Using a Webcam as a Nanny Cam

Get Great Results Using an Affordable IP Cam

We get a lot of traffic to our web site from people wanting to use a webcam as a nanny cam. So in today’s post we’re going to address that question. Please keep in mind that we are a do-it-yourself video monitoring company, so we’ll give you our expert point of view along the way.

We hear a lot of you asking about the difference between webcams and IP cameras. Both can be run on a network, both can be viewed on a PC and both can be viewed over the internet, but there is one very fundamental difference between the two:

IP cam: Has a built-in webserver and does not need to be plugged directly into the computer to work. Quite simply, you can mount an IP cam almost anywhere you want.

Webcam: plugs directly into a computer (PC or Mac) via a USB port. The computer handles the processing and acts as a webserver to deliver images and video to the network or internet. This limits where you can mount your camera.

For the purposes of this article, the focus will be on the IP cam, as it is a more robust solution for DIY home monitoring.

Setting up Your IP Nanny Cam

There are three basic requirements for setting up an IP cam nanny cam. You’ll need an IP cam, a computer for the initial set up and software program (there are lots to choose from but we highly recommend the iWatchLife service).

  1. Follow setup instructions for your IP cam.
    You’ll need to use an Ethernet cable during installation for most cameras, but this is required only during the setup.
  2. Connect your camera to the software you want to use.
    Instructions will be provided with the software.
  3. Install the app on your tablet/computer to be able to view remotely.
    This is best tested at home where you can make minor modifications or tweaks.
  4. Position your camera.
    Take the time to try a few locations before you settle on one spot.
Making Your IP Nanny Cam Work for You

Now that you see how simple it is to set up a DIY nanny cam, you should think about how you want your system to work for you.

Would you rather:

  • Keep logging in during day to ensure you aren’t missing anything, OR have the system notify you when something important happens?
  • Have the system record 24/7 and have to review those hours of footage every night, and keep erasing the hard drive so that it doesn’t fill up OR only have the system record only when something is happening that’s important to you?

iWatchLife’s smart technology records and notifies you only when something happens that you care about. We call it Activity Recognition.

In essence, our service lets you draw zones of interest around within your camera’s field of view. When activity happens in these zones, iWatchLife starts recording and sends you an alert to let you know that something is happening. You can log in right away to view  it, or, because it is recording and saving to the cloud, you can choose to view it later.

Picking the Right IP Cam

iWatchLife works in conjunction with the Samsung SNH-1011 IP SmartCam camera, winner of the 2012 Design & Engineering showcase honors from Innovations International CES, and the RedDot design award.

Money-Back Guarantee!

At iWatchLife we understand that sometimes you need to see something work in order to believe it, so we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on our cameras and our service.

Learn More

We get that there is a lot to learn about setting up your own DIY nanny cam and monitoring solutions, so here are a few other links that will help you learn more:

As always, you have any comment or questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at or 1-877-217-7666, or leave a comment below.

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