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Best APP for Home Security?

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by SYS, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. SYS
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    SYS iPF Novice

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    Summer is just around the corner, and it's time to plan on vacations away from home. How about recommending the best apps for home security? Something that doesn't require buying a bunch of security cameras in order for the app to work. Something like motion sensing or using a laptop's built in camera, etc. Thanks!
  2. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Cheapest solution: A trusted neighbor with your phone number and email address. ;)
  3. Mtnmedic
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    Mtnmedic iPad Junkie

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    I have five IP cams positioned in different places to check in on my cats and see what the weather is like at home when I'm away at work (I live 1.5 hours north of work and I'm on duty 24-48 hours at a time with 3-4 days off in between shifts). They're all HTTPS servers accessible via an encrypted and password protected URL on any browser. I use an app called Live Cams HD (also a similar one on my EVO 4G) that allows me to plug in the info for any type of IP cam or web cam view. As many cams as I like with controls for my cams. It gives a tiled view and I can click on one of the tiles for a full screen view. One of my cams is pointed out through one of my two large living room windows looking out at the deck and the canyon beyond. Good for seeing what the snow level is like (my house is at 3,600'), which indicates to me when and where I'll probably have to put chains on when I'm heading home from the valley.

    Of course, I live in the mountains on an isolated street with 8 or 9 other houses and close neighbors. Everyone knows everyone well and we keep an eye out for each other here. One of my neighbors is a weather freak and he has a rooftop cam for Weatherbug. I tapped into that as well because it's a view of my house and my other neighbour's house, both across the street. Plus I get his weather info right in the view as well. :)

    Watching my cats play in the living room or sleeping on their beds is always nice to see when I'm away from home. I remember one time seeing what I thought was one of the cats standing under one cam pointed from the ceiling. Not possible, I thought, unless.....she was standing on the OPEN FREEZER DOOR! That was the year the seal on my freezer gave out and, wouldn't you know, it was during SUMMER. Seeing that prompted me to hurry back home as soon as my shift was over (instead of the usual few hours it takes running my errands along the way) to rescue the frozen goods. I eventually had to put a piece of wide tape around the freezer door corner to keep it from popping open so easily until I got a new fridge.

    Another time I would come home from work and see a throw blanket in the middle of the kitchen floor. I put it back where it belonged (on the guest bed). Again, I'd come home and see it in the living room. I was sure one of my cats was dragging it around. But WHO? That prompted me to position a full motion pan/tilt cam where I could see both floors on command. While away at work, I'd check in and, sure enough, I catch the culprit, blankie in mouth, dragging it to a spot, then dropping it and curling up on it. I got her a really nice bed and put it in the living room, which she took to right away and hasn't repeated the blanket-dragging bit since. I think that's what she was trying to tell me.

    Michael "Spam, spam, bacon, eggs and spam. Hold the bacon and eggs." Sent from my iPad using iPF
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  4. DM51
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    DM51 iPad Junkie

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    That sounds a cool setup, Mtnmedic. Was it a lot of $$ to get it up and running?
  5. Mtnmedic
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    Mtnmedic iPad Junkie

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    Not really, no. The cams are wireless, so they can be set up anywhere. $70 each. Any good wireless router capable if port forwarding will do the job.

    Michael "Spam, spam, bacon, eggs and spam. Hold the bacon and eggs." Sent from my iPad using iPF
  6. SYS
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    SYS iPF Novice

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    While I'd love to set up a more elaborate security system, for now I'm looking for a very simple (even crude!) means of setting one up. The only "camera" I have at home is the built-in webcam on my Hitachi netbook. I just want to be able to use this to "monitor" just the livingroom where I'll face the netbook at. Does anyone know how I can achieve just with this and my iPad 2?
  7. Mtnmedic
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    Mtnmedic iPad Junkie

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    At the iPad end, it's easy. Get a good webcam app (I strongly recommend Live Cams HD as it supports MANY camera protocols, very customizable and easy to use- you can monitor any cam you like, several at a time, be it your own private cams or web page cams) Setting up a view from your laptop may require VZN or port forwarding. Not sure how that works from a laptop cam. With a separate IP cam, it's easy because the cam has a built-in server that's easy to Identify and set up with. Basically in the end you'll have an IP address or URL address to that view, which you can enter into the app.

    Michael "Spam, spam, bacon, eggs and spam. Hold the bacon and eggs." Sent from my iPad using iPF
  8. DontUnderstandMyIpad
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    DontUnderstandMyIpad iPad Guru

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    www.yawcam.com/get.php

    It uses your integrated webcam, has an inbuilt motion detection and can send you an email+image as soon as a motion is detected. It also allows streaming of the webcam, though I haven't tried that yet. Btw. it is free, too.

    Crude, but does the job.
  9. SYS
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    SYS iPF Novice

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    Thanks, Mtnmedic, for your helpful response. If I decide to go with a multiple set of cams to work with Live Cam HD, do you have any recommendation for something cheap but decent?
  10. SYS
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    SYS iPF Novice

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    Thanks for pointing this out. I'll take a look!
  11. Mtnmedic
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    Mtnmedic iPad Junkie

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    Airlink 101 cams are. I use them. The price I paid was a few years ago. But really, cams are commodity items now so if you look through the net, you should find all kinds of decent stuff for cheap. Wireless is great because you don't have to worry about positioning the cam with respect to the router and a long cable. If you are near a Fry's Electronics, go in there and check out some cams.

    Michael "Spam, spam, bacon, eggs and spam. Hold the bacon and eggs." Sent from my iPad using iPF
  12. SYS
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    SYS iPF Novice

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    Thanks! I think I'll take a look at my local Sam's Club. Should be cheaper there.
  13. Mtnmedic
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    Mtnmedic iPad Junkie

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    Not really, no. I have a Sam's nearby too. I've found Fry's is often cheaper and has a much larger selection when it comes to specialty items like IP cams, though Sam's may have good deals on home video monitoring system kits. But you may not have a Fry's nearby.

    Michael "Spam, spam, bacon, eggs and spam. Hold the bacon and eggs." Sent from my iPad using iPF
  14. SYS
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    SYS iPF Novice

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    Yep, I just found that out. Guess I'll just have to go online shopping.
  15. FrankP99
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    FrankP99 iPF Novice

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  16. SYS
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    SYS iPF Novice

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    I might get this one at Amazon.com. It's the only wireless cam that's reasonably priced and with good overall reviews:

    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-CXS-2200-wireless-installation/dp/B004GWQBWY/ref=sr_1_21?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1301677131&sr=1-21]Amazon.com: Genuine LOFTEK Brand CXS 2200 pan(270)/tilt(120)wireless/wired Dual Audio Alarm Ip camera with day/night version,easy installation: Electronics[/ame]


    I'm assuming that you can start out with one and then add more to different locations around the house at a later time? Would they all then appear on my iPad screen?
  17. Mtnmedic
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    Mtnmedic iPad Junkie

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    Yep on both counts. For the latter, depends on the app you use. That's why I recommend Live Cams HD. They constantly update it with specific suitability for new cams all the time (there's quite a list). Just a great app. On it, I view all five of my cams (four are the same, one is different than the others), the neighbour's weather cam across the street and two more web-based cam views of my nearest town, down the hill from me.

    Michael "Spam, spam, bacon, eggs and spam. Hold the bacon and eggs." Sent from my iPad using iPF
  18. DM51
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    How do those cams actually link into the WiFi? I thought things had to be within WiFi range of the router to work. Is your neighbour's house quite close, or does the cam ship with some kind of repeater unit that receives its signal and is wired into your system?
  19. Mtnmedic
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    Mtnmedic iPad Junkie

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    You are correct that Wi-Fi devices need to be within range of a Wi-Fi router to work properly (that is, to be accessed). However, my neighbor's IP cam isn't close enough to my router to be accessible by me. As a Wi-Fi device, it COULD be "seen" by my wireless network and I COULD view through it directly IF it were close enough AND if it was open (unsecured/unlocked, not password-protected, etc.) for viewing. But it's not. In fact, his cam is WIRED directly to his own router: it's not even a Wi-Fi device. And it doesn't come with some kind of repeater that somehow transmits or receives a signal. Nothing of my neighbor's is connected to my system nor vice-versa, wireless or otherwise. Neither of us have access to each other's secured Wi-Fi network, even though one can "see" the other's network.

    An IP cam is its own video server that is generally accessible using Internet Protocol (hence, "IP cam"), in that it can be pointed to and accessed via a URL or direct IP address from a web browser (or app). This is how people, like my neighbor, who are weather freaks with cams, can share with the world what weather is like in their neck of the woods on a web site (like Weatherbug, etc.). Ever see a web page with a cam in it? That view of a tree full of parrots in some guy's back yard in Florida is set up the same way as my neighbor's: a direct feed (still image refreshed every so often or active video) accessed by a URL link pointing to the camera view that is embedded into the web site you're visiting. That's all. You can right-click that cam image, select "properties" and get the URL address. Then you can copy and paste that address into a cam-viewing app on your iPad, which will then allow you to see the image from the cam without having to go back to that website to view it (perfectly legal provided the image is meant to be publicly accessed and you access it only for your own personal enjoyment and not for profit or re-broadcast to other people). That is, of course, if there is no secure linking or password protection in place for that camera access.

    Michael "Spam, spam, bacon, eggs and spam. Hold the bacon and eggs." Sent from my iPad using iPF
  20. SYS
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    SYS iPF Novice

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    Thanks, Michael. Just placed an order for the IP cam. When it gets here I'll order the Live Cam HD, as well. :)

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