Home Security

Home Security

When you are on the road, it would sure be nice to keep an eye on your home. Security systems have been around for a long time, but with todays technology and smart phones, everything has changed. Over the years I have utilized the various security companies. Depending on how good their salesman is, this can be very expensive and produce less then satisfactory results. False alarms were the biggest problem for me. I have at least two friends that have had to pay fines for too many false alarms. A security system will cost you a lot of money and you are locked into a the 3-year contract.

If the alarm goes off and you get a call from the security company, all you can do is panic. You can not see what is going on at the house and there is not much you can do about it.

The Solution

All you need is an internet connection and an IP Camera.
FoscamI recently bought a Foscam FI8910W for about $100.00. It turned out to be everything I expected.
With this system you can see a live video feed of your house from any computer on the internet. I even have an app for my smart phone that allows me to check the house from anywhere in the world. The camera allows you to pan and tilt to look all around your house or yard. There is even an option to have the camera email you a photo when it detects motion. I installed an additional app for my smart phone that gives me what they call push notification. The phone sounds a chime if the camera has detected motion at the house. You can then launch your smart phone app, see live video and even talk to an intruder.

Here is a link to a YouTube demo on how it works.

If you decide to get one, be sure to order it direct from FOSCAM. That is the only way you will get support.

http://foscam.ca for Canada
http://foscam.com for US

Here is the tricky part:

#1. You need to have internet at your house, cabin or RV.
#2. If you want to check your house from the internet you need to set up port forwarding on your router.This is not for the technically challenged and you may need help to do that. Your internet provider may do it for you.
#3. Your camera becomes a web server and as such will need a dedicated IP address or a ddns subscription. That can cost around fifteen dollars per year. You may even find a free ddns service.4. You do get two way sound on the system but there is quite a delay back and forth. So it is difficult to carry on a conversation using the system.If that sounds a little complicated you can get the Dlink-930L.

The install on this camera is very easy and no special router configuration is needed. DLinkHere is a link to their site.
All you need is an internet connection. I put one of these in at the cabin about a year ago and it works great. It does not have all of the features offered by the Foscam, no pan or tilt and no two way sound but it will give you everything else without port forwarding and dedicated IP. With either of these systems you get an email including photos when motion is detected. You then have the option of contacting the police. These cameras have sure given me peace of mind when we are traveling. You can even put one into your RV.



One more gadget:

This one only works with an iphone.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to kill the power to your garage door opener while you are gone? Or even turn lights or heaters off and on while you are miles away from home. I bought a WeMo from http://www.belkin.com/. I found this one very easy to install. All you need to do is give it your internet password. It is only fifty dollars. If you are in Canada you need to order it from Apple. In the US you can get it from many places including Amazon.




If you are at Mons Lake and need to set up an internet service I strongly recommend MCSNet.

I have used other providers with disappointing results.
High speed internet service for the Mons Lake area.