How to Build a Security Camera

How to Build a Security Camera thumbnail
Turn your webcam into a home security system.

A security camera can be useful if you need to watch your home or business while you are away, but can't afford to hire a full-time guard. Although you can purchase a security camera kit for a few hundred dollars, if you are on a budget you can just as easily build your own with a webcam, a laptop, an Internet connection, and a free piece of software. Although it may lack the bells and whistles of the more expensive setups, it will work and you can do it for less than $100, as of 2010.

Things You'll Need

  • Webcam
  • USB extension cord
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    • 1

      Setup the webcam in the area that you wish to monitor. If your USB cable isn't long enough, then you may need to purchase a USB extension kit (see Resources).

    • 2

      Find a webcam security program. A few that you can consider using are HomeCamera, YawCam and Yoics (see Resources). As of 2010, these programs are all free. These will allow you to monitor your camera from any Internet-enabled computer, cell phone or PDA.

    • 3

      Setup the motion detection program. Once you have downloaded and installed the program you will need to enable the motion detection software. Simply follow the installation wizard that comes with the programs. When you get to the end, it will ask you if you wish to enable motion detection. Click on the check box for "Enable Motion Detection," and enter an email address and mobile phone number. Click "Finish."

    • 4

      Test your system out by logging into the website where you downloaded the software. You will see your camera feed. If you walk in front of the camera, you will receive an email and text message from your system that movement has been detected.

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  • Photo Credit webcam image by Régis Verger from

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