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Definition: Webcam


(WEB CAMera) A video camera that faces the user. Webcams are built into laptops but are separate units that attach to the monitor of a desktop computer. A Webcam is used for video calling and taking selfies, and although most models include a microphone, many users opt to use headphones for better audio quality. Stand-alone microphones with greater sensitivity are also used for studio presentations.

Webcams, Network Cameras and Home Cams
A Webcam is attached to a computer, whereas network and connected cameras are stand-alone units used for monitoring. Typically a "network camera" is part of a complete surveillance system with several cameras for stores and offices (see network camera). A "home cam" plugs into the home network like a printer (see connected camera). See Webcamming, Webcam blocker, POV camera, lifecasting and spycam.




Desktop and Laptop Webcams
Unless a desktop computer is an all-in-one, the Webcam is a separate unit that clamps onto the top of the monitor as in this example (top). Laptops come with camera and microphone at the top of the screen (bottom).