For years, I have been experimenting with home security and video surveillance systems. I have seen a variety of them offered on ebay and various manufactures in China, some of which are pretty inexpensive. However, they all of fail is the usability side and are locked down to such a degree that you can’t update them easily to add new features, and for the mon ey the manufacturers wont update the software. Those systems that do run with a large feature set tend to be much more expensive than one can afford for the home. I have long worried about the safety of my family and house and beyond serving as a means to catch a potential, I also benefit from the system being a deterrent.
Most of my experimenting was done in ZoneMinder. ZoneMinder is an open source Linux CCTV security system which is access via the web. So, with ZoneMinder, out of the box you have the ability to monitor your video cameras on the Internet, or even a smart phone app. It supports a variety of cameras including USB, composite video (with additional card), remote camera servers, etc… So, essentially, any camera configured with ZoneMinder is now online for remote access.