How Does a Webcam Server Work?


Quick Answer

A webcam server allows users to view video stream recorded by a webcam from remote locations via an area network or the Internet. It works by uploading video onto the network, encoding it and sending it to a designated place, such as a Web page. The data is decoded into video stream by the browser, video player or other device that accesses the stream.

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Full Answer

Webcam servers are available as both dedicated hardware devices and software packages. Some are designed to process streams from multiple cameras. Cameras are connected to the server by Wi-Fi, radio link or Ethernet connection. Home security networks often use radio links to connect cameras to the server for access on a personal security page through a computer or smartphone.

Common uses for webcam servers include remotely watching areas outside the home, observing wildlife and observing pets when away from home. Motion sensitive cameras work well for many applications. The server rests until the camera senses motion. Then webcam server starts collecting and streaming data from the camera. This frees up system resources for other applications and minimizes energy use. If a motion sensor camera is installed for security reasons, the server can be programmed to send an email or other notification to alert the owner to watch the feed whenever motion is detected.

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