One of the questions we answer often is whether or not you can use a laptop as a nanny cam.
The good news is that it’s easy to use your laptop webcam as a nanny cam, you just need to know a few important things before you get started. If you want a more detailed discussion on using a webcam for this purpose, see my previous posts on how to use a webcam as a nanny cam.
Important Considerations When Using a Laptop as a Nanny Cam
Before you start setting up your laptop as a nanny cam, you should really think about a few important points:
- A laptop is much harder to hide than a smaller webcam or wireless security camera.
- If you record the footage to your laptop, you risk having the laptop tampered with.
- You’ll need to make sure your laptop doesn’t go to “sleep” and stop recording.
For many people these issues might not be show stoppers so here’s a few pieces of advice on how to make your laptop work as a nanny cam.
My Advice On Using a Laptop as a Nanny Cam
If you’re going to use your laptop as a nanny cam, here’s some advice for you:
- Only use your laptop webcam as a nanny cam as a temporary solution, it really isn’t going to be a good long term solution for people who are serious about watching their nanny because leaving your laptop out and ON leaves you open to all sorts of problems.
- Use web-based webcam security software (Disclosure: iWatchLife is such a solution) because then your footage will be stored securely on the Internet instead of on the laptop hard drive, where it could be tampered with.
- The resolution on laptop webcams isn’t great, so you’ll need to be sure to place the laptop fairly close to the scene you’ll want to monitor.
- In order to make sure your laptop doesn’t go to sleep, adjust your power settings.
- You could always attach an external webcam to your laptop so that you don’t have to use the internal one, but that still means your laptop will have to be ON.
- For a more practical and longer term nanny cam solution, consider purchasing a wireless IP camera.
There is no doubt that using your laptop as a nanny cam will help anyone who wants to watch their kids and the nanny while they are away. However it is important that you spend some time in advance to consider if it is going to be only for a short period of time or something long term.
If it’s going to be long term, then you should seriously consider investing a bit more into a more robust video monitoring solution.
Image Credit: abbybatchelder