Many people want to feel more secure while they are out of their homes. Some buy expensive security systems and install IP cameras.
Some people however prefer a simple solution, that possibly is not as secure, but is enough to offer a decent level of security.
It turns out you can easily convert any web camera into an IP camera that allows you to still see everything that goes on while you are not at home.
Normally you would need a computer to see the web cam picture, but there are Apps, that can do the same thing on your Android phone.
Here you can read about a simple solution on how to set up your web camera to watch your home from your Android phone.
Of course it’s also possible the other way around.
You can use your Android phone camera to use it as a webcam for when you don’t have a web camera in reach.
What You Will Need
First of all, you will obviously need the hardware. A cheap web camera will do just fine.
You probably need to install a driver for your new hardware. After your web cam is in place, you need to convert it to an IP camera. Luckily there are a few programs capable of doing this.
Let me remind you that by using your web camera as an IP cam you’ll be able to connect to it from any device that supports browser capabilities, not just smartphones. But to be able to connect to it, your home computer has to be running. That’s the main disadvantage.
You will also need a client for your Android phone, that is capable of connecting to an IP camera. Your inbuilt browser is not enough.
How to Change Your Web Camera into an IP Cam
There are many applications, that allow you to use your web camera as an IP cam. Not all of them are free, but that doesn’t mean they are better.
Some of the most popular applications are:
- Yawcam – I recommend this one
- WebCam Monitor – It’s free to try. You have a 2 hour recording limit and a watermark on the video.
- Digi Watcher – this one is free to try. You can run the software for 30 minutes every time
Yawcam is free to use and has also motion detection.To set up Yawcam, follow the instructions below.
- Download and install Yawcam
- Open the application, click on settings and select “Detect Webcam”
- choose your webcam and click OK
- It’s best if you enable all the options in the control panel
- Click on “Settings,” select the “Connection” tab and select “What’s my URL?”
- Write down your “Stream” address. This is the address you have to use if you want to connect to your IP camera from another device
Your web camera should now be accessible as an IP cam. Keep in mind that Yawcam has to be running in order for you to connect to your webcam from another computer or your handheld device.
Connect to Your IP Camera with Your Phone
If you have the address of your camera, you can connect to it easily from any other computer by writing the address into a web browser. But what about your Android phone?
You can’t use your phone’s browser to get access to your webcam. There are some Apps, that allow you to connect to every IP camera you have permission to connect to.
Two of the best IP cam viewer apps are:
- IP Camera Viewer Lite. – It’s free to use and has some interesting other functions.
- TinyCam Monitor allows you to connect to almost any IP camera. It truly is one of the best IP camera viewers available for Android.
There is a free and a paid version of TinyCam Monitor available. But even the free version is more than enough for the average user.
There are many features available in the free version, some are:
- You can watch up to 4 cameras simultaneously. Additionally you can have up to 16 saved camera addresses.
- The App specifically supports Yawcam
- Import/export cameras (SD card/Dropbox service)
- Control Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) cams
- It supports Digital Zoom
To set up TinyCam Monitor, you have to first download and install it. If you run it for the first time, it will give you a few options like selecting random cameras or view the YouTube help video. After that run the App and select “Manage Cams”. Open the menu and select “Add camera”.
Type in your prefered camera name. If you used Yawcam to convert your web camera into an IP cam, select “Yawcam” as your camera vendor.
You only have to choose a camera model, if you use a real IP camera. Input the other required info. You can leave the advanced settings like they are.
Now you can connect to your web camera with your Android phone.
The Other Way Around
Of course it’s possible to use your Android phone as an IP camera or a webcam.
With the right Apps you can transfer your phone into a spy-cam with many features, I don’t know why this would be useful for someone but it is possible.There are many Apps capable of doing that:
- IP Webcam turns your phone into a wireless camera. You can view your camera on any platform with VLC Media Player or your web browser.
- SmartCam webcam can be used to turn your Android phone into a wireless webcam over bluetooth or WiFi. You need the PC application as well as the Android App for it to work.