Seeing from afar what happens at home, while on vacation or on a business trip, is now quite a simple proposition, thanks to the amazing performances offered by the Internet.
The technology may seem formidable for ordinary people first thinking of this application, but in effect it is not out of reach. The hardware is already mature and inexpensive, ready for use by an increasing population, and the whole project can be addressed by anyone with curiosity and common sense.
It is true that there may be a stumbling block for computer innocent people. We refer to the correct addressing of the peripheral facility, be it a computer or a camera, to the Internet Service Provider.
But according to our experience their technical support people are selected with utmost care and trained to be patient and helpful even with those not quite conversant with communication technology. It should not be too difficult these days to find a helpful hand for establishing once and for all the Internet connection.
Two solutions can be considered, different in scope and complexity.
The first one is centered on a personal computer. A number of home surveillance cameras are connected in a system designed to survey and record the views either continuously, at a preselected rate of pictures per second, or upon detecting movement in the field of view.
The dedicated computer permits to use the computer screen as a monitor (despite the different technology, digital vs. analog) and the recording function is realized in the internal hard disc.
Once connected to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider, the home computer is reachable from far away by proper software. Then the way is open to operate the computer from the distant location as usual, after entering username and secret password, and also to check the recorded video images at any time.
The other solution is even simpler. It is used normally to check the vacation home, from a single camera. This set-up permits to dispose of the use of a computer by directly linking the camera to the net through a dedicated IP (Internet Protocol) address and connection, to see streaming views from the camera, used as a webcam.
Either way a simple system is easy to set up to get familiar with, and can be expanded at any time later according to personal preferences or actual needs.
When willing to monitor a far away location over the Internet, one should always remember that there are some important security issues, explained elsewhere, that should not be overlooked if the security of the information is not to be jeopardized.