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How to Connect Security Cameras to Your Phone in 5 Painless Steps (with Pictures)

Smart devices have made security efforts more efficient and useful than ever. Most security cameras on the market now feature native smartphone support through apps, allowing users to connect security devices to phones to view camera feeds, alter settings, and interact with the camera—any time, any place.

Don’t know how to connect a security camera to a phone? Read on and find out how in just 5 simple steps.

Step 1: Download the App

The vast majority of leading security camera brands develop their own apps for use with their products. This includes Google Nest, Wyze, Reolink, Ring, and, of course, AlfredCamera.

It’s hard not to notice that the majority of these apps have mixed reviews. That’s because not all DVRs are compatible, meaning trial and error will be necessary to find an app that actually works.

Credit: Ventech Videos

First and foremost, the DVR will need to be internet-enabled. Traditional DVRs cannot be linked to mobile devices. We would recommend purchasing an IP camera if mobile viewing is important to you. 

If the DVR is internet-enabled, there’s a high chance that the manufacturer already has an app of its own. Check with customer support if unsure as to how to find the app before attempting to use a third party app. Always use brand-affiliated apps over third party ones, which, aside from being hit-and-miss, may also come with privacy risks.

Step 2: Sign Up

Once the app is downloaded, open it and sign up for an account. Most viewing apps require this, but some, like Reolink, don’t. Speed up the process by linking an existing account, like a Google or Facebook account, if possible. 

Read through and agree to terms and conditions when prompted. Users may also be given the choice to opt in or out of data sharing. Even a quick read of this is important to know exactly what’s being shared.

Step 3: Add a Camera

Once the account is set up, users will either be presented with the main menu of the app or prompted to provide some preferences.

A prompt to add the camera will be obvious, and it’ll usually look like a plus sign in the top corner or text reading ‘Add Camera’ or ‘Add a Device’. Tap it, and the app will provide the steps necessary to pair a device. 

A common way of adding a camera (and the method which AlfredCamera uses) is for the app to generate a QR code.

Once the camera device is turned on and the status LED indicates that it is ready for use, hold up the QR code for the security camera to scan. This will then pair the device. 

Adding a device on AlfredCamera. The app guides users through with simple steps, and uses a QR code to pair the camera to the phone.

Other security camera apps require users to select the camera as if it were a wireless network.

This means going into the phone’s Wi-Fi settings. Much like when connecting to a new Wi-Fi network, find the camera in the list. Tap it and connect, then return to the app, where the device will be paired.

Adding a device on Kasa. Rather than using a QR code, users have to first allow the app local network access, allocate a Wi-Fi network in the app, and then connect to the camera device within your phone’s Wi-Fi settings.

It’s usually possible to name the camera once it’s been added. These might be default options, like ‘Front Door Camera’, or it might allow users to type a unique name.

Naming the camera after its location is a good idea if intent on having multiple cameras monitor a space, as it can quickly get confusing with preset names like ‘Camera 1’. 

Step 4: Share access to your device

Whether the security camera is monitoring a family home, a rented apartment, or an office space, multiple users are likely to want access to the camera. It’s only logical that having more eyes on the camera increases a sense of ease and improves the effectiveness of the device.

However, giving out passwords makes the device super vulnerable. Most apps now provide the option to add additional users to the camera feed without giving out sensitive information. 

Look for this in the app’s settings menu, where there will be a prompt to invite additional users. This might also be found on the camera’s feed. Users can safely invite family members, housemates, or coworkers to have access to the feed via their email or by having them scan a QR code, thereby not sacrificing the password.

Step 5: Automate and Adjust

Security camera apps provide various automation options, whether that’s integration with voice assistants or scheduling when a camera comes on or off. Automating security products can make them work more intelligently.

Though the option to do all this may be given during initial setup, we’d actually recommend skipping the majority of this. Spend some time with the device first to discover what works well and what doesn’t work so well. 

Gradually, adjust different settings and preferences, including motion detection sensitivity, notifications, schedules, and even how the camera interacts with other products, like smart lighting. This can all be managed from the app’s settings and can be changed as and when you want.

Examples of settings and automations that can be changed. From left to right: enabling push notifications in AlfredCamera; changing motion detection settings in Wyze.

FAQ

How do I connect my video camera to my phone?

Connect a video camera to a phone by downloading the camera manufacturer’s app from the App Store or Google Play Store. If there isn’t one, it may be possible to use a third party app so long as the camera has internet-enabled features. But it’s always recommended to use official applications purpose-built for products.

How do I connect my camera to my phone wirelessly?

Download the camera’s app from the App Store or Google Play Store, sign up for an account, and tap ‘add device’. Pair the camera via a QR code or by connecting to it as a wireless network.

How do you pair a security camera?

Pairing a security camera to an app usually happens by scanning a generated QR code with the camera’s lens, or by connecting to it as a wireless network on the phone. It might also be paired via Bluetooth.

How can I view my security cameras online?

Download the camera’s app from the App Store or Google Play Store, sign up for an account, and tap ‘add device’. Instructions will then be provided on how to pair the device. Make sure the camera is connected to a wireless network and that the phone is connected to the internet.

How to connect CCTV cameras to phones without the internet?

CCTV cameras that do not have internet-enabled features cannot connect to a phone. Consider buying a DVR that can be connected to the internet if it is compatible with the camera device. The DVR manufacturer will likely have a corresponding app that can be downloaded for efficient mobile viewing.

Conclusion

Connecting a security camera to a phone lets users get the most out of it. Users can enjoy easy automation, push notifications, and 24/7 access to the camera’s livestream from anywhere in the world.

In short, it makes the security camera a lot more useful, and will allow users to avoid endless sifting through footage.