How to turn an Android phone into a Security Camera

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Android phones are known to be versatile, this is proven by the fact that you can make your phone almost whatever you want it to be. The quality of phones available nowadays alongside the various different apps available give users a lot of room to do whatever they want, which includes turning your Android phone into a security camera.

Security cameras are highly useful for a number of reasons. Not only do they provide some extra protection for your home as you can use the security footage to track down any robbers, but you can just use the camera to track whatever’s happening inside the house.

Tracking house activity is essential for many households because of toddlers. It’s not easy giving your children attention all the time making sure they don’t get themselves into a bad situation, so it’s easy to just monitor them through a camera whilst also fulfilling your own responsibilities. It’s a similar case with pets, so security cameras are extremely useful.

Why turn an Android phone into a security camera?

Given the numerous benefits of a security camera, it definitely doesn’t hurt to have one. However, setting it up and the actual purchase cost itself forces many people to distance themselves from purchasing a camera. Even if one does purchase a security camera, there’s an extra maintenance cost that comes with it which not many people are willing to incur.

Therefore, there’s a simple solution: turn a spare phone into a security camera. It’s easy to convert a phone into one and you don’t even need an expensive device in order to do so. Most inexpensive smartphones, even older ones have decent enough cameras for security camera purposes so they’ll be more than capable of doing the job. The apps themselves are light and don’t require any high-level tech from your phones so any Android phone will do.

How it works

There are a lot of CCTV/ Security camera apps on the Google Play Store which you can download for free (most of them are free). These apps connect to your camera(s) through wirelessly via the internet and retrieve their video footage from them in real time. The camera devices you’ll use, in this case, the phone(s) will stream the video footage directly to the app through which you can monitor your household.

The apps also have their own features that let you save the videos you receive locally for review, control one of the camera devices or configure them etc. So, in our setup, we’ll use an Android phone as the camera and another device, the master device that’ll be using the app to monitor everything. The master device can be any device that you use, it can be your own phone or tablet, that doesn’t really matter. Of course, if you’re on any data packages/plans, be wary that this can use a lot of bandwidth.

How to convert the Android phone to a security camera

You’ll first need to choose a good security camera app from Google Play. As far as the storage and OS requirements are concerned, almost all of them have the same requirements and they don’t require much processing power. However, the quality of a good CCTV app can vary, which is why you should carefully pick the app you choose. Here are some apps worth considering:

Milestone Mobile

Rated 4 out of 5 stars, the app has more or less everything you’d want from your security camera. Apart from the regular security feed, the app also detects events such as opening and closing of doors or switching lights on/off. You can configure the app to send you notifications or alarms on any sort of event. You can also view live video from multiple cameras. Apart from that, it also has a nifty feature that lets you take a snapshot of a video and share it via MMS or email, it can be particularly useful if you detect something and want to forward it immediately.


Another decent free app, Vmobile not only has the basic surveillance features, but it also has a lot of advanced monitoring features such as adjustable display mode, PTZ and preset position control, instant notification of alarm events, and snapshot. You can also playback what you receive from different cameras, a feature which always comes in handy.

Once you’ve selected an app, all you need to do now is find a good place to place your phone. Use a tripod or a phone holder to keep your phone steady and make sure your phone stays hidden either through the use of a cloth or through good placement. You must also make sure wherever you place your phone, it must always have internet access as well as a power (charging) access at all times.

Streaming video can take a huge toll on the battery and if you’re using an inexpensive phone, then your phone’s battery won’t last long. Therefore, it’s a must that you keep your phone preferably plugged in at all times or close to a power source. After that, you’re done! You’ve turned an Android phone into a security camera, it’s as easy as that.

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