Remotely Monitoring Your Home While Abroad
Those who work abroad are often forced to leave their property unattended at home. Naturally, this creates a significant security problem. It is estimated that around 80% of all burglaries occur in unoccupied homes. Fortunately, technology offers a partial solution to the problem : remote monitoring. Thanks to broadband, mobile phones and email, it is now relatively cheap and easy to equip your home with a fully functional remote monitoring camera system to give you peace of mind when you’re away.
Basic Remote Home Monitoring SetupAssuming you already have broadband, you don’t need any special packages or systems to set up a basic remote home monitoring system. At a minimum, all you need is one or more webcams and some webcam software. The two needn’t even come together. There is plenty of generic webcam software out there which will work with webcams from most manufacturers. Some of it is even free.
With basic webcam software, you will be able to see images through your webcam from a remote PC. Some software will also allow you to receive images or video clips through email or have them sent to your mobile phone or PDA.
Remotely Detecting Intruders in the HomeStepping up in complexity, some software offers built-in motion detection capabilities, allowing you to detect potential intruders. You will be able to configure the software to react to these potential intrusion events. For example, on detecting motion, the software may capture a sequence of images or make a short video through the cameras, then send it to you via email or SMS. That way, if there really is a burglar in your home, you will have some nice mug shots to help police with their inquiries. Of course, if the message is received in time, and it does look genuinely alarming, you will be able to contact the police yourself and they may even be able to catch the thief in the act.
Because of the danger of wasting police time through false alarms, most home monitoring software will not contact the police directly when the cameras pick up unusual activity. A human being has to decide whether the event represents genuine trouble. If you will not always be in a position to respond directly yourself, there are manned remote monitoring services which can do that for you, assessing the incoming data about a potential problem, making a decision about how serious it is, and contacting the police if required.