How to make iPhone into a security camera

How to make iPhone into a security camera

You can easily make your iPhone a security camera for your home or business. The article will outline steps that you can take to do that.

CCTV and iPhone showing the CCTV feed

How to make your iPhone a security camera

Reusing an old iPhone

There are two ways to make your iPhone a security camera. You can use it with an app that can control security cameras around your property or you can use it as a camera itself.

A brand new iPhone is a lot more expensive than the low-end security cameras that you can get. So, you might be thinking about using an old iPhone that’s sitting around your house. 

Before you do this, keep in mind that an old phone will have its limitations when it is used for something that it’s not designed for. For example, your iPhone security camera cannot handle 24-hour recording because it’s the battery that will not last that long and you cannot keep it plugged in all the time. 

Also, the apps that you can download to turn your old phone into a security camera has its limitations.

That being said, an old iPhone can also be a reliable security camera within reason.

Read: How to clean an iPhone camera thoroughly in 3 steps

Security cameras, apps, and your iPhone

security camera and iPhone - make your iPhone a security camera

There are security cameras that can connect to your home network. That means even if you are far away—even hundreds of miles away—you can easily control those cameras using your phone. Some of the apps can also send you notifications with pictures, which will update about what’s going on around your house.

Follow these steps when setting up your security camera with an iPhone app.

  1. The first thing that you need to do is install a security camera app on your iPhone. There are plenty of options available now and as with other apps, you need to check the reviews to make sure you are getting the right one.
  2. Launch the app on your phone. 
  3. Once the app is launched you have to add your security cameras into the app by entering the Unique ID of each camera and the password. 
  4. Once you have added the camera on the app, you can check out its live video on the app. 

You should be good to go after that. The app should have specific features on how you can control the camera or how you can save or download the videos. If you’re going to place your camera outdoors then you need to get a camera with an IP65 weatherproof rating.

Read: 6 genius ways to fix grainy photos on iPhone camera

Choose a security camera iOS app

person access on app - make your iPhone a security camera

The first thing that you should do is to pick a compatible app with your iPhone model. Here are the top apps that work smoothly with the older iPhones:

Eye Spy Camera Lite

This is a free app that will allow you to make recordings in various areas. It even has motion detection alarms. The problem with this app is that it has no real-time monitoring. But the best thing about this app is that you can use it on iOS 4.3 phones, which means that a really old iPhone of yours can still be used.


This app is free but it has a pro version that has more features. The app allows the remote monitoring of multiple live videos and even audio cameras.  It requires iOS 8.2 or later so it’s not compatible with the older phones.


With the Manything, you can do live streaming and you can set it for motion alerts. So, if anything moves in the area you’re monitoring, you get warned. Just keep in mind that cloud recording will be charged.


This app will allow you to receive email notifications and also push alerts. In terms of storage, it will only allow cloud storage up to 50 Mbps.

You can take your pick from these apps. Once you have the app, the next step is to set up your iPhone.

Setting up your iPhone as a security camera

For the second option of aiming to make your iPhone a security camera, the steps are as simple. Remember, these are just general steps. There will be other things that you need to do depending on which app you will be using.

  1. You will need two devices for this to work. One device will serve as the camera while the other will be your viewer.
  2. Install the security camera app on booth devices. Normally, the older device will work as a camera.
  3. Log in to the security camera app on both of the devices. Be sure to use the same account for both devices so the two will be connected. 
  4. Pick a location for mounting the camera. Be sure that the device has an unobstructed view on where you place it. Ideally, it should be in a corner with a nearby electrical socket. Your phone camera will have to be plugged in for it to keep working.
  5. The security camera apps have settings that you can play around with. Choose settings like motion detection, alerts, or even recording mode.
  6. One of the drawbacks of using an old iPhone as a security camera is that it will not work too well in the dark. If you need it to work at night, you will have to turn on the flashlight on your phone.

You should be all set with your home security camera now. 

Issues when you make your iPhone a security camera

iPhone on white brick wall, showing CCTV feed

Because aiming to make your iPhone a security camera is an improvised solution, you can expect it to run into a few snags. Here are several issues that you’ll have to face if you make your iPhone a security camera:

  • Your iPhone will run out of battery after a few hours. Because it’s an older device, it’s battery charge will not last that long.
  • Depending on where it is placed, your iPhone may run into some network issues.
  • Your phone is not really designed to capture videos in complete darkness so don’t expect it to have excellent night vision.
  • Your makeshift camera might end up being the target of thieves if you place it outside.

These are some of the issues that you can expect when you make your iPhone a security camera. 


It is possible to make your iPhone a security camera. There are some cases where it makes sense. For example, if you want the camera to be hidden in plain sight, using a phone instead of an actual camera is a good choice. The problem is that iPhone security cameras have so many limitations, they should be temporary solutions at best.

Related questions 

What’s the best security camera?

Now, you must be wondering, if an iPhone is not a good choice for a security camera then what is the best camera? Security experts claim that the best security cam is the Nest Cam IQ Indoor Camera

It comes with the following features:

  • It comes with a built Google Assistant that allows it to receive voice commands
  • Can be controlled with other Nest security devices
  • It has the Nest Familiar Face Alerts

Where to place security cameras?

Your camera is only as good as its placement. Even if you have a high-tech camera, but it’s placed at an awkward spot with less foot traffic, then it’s worse than useless.

Your cameras should be placed in the areas where burglars are likely to make an entrance. Those areas include: 

  • front door
  • back door
  • 1st-floor windows

It’s also a good idea to place cameras in spots that cover areas coming to and from your house.

With all the information we’ve given you, you should be all set to secure your home.