Make an Old Computer Your Home Security System
Setting up a home camera security system on an old computer is easier than it seems, said Robert Siciliano, a security and ID theft expert based in Boston.
Here are Siciliano's step-by-step instructions on how to create your own home security system using an old computer.
1. Update the old computer's operating system as much as you can. Connect the computer to the Internet and leave it turned on.
2. Install cheap webcams with built-in microphones and motion controls, as well as speakers. Set the webcams to pan, tilt and zoom over the area.
3. Download Skype, the free voice-over-Internet telephone and videoconferencing service. Install in on the home-security-system computer, and on your work computer or road-ready laptop. Make sure the other computers have webcams as well.
4. You'll need to set up two different accounts on Skype — one for the home security system and one for the remote PC. Each account needs a different user name. Set both accounts to automatically log into Skype upon computer startup.
5. Set up the security-system PC with the free LogMeIn.com remote-access-technology software, which will let you remotely access it from anywhere. When you're on the road or at work, you can fully control the security-system PC just as if you're sitting in front of it.
6. From work or wherever you're traveling, log into the security-system PC. Use Skype to call it from your remote PC, then "answer" the call on the security-system PC while remotely logged in.
7. Now you'll have full control over the webcam on the security-system PC. You'll be able to see what's going on at home as you can pan, tilt and zoom around the room, and your voice will be heard over the security-system PC"s speakers.
8. If you Skype in and see a burglar, call the police. Then start talking to the intruder as if you're in the next room, and tell him that the cops are coming to get him.