How to Keep an Eye on your Pets

Have a new cat you'd like to check in on? Is the dog rooting around in the trash? Do you just miss Fido? With an affordable camera system you can keep an eye on your pets while you're away. Here's how to set up a puppycam (or kittycam) system in your own home.

DCS-930L
1. Install cameras
First, decide on the camera that is right for you: the D-Link Wireless N Network Camera (DCS-930L) or its day/night counterpart the DCS-932L, which provides infrared illumination for night vision up to 5 meters. Next, determine where to place your cameras. Both models feature a sturdy base that lets you set the camera on any flat surface, whether it's a shelf or the top of a bookcase. Or, if you prefer, you can mount it to a wall or ceiling.

Pets tend to linger in a few well-worn areas -- surely you know them by now (if not, just follow the pet hair). You will want to focus on these spots. If Rover has access to the backyard, consider aiming one out an upstairs window.

The DCS-930L and DCS-932L cameras are wireless, so there's no need to worry about cabling aside from access to a power outlet. Both cameras use 802.11n protocol for wireless networks, which has a much greater range that of the previous 802.11g version. One account can support up to 32 cameras -- enough to cover and extensive area.

DIR-655
2. Add the cameras to a network
Your existing wireless network can probably support the D-Link DCS-930L (if you don't have one, the D-Link DIR-655 makes for an excellent router to handle the wireless traffic). All you need to do is add each camera to your network by following the steps provided by the included Camera Installation Wizard. It's really simple and only takes minutes.

3. View the video stream
Once the cameras are on the network, you can access a live view from your cameras via your iPhone or Android device with the free mydlink app. Or, if you're at a computer, the mydlink portal is always available via any web browser, giving instant access to your camera feeds. For more advanced needs, the free included DViewCam software can help you set up notifications (including setting alerts when motion is detected) and a recording schedule (so you're not recording video while you're home from work).

Getting started with a pet cam is remarkably simple. D-Link wireless cameras are an inexpensive and easy-to-set up way to get peace of mind that your pets are safe, and provide for plenty of animal-antics entertainment, too.

Remember: Pets always seem to run amok when they think no one is watching. Now you can keep an eye on them whether you're at work or away for the weekend.

[ This sponsored article was written by IDG Creative Lab, a partner of PCWorld. ]

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