Installing and configuring a webcam

In this article we will show you exactly what type of hardware and software you need to make your camera productive and fun for you.

We will be conducting this exercise with a camera that has been around for quite a while now - Logitech's Quickcam Express. This is a camera that utilises USB connectivity. In fact, most of the cameras you will find on the shelf of your local computer store will probably also take advantage of this interface. Before we proceed, it is our duty to inform you that you will need a USB port if you want to utilise a relatively easy-to-install and use, high-quality web camera that performs well.

If your computer lacks USB connectivity you can add it by purchasing a PCI USB add-on card. These cards plug into one of your free PCI slots and instantly give you two or more USB ports. More expensive cameras may utilise the quicker FireWire connectivity option, and may actually require their own PCI cards to be installed for better communication with the computer.

If your computer has USB already but doesn't have enough USB ports, and consequently you have to keep removing and swapping devices, then you might like to consider getting a USB hub, which can double or even triple the number of ports available on your system. Of course, remember that you will also need an operating system that can handle USB connectivity - basically anything better than Windows 95b (but remember always to check the operating system requirements of the hardware so you can make sure the gear will work on your particular setup). For more information on USB connectivity, check out the September 2000 instalment of Upgrader.

The camera installation itself is a very simple task, but to get it working properly you will need to configure the settings of its associated software. On the following pages, we will show you how to configure some of the most common settings, such as picture and audio quality, as well as how to use one of the more popular software applications for conferencing - Microsoft's NetMeeting.the top downBenefits: Video conferencing, video e-mail, still camera shotsCosts: $99-$1000Expertise level: BeginnerTime required: 15-30 minutesRequirements: Pentium II or higher processor, 16MB RAM or higher, USB, Windows 95b (OSR 2.1) or higher, CD-ROM drive, 16-bit colour capable display adapterVendor: Check out this month's Best Buys for a list of different cameras as well as comparisons and feature setsInstallationAudio SetupVideo SetupMicrosoft NetmeetingImage is everything

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Elias Plastiras
Show Comments

Brand Post

Imou: At home with security

Modern living is all about functionality and security for everybody from the very young to the very old. With Imou anybody can enjoy smart life – the solution is at their fingertips.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?