How to Use Skype for iPhone as a Home Security Camera Monitor

By  at Sunday, March 27, 2011  

If you have a small child that is watched by a baby sitter in your house, or just want to know what your really weird roommate does when you aren’t home, listen up! If you have a desktop computer or laptop with a webcam, then you already have a security camera.

Now all you need is an iPad 3G or iPhone that is compatible with Skype’s iOS app to act as the monitor. This way you will be able to see what is going on in your home using your iDevice, from anywhere that you can get 3G service…

Step 1: So now that you have the tools needed, you just need to install Skype on your desktop. Visit Skype website, it will allow you download the desktop version for either Windows or Mac. You will then need to make sure you have the mobile version for iOS installed on your iDevice. You will obviously need a constant internet connection to the desktop and Skype will need to remain open on your computer for this to work.

Step 2: You will need 2 Skype accounts. If you don’t have a Skype name already, just use the iPhone app to set up your main account, and use the desktop version of Skype to create the 2nd one. This 2nd account will be used only to connect to your Macbook’s webcam so make sure it’s a complicated Skype name and not to give it out to anyone. Once both accounts are registered, log into Skype on both your iDevice and your computer.
Step 3: You then want to turn on Automatic Answer in Skype on your desktop. It is found in the Skype Preferences panel under the Calls tab. You may also want to check ‘Start Video Automatically’ and uncheck ‘Show Call Controls’.
Step 4: Try it out! Open the Skype Mobile app on your iPhone or iPad and make sure you are logged in to your main account. In the search bar type in the Skype name that your desktop computer is currently logged in as and it should come up. Press the Video Call button and within minutes you should see what your webcam at home sees!
If you are trying to go incognito I would recommend turning the volume on your desktop all the way down and dimming your display. Even when automatically answering calls, the Skype app is noisy and very visible. Skype will not work if your laptop is closed or your computer is locked.

I love the fact that I can place my Macbook anywhere in my house and can take a quick peek at that room, even if I’m on vacation! It is important to note that I still have a grandfathered unlimited data plan with AT&T, those who don’t have unlimited data should use caution when using Skype away from Wi-Fi.

Has anyone tried this out? Do you have another tip to turn your iPhone into a security monitor? Tell us below!

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