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Free home surveillance with computer + webcam

I lost my keys at Evatt House so I needed some kind of security to make sure no one nicks my stuff. So I came across this article on webcam motion detection security. However, where can I get a ftp server? Preferably free? I came across Dropbox that easily solved the issue by uploading the security ‘footage’!

DropBox and Drogem free webcam security

  1. First grab and install Dropbox
  2. Look for the Dropbox Folder Location by right-clicking dropbox icon and selecting preferences
  3. It looks something like this: “C:\Users\Joakal\Documents\My Dropbox”
  4. Start Drogem (or install it first if you haven’t)
  5. Follow the instructions first here: [Dropbox] (Handy with pictures explaining)
  6. Once familiar with above, we’re going to use Dropbox as a free service
  7. Click Store Settings -> Filename
  8. Change it to the dropbox location which will be something similar to this: “C:\Users\Joakal\Documents\My Dropbox\Photos\drive-cam%G%g.jpg” where the %G%g becomes date and time. For example: “drive-cam20101219191001.jpg” (the current year – the current month, day, hour, minute and second)
  9. Ensure the setting is at 1 second interval (raise it if you want pictures taken less often)
  10. Click Ok, Click Close
  11. Now would be a good time to ensure you have a screensaver with a password. This prevents a random person from stopping picture uploads at least. A reasonably technical person can bypass any password to a computer.
  12. Set the screensaver to darkest or something because the auto-capture works best when there’s absolutely no change.
  13. And set screensaver to 1 minute. If you have a laptop or powersaving programs, you should tell them not to turn off the computer or similar parts, however turning off the monitor automatically works pretty well.
  14. Point the laptop to the entry point like the door.
  15. When ready, check the auto-capture and run out of the door.

What happens

Drogem software begins comparing ‘frames’ in the footage. If a frame is found to be different to the next frame, it’s saved into that directory where you likely had the Dropbox folder. As soon it’s saved into the Dropbox folder, Dropbox software automatically uploads it to the Dropbox server.

You can even access the pictures anywhere in the world by going to your Dropbox account.

All for free! If they helped you, you could provide help back through simple money or help somehow at their websites.

Tips

  • Can be used to watch over you while you sleep.
  • Cover the webcam light so anyone seeing it won’t suspect that they are being recorded.

Problems

Takes so many pictures!

Try turning off the light and make sure the laptop screensaver only goes black or doesn’t change.

But they can delete the files off my computer and account!

If you set a password that comes up when the screensaver appears, it should solve most of your problems. As of this time, Dropbox does not require a password when automatically connecting to Dropbox account online and deleting it. However, there’s still a password requirement to changing password or email. So you’re pretty safe.

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