What is an Internet Camera (Also Known as a Webcam)?
Internet cameras go by a lot of different names. You might hear them referred to as "IP or "internet protocol" cams, "network cameras" or "webcams." Whatever you choose to call it, an internet cam is a camera that sends and receives data over a local area network (LAN) and/or the internet.
How Do I See What's Happening in My Home or Office When I'm Not Around?
It's become incredibly easy to check in on your young child and her nanny from your desk at work - or to monitor your business from your laptop at home, all in real time. Internet cameras allow you to connect to the internet via a broadband network and remotely view live video from any web browser anywhere in the world. Once your system is set up, the only requirement is Internet access. You can even monitor multiple video cameras or DVRs from your tablet or smartphone.
Some internet cameras require a physical cable connection, others are wireless and transmit their data via radio frequency (RF) signals or over a local Wi-Fi network.
Think of internet cameras as mini computers that happen to have sophisticated optics built in. They come with their own software and need to be configured to a network in order to function. The network configuration is a relatively simple process for many devices; generally set up is no more complex than configuring a Wi-Fi network. While some models require a good working knowledge of Internet technology to get them up and running, that's becoming more the exception than the rule. Many cameras now come with their own apps, which make recording and viewing video on the web even easier.
These versatile devices come in a number of "form factors." Many look like traditional security cameras, but consumers have demanded hidden cameras (also known as nanny cams) with webcam capability - and the market has responded. Internet cams are now discreetly hidden in a wide variety of form factors, from a clock radio to a book to a DVD player.