WebCam Software Review
The following is our experience with many webcam software packages that we have set up on our server with webcams. We will list our preferred software first and then our second choice. The rest are in no particular order of preference. Ease of setup, features, and user friendliness are major factors in our choice of the first two. All of the programs in this review were setup and actually used on our server. When evaluating webcam software be sure to get it set up on your machine properly. After setup start and stop the program several times to give it a chance to recognize your capture devices and cameras. You will quickly learn the best programs will show an image from your camera very quickly. On all of our reviews you can go to the website for the program by clicking on the title. Our only interest in any of these programs is as a user.
VisionGS is by far our favorite webcam software. It allows one to view all your multiple cameras at once in a group. It is very easy to set up. It remembers your window settings. It has a built in server making it very easy to place your cameras on the internet. It requires no special software to view cameras on the internet. It is a very stable program and will run for days or even weeks without a mishap. You can be sure Internet Explorer and FireFox will show your cameras just by a user clicking on your link. It has FTP uploading and motion detection allowing you to record for a set number of seconds or minutes. It has a great banner section allowing you to place a time/date stamp, bars, current weather, and more. Motion detection allows it to be a great survellience tool. The VisionGS site has a great workshop that allows a user to set up web pages to embed your camera image in and java programs to refresh your still images. This is the best software to use for multiple cameras. We are currently running VisionGS on this website with four cameras. Note that on the main page only the camera images are refreshed and not the whole page. See it HERE.
ConquerCam is an outstanding program, being very stable amd packed with lots of features. It is easy to set up and is very user friendly. FTP uploading and motion detection are standard. ConquerCam is not being developed anymore at the present but the author will still answer your questions if you have any. At it's current price of $10.00 it may be the best bargain on the internet if you have just a single camera.
This program is seemingly packed with features, but we worked for several days trying to get it set up without any satisfying success. It has FTP uploading although you cannot select the directory you want your image to go. You can only upload it to the root directory. It requires a "remote viewer" program to see cameras on the internet. How many of your website visitors are going to have this on their computer. It does work but it is one of the most cumbersome and user unfriendly programs we have ever tried to use. It is supposed to work with multiple cameras as well as the 4 port video capture boards. This program offers no free trial. I would reccommend you cross this one off your list.
Crime Catcher is a good multi camera program. It is easy to set up and operate. It recognized our capture devices quickly. It will show 4 cameras at once. It has good FTP upload functions, as well as saving images locally to your hard drive. The text, bars, and time/date stamp works very well. We had trouble making the streaming function work. It did finally work after changing several parameters. This is another program that uses Windows Media Player.
Kabcam is a fairly user friendly program to set up and use. Setup only took about 30 seconds after which it launched and immediately showed one of our cameras. However, only two of our capture devices were recognized. It has a good banner, text, and time/date function. KabCam has no motion detection functions.
At 15 megabytes this is the largest download of any webcam software. The setup for this program was quick and easy. After setup the software recognized all of our capture devices immediately when run for the first time. It works well with multiple cameras, and will show and display them nicely. It has good FTP functions and dandy motion detection. The program will create a web page to place your camera on the internet, however it does not give you total control over the web page content. It may be modified to some extent after you get it made. In order to get your camera on the internet you must subscribe to their service. This is a big turn-off to us. If you don't have a server this may be an option. Why not get a server if you don't have one? They are cheap enough today to make it practical.
All we can say about this one is don't waste any time and certainly no money on this loser of a program. It will lock up your computer and operating system no matter what drivers you use or any way you configure it. It has support for multiple cameras and is supposed to work with the 4 port video capture boards. Stay away! Most users refer to this program as "Pico Crap".
This is an impressive program. The interface is well laid out and is very user friendly. It has good FTP and local save functions. Motion detection functions are included. A good chat function is integrated into the program. We had one of our cameras on the internet in under five minutes. The ability to password protect your webcam images is included, and it can be enabled or disabled. The program can be used with up to ten cameras. You will see thumbnails of all ten. When you click on one it will appear in the main window. This is a good overall program.
This is a good stable program. It works well with multiple cameras but you cannot place the images along side of each other to group them together. You can detach a window containing the image and place it on your screen for a grouping but it is a bit cumbersome. This program has support for multiple cameras.
YawCam is one of the three freeware programs we know of so you freebie users will love this one. It has FTP upload, a built in server, and loads of features. It recognized our capture card and camera quickly. The layout of the program is very well thought out. This program locked up our computer several times. YawCam will only work with one camera.
Setup for this program was quick and easily done. The interface is compact and user friendly. If you are a Windows Media Player fan this program is for you. It recognized all of our capture devices easily. It is for a single camera having no support for multiple cameras. Operation is simple, configure the server click on start and you can go to the internet. Upon arriving at the location on your server you will see Windows Media Player load up with your camera image. It will show the number of users connected and the url of your camera on the internet. This program has no FTP upload support.
WebCam32 is no longer being sold but may be available again soon. The rights to the program are for sale. This was a fairly good program with lots of features. The big turnoff was the fact you had to sign up as a user and go through their server to get the camera images on the internet. Cross this one off your list.
This was one of two programs we could not get to work at all. After trying for about an hour we finally gave up and moved on to others. We never learned if it would recognize our capture devices or cameras because it refused to complete the setup. It was possibly a conflict of devices in our computer. Try it and see what you think.
CoffeeCup is another that requires you to register as a user and go through their server to place your camera on the internet. It has lots of the usual features. If you don't have a server this may be the way to go. However , all in all this software was a big disappointment to us.
This program consists of generation 2, 3, and 4 with 4 having the most features. We only used a trial version of generation2. It has FTP uploading and some other very good features, as well as support for 4 cameras. The site also has a freeware java applet that will refresh images on your web page that works very well.
Fwink is another freeware program and works reasonably well. It has FTP upload capability but has no server or streaming capabilities. It does have banner capabilities allowing time/date stamps. It may only be used with one camera. Another reasonably good program for the freeware fans among us.
We are still puzzled by the name of this one. We got the program to complete the setup but after working for about an hour with this program it never recognized any one of our capture devices.
CamWizard has support for four cameras and has lots of features. FTP uploading and a HTTP server are included. The big turnoff to us was the fact you can only view one camera at a time unless you have a 4 port video card. This is a very impressive program except for that limitation.
This program locked up our computer several times. It seems to have a lot of features with FTP uploading and a built in server. It recognized our capture devices. The interface seems a bit cumbersome to use as, verything seems to be a bit too compact. We will do more extensive testing on this program later.
LogisPhere has a well laid out interface and is very user friendly. Their claim that you can put your camera on the internet in minutes is absolutely true. We had one of our cameras up and ready to be viewed by the world in just over 3 minutes including setup time. The FTP upload and local save feature works very well also. We had a bit of trouble changing the video input for one of our capture devices but this is a minor problem. This is a very good program but it has one drawback. You cannot view multiple cameras. A user can only see and use one camera at a time.
Here is another freeware program and it is a little gem. When you run the program and select a video device a window comes up with your camera image and nothing else. You can select the size of the window and move it around anywhere on your screen. It has good FTP functions. It has no server capabilities to place your camera on the internet and it will only work with one camera, but remember it's free.
This program recognized our four capture devices immediately. It is simple to select the camera and capture device you want to use. The http server function works well. We had a camera on the internet in about 3 minutes. FTP functions work very well. The user interface is very compact but extremely user friendly. The banner and caption functions work well. You can only use one camera at a time with this software.
Copyright © 2006 by Mick Lindley, Minor Publishing House