Brains of the Operation, Pt. 1

Brains of the Operation, Pt. 1

Know Who's There

Aunt Ethyl just rang the doorbell. But did she bring homemade cookies? The trick to knowing both things before you even get up to open the door is to use a wireless webcam, such as the Trendnet TV-IP400W ($279,, and the latest beta of Ben Softwares Security Spy (free). First connect the webcam directly to your wireless router. If you dont have a router, Trendnets TEW-631BRP is a good choice ($105), but any 802.11g or 802.11n model will do. Now follow these steps.


1. Get Your Webcam's IP Address

Launch the Firefox browser (free, ), because Safari wont work. Type your wireless routers default IP address into the address field. (The Trendnet routers IP address is, for example. To find your routers, go to System Preferences > Network and double-click the Ethernet port.) On the routers webpage, click Status, then Device Info. Scroll down to LAN Computers and note the IP address for the webcam - the description starts with CS.


All devices connected to your router are shown, including the webcam, Mac desktops and laptops, and other gadgets.


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2. Webcam, Meet Router

Type the webcams IP address into your browser windows address field (and write it down because youll need it again in the next step). Click System Administration, then Configuration, and then Wireless. Make sure the SSID network name for your wireless LAN is listed in the pop-up window. If it isnt, select the right one. Now disconnect the Ethernet cable, mount the webcam so that the lens is pointed toward the front door (Trendnet includes a mounting bracket), and plug it into power. If you mount it outside, pick a spot where the webcam wont get wet. Or just install it inside with the lens pointed out a window.


You can even enable encryption for the webcam, making it impossible for a hacker to disrupt the video signal.


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3. Fire Up Security Spy

If you havent already, download and install the most recent beta version of Ben Softwares Security Spy. Launch the app. Go to Settings > Video Device Setup > New Device. In the IP address field, type in the webcams IP address, then select the Trendnet TV-IP400W (or whatever webcam youre using) from the Device Type pop-up. Click OK, and wait for the webcam image to appear.


You can add additional webcams here. Just click on the New Device button.


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4. Tune in to Front Door TV

You can now see whoever steps up to your front door - without getting up from the comfy spot in front of your Mac. Security Spy can automatically record the video feed from your webcam, and you can add multiple cameras around your home.


And, behold: The coast is clear.






+ Add a Comment



"[A]long with the benefits of keeping a wire-free office comes some serious and significant drawbacks. Security expert Seth Fogie looks at one such [device] and highlights several problems that can not only can give an attacker a first-person view into your office/home, but also ensure your wireless camera fails to operate as expected."



for some reason, the URL I added was snipped:

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