How To Turn Your Phones Into WiFi Security Cameras

How To Turn Your Phones Into WiFi Security Cameras


– [Narrator] Our old
Smartphones sometimes hold an intrinsic value and you
don’t always sell them off. You just keep them in a drawer
and one day rediscover them. But, what if you could put these old, and sometimes new, devices
to work and secure your home at the same time? Today, we’re gonna show you
how to take an old iPhone or Android phone and turn it into a security camera for your home. We checked out lots of
apps and found Presence, AtHome and Alfred to be the game winners. However, AtHome stopped
working when we tested it on an iPhone 4, so for this video, we’re scrapping it in
favor of wider support. Now, turning on an old phone
comes with its own headaches. You’re probably quite a few updates behind and you probably don’t even
remember your access pin. But, once you get past those bumps, load up your app store and
type in Presence or Alfred. You can make a decision on which you want after this video, as they both have
strengths and weaknesses. The apps function the same in the sense that any device you have can be used as a camera or a viewer. You can also use your computer to tap into the camera feeds, so you have plenty of options. Let’s start with the most common place that people wanna keep
tabs on, the front door. Now, there’s a million different ways to make a phone stand, so
I simply checked my toolbox for anything that might work and found some mini clamps that looked good enough for this task. Just put one clamp on
each end of the phone, making sure that there’s some padding or rubber between the glass and the clamp. It should stand right
up and it’s ready to go. I’ll be placing this
camera on my media center, as it has a direct line of
sight to the front door. The best way to position
your cameras or phones is to have your main
phone set up as a viewer, and then use that to properly
position the camera phone. Once you’re happy with the location, make sure you plug your
device into the wall so you have a constant
stream you can tap into. We’ll get into routing
cables for phones mounted in trickier spots just a bit later, but now your phone will
let you see what’s going on in your living room at any time, whether you’re at work, on vacation, or just going grocery shopping. Now, you’re probably thinking,
“That’s all well and good, “but I can’t monitor my camera 24/7, “so how will I know if
someone gets in my house?” Simple, motion detection. Both Presence and Alfred
have motion detection, but you need to turn it on first. Let’s take a look at Presence,
I’ll show you how it’s done. First, set the phone
to be used as a camera. While we’re here, let me note that there is a Dim Screen feature if
you wanna run the camera as stealth as possible, but
to enable motion detection, first hit the Options button, then go to Motion Detection Options. In this menu, you can set how
long before detection starts, how sensitive it is, if an alarm sounds, or even how long you want it to record. Once you have your options
set to your liking, go back and toggle on Motion Detection. Now, in the event that
there is movement caught on camera while you aren’t watching, the app will send you a push notification and let you know that something
isn’t quite right at home. This is probably the most useful feature on both apps and you can tweak
how often you get notified. But, this works great in
other scenarios as well. Take your bedroom, for example. Maybe you live with roommates
or a snooping sibling and your room is their target. Motion detection and a camera would certainly help
out in this situation. Enter, The Box Cam. Just grab an ordinary-looking box that can fit a phone in it, horizontally. Measure out where the
phone’s camera lens will be and mark it with a pen or a marker. When that’s done, just punch a hole in the box with some scissors, and then verify that the lens is lined up with the glorious hole. Make sure you leave a
little room at the end so you can plug your power cord in later. Go ahead and remove as much
excess cardboard as you can and clean up that area a bit. After that, punch another hole in the back and run your power cord out if you plan on keeping it charged while you run your covert op. Mounting the phone in
the box is pretty simple. You just need some double-sided tape or some sort of removable adhesive to stick the phone to the side of the box. I used a little mounting tape, as it doesn’t harm anything and can be peeled off without any issues. When you’re all done,
the outside of your box should look something like this. You may think that even
this is too obvious, but we’ll conceal it a bit more, later. The first thing you wanna do at this point is assess you room and
figure out the best place to stow away your box. While your box is still open, fire up the app of your choice and get your box into a position that can see who’s coming in and where they might be going. Then, close up the top and grab a bunch of other boxes or junk to
better conceal the hole. Just stack things on and around it until it appears more stealth. Load up your viewer and make
sure everything looks good. If your angle’s off, now’s the
time to adjust things a bit. Otherwise, make sure you’re plugged in and go about your day. If anyone sneaks into your
room while you’re away, you’ll get notified, and then
you can deal with them later because you’ll have evidence on hand. Also, it’s important to note that even if the person
found the phone and took it, the motion detection would kick in, so the footage would be
uploaded to cloud storage before they could do anything about it. That makes getting your potentially stolen phone back much easier. So, our front door is covered and the bedroom’s under surveillance. This is a good time to note that if you wanna mount a camera higher up and happen to have an old
car mount laying around, you can use that to attach the phone to any surface smooth enough to handle it. Alternatively, you can use
those plastic things you get in a pizza box. They’re actually called pizza savers. If you want your phone’s camera pointing at an upward angle, then you don’t need to make any modifications at all, just plop it in there. If you’re looking to
straighten the phone out a bit, then all you need to do is shorten one of the prongs using some scissors, and then bend it inwards a bit. Once you have that one done, bend in the two remaining longer prongs until you have something
that kinda looks like this. I decided it would be a good idea to keep tabs on my backyard, so I picked a window near a power outlet, raised the blinds, and
put down a small bowl to raise the phone up a bit when utilizing the pizza mount. I’ll go ahead and use the
Alfred app for this one. Just move your phone around until you get the view that suits your needs. When you have it positioned,
make sure you plug it in, hit Power Saver Mode or Dim Screen, and drop your blinds back down. As I mentioned earlier, both apps let you view
your cameras on a computer, so let’s give that a quick test. This is where you might notice one of the shortcomings of Alfred. It’s absolutely riddled with ads. Well, this looks pretty good to me. Can easily tell if someone
was snooping around out back and as long as there’s some light, you can see exactly who it is. Alright, we’re winding down, so let me give you a few tips
about running your cables if you decide to mount
a phone in an odd place. Using my viewer to help with positioning, I took some more
double-sided mounting tape and secured my iPhone 7 on the crown molding near my work station. This stuff can hold up
to 10 pounds of weight, so I’m not worried. The next step is to grab
some clear command hooks and run the charging
cable along the edges. Always place one right near the phone, and then another wherever there’s a corner or too much slack. Go around the area that
you’re working with until you either reach the
outlet or run out of cable. If you’re out of cable, you’re gonna need a USB extender, which can be picked up for
a few bucks almost anywhere. Attach that and continue working your way around the surface, all
the way to the plug. You’ll definitely want
a hook above the outlet so you can keep everything
snug and secure. Pop in the USB connector, and if you have a bunch of excess wire, just loop it around a
bit and hold it together with a zip tie or some tape. That’s all there is to it. Depending on how clean
you want it to look, you could spend a hefty amount
of time routing your wires. Since this is just an example, I went quick and simple, but effective. The final view from my mounted
camera covers my work area so that I’ll know if
anyone’s messing around with my important video-making tools. The peace of mind that you get out of this simplistic setup we just ran through can’t be fully expressed in words. And the truth is, it’s way cheaper than buying a brand new
security camera system if you already have old
phones laying around, or if you can find some for
pennies on the dollar online. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and have fun securing your home. Feel free to share it with
your friends and family, or even better, go set up
a little security system for anyone you care about. Make sure you’re subscribed for more videos every week, and stay safe. See you next time.

100 Comments

  • Household Hacker

    January 18, 2018

    Thanks for checking this video out. I found all my old phones while doing some house cleaning and figured they should be put to use. If you are looking for links to the apps that were used, I am pasting them below this message. If you have any other app suggestions, let everyone know!

    Android
    Alfred: https://goo.gl/sOlYZX
    Presence: https://goo.gl/4qCcLe

    iPhone
    Alfred: https://goo.gl/5uMfjL
    Presence: https://goo.gl/bN2io3

    Reply
  • King RoB ThE GreaT

    May 19, 2019

    But….can you do this outside? I have a detached garage with undesirables that sometimes pass through.

    Reply
  • MAX CROSS

    May 21, 2019

    Does this work for pc too

    Reply
  • Tapatio Borracho

    May 21, 2019

    Glorious Hole!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • xxangel wolfxx

    May 22, 2019

    I'd why this is funny but I have an old iPhone 4 and when he said iPhone 4 i burst out laughing
    And I don't know why ;-;

    Reply
  • Frankie

    May 24, 2019

    PERISCOPE

    Reply
  • Greg Singleton

    May 25, 2019

    This is a great idea. I only keeep devices that still work and I turn off all locks on my devices before I store them away so I never have to worry about what pin is what.

    Reply
  • 11 11

    May 25, 2019

    It's cheeper to buy a wifi camera. (Nest, Ring, Yi or Wyse). Than it is to buy an 'old' s7 or iPhone 7.

    Reply
  • Sallauddin Akbary

    May 26, 2019

    I ordered an extra large chicken pizza to get my pizza saver.

    Reply
  • shaggyego

    May 30, 2019

    2:53 did he really just refer to is as a glory hole 🤣🤣

    Reply
  • Aracely Emmett

    May 30, 2019

    First off its a surveillance system not a security system. Second if you like being watched by hackers do this.

    Reply
  • ADARSH SHUKLA

    June 9, 2019

    Woah! that is probably the most expensive security system. I would rather sell my phone on ebay and buy a camera. lol

    Reply
  • Jordan Allen

    June 11, 2019

    Do you need to hack an Android mobile phone? i know of someone who can help.

    Mr James I saw a review about him and I needed help hacking my wifes phone so i contacted him and he said he was going to help me.I gave him the information he required about my wifes phone and after some conversation and few hours later i received all her mobile phone activity and got all her deleted text messages linked directly to me. He was reliable and trustworthy i just want to say thank you. If you need help you can contact him via Gmail(Worldcyberhackers)  or WhatsApp : +12678773020

    Reply
  • David Lang

    June 14, 2019

    At 6:29 “simple” not “simplistic”.

    Reply
  • Ali B.

    June 15, 2019

    Do you keep them on 24/7? Also, wouldn't the battery be fried?!

    Reply
  • Vickie Clark

    June 15, 2019

    LOL I'm using my old phone. S4.

    Reply
  • ObamaReally Suucks

    June 16, 2019

    You need better "friends and Family" if this is needed in the place you live.

    Reply
  • gwmax11

    June 23, 2019

    I can tell ya after dealing with my security cameras for the past 2 years, motion detection sucks, usually picks up just spider webs at night, insects, etc.

    Reply
  • Walter Sobchak

    June 23, 2019

    Two points to consider, when using a usb extender cable you will most likely find that your iPhone won't charge, it will display a message similar to "unsupported accessory"
    Second point is that you don't want to coil any excess cable as this will essentially create a magnetic field which will diminish the output power & cause your phone to either not charge or to charge at a reduced rate, causing the phone's battery to discharge whilst in use.

    Reply
  • Monroe Rice III

    June 28, 2019

    Thanks, man, I have so many old phones I can use.

    Reply
  • Random Dude

    June 29, 2019

    Imma use this to stalk people now

    Reply
  • Gaming Discord

    July 5, 2019

    "glorious hole"…. lmfao nice

    Reply
  • ramiro ochoa

    July 7, 2019

    phones stay on all the time?

    Reply
  • reconstruccion Oeg

    July 8, 2019

    wasted time

    Reply
  • Overhand Golf Channel

    July 9, 2019

    What if your daughter is an iPhone destruction machine and no phone lasts more than a month in her hands?

    Reply
  • PJ Butler

    July 15, 2019

    I preference the Alfred, however, always takes time and user experience to understand these program. Gosh, I went ballistic when I switched to a IPhone a couple of months ago. Now, someone will need to pry it from my cold dead fingers.

    Reply
  • William grimm

    July 19, 2019

    I have been using Alfred for a long time before I seen this and that app is GREAT and im still using it..

    Reply
  • Steve Windrow

    July 19, 2019

    Surely leaving Samsung phones permanently plugged in is a recipe for a fire??

    Reply
  • Al Yeska

    July 19, 2019

    Ssecret boxcam porn

    Reply
  • Al Yeska

    July 19, 2019

    He put down a small bowl while watching out the window

    Reply
  • John Nashmy

    July 22, 2019

    2:18 always wondered who broke into my house and cut up the pineapple, thanks

    Reply
  • John Nashmy

    July 22, 2019

    2:38 Heat from phone sets box on fire…..app for heat and smoke detector?

    Reply
  • JohnPaul TV

    July 27, 2019

    when i see this I subscribe fastly hehehehehehe

    Reply
  • Mohammedyasar Shaikh

    July 27, 2019

    I want to set in my brother's milk shop, Daily we have to wait for milk Van to arrive in afternoon time when no customers comes, I will try to set this but problem is that our aunt's house is about 100 metres away, so I have to troubleshoot it, thanks

    Reply
  • CounterStriker013009

    July 30, 2019

    What about the Android phone?

    Reply
  • Kelly Mcculloch

    August 4, 2019

    How long will it last tho ..

    Reply
  • Kelly Mcculloch

    August 4, 2019

    Why do you have cell phones everywhere. Um Security lol your gonna look like a methhead

    Reply
  • Matt Lord

    August 4, 2019

    You will need to ask the NSA if you can use your phone's camera while they are using it.

    Reply
  • Matt Lord

    August 4, 2019

    "Glorious hole" good one.

    Reply
  • guitarguts666

    August 6, 2019

    While I agree this is a creative use of technology you could just purchase a wyze Cam for 20 bucks and have for HD surveillance cloud storage SD card storage and it could just record motion detection as well as AI built

    Reply
  • Jean Cassity

    August 7, 2019

    Did I miss something? Wouldn’t u have to be on a plan for these to work. Once u upgrade and turn the service off on the old phone this wouldn’t work right!?

    Reply
  • Finn G. Hermansen

    August 7, 2019

    It all sounds very good, but how do you want to prevent the mobile phone from going to sleep mode???????

    Reply
  • J’s Me

    August 8, 2019

    Do a video about using a PC

    Reply
  • Zeke&Rob AKA DAD

    August 8, 2019

    Can I look live from my other iPhone and is there a alarm

    Reply
  • Panic The Scholar Knight.

    August 8, 2019

    Thanks. I can't be everywhere at once so I am grateful that this exists. Bad room mates that are pretty damn underhanded. Broke into my room twice.

    Reply
  • Brandon Brown

    August 8, 2019

    How do you link your current phone to the one that is home taking the video?

    Reply
  • Charles Smith

    August 8, 2019

    Love this vid

    Reply
  • Pete Benavidez Jr.

    August 9, 2019

    Do need internet at home or around to set up this project?

    Reply
  • Mary Krenek

    August 10, 2019

    FOR CARS TOO! DASHCAM! REAR CAM!

    Reply
  • Luto Veti

    August 10, 2019

    "Glorious hole" lmmfao!

    Reply
  • tubeMonger

    August 10, 2019

    I only have iPhone5. Perhaps I should buy surveillance cameras.

    Reply
  • Demons 51/50

    August 10, 2019

    What apps do i need to download?

    Reply
  • edallatinn

    August 11, 2019

    Two glorious holes means a dick in a box we'll definitely get a POV!

    Reply
  • Gambler Bej

    August 12, 2019

    Tried it before, not a good idea. The phone will heat up after a while. If you have it plugged in constantly it will shorten the lifespan of the phone significantly.

    Reply
  • ·•Nutorious1•·

    August 12, 2019

    Nice! Family of 6, we have many extra phones!!!

    Reply
  • Charlie boy

    August 12, 2019

    um if someone breaks in won't they take the phone also.

    Reply
  • Andréa S.

    August 13, 2019

    What would be the most helpful is a wake lock app that works.

    Reply
  • lapamful

    August 13, 2019

    You can also attach a phone to the spy hole on your front door so you can see/record who came to your door while you were out. Espcially useful if you're expecting a package from Amazon.

    Reply
  • biggus bestus

    August 13, 2019

    Hell my shotgun shells on trip wires eliminate the need for all that tech …I have no mole problems either !

    Reply
  • jaselolzako03

    August 13, 2019

    Problem is just battery.

    Reply
  • Madeline Abarquez

    August 13, 2019

    Hi how to save the videos?

    Reply
  • Hugh Collins

    August 13, 2019

    Let me also suggest the MANYTHING (monitor anything) application. I have been using Manything for three years with old iPhones. I have five cameras with a week of cloud recording for under $15/mo. The support staff is always ready to help you anytime you contact them. Highly recommend!

    Reply
  • Jacobs monroe

    August 13, 2019

    Can you only record footage? Or will the phone play sound as well?

    Reply
  • John Gottie

    August 14, 2019

    So how you connect the camera to your phone that you keep on you

    Reply
  • J T

    August 14, 2019

    Is it safe that the phone Is charging indefinitely?

    Reply
  • CAPTAIN DABBIN

    August 14, 2019

    “The glorious hole”! Yes indeed! Its glorious to catch a thief!

    Reply
  • Bob Gatewood

    August 14, 2019

    @ 2:54 "Glorious hole", eh? Mmmm hmmm… 😉 (subscribed, coz)

    Reply
  • zergtoss1

    August 15, 2019

    Thank you for teaching me cool ways to record my daughters hot friends 🙂

    Reply
  • zergtoss1

    August 15, 2019

    Sweet, I can use this to find out who is living in my attic.

    Reply
  • Harley Davidson

    August 15, 2019

    Does the old phone need to have service, how does it notify you or upload the video to the cloud?

    Reply
  • chris sprenger

    August 16, 2019

    This is gold ! Thanks for the upload !

    Reply
  • Yashwanth N

    August 16, 2019

    Idea is good. But you are talking too much and too fast. It's pain in the ears. Slow down a little.

    Reply
  • Raphael Albert

    August 16, 2019

    Crap video! Far too fast to understand if you're not up on the technology.

    Reply
  • Dene. F.

    August 17, 2019

    No! Don't 'loop it around a bit'. Remember, a coiled active power wire is commonly known as an electric heater.

    Reply
  • J C Sherrard Media construct

    August 18, 2019

    Nice bud!

    Reply
  • SpotXfish

    August 18, 2019

    Dude you need to stop buying iPhones they will end up in waste one day.

    Reply
  • RideRedRacer

    August 18, 2019

    holy shit this video just made me realize im still using the first smart phone i have ever had. and its a Samsung…dun dun dun. Still in perfect working condition

    Reply
  • RideRedRacer

    August 18, 2019

    i dont understand why you have so many old phones in working condition. why even upgrade if it works fine

    Reply
  • 4 Virtues 4 Truths

    August 18, 2019

    Just buy a security system with yo cheap asses.

    Reply
  • mario jimenez

    August 19, 2019

    You used an S7 edge, umm how old can you go an still have compatibility for the apps that you are running?

    Reply
  • Srednio naJeza

    August 19, 2019

    Aaa ,my husband forgot to throw boxes into the trash.

    Reply
  • drexldog

    August 19, 2019

    Good video but not much info on the app features. For example, does Presence support multiple cameras like Alfred does? I have used Alfred for a while and can probably list 10 things I don't really care for, ads being one of them for sure.

    Reply
  • ik

    August 19, 2019

    Sure! Let more fear into your life..
    These video's are truely sad!!!!!

    Reply
  • Topz MOAB

    August 19, 2019

    Lool battery?

    Reply
  • GRINGO AND AMIGO

    August 20, 2019

    I’d be worried my phone would catch on fire if it was plugged in all day my iPhone battery gets seriously hot when I charge it that would be my only worry

    Reply
  • Daniel St-Jean

    August 21, 2019

    The glorious hole… Man this video got creepy real quick

    Reply
  • M H

    August 21, 2019

    I have 4 ghosts/spirits in my home. I don't need security.

    I would put up a sign "Beware of the ghosts" but that would spoil the fun.

    Reply
  • exgenica

    August 21, 2019

    The video didn't address a couple of key issues which I've noted a number of people asking about on google play store (and other) reviews but never getting simple/direct answers…
    1) is it REQUIRED the old repurposed phone have a SIM card with an active cellphone account to perform a JUST camera monitoring function? Forget all the messaging.
    2) Does the Alfred or AtHome setup allow for direct
    OldPhone > local WiFi /router > NewPhone
    and/or
    OldPhone > local WiFi /router > Computer
    connectivity, or does everything have to pass through a 3rd party cloud storage server?
    3) Does the "new" phone technically have to have a SIM and be active on a mobile carrier just to receive video from the "old" phone in this kind of local setup?

    Do ANY security camera app tools provide a means of setting up the old phone as a live streaming video source for the new phone (or an on-network computer) without going through a cellphone carrier and without requiring the video data be sent to a 3rd part cloud service?

    Specific example, one has an old LG D500 (Android 4.4) phone that does NOT have a SIM card and is NOT associated with any active cellphone carrier/provider. All functionality works fine, just can't make non-911 calls or send messages via a phone carrier with it (e.g. cam, wifi, internet via wifi, bluetooth, etc all work fine without having a SIM card and without being connected to a carrier)
    The network is an local Arris SBG6900ac modem/router (and/or any number of other WiFi high-speed routers one might use)
    and,
    The "new" phone is an Galaxy S7 (Android 8.0) that is on an active cellphone carrier account (e.g. Tmobile), and 2 PCs running Win7-64bit Pro, and Win10-64bit HOME.

    Reply
  • Richard Ernst

    August 21, 2019

    I still don’t understand how ?!?! How you getting an app on old phone and how is it going to work with your current phone ?!?!

    Reply
  • Joe Blow

    August 22, 2019

    Samsung s7 edge is still better than CrApple iJunk xs

    Reply
  • Simon Fennix

    August 22, 2019

    All of the Dislikes are from Security Companies

    Reply
  • Kimberly Goins

    August 23, 2019

    I have been using Alfred for a while now. The bad thing about it if you have it looking outside if a blade of grass moves or a shadow moves you get the notification that something happened. I constantly get them it stays on 99 notifications all the time.

    Reply
  • Michael McCord

    August 24, 2019

    Maximum length for USB without a booster is 16' or 4.877 meters.

    Reply
  • Bernando Turner

    August 24, 2019

    I like Rottweilers for Security! They Cost about As Much As Wifi.😄

    Reply
  • altha 2014

    August 24, 2019

    Will this work for I pads got 2 of them hardly uses would like to sit them up one reason would like to see what the dog does while I'm not also sit it up to catch the wife

    Reply
  • altha 2014

    August 24, 2019

    Good info like and subcribe

    Reply
  • Radames T.

    August 24, 2019

    Can u used two phone cameras with the same account

    Reply
  • Deez Nutz

    August 25, 2019

    *you can use old smartphone as CCTV
    CCTV Company: wait, is that even legal?

    Reply
  • Mehran Freeman

    August 26, 2019

    I didn't use the Presence ,but I'm using the Alfred for many years , it's awesome app ,the only issue I have ,the proper motion detector available in paid version only which is expensive ( 3$/month 😔) l got alot of false notifications aday because of the poor motion detector in free version.
    I will try the presence soon . thank you for your recommendation.👍
    UPDATE:
    No for PRESENCE 100% rubbish compare to Alfred.I
    prefer to have Alfred's false notifications than to have no notifications at all 🤔
    Took 3hours of my time to fix the Presence but still unbelievably shit.

    Reply
  • ashutosh sawant

    August 26, 2019

    Can the App be used with Android phones?

    Reply

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