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I have a mac & a PC at home, and wondering what it will take to enable remote access to them.

I have router, have set up dyndns in the past, and assume that I'll need to configure it to do port forwarding, but what will I need on the machine - the PC can run Win7 or Ubuntu.

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The quick and easy solution is to run a remote control program like GoToMyPC, or one of the free alternatives, then connect to the desktop. It will act as if you sat down at the computer and logged in, so you can turn on the webcam and see what's going on.

share|improve this answer is a freebie and you don't have to mess around with forwarding ports. Supported on Windows & Mac platforms. The desktop is accessed through your browser.

For linux, you will probably have to use a VNC client and forward ports. :(

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Just use VNC:

  1. On your Windows PC, download and install TightVNC, which includes both client and server. Install the server piece as a Windows Service if you want it to run automatically.
  2. On your Mac it's even easier: open System Preferences, Select the 'Sharing' control pane, and enable 'Apple Remote Desktop'.

    • In both environments, don't forget to configure the access settings (strong password recommended).

    • In your router, just forward the VNC port (5900 or 5901) to the desired destination.

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There are IP cameras that connect to your network directly (wireless/wired) and can be accessed remotely with proper port-forwarding on your router.

Using such a device would mean you wouldn't have to open your PC up with a remote access application, and that you could view the camera even when the computer is off.

ipcamera image

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A friend got one of these, which is what prompted the question. – chris Oct 1 '10 at 10:45
Then the answer is "nothing"; you don't need any special config on the computer. Not logmein, not vnc, not go to my PC; that's the whole point of IP cameras. – RJFalconer Oct 1 '10 at 21:42
I was hoping to be able to duplicate the functionality with my webcam, without purchasing yet another camera. – chris Oct 2 '10 at 0:46

If you want to remote into your computer and view the camera on your computer's screen I recommend LogMein over GoTomyPC because LogMein is free.

To view a usb camera without a remote desktop connection, you would need some software on your computer which will serve the camera's video up to the LAN, preferably on port 80.

Using a true network camera would be much easier than running a web server on your pc. I suggest getting a true network camera, then just port forward from your home router. Dynamic DNS will keep you pointed at the right ip address as your ip address changes periodically.

Some residential ISPs in the US block port 80 to make you pay for the business class solution. To get past this you can do a port transformation from an available port, such as port 70 to port 80 at the router, and this will allow you to serve up the camera while the ISP blocks port 80.

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