IP security camera system

This last weekend was labor day and unlike most Americans I didn’t spend it drinking and partying.  I spent it preparing an ip security camera system for my home.  If you read my blog, you recently became aware that I have built a cheap windows HTPC.  Since I now have a server-type computer that is powered on 24/7 I wanted to put it to use.

IP Security Camera Setup

I had a few wireless IP security cameras sitting around and decided to upgrade the firmware and install them.  The cameras are very similar to the Cisco-Linksys Wireless-N Internet Home Monitoring Camera’s that are available via amazon and work perfectly.  As a standalone camera, they’re pretty nice and can email you motion detection updates and have various other features.

Standalone, they’re pretty nice, but I wanted great.  So I searched the internet for a camera monitoring software to install on the HTPC that would save the motion detected video clips.

Wireless IP security camera software

I came across iSpy, an open source ip camera monitoring software solution that was perfect for my needs.  The free version of iSpy provides the ability to detection motion and record the clips where motion is detected.  If you upgrade to the paid service, you can send SMS alerts and even upload detected video to youtube.

I wanted a solution that would put my motion detected video clips into the cloud, and iSpy provided the recording aspect of the solution.

motion detection in the clouds

In the iSpy settings, there is an option that lets you choose the folder that you wish to be utilized to save motion detection clips.  Here’s where web 2.0 savy-ness comes in to play. I chose the public folder of my dropbox account for the security motion detection clips to be saved.

This allows all motion detection video to be uploaded to the cloud instantly.  If a home intrusion begins, the theif may turn off my power or unplug my computers to steal them.  By the time this is done, my motion detection clips would already be stored in the cloud thanks to dropbox.

Now I can view my clips via the anrdoid dropbox app and know that all motion detection is uploaded immediately.  Talk about peace of mind for a super cheap price!

Take it a step further with IFTTT

IFTTT is a web 2.0 service called “If this then that”.  Basically it’s a simple programming if statement that utilized web 2.0 services.

Currently my setup looks like this:

  1. Motion detected
  2. Video file recorded to public drop box folder
  3. Video file uploaded to cloud storage

I wanted to take it a step further and receive email updates with the video files attached.  Gmail offers a ton of storage for free and the ability to send and receive email from mobile devices easily.

I set up an IFTTT recipe that simply checks for new files added to my public dropbox/security camera/ folder and then attaches those files and emails them to my gmail account!  This adds a second layer of video backup and instant notifications to me when motion is detected on any of my ip cameras.  I have shared the IFTTT recipe with the world and can be viewed by clicking here.


My final setup looks like this and is all ran from a low end HTPC that I built on the cheap.

  1. iSpy running in taskbar on HTPC
  2. iSpy detects motion on one of my wireless IP Cameras and records the video clip
  3. The video clip is stored onto my harddrive in my dropbox public/Security Camera folder.
  4. IFTTT web 2.0 service detects a new file in my dropbox folder.
  5. IFTTT attaches new file to an email and sends it to my personal gmail account.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below and feel free to let me know how you have your home security systems set up.

UPDATE: I have added a free Android IP Security webcam to my security system and made a blog post about the process of setting it up.

Author: David

View my first post on this blog for more information.

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