Webcam on Website

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I understand that I if I 'point' my website at the IP address of my
home PC where I am streaming a live webcam, I can then display it on my
website.  The problem is that under this method I have to open up my
home network to the internet - something I am relluctant to do as a
result of the inherent security risks.

I have SSL enabled on my apache based website (hosted externally to my
network).  I therefore presume that if I create a ssh tunnel to the
webserver, it should be possible to stream the webcam over the SSH
tunnel to the website.

This seems easy enough but I don't know how I should actually go about
doing it.

Can anyone provide any pointers on how to stream to a website over SSH?


Re: Webcam on Website

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You just open port 80 on your router and point that to your home pc. If you
don't have a router then a software firewall is a fall backup (again just
open port 80) but I'd be more confident with a hardware router. Otherwise, I
agree, don't open up your home network to the internet.

If your home IP is ever likley to change then consider signing up for
dynamic dns (such as, most are free for the basic package and
this is probably all you want - basically you run their applet on your pc
and it updates their servers with your current ip address, you just access
your home pc using a dns name that they give you. The bottom line being that
if your home ip changes then you don't need to do anything.

Sorry, don't know anything about SSL/SSH so can't advise on that.

If your objective is to be able to access your home webcam, but restrict
access to you and you alone, then it might be worth looking in to VPN. XP
Pro supports vpn connections, don't know about XP Home or Linux variants.
That *might* be simpler than looking at SSL/SSH, but this is just a best
guess ....
Brian Cryer

Re: Webcam on Website

Brian Cryer wrote:
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Thanks for all your useful comments.  As a stage 1 to my attempt I
think I will set it up the 'simple' way and for a brief period expose
one of my home pc's on port 80 so that I can get the webcam stream out
onto the internet.

The VPN solution wouldn't be suitable as I am trying to learn how I
could broadcast a live video feed onto the internet.

The SSL/SSH route seemed good as it should allow me to stream the video
feed whilst leaving my home network completely secure (i.e. no open
ports).  I am not a security expert so don't fully understand the risks
of openning port 80 on your home router but it strikes me that it is
unlikely to be entirely safe.

If anyone has any useful input I would be happy to hear it - I believe
that I need to find a Java Applet to pull the images from my home pc -
if someone could point me in the direction of that I would be grateful

Re: Webcam on Website

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Provided you only open port 80 (http) then you should be reasonably okay.
Yes, the safest approach is not to open any ports, but if everyone adopted
that then we wouldn't have any internet.

I'm aware from looking at my own server logs that people do try to hack.
Typically I see requests for pages that I don't have which are clearly
administration related for services I don't run - keep your pc patched and
keep an eye on the logs. I run my home pc with port 80 open, although I
don't do any serious serving of web pages from home.

As an alternative to opening port 80, you could try a completely different
port and redirect it to port 80 internally. That way other than someone
running a port scanner no-one would know which port was open. (People do run
port scanners!) Whether you can do this (NAT) depends on your
router/firewall, but even if your router/firewall doesn't support it then
you could probably change which port your webserver was listening on. To be
honest though, its a whole lot easier to keep it at the standard port 80.

I hope someone else replies regarding the SSL/SSH route, I'm sure it could
be interesting.
Brian Cryer

Re: Webcam on Website

I've snipped all responses thus far, since mine has no relevance to what
others have said.

If you (like me) are uncomfortable opening your personal computer to the
outside world, use FTP to your site to send the captured images.

I use a freeware program called "booruWebCam" available at which takes the captured image and FTPs it to the

Karl Groves

Re: Webcam on Website

Karl Groves wrote:
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Thank's carl but I am looking to create a live video stream, as opposed
to a series of still images, from what I have read you can't use FTP
for a 'live' video feed

Re: Webcam on Website wrote in news:1160664807.897249.212980

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I upload roughly 15 images a minute.  Other software (not free) from will upload much faster.  
This, as you say, is not "streaming", but it does sort of give the same
effect - /

Karl Groves

Re: Webcam on Website

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This depends what you mean by "live". Most webcams on the web update their
images every "N" seconds, say once every 30 seconds. They don't stream video
constantly down to the browser. So, FTP to regularly upload the image would
be adequate.

If you require a genuine live video feed (rather than a sequence of still
images) then you may be into the realms of writing your own active-x control
to load into the browser. I'm sure others will correct me if I'm wrong.
Brian Cryer

Re: Webcam on Website wrote:

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Is this of any use? /
Steve Loft
Sanday, Orkney.

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