Attach a webcam to your computer

Set up an external webcam

A webcam is a small camera that captures photos and video that can then be saved or streamed live across the Internet. Ideal for chatting to friends and family or for business calls, webcams are commonly used by instant messaging and video-conferencing programs and apps.

Most laptops and tablet PCs come with a built-in webcam – usually positioned above the screen and facing you as you look at the screen. You can also attach an external webcam to your computer using a USB cable. There are several advantages to using an external model. Built-in webcams have fixed positions, so to change the camera’s viewpoint, you have to manoeuvre the computer itself. In contrast, an external model can be rotated and repositioned as needed. In addition, external webcams typically offer higher resolutions that integrated cameras.

How to attach an external webcam

Installing an external webcam is easy, here’s how:

Step 1  Attach the webcam to your computer. Most use a USB connection but check the manual if you’re not sure. Clip or rest the webcam on top of your PC.

Step 2  Run the setup CD that came with the webcam. This will install the drivers that the webcam needs to work with your computer.

Step 3  Launch the program or app that you wish to use with your webcam.

Step 4  Open the program or app’s preferences and under video preferences, select the external webcam as the preferred camera to use.

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