Remotely accessible webcam? (puppy cam)

So, if you’ve seen the post your pet thread, you know I just got a new puppy. Since I’m going back to work soon, I’m considering setting up a puppy cam so I can check in on her from work to check on her separation anxiety (I work close to home so I could pop over if there are problems). Yes, we’ve been doing some gradual alone-time desensitization training over the past week, but I’d still feel more comfortable if I could see what she’s doing from time to time. However, I know almost nothing about this interwebs business, so I have no idea how hard it would be.

  • What hardware would be required? Would a standard webcam do the job?
  • What software / services would be required? I assume I need some sort of hosting set up so I’d be able to check it from work? Could I set-up a home server or something on my home computer so that I could dial directly into the camera (maybe a remote login program, there’s at least one that people really like, isn’t there?)
  • Is there a webcam on the market that might support this sort of thing as standard? Any special features to look for? (Nanny-cam feature, or something like that?)

If necessary, I’d be okay recording her while I’m away and then watching some of the video later, or just webcamming from the next room, but if there’s a simple solution for online viewing, I’d love to hear it.

i currently use this. free for personal use
http://www.webcamxp.com/home.aspx

allows my mom and some other family members to watch my dog for fun. have it installed on a laptop with a basic usb webcam. works well.

another option, if you will be the only one connecting, is to setup two skype accounts. have the one at home set to auto answer when your other account calls. you get video and sound. also just setup with a basic webcam.

the most frustrating thing has been watching my dog do something he shouldn’t be…with no way to stop him. :) need a web controlled air horn or something :)

I was going away on vacation so I got this to check on my cat: http://www.airlink101.com/products/aic250w.php (along with a cat sitter.) It’s not the most polished piece of hardware, but it was the cheapest wireless ip camera I could find. The camera has its own webserver, so you won’t have to leave your computer on, and you can pretty much stick it anywhere you want. There are better ones out there if you’re willing to spend.

To remotely access the webcam, you can register with a free dns hosting service (ie. dyndns) so that you can get to your router even if your external ip changes. After that you just have to setup a redirect rule on your router to point an external port to the webcam port.

That is a totally awesome idea! You could presumably just yell at your computer and assuming you left the volume up high your dog would hear your voice.

I have a super-duper awesome Panasonic webcam that is pretty much designed to do this out of the box, and even comes with free web-hosting if you want others to be able to see your puppy. However feanan’s idea is much cheaper if you already have a laptop with webcam.

Yelling at your dog over web cam would probably cause irreversible dog trauma. Just sayin’ :)

My coworker uses a stand alone Linksys wireless webcam. So no computer needs to be left on at the house. Just port forwards to it from the router.