Most free surveillance programs, unfortunately, are not really free. You can download and install the program for free, but you have to pay for many, often basic, options. In addition to this, these programs generally set restrictions, such as a limited recording time, which makes them completely unusable, until you pay.
Fortunately, there are a few freeware that is actually free, but here again, we run into a problem. They generally have too few options, work very poorly, or only support certain types of cameras.
However, we have found two free programs that we think are excellent and will meet the needs of most users. Check out our list of the top two best free Windows surveillance (CCTV) programs.
iSpy is a free surveillance program available for Windows 7, 8, 10, Linux, and macOS. This is one of the best and most popular programs of its kind and for good reason. First of all, it supports all types of cameras and contains options that will satisfy even the most demanding users.
In addition to options for connecting, recording, and monitoring cameras, without which such a program would not make sense, there is an option for motion detection, which you can set in detail. You can set that when the program detects movement on the camera, it will send a notification via email, SMS, or social networks, turn on the alarm, start recording, and then automatically upload the recording to YouTube, Google Drive, or Dropbox.
Also, there are options with which you will be able to set when the video surveillance will be on and off, the ability to monitor all cameras at once, an option that, if the recording is turned on only when the program detects movement on the camera, will automatically merge several videos into one, as well as the possibility of installing plugins that will add new features to this phenomenal program.
The only drawback of the iSpy is the fact that it is quite difficult to use and requires a good familiarity with the options and user interface. This is to be expected from a program that contains such a large number of options, but we believe that better organization of the user interface would go a long way to solving this problem.
iSpy also includes a paid version, and it only brings the ability to connect the program to a surveillance system via the Internet, all other options are available in both free and paid versions.
Honestly, iSpy blew us away. The program contains a lot of options, works perfectly, and the business model is more than fair. If there was no second program on this list, we would have no problem suggesting you download it and forget about all the others.
Windows 7, 8, 10, Linux, and macOS
ContaCam is a free video surveillance program that is available for Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11. Unlike iSpy, this program is much simpler and does not contain as many options. This is not a disadvantage because this program is primarily intended for home use. Another plus of this program is that it is much easier to use and does not require complicated settings before you can use it.
ContaCam supports most modern cameras, but as the authors of the program say, it works best with WDM and DV cameras. Also, the program saves recordings in mp4 format, and the files it creates are small, but of good quality. Like iSpy, ContaCam includes a motion detection option. This option has fewer features than iSpy but contains everything you need for home use.
ContaCam has the option to monitor or record 24 hours a day, which is not uncommon. However, the option we liked here is that the program will notify you at regular intervals, via email, if everything is fine with your video surveillance. This is a great option because video surveillance systems are, for the most part, always on, but nobody is monitoring them. This often leads to that when a camera stops working, you only find out about it days or weeks later.
The business model of this program is also excellent, which means that you get all the features completely free, and you can spend money only as a donation to the authors. It doesn’t get any better than this.
ContaCam is a great program and we can’t say enough good things about it. The fact is that it contains fewer options than iSpy is a plus in this case, considering the purpose for which it is intended. If you want a simple program that you will use at home, we absolutely suggest you try ContaCam.
Windows 7, 8, 10 and 11