Published: Jan 17, 2013 3:35 PM EST
Updated: Jan 17, 2013 6:45 PM EST

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Have you ever wanted to check on your home, but didn't want to spend a lot of money on a home security system? It turns out, you can have the best of both worlds, with the help of Skype.


"The idea came from my kids, all of us have been active Skype users for some time, and as we were getting ready to take a trip, my girls were concerned about who's going to check on the cat."


That's when Cape Coral resident Jim Niehaus realized the online website Skype he used to talk to his children could also be used as a cheap home security system.


"We're able to call into that through the use of a smart phone," he explained.


He says it's simple. All you have to do is hook up a webcam up to your computer. You can leave the computer in one room and place the webcam in another. Then from your smart phone call "home" and you'll be able to see inside your home.


For this to work, you want to make sure that your computer is on and that your Skype is set to auto-answer. Then you can look inside your house for free anywhere in the world!


"If you already have the internet, you already have the wireless, you already have the cell phone data plan, you know, you're already paying for most of it." He says it gives him a sense of security and if he were to see something was wrong, he could immediately call police. 


"It was just relaxing to us to have that connection with our home, while we were away, and it was even nicer when my girls traveled back ahead of me, I was able to see them walk in the house," he said.


There are programs that allow you to "wake up" your computer, even when you aren't home. Chatting online on Skype is free. You'll just have to buy a webcam, if you don' have one.