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You can also set it to record video or take sequential shots on a precise schedule.Yoics (PC) Yoics is a remote desktop application with a lot of tricks up its sleeve. You can very quickly add a Webcam that can be streamed to a private Web address, along with having its footage archived to the local machine.It may be important to plug in the webcam in a certain order with other cables and equipment, so only plug it in when prompted to do so.

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The app does an exceptional job at letting you pick various ways you want to be notified.You can have it upload screen shots to an FTP site or as an e-mail.Any time he came in or out of his office it took a photo.At home this is more useful if you point it toward something like a door or entry way, which can keep it from picking up one of your pets moving around.Eye Spy FX (PC & Mac) This software works on Windows and Mac and has a mobile viewer that can be accessed on a handful of devices, including the i Phone. The software, while primitive, does a good job with privacy; the only way to access your stream is with your camera's special PIN.

It also supposedly keeps an online and offline archive of your footage, although I couldn't get either to work.

Software can offer a definite piece of mind over browser-based solutions.

Most of these apps can run quietly in the background, and can save footage to your hard drive for archiving.

We're on the tail end of the summer vacation season, which according to the FBI is one of the peak periods of home burglaries. If not, there are a handful of ways to turn a computer into a tool that will alert you if someone's there who shouldn't be.

Chances are good you're about to head out of town, leaving your dwelling to fend for itself against intruders. For the sake of this guide we're keeping things simple and limiting our list to free apps that work on PCs, Macs, or both. Later on we also have a section on specialty hardware that can take you beyond what most Webcams are capable of.

Honorable mention: If you're willing to shell out , you can go with Mac-only Evo Cam, which I've heard good things about.