manything-print-slide-16

The Best Apps to Turn Your Old Smartphones and Web Cameras into Security Cameras

In Home Security by KellyLeave a Comment

Home security measures can be costly, so it’s nice to be able to find ways to help protect your home and family using equipment that you already have around the house.

Luckily, there are several apps on the market that allow you to take your old smartphones and web cameras and turn them into a security cameras!  These apps give you the option to recycle older pieces of technology that you haven’t been using and turn them into a home security camera that you can use to monitor what goes on while you are away.

While it doesn’t mean you are going to get state-of-the-art security for you home, these apps are helpful for those on a budget or for those who are looking to add a little extra peace of mind to a room, and don’t mind doing the monitoring themselves, as opposed to a professional team.

I’ll walk you through the best apps and their pros and cons.

The Best Home Security Apps Reviewed

Use the table below to jump to the app you’re interested in if you’re short on time.

AppiOSAndroidAvg. Rating
PerchNoYes4
ManythingYesYes4
Salient EyeNoYes4.4
PresenceYesYes4
Athome CameraYesYes3.7
YawcamNoNoN/A
WardencamYesYes4.2

#1 Perch

https://getperch.com/

 Android: Requires Android 4.0 or higher. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.getperch
Rating: 4/5 stars

Features: Motion alerts, video review, recording, motion alerts, video chats, easily integrates with your home automation system.

Complaints: Some people are experiencing a bug in which the camera flips from landscape into portrait mode, several users experienced crashing when trying to record, and a few cases of errors during video playback have been noted.

Summary: Perch offers a way to use your old smartphone or tablet and turn it into a home security camera.  The app offers video recording and playback, as well as a live feed that can be viewed on another device, such as a laptop, allowing you to keep track of what is going on at home.  Video chats give you the opportunity to check in on family members, and if you have a home automation system, you can turn off lights or flip power switches while using the app.  Perch has gotten many great reviews, and the ease of use of the Perch app is drawing many new users.

#2 Manything

Android: Requires Android 4.2 or higher.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.manything.manythingviewer
Rating: 3.9/5 stars

Apple: Requires iOS 6 or higher and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/manything-home-security-camera/id639672976?mt=8
Rating: 4/5 stars

Features: Simple setup, live video streaming, motion detection with auto record function, cloud recording, motion alerts with adjustable motion sensitivity, remote control, ability to check in on your camera’s battery, and optional stills only mode.

Complaints: Many users are complaining about the restrictions on free features, as well as a costly plan for going premium.  The app does not allow video chats or talking into camera, and other users noted complaints about not having any sound while using the app.

Summary: Manything allows you to use your old smartphone or tablet and convert it into a home security camera to allow you to keep an eye on what is going on at home when you aren’t able to be there.  It works with both Apple and Android devices, and has live streaming, recording, and motion detection alerts that help you keep you and your loved ones safe and sound.  Manything features a free option, as well as several subscription options that give you cloud recording and storage and the ability to add more cameras to your plan.

#3 Salient Eye

http://www.salient-eye.com/

Android: Version requirement varies with device.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mantishrimp.salienteye
Rating: 4.4/5 stars

Features: Takes pictures when the camera detects motion, SMS and e-mail alert support, push notifications, alarm, the ability to schedule during what days and times the app and camera should function, works without screen being on, password protection is offered.

Also offers remote control app to allow you to take photos and use the app on other devices (remote control app must be purchased separately).

Complaints: The remote control app for additional features is based on yearly subscription plan.  Many users noted that trial version was shorter than expected.  An iOS version not yet available.

Summary: Salient Eye allows you to turn your old smartphone or tablet into a motion detection camera, giving you peace of mind over your home and belongings when you are away!  The motion detector automatically takes pictures of anything that triggers it, and sends you the pictures directly to the smartphone or tablet that you have with you (or e-mail, if preferred), so you know if something is going on.

#4 Presence

http://www.presencepro.com/home/

Android: Requires Android 4.3 and higher.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.peoplepowerco.presencepro
Rating: 4.1/5 stars

Apple: Requires iOS 6.0 or later.  Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/presence-free-smart-home-motion/id618598211?mt=8
Rating: 4/5 stars

Features: Motion detection, video alerts sent directly to your device upon detection of motion, ability to review what is happening at home in real time, ready to expand into a full do-it-yourself home security with easy integration with door and window sensors, temperature sensors, water sensors, and even a robotic swiveling stand for your smartphone with the company’s full line of home security options.

Complaints: Some users have reported the app crashing.

Summary: Presence allows you to convert your old smartphone or tablet into a home security camera, that will allow you to receive alerts when any motion is detected, as well as the ability to see what is happening in your home or office in real time, lending you peace of mind.  The app also features two-way calling, so if you are at the office and a family member is at home, you are able to communicate with him or her easily.  And, you can expand upon your home security experience by adding the app to Presence’s other home security tools, such as door and window sensors, water sensors, and temperature sensors.

#5 AtHome Camera

http://www.ichano.com/

Android: Requires Android 4.0 and higher.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ichano.athome.camera
Rating: 4.3/5 stars

Apple: Requires iOS 7.0 or later.  Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/athome-camera-home-security/id305567000?mt=8
Rating: 3/5 stars

Features: Compatibility with multiple platforms, motion detection, scheduled recording, cloud recording, two-way calling and communication, settings for night recording, camera tilting and panning, time lapse recording, push and e-mail notifications.

Complaints: Upgrading to professional or cloud storage packages can get pricey, night vision camera is poor, users reported scheduled recording not functioning properly.

Summary: AtHome Camera makes a great video surveillance system for your home, garage, office, or nursery, and offers plenty of amazing features that will give you peace of mind about security!  Motion detection alerts will send e-mails or push notifications to your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to keep an eye on what is going on at home.  Night vision camera functions allow you to record at night, and you can set specific times for recording by using the recording scheduler feature.  Cloud recording is available through subscription plans, helping you make the most of your home security monitoring.

#6 Yawcam

Windows: Requires Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10, Java Runtime Environment 6 or later, Direct X 9 or later, Windows Media Player 9 or later.

http://www.yawcam.com/download.php

Features: Video streaming, motion detection, image snapshots, time lapse videos, password protection, multiple languages.

Complaints: There are no Mac or Linux versions as of yet.

Summary: Yawcam, which the creator says stands for “YetAnotherWebCAM,” is an application that allows you to use your home web camera as a home security camera, offering the ability to password protect your video feed, watch what is happening in your home in real time, and has motion detection options that will help give you peace of mind.

#7 WardenCam

http://www.wardencam360.com/

Android: Requires Android 2.3 and higher.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.warden.cam
Rating: 4.3/5 stars

Apple: Requires iOS 7.0 or later.  Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id914224766
Rating: 4/5 stars

Features: Motion detection and alerts via e-mail and push notifications, cloud storage, scheduled motion detection (any time of the day or night), night vision mode, ultra high definition video and audio.

Complaints: In order to use the app for 24/7 security, you must upgrade to the premium version.

Summary: WardenCam uses your old smartphone or tablet and converts it into a security camera system, allowing you to monitor what is going on while away.  The app has a night vision mode for monitoring your home in the dark, and the scheduled motion detection mode is a great way to set the camera up for when you know you will be away without having to worry about whether or not you started recording.  If the motion detection is activated, the app will send you push notifications or e-mails directly to your current device.

Final Thoughts

Using an old smartphone or tablet as part of your personalized home security system is a great idea. And in some instances where the need for an entire security system is not needed, it can be a free or cheap way to keep your home monitored by you.

There are a wide variety of apps available for Android, Apple, and even your Windows PC that will give you an abundance of features.  Hopefully, we’ve helped you explore your options and come up with a solution that is right for your home and your family.

Used one of these?  Let us know how it went in the comments below to help out other on the same path as you.

Leave a Comment