Well folks, I think I’ve settled on my home surveillance software and it’s called Xeoma. As part of my prepping, I had been thinking about setting up a surveillance system for quite a while; recently I decided to just start somewhere and build one up. So I got started.
Where to start?
I had an USB webcam lying around, so I mounted it in an inconspicuous spot where it covered the front of the house pretty well. So far so good, but what next? I needed some software. I figured I'd need to:
- capture video when something/someone is detected approaching the house - record video files locally and send them offsite - forward a live stream so I can view it remotely - trigger on motion detection to reduce the data avalanche - manage multiple cameras with separate configuration and policy settings
…and I wanted to do all this on a Macintosh. I looked around for a solution, first trying a few free webcam apps -- that was fun at first but didn't come close to addressing my laundry list. Next I looked at SecuritySpy, which seemed excellent and professional… but ouch, what a price tag: hundreds of dollars for a minimal system. (And it has some really obnoxious features in the trial version!) Next I looked at a few other free or demo webcam apps, but again found them lacking.
Then I found Xeoma. Wow, those clever Russians! This software is reasonably priced ($20 and up) and seems to address all my needs:
- monitor multiple cameras - motion detection with various configuration and masking options - send to various destinations including files, FTP servers, webservers, etc. - alarms, app launch, and various other filters and features
The drag-and-drop filter graph that configures your system is very intuitive and easy to use. For example, the following graph routes a single camera to a motion detector, then on to the preview/archive module (the top path) and also through a timestamp filter and to a file output module. The raw camera output (not filtered by the motion detector) is also output using the web server module. The whole setup took less than a minute to do.
Sadly, the user interface and documentation is a bit challenged for English clarity. (Like the control labeled "file storage time"… is this how often to store files? How long to keep them? When they are updated? It is not clear.) But these problems are very minor, and overall I had no problem figuring it out.
I have ordered an infrared camera, and am looking forward to building out my Xeoma-based home security system. If you want to check out Xeoma yourself, download the free trial version (Win, Mac, or Linux) at:
I love this thing. Earlier today I came home, went into the study, and then watched myself come home! Good fun. Now, back to playing with my Xeoma system.
Jan 22, 2013, 08:10 AM
That was a lot of effort to post a couple of links.
Jan 22, 2013, 09:14 PM
Well JB, I wanted to put a screenshot where you see the first link, but was unable to. So I hosted the screenshot somewhere else and put a link to it. I hope you enjoy it if you go there, I really do like tinkering with their filter graph.
Jan 22, 2013, 10:52 PM
Actually m_a_m, we have had so much spam here lately that I'm assuming the same of you. I'd love to be proven wrong though.
Jan 23, 2013, 04:43 AM
Originally posted by Jaybee: had so much spam here lately
don't you have filters? You should get one!
Anyway, thanks for the info. Have been into SecuritySpy myself and kinda liked it until it was time to upgrade and the costs were too much on me. With not so many Mac OSX apps for home security - and I mean good ones, not just for a day - I was hesitant. Does this one work with wireless cam's too?
Jan 23, 2013, 04:44 AM
I mean networked wireless
techy geeky hobbyist, a Mac'er
Jan 23, 2013, 12:17 PM
spam on the boards, where it can't get filtered. the modus operandi is somebody with no prior posts (under 10) posts two or three "hints" which a three year old knows, then a link (occasionally broken) to a sales site.
we just eat that stuff up and spit out the Ethernet cables here. and then go native on the posters.
the web"masters" here just don't chase and delete the spammers, so like cats, we play with the dead. if you were reading a lot of mew-mew-mew, now you know why.This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
May 28, 2013, 04:42 AM
I'm using Xeoma as well. I've heard also about ZoneMinder being a good alternative too, but it only goes with Linux. And I'm a Macintosh user forever the simplicity of the GUI is really impressive. the only thing that sucks is the fact it overloads the system perceptibly. but my overall opinion is - EXELLENT
Jul 29, 2013, 09:32 AM
Like the features and the functional in general. Good, that I can easily access the machine and the program settings at any given time via my mobile. Too bad, they still don’t have an iOS app! How is it possible? I’m still on a trial mode, but I’m considering buying the license next week (stiil have to figure out how many cameras I will need). If all works fine, I’ll defibitely buy it, cause the price is tasty. But will see how it goes.
Nov 07, 2013, 04:39 PM
thanx for the review. nice stuff. works great with all my cams
Jan 17, 2014, 02:58 PM
Thanks for sharing your experience with the others. I've read plenty of nice reviews of this software and it seemed pretty interesting. So I downloaded it and am testing it with 2 Axxon cameras (ip) at the moment. All works fine, the cams have been autodetected, but I'm still trying to adjust all the settings.(Have some issues with motion detector settings) But, in general, I like it a lot. If all works fine as it does now, I'll definitely purchase a license.
P.S. Love the program interface! So good for tablets!
Jan 27, 2014, 07:39 PM
Thanks for the post. We are looking to upgrade the security system we have at the office and I might give this one a try.