Not long ago, acquiring and setting up a remote surveillance system at home on your own not only would have been extremely complicated, but also insanely expensive.
Thankfully, with the explosion of the mobile market and, most of all, of mobile applications, it is now possible to do this with relative ease and most importantly, at a fraction of the cost. Even better, there exist a whole array of surveillance apps in the App Store that allow you to do this, but only a few of them are free.
So, if you are looking for a tool to help you keep an eye on your pets or to catch a burglar right in the act at no cost, the AtHome app for the iPhone (free version) and other iOS devices might be just for you. So let’s walk through the process of setting it up both on your iPhone and your Mac so you can have your very own free home security system.
On Your Mac
First of all, head to this website to download AtHome Video Streamer, a necessary client application for your Mac (Windows version also available) that will stream video from it to your iOS device. Once you do, install it and open it.
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The first thing you will be prompted to do is to create a username and a password for your Mac’s camera that will be associated with its profile from then onwards.
Upon creation of the profile, you will have full access to the main window of AtHome. this is a good moment to point it to the place you want to keep an eye on. There are several settings that you can adjust on this window, including the picture resolution, the quality of the recordings, their destination folder and more.
The most important part of this window though, is located at its bottom left under Streamer Settings. There you will find your Connection ID (or CID for short) which you will need later on.
On Your iPhone or Other iOS Device
On your iPhone or other iOS device, download the AtHome mobile app. Open it and after a few intro screens, you will be promoted to add a camera to track. For this, you will have to add both the credentials you created above and your CID. Once you do, press Done.
After that you will have access on your iPhone to your Mac’s camera. Before watching the stream though, you can give the camera a name as well as edit some of its settings.
Additionally, the iPhone app also allows you to set a timer for your recordings and even better, a motion detection mode where you can adjust the sensitivity level. Both of these can be accessed from the Live Video screen.
The Live Video screen is where you can see the video streaming from your Mac, as well as record it manually. Recordings are stored on your Mac.
There you go. If you are looking for a simple surveillance solution that you can control over your network at no cost, this is it. And even if you want some added features like multiple CIDs for use across many devices and no limitations on the app’s timers, the price of AtHome ($7.99) is still reasonable.