How to Use Your Android Device as a Security Camera

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athome security cam

If you want to monitor your home or business while you're away, you're going to need an Internet-connected camera. However, if you have an old smartphone that's sitting around gathering dust, an old tablet that has lost its luster or an Android stick with a webcam like the Measy U2C, you can turn it into an always-on, wireless camera with minimal hassle. Here's how to turn your Android device into a security camera.

1. Download AtHome Video Streamer from Google Play. There are a number of different security camera apps available, including IP Webcam, which also offers great free streaming. However, it's more difficult to view video from outside your local network with that app.

athome video streamer

2. Swipe past all the introductory screens until you see the Start Now button, which is on the fourth screen.

athome streamer intro scree

3. Tap the Start Now button. You will see a live camera view screen.

athome video screen

4. Tap the menu button in the upper left corner.

5. Tap Change Password. 

athome change password

6. Enter a custom username and password and tap Save.

athome change username

7. Tap Back to return to the camera screen.

8. Write down the CID code, which is located in the upper right corner of the screen.

athome get cid

9. Position your device in the location you want it to monitor and make sure it is propped up with its primary camera facing outward. If you don't have a dock, Toddy Gear makes a $15 bean-bag stand called the Wedge which can prop up any smartphone in landscape or portrait orientation. 

phone on toddy

MORE: 30 Apps for Rooted Android Phones

View Your Wireless Camera

Once you have the camera set up, you'll want to view it from another device. By installing the viewer application, you can keep track of up to five cameras from another phone or tablet. Unfortunately, you can only view from an Android or iOS device, not from a Windows PC or Mac. To view your camera stream on an Android device:

1. Download AtHome Camera from Google Play.

2. Tap Add in the upper right corner and select By CID.

athome camera add camera

3. Enter the CID, username and password from the device you're using as a camera, toggle on Remember Me and tap Save.

athome camera enter cid

4. Tap on the camera icon to connect to the remote account. 

athome camera select camera

5. Select the camera you wish to view. If you have only one camera on the account, it will be the top camera.

athome camera pick

You will see a view from the camera you selected. Using the controls at the bottom of the screen, you can capture stills, switch between front and back cameras (if the device has both) or turn the flash on / off for extra lighting.

athome camera live video

Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
Add a comment
  • Shannon Says:

    Any way to track if the device that is the camera is stolen? Like GPS or something. Any info greatly appreciated...

  • sprinter Says:

    Are you saying I can buy a used older android phone, plug it in in my babies room as a nanny cam with the camera facing out and watch it from work on my phone even though the older one i am using as a camera does """not have a service contract?""" I will buy a used phone if this is true. Also, there are some CID questions on here and they are not answered, as well as a password question ,maybe you are answering through their email. I would like to know before i look for an older android phone...thanks so much, this would really put my mind at ease when I am away...sometimes I am traveling all day within the state and would love to check in to make myself feel better. Thank you for this post !

  • Dennis Says:

    I will be happy u can kindly help me learn more about this applications and softwares

  • Nur Salam Says:

    Nice Technic! Mr. Avram. I always wanted to be like you. But I holds bachelor degree from BU.

  • Katie Says:

    My friend told me about turning your tablet into a security camera which i successfully did before i left my home for a month. Both devices were working great and the cameras were clear, but there was a power outage the other night which turned my tablet off. Is there anyway for me to turn the tablet on from my phone or any other device so u can get the security camera up and running again? My neighborhood has been having recent break ins and its unsettling for me not having this working. Thanks

  • SwaroopkumarN Says:

    It's so nice Ida thank full to I sir sir I have some small douts on soft car instaling

  • vincent Says:

    what email address should i put in the athome camera. I follow the steps given by this site but I think you kind of miss the part or step that you will enter your email address and password. Im confuse

  • Arvind Says:

    This has to be the best article to use phone as a surveillance camera. Thanks for sharing the information.

  • Jimmy Says:

    Thanks for this site , looking forward to try all this out.!!! woot!!!

  • Robert Says:

    Looking forward to using this app

  • Cynthia Says:

    It's too late to name my firstborn after you, but this info is so valuable to me,I will name the next goldfish I acquire "Avram". Cool?

  • Satish Says:

    Hi, I was trying to connect between two mobiles. I am unable to use atHome Camera using CID code. It only gives me option of QR code scanning. But when I tried scanning with my other mobile, I am getting network error message. Even when I tried registering atHome camera also I get the same message. Can anyone please help me or tell me how to connect through QR code or CID code

  • Eric Sypien Says:

    Hello In your At Home Video APP the CID number is covered and cannot be read any help would be great. Thanks

  • Gail Christmann Says:

    Do you recognize where i'm able to find mention of the home security cameras?

  • Anonymous Says:

    I wasn't told that I had to use google chrome to use this..

  • Noufal Says:

    Thanks a lot for the step by step. You helped me save a lot of money on home security.

  • Jaramaya Larson Says:

    There Mr. Avram "Peeping Tom" Piltch goes again, setting up creepy spy cams at work, probably to make sure his worker bees are working while he is at home on his couch spying on them. What's next, Mr. Piltch hacking into employee laptop web cams and enabling them without the employee knowing so he can get a sneaky look into his worker bee's apartments and personal lives?????

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