For years I’ve been searching for an easy and inexpensive way to monitor our home while on the road, without luck.  I’ve tried a few different programs, but all involved initial set-ups that exceeded my technical skills, and I gave up in each case.

Enter iCam.

Install the $4.99 app on your iPhone (or Android device) and the iCam Source software on your Mac or PC, create an account, identify your webcam, and you’re basically set.  You can use up to 4 webcams for real time monitoring of your property, and can also set up the program so you’ll receive notifications if movement is detected by any of the cameras.  You can also receive image captures each time motion is detected by any of the cameras.

Setup is awfully simple:  the iCam Source software recognizes any webcams attached to (or built into) your Mac or PC; you identify each camera with a name, adjust a few settings, and create an account:

Once you’ve done that, assuming you’ve installed the iCam app on your iPhone, you just input your account info, adjust a setting or two (or use the default settings; they’re good), and you’re off and running:

Here’s the live image on my iPhone from the webcam set up in the preceding images:

In addition, you can set up iCam to alert you when motion is detected:

Each time iCam senses motion, a series of images is recorded on your computer’s hard drive, and copies (if you wish) are sent to your iPhone or Android device:

Deleting these images from your iPhone (and for that matter, from your PC or Mac) is simple:

The remarkable thing about iCam is how marvelously simple it is.  Setup took a few minutes, and could be done by virtually anyone over the age of 12 or so (after all, I got it to work)!  When you’re home, you can leave iCam off, of course.  When you go out of town, or for example will be away from your home for the day, you simply start the program, check the webcam(s) feeds, and take off.  It’s that simple.  While you’re away, start the App and check your cameras’ live feeds – it takes just a couple of seconds.  Of course, if motion is detected by any of the cameras, you’ll instantly receive an audible alert.

The product has received 1,695 ratings in the App Store, with an average rating of 4½ stars.  See it here – iCam and here – iCam Source

8.5.12 Update:  I’ve added an infrared wireless Foscam webcam to our system:

The image from the Foscam (model F18910W) is bright and sharp, even at night when the room is completely dark.  I’m still very pleased with iCam, and heartily recommend it to anyone looking for an inexpensive and reliable system for monitoring their home.

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