Most readers know I do PayPerPosts. While this post is a PayPerPost opportunity, it is, at the advertiser's request, a fair and impartial review. In other words, it won't be the usual "link ho" fluff! So I've been paid to look at a website called They've asked me to read up on their service and talk to my readers about what I honestly think about it.

What home camera does is take any ordinary webcam and, with a software download, enable the webcam owner to view their home from any internet PC or even a phone with picture and video capabilities. In short, it turns your webcam into a home security camera without any fancy schmancy wiring or security service contracts. There are other services that do this, but the applications are clunky and complicated. Home Camera claims their software is easy to use and you don't need to be an uber computer geek to set it up.

The best part is they are in beta right now and they are offering the home camera service for free. Beta users will be able to maintain their free usage status for life once they go live and start charging for the service. Free home camera security service sounds like a good deal to me. That's one point for the folks!

The way they describe the service, it sounds easy to use. I like easy. We tried to set up a webcam feed for our baby a few years ago and I got so frustrated trying to figure it out we just used the "old fashioned" baby monitor! I would probably use this service for some sort of fun application, like setting a webcam up at the Hot Dog Truck for internet podcasting on this site-that would be taking "a day in the life of the Hotdogman" to the ultimate extreme. Our home security system is old fashioned: lock the doors and have a BIG dog. Our dog keeps more people off our property than any camera would and I'd rather keep someone who is up to no good off the property than view them rifling through our stuff via the internet!

If I had people in my home doing construction, repairs or perhaps cleaning the house, I might think differently. A home camera would allow me to keep my eye on them while not at home. I have seen "bad nannies" busted on TV by concerned parents who installed a hidden home camera to discover and document child abuse. We don't have a nanny, but if we did a home camera would certainly be something I'd consider. Once again "free" would be a nice enticement to try it (I am such a cheap bastard my wallet squeaks when I open it). Anyone who had these types of concerns would probably benefit from the home camera service, even if there were a nominal monthly fee.

The other thing you can't put a price on is peace of mind. If having a home camera took some worry out of your day on a regular basis, it would be worth whatever they charge.

The one thing that bugs me about the service is the whole "big brother" thing. We live in a world where personal information is easily compromised. Identity theft is rampant and is unlikely to go away anytime soon. (I had my identity stolen-IT GOT RETURNED!) Having my home broadcast over the internet gives me the creeps. I'd be worried savvy crook could hack my home camera feed and know when I'm not home. If they're smart enough to do that, they could disable it altogether. A simple snip of my cable wire would disable the feed as well. This type of thinking brings me back to the dog. Crooks who do breaking and entering will stay away from a house with dogs-there are plenty of targets without dogs (and they probably have nicer stuff than us).

So lets review the review. Home Camera is easy to use and free-both good things. You can view your camera from virtually any internet device-also good. I probably wouldn't use it-I'll keep my big dog thanks. If I had people in my home that I wanted to keep an eye on, I'd hook it up; at least until I teach the dog to give me written reports! If you are the type of person who would gain some added peace of mind from a home camera, then I'd say give it a whirl-the price is right after all and you can lock in the free pricing for life if you get hooked up now. The "big brother thing" bugs me, but if my concerns for home security outweighed my conspiratorial paranoia I'd probably hook it up.

All in all, it seems like a good application that I'll probably never use.

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Varun said...

Fair review. And hilarious. :-)

(How about using HomeCamera to keep an eye on the dog? ;-) )

- Varun.

anyjazz said...

I had a dog once.

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