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I would like to set up 3 webcams at my cottage (very close to city) because of thefts. My ideal objective would be for my family or me to be able to view pictures from any of our various home, office and school computers online in near real time. My question - is it possible for the cams to feed through a wireless router and modem directly on to the net without an intervening computer? We have lots of electricity and a permanent cable/internet connection. I can use my computer for set-up but am reluctant to leave a computer on site (another thing for them to steal). Or, is there another configuration that would serve the same ends?

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I agree IP cameras are great but are still expensive. A dedicated CCTV DVR connected to your network is the proper solution. These can be found online and will cost the same as a multiple IP camera set up. You could also use a PC with video capture cards as mentioned in previous solution.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010

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It is possible; you need to use specifically designed IP network cameras for this purpose. Problem with these is, they're around the same price as quality CCTV cameras, so setting up a multiple camera system might become price-prohibitive. The advantage is you can add cameras at will.
To use multiple usb webcams, you need the software to do it. Zoneminder ( http://www.zoneminder.com ) is a free security suite based on the Linux kernel which can use several camera types (including IP cameras, analogue cameras through a composite capture card, or usb cameras). This requires a dedicated system based on a fast P4 or multicore Intel-based CPU (AMD cores are no good for this in my experience, for reasons I still haven't fathomed) with 2GB+ of RAM and a large hard disk or array for video/still storage. The other advantage to using ZM on a dedicated system is that it has no hard limit on the number of cameras in concurrent use - you can even use it to monitor cameras on other sites.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009

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