Looking for a hidden spy camera for surveillance or spying purpose? If yes, then wait because you don’t have to spend your money on buying a new spy camera if you already have a laptop? Yes, you can turn your laptop into a spy camera with the help of free software. If this excites you then let me share with you the trick with which you can use your laptop as a spy camera. But before that let’s find out why would you want to use your laptop webcam as a spy camera?
Table Of Content
- Why Use Laptop Camera As A Spy Camera?
- How To Use Your Laptop As A Spy Camera?
- How To Use Your Laptop Webcam Secretly?
- Laptop Webcam As A Spy Cam? Is It Feasible?
Why Use Laptop Camera As A Spy Camera?
There can be many reasons behind spying on someone through a PC spy camera but the most prominent ones are as follows:
1) Surveillance: The most important use of your webcam as a spy camera can be for surveillance purposes at your office or home to keep an eye on your employees, maids, and babysitters.
2) Collecting Evidence: The second reason for using your laptop as a hidden camera can be for collecting evidence and carrying out a sting operation on someone.
3) Prevent Shoplifting and Theft: With a hidden camera, you can catch a thief red-handed because they won’t know that they are being recorded in the camera.
How To Use Your Laptop As A Spy Camera?
To use your laptop webcam as a security camera or spycam you will need a special tool that allows you to use your laptop camera secretly. There are many such paid and free tools available online, but for this purpose, a free tool is as good as a paid one so you don’t have to necessarily spend your hard-earned money for it. The freeware we are going to use today for using your laptop as a spy camera is Yawcam(Yet Another Webcam). Here’s a step-by-step process of how you can use this tool.
Step 1: Install Yawcam On Your Computer
You need to go to the Yawcam official website and from there you have to download the software.
Once downloaded, install the software on your laptop. If you don’t have JAVA installed on your computer it will ask you to do so before installing the Yawcam software.
Step 2: Add Your Webcam
Now once the software is successfully installed, launch it on your computer and then you have to add your laptop webcam to it. For that, you can click on the Settings button in the menu bar on the top and then go to Device > Change to > Webcam.
With this, your webcam will be added to the software and you can see a preview window of it on your screen.
Similarly, you can add an external webcam if your laptop does not have a webcam of its own. Also, you can use IP cameras if you want to use them for surveillance.
Step 3: Configure Output Methods
There are multiple output methods provided by Yawcam that you can use to get an output of the recordings. These include save to file, FTP transfer, Save to HTTP server, and live streaming through the internet. Let’s discuss all these methods one by one
1. File Transfer
If you want to save the photos captured by your spy camera on the local storage of your computer then follow these steps.
- Go to the Yawcam dashboard and enable the first option which is File.
- Next, click on Settings and then select Edit Settings…
- Now under Output select File and a new tab will open on the right side. Here you can select the format of the image i.e JPG, PNG, GIF. You can also choose the quality of the image, the folder in which you want to save the images, and the interval i.e. how often should it update the photos. Once you configure the settings according to your requirements, click on OK to save the settings.
- As soon as you do that, the webcam will start saving the photos in your selected folder at your selected interval. Here’s a look at the folder where these images are stored.
With FTP (File Transfer Protocol) you can store the captured photos on another computer device.
Similar to the file transfer, here also you can choose the type of the photo and its quality by adjusting the slider. You can take help from this guide from Yawcam if you want to use the FTP output method to store the captured footage.
If you choose the HTTP output then you can see the captured image online on the HTTP server address. To use this method, you can go to the dashboard and enable the HTTP option.
Now go to Settings> Edit Settings… > Http. Here you can see the HTTP server address where you can see the captured images.
You can see two URLs here, the first one is for static images and the second one is for dynamic photos. This means these photos will be updated every 10 seconds. Here’s how you will see the photo on the HTTP server.
This one is a great feature with which you can actually spy on someone by remotely viewing what they are doing in real-time. With the stream feature, you can see the live recording of your laptop webcam on another device which could be a laptop or phone. Here’s a video on how you can turn your webcam into a security camera and view the recordings on your mobile.
5. Motion Detection
The motion detection technology allows you to keep an eye on a still object like a sleeping baby, or your car which you have parked outside. You need to turn the camera angle towards the object you want to track. As soon as it detects a motion in the frame it will record it. The motion will be seen with a bluish color on the screen. It will also record the time at which the motion was detected.
If you go to the Actions tab, you can choose to save the video, photo on your computer when the motion was detected. If you want you can also get notified about it via email whenever it detects a motion.
How To Use Your Laptop Webcam Secretly?
Now you know how to use your laptop webcam as a spy camera using Yawcam software. But you still need to learn how to use it secretly so that the other person doesn’t know that you are spying on them through your laptop.
Disable The Sleep Mode On Your Computer
If your computer goes in sleep mode while recording then your camera will be shut down and you won’t be able to record anything. So in order to properly use your laptop as a spy camera, you need to disable the sleep mode on your computer. For this, you can click on the battery icon on the bottom right corner of your Windows PC. From there select Battery Settings. Now under Power & Sleep settings change the Sleep settings to Never in both conditions.
This will help you record video on a laptop with the screen off and the other person will not know that their activities are being tracked.
Hide The Camera Light
All the new laptops have this feature where the light next to the webcam glows when the camera is in working mode. This is provided for privacy reasons so that no one can remotely use your camera without you knowing about it.
However, if you want to use your webcam as a spy camera then you need to block the light with something so that the other person doesn’t get suspicious of you. You can use tape or a camera cover like this to block the light. Once the light is blocked no one will know that they are being recorded secretly.
Place The Laptop At Right Location
If you are using the laptop webcam for secretly recording video then you need to be sure about placing the laptop at the right location. If the laptop screen is not properly aligned towards the target of the investigation then you won’t be able to record anything properly. Also, you should place the laptop in a way that the person you are spying on doesn’t get suspicious that you are secretly recording them.
Keep The Laptop Plugged Into Power Source
If you are planning to spy on someone for long hours then it’s a must that your laptop is plugged into a power source. If not then the laptop battery will get discharged and it will shut down. Therefore it’s important that you keep your laptop plugged in so it doesn’t run out of juice.
Laptop Webcam As A Spy Cam? Is It Feasible?
After going through the article it is quite clear that you can actually use your laptop webcam to spy on someone. You just need to install third-party software on your computer like Yawcam and it will start recording everything secretly. However, you should keep some crucial things in mind like hiding the webcam light and disabling the sleep mode. So that your laptop can properly record everything without the other person knowing about it.
How Can I Use My Computer Camera As A Security Camera?
You can install software like Yawcam on your computer to use it as a security camera.
Is Yawcam Free?
Yes, Yawcam is totally free software.
Can You Record With Screen Off On Laptop?
Yes, you can actually record with the screen off on a laptop with Yawcam.