Download Programs Needed
Not everyone can afford a high tech security system, so today I will explain how Skype, Vitamin D and DropBox can provide you with what you need for free. If you've been keeping up with me you know I'm a fan of Skype from my post on How I Saved $1200 a year with Skype. Now we will take it up a level and use these three programs for instant access to your home. First If you don't have Skype download it from the link above. If you already have a Skype account you will need to make another account that will be specifically used for Security Only.
If your new to Skype you will need to make two accounts (primary & security). Don't worry the process only takes 2-3 minutes for each account setup. After you have created both accounts for the security account only (area under surveillance) in Skype's main window go to Tools-Options then Video Settings on the left panel (also setup web cam above) and on the bottom two columns select "people in my contact list only" for both. On the left panel go down to Calls and under Call Settings select only "allow people in my contact list to call me" then go to Show Advanced Options and select answer my incoming calls automatically and start my video automatically when I'm in a call. and click save. This is very important because our video camera will automatically activate when you call with your primary Skype account.
Now log back in to your primary account and go to the Skype main menu and select Contacts-New Contact (this can be done from either account). Input the Skype name you selected for the second account (Security Account) you created. After your name is located hit Add Contact and send. Log out of this account and back into your Security Account and approve the contact request. Make sure your web cam is pointed in the area you wish to view. Now do a test call account from the primary account to the security account and your web cam will instantly turn on giving you a view of your home.
Our next step is to setup Vitamin D. It is a simply security program that will record any motion detected in the room. They have a paid version that offers more features, but for our setup the free version is sufficient. In the Vitamin D main screen go to Tools-Options and select the amount of disk space you would like to use for storing the videos captured, and the amount of days for the videos to be kept. For now set disk space to about 1GB and I'll explain why shortly, and the number of days to whatever you choose then click OK.
At the main menu select View-Monitor View if your not already there. Then at the bottom left select the Add New Rule. From here you can name the recording and select exactly what images you would like to capture. Once you finish click OK.
For the final step we will use Dropbox. Dropbox allows you to access to your files over multiple computers or devices (see the D.B video via there website), and from the Dropbox website. Dropbox gives you 2GB's free which is why we selected 1GB of space for storing our video. That way you still have some space let if you choose to use the folder for other items. Create a folder and name it Security in Dropbox. Then make the Vitamin D file save location to that folder in D.B. That way not only can we access to our live video feed, but now you also have a video record that is saved off site just in case the unfortunate happened. Open Vitamin D back up and go to Tools-Options-More Video and click browse then change the file save location to the Dropbox folder.