Do you have an old smartphone that you no longer use? Does it still turn on? Is the camera still working perfectly? If the answer to the three is a YES, then this article’s for you as we show how to use mobile as CCTV camera without internet.
The gadget/s is doing no one any good while collecting dust in the drawer. Neither is it worth it selling to those “refurbished items” stores for a fraction of the large amount you paid.
There are dozens of ways that iPhone or Samsung can be useful around your home, and you won’t feel any worse since it’s all about you. A home security camera is one of these impressive ideas, thanks to the built-in camera and wireless connectivity.
If not that or else you already have installed the real security camera system around your property, you could turn the mobile into a baby monitor. There’s nothing else you would need to purchase as long the phone still turns on and charge.
Is The Idea Of Smartphone To CCTV Camera Really Worth It?
First of all, the idea to turn your mobile phone into a CCTV camera is more like a life-hack for better use of your old technology. So, don’t expect it to pan, auto-track, or perform all those smart A.I. functions real security camera systems do.
But, thanks to the superior image sensor, a smartphone CCTV camera will record crispier images than the regular CCTV. If it’s an iPhone x, the main camera comprises dual lens, each with a 12-megapixel sensor. Since many security cameras have up to 8mp resolution, it means the 4K recording of the smartphone will be far richer in details.
Another thing, the DIY mobile-CCTV allows you to save the recordings to the storage of the viewing device. So, you’ll still have evidence even if the intruder decides to steal or destroy the camera phone. Best of all, you necessarily don’t have to pay for the cloud, unless you want to enjoy more features from your mobile CCTV app.
This software (application), by the way, is the key to the success of your monitoring device. It’s like the virtual server to your system between which the camera device and the viewing device communicate to bring you the feed.
How To Use Mobile As CCTV Camera Without Internet
The Best Mobile-to-CCTV App
When it comes to creating a wireless security camera from mobile, there are so many apps that you can use. From the five that we’ve tested so far, the Alfred Camera and the IP Webcam are the only ones that proved reliable. They are easy to use, plus you can use features like two-way audio and record to the viewing device.
Nonetheless, the IP Webcam is the only one that relies on the built-in access point of the device. So, it’s the best choice if you want to monitor your home without internet.
The following is a brief review of the software and how you can use it to make the perfect security ecosystem from your old smartphones.
About IP Webcam
This is a streaming software by Pavel Khlebovich that you can use to turn your phone into a network camera. The app is pretty old on the platforms but also a favorite of many as it’s free to download and use.
At the time of preparing this article, Google Play showed the IP Webcam had over 10,000,000 installs. The overall rating stands at 3.9 stars from 95,617 users, which is pretty impressive. Unfortunately, however, it’s not available to iOS users.
So, if your old phone is an iPhone, you have to go for the Alfred Home Security camera or any other alternative you feel right.
In any case, Pavel Khlebovich creator has produced a PRO version of the IP Webcam to enable sharper and better recording. Also, the paid upgrade gets rid of the watermark on the saved video recordings and enabled advanced motion detection.
It’s worth to note both IP Webcam apps only record in 1080p HD even when a camera supports 4K. But we believe the ultra-HD video resolution will also be available soon.
How To Turn Your Mobile Into A CCTV Camera Using IP Webcam
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can use IP Webcam to turn your phone into a CCTV system without internet. It’s pretty easy and straightforward as we got it to work on our end in 4 minutes, including the minute to download the application.
- First, install the IP Webcam app on the old device (phone/ tablet) that you want to use for monitoring
- Enable the mobile hotspot on the (old) phone. This will create a wireless Wi-Fi access point that will link the camera phone to the viewing device.
- Close other camera apps that might be active
- Tap the installed IP Webcam app to launch. The app opens an interface with various features, including video settings, camera Effects, and motion/ sound detection
- Enable or disable the various settings the way you prefer
- Now scroll down to the bottom of the app and tap “Start Server”. The application will open the camera and will have a web address on the bottom of the display. If your router access point supports IPv6, you’ll have two addresses including that of IPv4.
- Now take your new (viewer) phone and connect to the WiFi created by the old (camera) phone.
- Still with the viewer phone, open the browser and type in one of the addresses displayed on the camera phone. For IPv4, the URL code will be as http://192.168.43.1.8080 or https://192.168.43.1.8080. The camera phone we tested on didn’t have IPv6 support. So it had only an IPv4 web address. Nonetheless, the IPv6 URL code should look like http://[2401:e800:100:133::2]:8080.
- At his point, your camera phone and the viewing device should be successfully paired. The web interface open on the viewer phone will have various settings that you can use to operate the mobile CCTV camera.
To start streaming, check the menu option listed as “Video Renderer” and select Browser. If you would want the camera to record sound, go to the next menu, “Audio Player” and select HTML5 Wav. If your browser supports Flash player, you can click the option.
The browser will pop up a default display that will start streaming the footage captured by the phone camera. Right below the display, you’ll see the other control icons that you can use to remotely adjust the camera features. This includes digital zoom, stream quality, motion detection, LED Flashlight, and whether to use a Front/ rear camera.
The web interface also has a recorder control that allows you to manually save video clips to the IP Webcam server. You can also set the camera to automatically record video in chunks of 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours whenever there’s activity.
In case you don’t want to use the browser, you can opt for the VLC media player. If you already have downloaded it, you just need to run it. Then, open the “Open Network Stream” on the Media menu on the top and enter the address from the camera phone (as in step 8).
If desired, you can also record footage from the VLC player. To do this, go again to the “Media” tab on the top menu and click Convert/ Save. Then, click the “Network” option and paste the URL code from the camera phone app (as in Step 8).
Ps. As for the viewing task, you can also use your laptop as long it can connect to a wireless network. You can also use a desktop PC if you have one of those USB Wireless WiFi Network adapters.
Truthfully, no wired or wireless security camera has a better resolution than that of the current smartphones. Brands like Samsung are now using up to 108-megapixels image sensor, which means the streaming apps are the only drawback. The tech available at the moment supports up to 1080p HD video resolution, though you can capture photos at up to 3840 x 2160p Ultra-HD.
Regardless, 1080p quality is relatively enough for general monitoring. Besides, IP Webcam is allowing you to make your DIY CCTV camera and record to their web interface or VLC player at no cost.
Even so, the platform does support a cloud service that allows you to remotely access your phone camera. So, you can see what’s happening with your kids in the living room while even miles away.