In a poll conducted recently 158 FlexiHub users said that they use it to share a webcam over network among their Windows machines. This number surprised me, so I decided to see if there are good online guides on how to do it. Google search returned websites with questions and answers, but a proper guide was nowhere to be found. I came across questions of two types – some wanted to gain full control over another PC webcam while others wanted to know how to stream an image from one computer to another or directly to the network.
Below are the best techniques and tips I picked to share with you.
76% of Windows users suppose that to allow a remote computer access a webcam, one needs to spend a lot of time adjusting Windows settings. But if you were wondering if there is a software that can share webcam over LAN easily - there is one!
To stream webcam over LAN you will need to use special web platforms, or YouTube, or one-click software solutions.
Note: here we'll talk about video streaming over YouTube. If you prefer streaming video with software – refer to the guide for Mac OS X below, or use Yawcam app for Windows.
To stream videos over network on Windows, follow these steps:
For webcam sharing we’ll use USB Network Gate.
Use these commands:
To install software on your computer:
dpkg -i [package]
To install all dependencies automatically:
dpkg -i [package]
sudo apt-get update
apt-get install -f
dpkg -i [package]
To install or upgrade rpm package:
yum install [package]
Open the app and do the following:
That’s it. Other computer gets full access to the webcam as if they were physically connected.
Setting up webcam streaming on Linux is more convenient with VLC player.
Step 1 - setup
To install VLC on Debian, Ubuntu or Linux Mint:
$ sudo apt-get install vlc
To install VLC on Fedora, first enable RPM Fusion's free repository, then run:
$ sudo yum install vlc
To install VLC on CentOS or RHEL 6, first set up EPEL repository, and then use the following commands:
$ cd /etc/yum.repos.d/
$ sudo wget http://pkgrepo.linuxtech.net/el6/release/linuxtech.repo
$ sudo yum install vlc
Step 2 - Verify Webcam in VLC
Make sure your webcam is detected by your Linux system and VLC.
You’ll need to know the webcam’s name for that. In the example below, the webcam is named
$ ls /dev/video*
Then you have to test video from your webcam. Here is the command you need to use, do not forget to replace "video0" with the name of your device.
$ vlc v4l2:///dev/video0
If your webcam is successfully detected by VLC, you should be able to see your video stream.
Step 3 - Configure Webcam Streaming on VLC
You have successfully detected your webcam in VLC, next is configuring webcam streaming.
In this example webcam is streamed over HTTP in WMV format. To configure VLC for webcam streaming, first launch VLC.
In VLC menu choose "Streaming".
On the screen select your webcam’s or audio device’s name, e.g.,
/dev/video0 for webcam, and hw:0,0 for audio. Tick "Show more options" checkbox and make a note of value strings in "MRL" and "Edit Options" fields. These strings will be used later in the tutorial. Click "Stream" button.
Verify the video source, e.g.,
v4l2:///dev/video, and click "Next" to continue.
Choose the destination, i.e., streaming method/target, of webcam streaming. In our example we choose HTTP from the drop down list, and click "Add".
Next, specify port number and path of a streaming service. For port number, type 8080; we assume the port number is not occupied, for path - "/stream.wmv". For transcoding choose "Video - WMV + WMA (ASF)" profile from the drop down list. Click "Next".
The next screen displays automatically generated stream output string. Make a note of it and click "Stream" button.
At this point, VLC should start streaming video from your webcam over HTTP. Streaming traffic is sent directly to localhost at TCP port number 8080, so you won’t be able to see anything in the VLC window.
To verify that VLC is running correctly at TCP port 8080, run the following command, and look for VLC.
$ sudo netstat -nap | grep 8080
Step 4 - Watch Streaming Video from Webcam
Once a streaming server starts running, the webcam live feed is available at
You can use VLC player or MPlayer to access the webcam feed as follows.
$ vlc http:// <ip_address_of_webcam_host>:8080/stream.wmv
$ mplayer http:// <ip_address_of_webcam_host>:8080/stream.wmv
If you are testing the feed from the same host, use loopback address 127.0.0.1 instead.
Ask your questions in the comments below.
We used FlexiHub for Mac for this guide.
First, download and install it in the Applications. Do it for all Macs that need shared access to the webcam.
To begin sharing webcam on a host computer running Mac OS X, follow these steps:
Now the webcam should be connected to another Mac and can be used there. If this webcam sharing method does not work for you or for some reason you do not find it suitable, try to set up video streaming.
Follow this step-by-step guide:
Find an app to stream your webcam.
Note: Compared to online streaming platforms, YouTube or encoders these apps are usually less functional, i.e. they have less features, less customization options and the streaming quality is lower. They work perfectly fine though if you need them for monitoring your house or office, as they are simple, easy-to-use and reliable.
Download and install the app.
Allow the app to access your webcam. Note that you might need to update your Flash plugin for this to work.
"Go Live" button starts streaming video from your webcam to a video player at a designated URL. You can view this URL on your browser or through the app on your mobile device.
Go to the app's settings and change the values to get the video quality and resolution you want.
Share the URL on social media to get an audience for your live stream.
The best thing about using the app is that it is simple – download, install, stream, and share. All it takes is a few minutes and a couple of clicks.
Just like with other live streams, you can manage viewers of your video – remove those you do not like; or watch it yourself – set it as ‘private’ in the Settings.