Using nothing more than a web browser, you can turn any internet connected device with a camera into a motion sensing, web streaming security camera – for free!
Do you have an old iPhone or iPod Touch? An Android phone or tablet you don’t use anymore? How about an old laptop with a webcam? If so, you’ve got all you need to create a streaming security camera you can view from any web browser in the world. It can even take screenshots when it detects motion.
Here’s how via Viyo describes their service:
We make setup simple. No clunky apps or hardware necessary. All you need are two devices: one to set up as a camera, and another to view your camera. Viyo is compatible with most phones, laptops and tablets.
That’s right – no apps required, just a web browser. To top it all off, it’s free! You can use this setup to monitor a pet while you’re at work, watch the front door for package deliveries – the scenarios are endless.
Here are step by step instructions for setting up your first camera.
- Grab the device you’re going to use as the camera and on that device head over to viyo.io. Once you’re there, click/tap the GET STARTED FOR FREE button.
- Enter your email address, a password and place a check the terms and conditions agreement box. Then click/tap the sign up button.
- At this point you’ll be sent a confirmation email. Check your mail and follow the validation link to verify your account.
- Once you’ve verified your account, you’ll be automatically logged into viyo.io on the device you’re using as a camera. You can scroll through the overview pages or select the Skip link to get to the good stuff.
- Let’s setup your device as a camera – select the Setup Camera button.
- At this point you’ll likely be prompted to allow viyo.io to access your camera and microphone. Tap Allow (or its equivalent on your device).
- Select the Advanced Options link.
- Here’s where you’ll do most of the configuring. If your device has more than one camera (most phones and tablets do), select the one you want to use as your security camera. Then give the camera a name (eg. Front Camera or Back Camera). Make sure there’s a check in the Notifications box and for the time being make sure there isn’t a check in the Motion Screenshots box. Select SETUP DEVICE when you’re done.
- Your camera will start to stream audio and video. Point it at the area you want to monitor.
- Tap the ‘3 dots’ button in the upper-right corner of your screen and then select the Settings button (the one that looks like a little cog).
- From here you can adjust the sensitivity level for the camera to trigger the ‘motion detected’ feature. You’ll probably need to test this out and adjust accordingly. Once you’re happy with the sensitivity level then you can enable the Motion Screenshots setting, which will take a screenshot on your device each time motion is detected. Finally, make any Visual Adjustments you see fit – increase or decrease the brightness, saturation, contrast or hue. Select the Done button when you’ve finished.
- Using the on-screen controls you can take a screenshot any time you’d like – just select the Camera icon and then accept the ‘download’.
- If you don’t want to stream audio, select the ‘microphone’ icon and make sure it has the ‘strikethrough’ indicating that it’s muted.
- Now to access the camera from another location. Hop onto your laptop or primary phone/tablet and head over to viyo.io in your main web browser. Sign in with the same account information you created way back in step #2. Once you’ve signed in, select the View Cameras button.
- Select your active camera from the Camera Manager list.
- Ta-da! You can now watch a live stream of the video camera you setup as a security cam.
- If you’ve enabled notifications, a small window will appear in the browser letting you know each time the camera detected movement.
- The first time you select the on-screen camera icon to take a screenshot of your security camera you’ll need to allow downloads from viyo.io.
- The screenshot can then be found in your Downloads folder.
- That’s it! If you’d like to use more than one camera you’ll need to pay for a subscription (currently $5/mo). Or, you can use the Viyo referral program to add additional cameras to your account.