HomeSecurity Camera GuidesHow to Turn Old Phones into Security Cameras | Best Apps for 2023

How to Turn Old Phones into Security Cameras | Best Apps for 2023

There鈥檚 plenty of ways to revive an old smartphone, and one of the smartest is to use an old phone as a security camera. 

Find out how to improve home security and use old phones as security cameras with our top 5 picks for security camera apps in 2023.聽

Top 5 Apps to Turn Old Phones Into Security Cameras 

With a growing number of security camera apps, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to choosing the best app.

With that in mind, check out our list of the Top 5 security camera apps for iOS and Android for 2023.

1. AlfredCamera

Available on the App Store and Google Play 

4.8 (App Store)
4.7 (Google Play)
Free, with the option for Premium from $5.9950M+ 581K (Google Play)
77.4K (App Store)

Best Deal

While all the above features are free to use, Alfred Premium also boasts more advanced technologies that allow Alfred to be better tailored to the user’s needs. For just $5.99 a month/$29.99 a year, users can enjoy:

路 HD viewing for better performance of recording.
路 Zoom feature to focus on the things of interest. 
路 Extended cloud storage that enables you to save events for up to 14 days.
路 Longer clips of motion detection videos.
路 No ads

I use 6 of my old smartphones to keep an eye on my home. One for my disabled wife, one for our exotic birds, one in a window to watch our cars, one in the kitchen to monitor the back door, one in the french doors to monitor our patio and one in the bathroom(it doesn’t see the entire room mostly the ceiling) my wife uses in case she needs help. I’ve used Alfred for over six years. It has worked very well for my needs.

The absolute easiest security app ever to set up super simple super easy. When you’re a single mom it doesn’t get any better than that. Had an old phone laying around downloaded the app on both and Bam 馃憡 that’s it literally that’s it. I can make sure my house is okay as well as my kids are safe.

Credit: How To Do It All

2. AtHome Camera

Available on the App Store and Google Play 

Building a loyal user-base over the last decade, AtHome Camera combines traditional motion sensing with advanced AI deep learning technology. This helps it to be less prone to false alarms, and only sends push notifications when necessary.

AtHome Camera promo image featuring two children playing without adult supervision and being recorded by a device.

Users can enjoy cloud storage, 24/7 live streaming, enhanced night vision, two-way talk, and time-lapse recordings, which cuts 24 hours of footage into a couple of minutes. 

3.3 (App Store)
3.6 (Google Play)
Free5M+ (Google Play)48.1K (Google Play)
156 (App Store)

3. BabyCam

Available on Google Play

Parents and parents-to-be will adore this app, which sets itself apart by emphasizing features designed specifically with baby monitoring in mind. Set up an old smart device in the baby鈥檚 room and rest assured with 24/7 virtual monitoring. 

BabyCam鈥檚 simple in-app home screen.

Keep an eye on babies using a PC or any other smart device by linking it to the assigned recording device. Through the linked device, users can chat with babies and comfort them should they become distressed. 

This is particularly handy if working from another room鈥攔elax them by choosing lullabies to play for them, before activating the flash when it鈥檚 time to wake up. 

Of course, all of the apps on the list, including AlfredCamera, are also more than apt for use as baby monitors since they can perform identical functions.


4.4 (Google Play)
Free, with option for Premium for $21M+ (Google Play)20.7K (Google Play)鉁旓笍

4. SeeCiTV

Available on Google Play 

SeeCiTV claims to make old phones into free security cameras. The big selling point here is bi-directional streaming. In other words, it makes use of both front and back cameras as security cameras. Users can rely on Google Drive for storage.

SeeCiTV promo image, featuring a baby playing with toys being recorded live by a smartphone.

Unlike many other similar apps, SeeCiTV doesn鈥檛 require that the phone is unlocked to record, making it more conspicuous. Pre-set times can be allocated for when to connect the camera. This way, it鈥檚 less likely to cause heat issues, and it saves on battery life by avoiding unnecessary usage.

4.3 (Google Play)Free, with option for Premium from $0.991M+ (Google Play)14.8K (Google Play)

5. WardenCam

Available on the App Store and Google Play

WardenCam is another app that turns old phones and tablets into security cameras. Expect motion detection, push notifications, low-light filters, and cloud storage via Google Drive or Dropbox.

It鈥檚 prone to crashing, but when it works, it works well. Though frame rate will be inconsistent, the maximum 1080p HD setting is good quality (assuming the device it鈥檚 being used on also boasts a good camera).

3.4 (App Store)
4.1 (Google Play)
Free, with option for Premium from $5.9910M+ (Google Play)41 (App Store)
62.2K (Google Play)

Using AlfredCamera to Transform Smartphones into Security Cameras

AlfredCamera sets itself apart as a robust, all-in-one security solution with a simple and easy-to-use interface. 

Don鈥檛 just take it from us鈥攐ver 50 million downloads make it by far the most popular security camera app available. Here鈥檚 how it works in three simple steps.

1. Prepare two phones

You鈥檒l need two phones to get started! One phone will act as a 鈥楥amera鈥 device just like any security camera that monitors the surroundings, while the other phone will be a 鈥榁iewer鈥 device which enables you to watch the livestream and receive push notifications if any unusual movement is detected.

a bunch of old phones

2. Install the app

Once installed from either the App Store or Google Play Store, sign up for an account using an email address and password.

Unlike other security camera apps, AlfredCamera values user data and privacy. Signing up simply requires a valid email address and password.

3. Add a Camera

The fifth step of AlfredCamera APP onboarding process, selecting a device to be used as a camera
Choose the right device type as your camera

4. Pair two devices

A QR code will appear on the viewing device, which needs to be held up to the camera device to be scanned. It鈥檚 then automatically paired, and Alfred鈥檚 ready to serve. Setup is complete in just a couple of minutes.

The seventh step of AlfredCamera APP onboarding process, scan the qrcode
The chosen camera device automatically pairs to the viewing device by scanning a QR code.

5. Mount the camera device

Mounting the camera can be done in any number of ways depending on the device being used. The most important consideration is to have the camera in a place where it is able to be charged constantly, especially if the camera intends to be run 24/7. 

AlfredCamera being set up in a variety of ways to turn an old phone into a security camera, including being taped to the wall and conspicuously concealed within an old mug.
Various ways to pose a device with AlfredCamera.


How can I use CCTV on mobile without internet?

Mobile CCTV can be used without the internet by using physical storage rather than cloud-based storage. Not all devices or apps will require an internet connection at all times to use. 

However, recording 24/7 will consume a lot of storage space very fast. Android devices usually allow for expandable storage via microSD, which would be necessary to facilitate larger file sizes being stored.

Can you tell if your phone is being monitored?

It鈥檚 not easy to tell if a phone is being monitored (assuming the user isn鈥檛 a professional hacker themselves). If the device has a light turn on by itself, whether that鈥檚 the screen, camera flash, or something else, that鈥檚 a fairly reliable sign that the phone is being monitored. 

Users might also notice unexpected changes in the mic and speaker. Otherwise, odd files deep in your phone鈥檚 storage and unusual ambient noise when speaking to someone in a call are other tell-tale signs.

Can a cell phone be hacked without the internet?

Is there a security camera that works without Wi-Fi?

Some brands have produced security cameras that don鈥檛 require Wi-Fi to function, like Arlo鈥檚  鈥楪o鈥 and Reolink鈥檚 similarly-named 鈥楪o鈥. Wi-Fi-free IP cameras usually use mobile data instead, meaning users need to buy a mobile LTE plan to store footage on the cloud. Otherwise, it can be saved to a microSD card.


While as a society we continue to plow through mobile devices at an alarming rate, there are increasingly inventive ways to find uses for them before they end up in landfill. 

By turning an old phone into a security camera, it鈥檚 possible to create a conspicuous, highly functional alternative to much more expensive systems.