and see in real time what the webcam detects: that is what we will see in this new stage.

8 ° / Considering the features of the software, and webcam capabilities, it is impossible to have a fast streaming of images detected by the camera, but cons, it is entirely possible for you to capture images on motion detection at an early frequency, creating in their viewing on the internet like watching a video. Here is the manipulation to be done.

First, in the Option tab, change the number of images to keep, and do keep that, the most recent coming overwrite the oldest. then change the refresh rate, raising it to 10 seconds in “Motion Detection”.

Tip of the professional:

-As we have indicated, the real constraint of this CCTV system is that the distance between your computer and webcam is limited to the length of the webcam cable. Know that there are wireless webcams. These Webcams simply need a power supply to operate. They can therefore be installed well away from your computer without having to use a USB extender.