Android Security Cameras




About: Computer Science student in the UK

It's common to have a couple of old or outdated android phones lying about collecting dustThen it occurred to me, why not turn it into a local wireless surveillance camera? I decided to do just that. Basically, what I am about to show you is how to turn an old android phone with a camera into a local wireless surveillance camera so you can spy on people in your house.

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Step 1: Step 1

First off,  you.'ll need some form of android phone with a camera,  and some other device capable of using the internet e.g.  laptop,  pc,  tablet,  another phone etc.  

1. Download an app called IP Webcam from the play store. This use your phone to broadcast video over your home network. #
2. Once this is done, open the app and scroll down the list until you come to the bottom and see the 'start server' button. Click that.
3. Conceal the phone somewhere discreet. Make sure the camera has a good view of the room you want to spy on. You might want to plug it in, as it may lose power quickly.
4. Make note of the IP address and port number at the bottom of your screen.

Step 2: Step 2

On your camera-viewing device e.g. your laptop or in my case tablet, you can either just go to your web browser and type the IP address and port e.g. (just an example). This works fine, however, you might want to consider using another app below (if you have a tablet or phone to view the cameras on).

1. Download an app called 'tinyCam Monitor Free'.
2. Run it and click no when it asks if you want to automatically add random cameras.
3. Click the + button or add a camera (under the manage cameras menu).
4. Scroll down the list. When it says 'Camera vendor', change the default to 'IP webcam for android'.
5. Just underneath that, put in your IP and port number from step 2.
6. Back out of the menu until you get to the home screen of the app and press 'Live View'.
7, If you followed the steps correctly, you should see a screen with a view of your kitchen or wherever you chose to put your camera.

Note: If you want your camera to see in the dark, get some infared LED's. Look it up. 
Note 2: Notice how you can have up to 4 cameras connected at any one time... More uses for old android phones!
Note 3: Hours of fun to be had pointing your camera at your viewing screen :D

Have fun spying! ;D

Step 3: Troubleshooting

1. The most common error is to forget to change the camera vendor to 'IP webcam for android'. Make sure you have done that. To see how, look again at step 2.

2. Are both your devices connected to the internet?

3. Does your camera have anything blocking its view?

4. Have you put in the IP address correctly?

5. Have you put in the correct server port?

6. Have you tried turning it off and on again;)



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    17 Discussions


    Question 3 months ago on Step 2

    what brand of phone will work with this ?


    3 years ago

    Great instructible! Thanks! But I also have several old phones that are not android. Can anyone refer me to instructions on how to use the cameras from an old phone? I can take it apart if necessary. I want to re-use these old phones in part to learn about electronics, so it is worth my time to try. Thanks!


    3 years ago

    IP Webcam is great and works like a charm but here are some other alternatives that you can try out:


    3 years ago

    I tried this with an old Sony Experia Go. It just keeps crashing - is the spec not good enough?

    Thanks, Duncan


    3 years ago

    do you download this app on both phones?


    4 years ago on Step 2

    I love this and set mine up today using an old S3 Mini I had and works great. One question though, when you say If you want your camera to see in the dark, get some infared LED's. Look it up. what exactly do you mean? I've had a look but don't really know what I'd need to get and what to do? Any help greatly appreciated.


    4 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Step 2

    @CraigH4 Infared is a wavelength of light that is invisible to the human eye. Using infared filters cameras can see the infared light. IR is a very common practice for security cameras because i provides enough light to identify subjects and remain discreet at the same time.

    I am about 90 percent sure that cameras on android phones DO NOT have the capability to 'see' IR light.

    For your android to see in the dark, you would need an IR filter and some IR LEDs. An IR filter filters out everything EXCEPT IR light. They will look like black pieces of glass or plastic and be almost impossible to see out of.

    Hope this helps.


    Reply 4 years ago on Step 2

    Actually, Chad, most cameras on cell phones on the market now, have the capability to see IR. This does not mean they can see in the dark, but they can see IR light that is reflected off of items in the camera's view. During my time as a helicopter electronics technician, I would verify the operation of the IR lights on the helicopters by using my cell phone's camera. You could not see the lights without the camera, but bright as day with the camera. You do not need an IR filter, unless all you want to see is the IR. This would help only if the IR (such as a temperature variation) was all you are focusing on. For a security camera, you need something that can generate invisible light that the camera can pick up...hence, the IR light pack. CraigH4...the IR lights can be bought either online, or even in your local Radio Shack. Ask them for IR LEDs. But, for a security camera, I suggest buying a pack that is prebuilt, for ease.

    hope this helps.

    I plan to try this when I get home, and will report back what I find. I think it will be as easy as this makes it sound.



    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I'm sure that most android cameras can 'see' IR light, I know for a fact that my nexus 4 does. But there are some phones which filter out IR light, like the iPhone 5s.


    Hi, basically cameras can see things that we can't. If you point a tv remote at a camera and press a button, you will see the LED flash through the camera but not through your own eyes. If you get powerful enough infra-red LEDs, they will light up a room to the camera but not to human eyes, this is how night vision equipment works.

    As an example, look at this:

    You can see a ring of infra-red LEDs around the edge that will enable the camera to see in the dark.

    Marcaine Art

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you so much. I posted in the community not long ago for just this thing :-) I have several old android phones and wanted to do something like this but didn't know how. Just as a side question which I may be able to figure out with some research, how can I get the programs onto old phones that are not hooked up to the cell phone network?

    2 replies

    4 years ago

    I've used android as wireless cameras many times, but right now i have no wifi. Do you know a way of using one as a usb webcam? ive tried several apps/pc client setups, but none have worked. i know it has to be possible, after all, we're dealing with pc and android os's...and this is the digital age.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    I've never tried myself but I've linked an app that might do the trick: