era) A front-facing video camera that attaches to a computer typically via USB or that is built into a laptop or desktop screen. It is widely used for Skype and other video calling software as well as to continuously monitor an activity and send it to a Web server for public or private viewing. Webcams purchased as separate peripherals generally have a microphone built into the unit, or an external mike comes in the package.
Webcams vs. Network Cameras
A Webcam attaches to, or is built into, the computer, whereas a "network camera" is a stand-alone unit that connects to an Ethernet network. While the Webcam is commonly used for videophoning with another user, network cameras are used to monitor locations such as stores and offices (see network camera
). See Webcamming
, Webcam blocker