It is possible to use mobile phones as CCTV cameras. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet regarding this topic. Do not fall for honeytraps made to download useless apps.
Mobile Phones can be used as Cctv cameras as they have an inbuilt camera, but most of them utilize Wi-Fi to achieve it. The big question is Can we do it without an internet connection?
We can! It’s only a matter of using that inbuilt lens and streaming it via a local network. You will need an app for the mediating role, but it’s 100 percent possible.
So, gather all your old working phones with a working camera. We will teach you to create a surveillance system without using the internet.
Table of Contents
Benefits of Using Mobile as Cctv
Using a mobile phone, Cctv, can come in handy in many instances. Though it is a temporary solution, it is really helpful when we don’t have traditional Cctv cameras and need a quick surveillance fix.
Its use might differ from user to user, but it provides the following benefits for us.
- Temporary baby monitor
- Temporary house surveillance
How to Use Mobile as Cctv Camera Without Internet
You will, unfortunately, have to learn a few concepts. But, once that is done, the mechanics will be with you forever, and you can mold the idea according to your need. We will need three things to achieve this.
- Working Mobile phone with a constant power supply (sender of Cctv footage)
- Mediating Apps
- Routers or Wi-Fi Extenders to create a local network (receiver of Cctv footage)
One major drawback of using mobile phones as CCTV is that there will be limited space on the device, so the space will finish unless you sync in cloud storage.
Download the Necessary Apps
There are a lot of third-party apps that can do this. Some are paid, and a few of them are free. We do not want our readers to spend money on such a trivial thing. So we will leave the paid apps for now.
Download & install an app from the google store called Ip webcam for android devices. For IOS, use an IP camera Lite. Both are free, but you will need to purchase the full edition for recording capabilities in iOS.
We do not endorse any of these apps, but we have tested them, and they do work.
As the name suggests, these apps provide us with an IP address that we can use to receive the streaming CCTV footage.
You might find other apps suggested on the internet. Some work, and some don’t. We will only know if you try.
Connect to a Local Network Without Internet Access
The problem with a mobile hotspot is that the range is limited, generally from 20-100 meters depending on the phone. Another issue is that iPhone’s hotspot can be created only with cellular turned on.
A better way to create a local area network is through routers or Wi-Fi extenders. The range of these extenders depends on the device itself.
We do not need to configure the routers. Just make sure it sends a Wi-Fi signal that devices can connect. Internet access isn’t necessary.
In the current market, we can get extenders up to 2500 feet. So, the sky is the limit.
You are not limited to using just one extender. Any number of extenders /routers will do. You could practically use ten extenders to increase range, and it would still work.
You might face a couple of seconds of lag, but viewers won’t even know about the lag unless both sender and receiver devices are kept near each other.
Follow the steps below to create a local area network without internet access:
Hotspot to Wi-Fi Extender Connection
- Open mobile hotspot from the mobile phone (sender device)
- Have the extender extend the mobile hotspot.
- If you are using multiple extenders, extend the first Wi-Fi extender after connecting to the mobile hotspot. Use the same principle for x number of extenders.
Wi-Fi Extender Only Connection
- Enable a Wi-Fi signal without internet access using a Wi-Fi extender or router.
- Make sure both sender and receiver devices connect to the same Wi-Fi.
Connect Sender Device from App
We have our apps ready and a local area network to transfer data. All we need to do now is to make the connection. We have taken an example of Ip Webcam below for Andriod; try connecting with this app or any other app that you have already tested to be working.
IP webcam Connection (Andriod)
- Open the app
- Create an account.
- Select Local broadcasting
- Click on Login/password if you want to create a security key.
- Go back to the previous menu and choose Video preferences.
- Choose video recording and select the option Save Video to.
- Choose folder location to store recorded Cctv footage.
- Go back to the previous home menu and choose Start-server
- The app should start accessing the camera and allow any permissions asked by the phone.
- You will see an IP listed at the bottom of the screen; note it down on paper.
Under Video preferences, you can choose some features stated below:
- Chunk Size: How many minutes do you want one stored Cctv recording to be?
- Cleanup: Remove older stored videos once free space is less than “X” amount in the device
- Video Format: Choose between MKV or Mp4
IP Camera Lite (iOS)
- Open the IP Camera Lite app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Click on the three-line option in the top right corner and select Settings.
- Scroll down and find the User & password. Enter a new one according to your liking.
- Go back to the home menu and click on Turn on the IP server.
- Click Yes on any permission asked regarding the use of camera, audio, etc.
- Click the Share icon on the top right corner.
- Note the LAN HTTP address.
Check Stream From the Receiver Device
You can use another phone or PC as the receiver device, provided they are connected to the local area network. There are plenty of ways to view the footage, but we recommend either a VLC player or Browser.
Browser (IP Camera Lite Streaming)
For iOS, stream through the IP camera lite app by typing the LAN address/video and pressing enter.
The video will start to stream. We can either record it via screen recorder apps. To record the Stream via the in-app option, you will need to purchase the full edition of the app.
Browser (IP Webcam Streaming)
- For Andriod stream through an IP webcam app, type the noted IP address from the step above in a browser and hit enter. No need for the “/video.”
- An IP webcam Page should open up.
- Select Browser under the Video renderer section; the footage should now start streaming live.
- Scroll down, find the Recorder control section, enter a label for the footage, and select the Record button.
VLC Player ( IP Webcam & IP Camera Lite)
- Download and open the VLC player either on your phone or pc.
- Under the media section, choose Network streaming.
- Enter the IP address noted down earlier in the following format
"/video"is compulsory for streaming.
If you get an insecure site error, we recommend clicking on the view certificate option and allowing any permission asked by the program.
We recommend using the browser option if you plan to record footage else; any of the two options stated above is fine. That’s it; the Stream will go live.
If you are using IP Webcam on android, you can also stream it with other players. Available players will be listed during the browser streaming.