So you’ve got a bunch of wireless security cameras. Now what? How do you hook up all of your cameras to your PC and record footage from your new security suite without wasting all of your processing time, memory, and hard drive space?
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best security camera software for PC and some of their setup features in order to get the most out of your surveillance security cameras.
ContaCam is free, simplistic and lightweight. While some of the default settings are a bit weird (it saves as SWF until you change it, which means you get less than 9 minutes of video in many cases) it’s perfect for most home office use.
Because it’s free, you get to spend more money on cameras and lights.
ContaCam comes with support for six languages, including English, German, Italian, Vietnamese, Russian and Bulgarian. It’s got an ultra-snazzy mp4 encoder that keeps files nice and small and can e-mail you daily to let you know it’s still working.
It should be compatible with most cameras, but it specifically works with webcams, WDM and DV cameras and IP devices.
ContaCam’s simple interface, smooth performance and incredibly low cost of $0 make it a perfect choice for anyone with a home system or simple business system. While it doesn’t have the fancy features that iSpy provides, it’s a lot easier to use, meaning it’s better for people who don’t want a complicated setup.
You can download ContaCam for free here: http://www.contaware.com/contacam.html
- Supported from Windows XP SP3 up to Windows 10
- The program is freeware and available in the following languages: English, Bulgarian, German, Italian, Russian and Vietnamese
- CCTV Security Surveillance with motion detection and 24 hours digital video recording (DVR) ContaCam
- Motion detection events presented as animated thumbnails in web browser, check the street demo and the home demo
- Motion detection actions like FTP upload, send email (SSL/TLS or STARTTLS support) with attached movement file or run an external program
- Live webcam with possibility of history tracking, see this live demo and select a past day
- Manual records and snapshots (video game captures, movie recording, …)
- Integrated web server with password protection (internet or intranet)
- Supported are Webcams, WDM and DV devices and Network cameras (IP cameras)
- Remote watching by enabling port forwarding or using Dropbox
- Unlimited parallel cameras setup
- Can be started as a Windows Service
- Audio support for USB webcams, capture cards, and RTSP IP cameras
- Has all the FreeVimager features for snapshots editing
iSpy is free, open-source, and loaded with lots of features. While it’s not as simple and lightweight as ContaCam, it can accomplish much, much more. It supports every kind of camera known to the internet.
A paid version, the Scout, is available, featuring better GPU optimization and remote access, letting you hook up to your camera network from anywhere.
Even without the subscription, iSpy still features remote microphone access, easy upload of videos to your favorite web services (including YouTube, Google Drive, and Dropbox), remote commands (so you can turn cameras on or off from away), custom movement detection, and social media, phone and e-mail alerts.
If you’re not intimidated by the mess of features and you’re willing to navigate the slightly more complicated user interface, iSpy is perfect for you. The feature suite rivals even the best-paid platforms.
A subscription is only necessary if you want to watch your cameras from afar, but it’s not terribly expensive at about $8 a month for one computer worth of cameras.
You can download iSpy here for free: http://www.ispyconnect.com/download.aspx
- Embed the iSpy Viewer in your own website
- Control PTZ enabled IP cameras
- Talk function to Foscam, Axis iSpyServer, and IP Webcam Android cameras
- Text to speech – talk through the website via text to speech or dictation
- Listen to and monitor remote microphones live over the network
- Pair video and audio sources for capturing movies with sound
- Upload to YouTube, Dropbox and Google Drive
- Command line access (integrate with home automation)
- Remote Commands (execute over the web or via mobile devices)
- Desktop capturing
- Mobile device access
- Unlimited cameras
- Detect, highlight, track and record movement
- Record video and audio on demand (and via the web)
- Customize movement detection areas on your cameras
- FTP and SFTP frames from your camera to a remote server
- Capture Snapshots and Timelapse
- Email, SMS, and Twitter alerts
- Access and control iSpy remotely via iSpyConnect
- Full scheduling support
- PTZ Object tracking
- Plugins for ALPR, Face Detection and more
3. Security Monitor Pro
Unlike free open-source offering, Security Monitor Pro is supported by a dedicated team of programmers who work to keep things as simple and easy to use as possible. It’s got a powerful suite of features that allow you to morph your PC into a surveillance hub.
The motion detection and alarm features are top notch, enabling you to set individual notifications and motion detection regions for each camera. You can also use sound to trigger recording or alerts, giving you, even more, control.
If you’re on a shared PC, Security Monitor Pro is definitely worth a look — it has a “stealth mode” which hides it completely from other users of your computer. No taskbar icons or nothin’.
For users of shared PCs, Security Monitor Pro is the best choice — if you want to hide your surveillance from other computer users. For people where this isn’t a concern, the primary advantage over iSpy is the simpler and more intuitive user interface. Whether this is worth the $90 price tag is up to you.
Security Monitor Pro is $90.15, but you can download a trial for free here: http://www.deskshare.com/video-surveillance-software.aspx
Security Monitor Pro Features:
- Control up to 32 camera feeds, simultaneously
- Support for 2,200 camera models and counting
- Add IP cameras and Webcams
- ONVIF support for IP cameras
- Display Views On Multiple Monitors
- Adjust Orientation Of Preview From 1 to 360°
- Smart Fit Camera Preview To Window
- Cyclic view of cameras
- View JPEG, MJPEG, MPEG-4 and H.264 stream from IP cameras
- Pan, tilt and zoom cameras to adjust coverage areas
- Supports High Res cameras, with multi-resolution recording
- Export and Import cameras with individual settings
- Operate in hidden mode
- Record Multiple Cameras Simultaneously
- Capture live events and save as video files
- Add timestamp and watermarks to your footage
- Schedule your camera to automatically start recording
- Record Audio with Video
- Adjust Video Quality
- Set motion-triggered actions individually for each camera
- Get notified by email when an alert is triggered
- Detect, highlight and record the motion event
- Mask an area to exclude from motion detection
- Prevent false alarm by adjusting the motion trigger level
- Configure Audible Alarm on Motion detection
- Run A Program Or Script When Alerted
- Create schedules for each camera individually or in a group
- Cameras can be scheduled to monitor for motion daily, weekly or any custom timetable
- Start Video Recording, Broadcasting or Monitoring actions at a scheduled time
- Built-in Media Analyzer for quick review of all captured events
- Filter recordings by camera and time
- Play videos with 4x speed and view only keyframes
- Maintain a complete event log for all cameras
- Auto-deletion of old recordings to free disk space
- Broadcast video feeds live on the internet
- Search for IP Cameras on the Network
- Automatically upload video recording and photos to your website or any FTP account
4. Netcam Studio
Free for home use with a limited number of devices, Netcam Studio offers support for virtually every camera and comes loaded with advanced features like license plate detection, audio triggering, cloud sync, and e-mail notification. It’s got an advanced internal scheduler and allows you to view your cameras remotely with HTML5.
The free version of Netcam Studio supports up to 2 input devices and puts a watermark on your recordings. The cost of a license varies with the number of input devices you’ll need: 4 devices is about $50 while 64 is near $100.
The low number of allowed devices means that Netcam Studio’s free version isn’t great unless you’ve got a super simple setup — but if you do, it’s pretty snazzy. If you want to view your two camera network from outside of your home, it’s a perfect choice.
The paid version is competitive with all of the other options for business use or for use with complex networks.
You can find Netcam Studio here: http://www.netcamstudio.com/Download
Netcam Studio Features:
- Runs as Windows service or System Tray application
- 100% controlled by web services (JSON, Soap)
- Support most local webcams and capture sources
- Over 1500 network camera templates (Pan & Tilt and Audio on supported models)
- Open Web Service API allows integrating with any other application
- Integrated Scheduler
- Detects the network cameras on your network (UPnP, ONVIF, Lan Scanning)
- Collect external variables (JSON, File) for using in the overlay and rule manager
- Motion and Speed detection
- Audio detection
- License plates recognition
- Video buffering (Starts recording 2 seconds before motion is detected)
- Constant recording (or defined by scheduler)
- Trigger external systems based on rules (HTTP, File, Command)
- Email notifications
- Integrated Users Administration
- All images, recordings, and alerts in a single place
- Automatic synchronization of the library (Network / Nas, FTP, Dropbox, Google Drive)
- Define your retention and synchronizations rules
- Still images and Motion Jpeg
- Stream as HTML 5 Video with Audio (Theora/OGG or WebM/OGG)
- Stream audio directly to web browser or smartphone
- Remote access to alerts, recorded videos and events
- Connect and monitor remotely using multiple NCS Clients (Windows, Web, iPhone, Mobile (Android, WP8, BB10)
Security Camera Systems That You May Be Interested Ins