How to Access a Webcam on My Network

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Updated July 25, 2022

If you are new to the world of digital video, you may wonder how to access a webcam on your network. The best webcams, after all, require a network connection, and you may need to control the camera via the associated network. So what are the various ways to get this done? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • You can remotely access a webcam on your home network through a variety of means.
  • Download and install a dedicated app like WebCam Monitor to access a networked external webcam, and many apps are available for phones and computers.
  • You can also access the built-in webcam via your networking software by using an email address and IP address or by using a browser equipped with a plugin.

How to Access a Webcam on a Home Network

Before you learn how to access a webcam remotely, it helps to understand how to connect with a camera through your own network. Obviously, if this is your primary camera, you can access it via your computer or mobile device, which may lead you to wonder how to blur the background on a webcam. But what if the camera is a new addition to your network or is owned by someone else? Can you still access it via your network to, say, learn how to turn on the webcam’s microphone or conduct other remote tasks?

Insider Tip

Don’t let hackers take over your webcam, so cover it with colored tape when it is not being used.

Each camera and computer is different, so there is no universal guideline here. However, there are a few ways to tackle this issue.

Use Third-Party Software

There are plenty of software applications out there to access cameras on your network, even offering full remote control on occasion. These apps are available for both actual computers, like desktops and laptops, and mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. They don’t work for every webcam out there, and there will certainly be a learning curve, but with some practice, you’ll have a decent success rate.

Use a Web Browser

Some web browsers offer add-ons to view or use webcams connected to your network, even if they are not the actual camera attached to the device you are using at the moment. Scroll through a list of available browsers and look for any relevant add-ons. Then, download and install as instructed. Follow the prompts to maintain access to the webcam.

Use Networking Software

If you have the IP address of the webcam currently living on your network, you can use some networking software alternatives to achieve access to the camera. In other words, always have the IP address handy to perform feats such as this. As a note, not all integrated networking software suites allow this feature, so you may have to download and install a third-party networking app.

STAT: The first webcam was developed for Cambridge University and pointed at a coffee pot so computer scientists could remotely check if the coffee was ready or not. It operated from 1991 until 2004. (source)

Accessing a Webcam FAQs

How to use WebCam Monitor?

WebCam Monitor is a robust piece of software that does not impact video quality but does allow for remote access to webcams. Download and install WebCam Monitor, read the instructions, and follow the on-screen prompts.

How to protect yourself from webcam intrusion?

To stop hackers from using your Internet connection to access a camera, protect your static IP address, dynamic IP address, and external IP address and cover up the cameras when not in use.

What are the different types of webcams available?

There are plenty of webcams out there for video recordings and for conducting a video stream. These webcams differ in video quality and require Internet access in most cases.
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