How to Use an Old Phone as a Security Camera: A Simple Guide

As smartphones are constantly evolving with more appealing features and better durability, people tend to upgrade to better devices before their old phones wear out. As a result, old or outdated devices, though still work well, are taking up space and sitting around. Instead of throwing them away, which is a waste, why not put them to good use, say, turning them into simple security cameras?

With an old phone, its built-in cameras, and a third-party app, you can set up a simple security camera in your home and check in on your kids or pets whenever you like. Setting it up isn't hard. With just a few simple steps, you can turn old phone into security camera. Keep reading to find out how this is done.

 how to use an old phone as a security camera

Step-by-Step Guide to Turning Old Phone into Security Camera

The common way to use an old phone as a security camera is to download a third-party security app on the old phone and start monitoring with your phone. This setup is pretty easy. The following is a detailed guide, with which you can easily turn an old phone into a security camera.

 monitor home with old phone

Preparing Your Old Phone

Start with preparing two mobile devices: an old phone that's no longer in use and your current phone. The old one is used as the Camera device monitoring the surroundings, and your current phone that is carried by you acts as the Viewer device.

Installing the Camera App

Download a security camera app from your device's app store. There are many options available for both Android and iOS. And the best app to turn old phone into security camera comes with essential features like remote recording and streaming, local footage storage, two-way audio, and motion detection.

Once you select a security camera app, download it both on the old and current phones and follow the app's setup instructions.

Pairing Your Devices

Now the app is installed on the two phones, open the app and you will be asked to log in to your account. Keep in mind to use the same account for both phones, otherwise, they will not be able to connect. Follow the steps to pair the devices. (Different apps might offer different pairing methods.) Set the old phone as the Camera, and the other as the Viewer.

Choosing the Perfect Placement

Install the Camera in the area that you want to monitor, like entrances, stairways, and living room. Place the Camera up high. In this way, it captures the area clearly without being easily knocked down by your kids or pets. Besides, the Camera should be angled appropriately to give you the most visibility for the area.

Besides, the Camera device has to be within range of your Wi-Fi and be constantly charged. If the power cable is not long enough, you can also power your device with a power bank.

Testing Your Setup

Once the setup is complete, test the two devices to make sure they are working as expected. On the Camera device, make sure it is constantly powered and works well. From the Viewer device, tap to view the camera's live feed. You can also change a few more settings, like setting motion detection sensitivity and turning notifications on or off.

Real-time Monitoring

Using this cost-efficient DIY trick, now you can monitor your property without costing a fortune and control the security camera just from your phone.

Besides, if you have a lot of old phones, you can set them up on the same Wi-Fi network and account in different places to get extensive coverage of your home.

Best Alternative: Consider Professional Home Security Cameras

This simple DIY home security system is a cost-efficient and easy-to-install way to keep an eye on your property. For those who want advanced features, however, using an old phone as a security camera may fail to fulfill their needs with limited features and disadvantages. Here are the 4 main disadvantages:

  • Limited Battery Lifespan & High Maintenance- Since monitoring can drain your battery significantly, you have to keep the old phone charging. This is not only troublesome but might heat your phone or even shut it off suddenly. Plus, phones require frequent maintenance as they are not as durable as security cameras.
  • Low Resolution & Blurry Camera Footage- Old phones with low camera resolution can't capture clear images and important details nor record clear videos at long distances.
  • Lack of Advanced features & Limited Mobility- Phones, which even have security camera apps installed, only offer monitoring, communication, and detection. They can't offer night vision and integration with smart home systems like security cameras. Phones are not waterproof, limiting them to indoor use.
  • Risk of Being Hacked & Leaking Privacy - When you use old phones for security cameras, hackers might hack your phone, or footage stored in the cloud can be leaked.

While using old phones as security cameras can be a budget-friendly option, it's important to consider these disadvantages and evaluate whether they meet your specific security needs. For those who look for stable surveillance performance, 24-hour monitoring, instant alerts, etc., investing in security cameras with advanced features and high security can be a more suitable solution. Advanced options like eufy camera S220 deliver crisp and clear image quality and 24-hour surveillance with night vision and high resolution.

security camera 


Using an old phone as a security camera can be a cost-effective solution to enhance your home security. With two phones, a security camera app, and a few steps, you can easily repurpose your old device and keep an eye on your property right now. However, if you're looking for high-quality footage and 24/7 monitoring, a professional security camera with mobile app might better serve your needs. Start increasing overall safety for your home with these solutions!

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