How to Turn an Old Android Smartphone in to a Security Camera With IP Webcam

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An android with a security camera (CCTV) for its arm.

Transforming an old Android smartphone into a security camera offers a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution for home surveillance. This approach not only recycles a device that might otherwise sit unused, but also provides a decent-quality video feed for monitoring your home. Here's how to revitalize your old Android device and integrate it with Home Assistant using the IP Webcam app.


Introduction to IP Webcam: Your Gateway to Android-Based Home Security

IP Webcam is a versatile application available on the Google Play Store, designed to transform your Android smartphone into a fully functional security camera. By leveraging this app, you can stream live video directly to Home Assistant, making use of your device's camera and an array of additional sensors to monitor your surroundings effectively.

Screenshot of the IP Webcam app interface on a browser, displaying options for video rendering and audio playback. The live feed shows a green Android mascot atop a 3D printer's printing bed.

Setting up IP Webcam for Home Surveillance

The setup process involves a few straightforward steps:

  1. Download and Install IP Webcam: Head to the Google Play Store and install the IP Webcam app on your old Android smartphone.
  2. Configure the App: Launch IP Webcam and adjust the settings according to your preferences. You can set up motion detection, sound alerts, and even choose the quality of the video feed.
  3. Integrate with Home Assistant: Follow the instructions on Home Assistant's integration page to connect the video feed to your Home Assistant dashboard. This allows you to view live video directly from your Home Assistant interface.

Enhancements and Additional Features

After integrating IP Webcam with Home Assistant, you unlock various controls and sensors:

Final Integration Steps

Integrating IP Webcam into Home Assistant is seamless. Simply add the 'Android IP Webcam' integration through the Home Assistant Dashboard and input the required information. For enhanced functionality, explore the optional settings within the IP Webcam app, such as sensor logging, to provide detailed environmental data to Home Assistant.

Android Ip Webcam 02

Important Considerations

Battery Safety: Before using an old smartphone as a permanent security camera, consider removing the battery if possible. Continuous charging can cause old batteries to swell, posing a fire risk. Most smartphones can be opened to remove the battery, often requiring just a bit of heat to loosen the adhesive.

Use of Security Cameras and Legal Considerations: Before setting up and using an Android smartphone, or any device, as a security camera, it's crucial to understand and comply with local laws and regulations regarding surveillance and privacy. The use of security cameras is subject to legal restrictions that vary by location, including, but not limited to, consent requirements, notification obligations, and limitations on areas that can be monitored. It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that the installation and use of a security camera system comply with all applicable laws and regulations.


Repurposing an old Android smartphone as a security camera using IP Webcam is an ingenious way to enhance home security without the need for expensive hardware. By following the steps outlined above, you can achieve a sustainable and effective surveillance solution integrated with Home Assistant. Remember to exercise caution with the device's battery and explore the additional features available through the IP Webcam and tinyCam Monitor apps for a comprehensive home security setup.

A portrait photo oif Liam Alexander Colman, the author, creator, and owner of Home Assistant Guide wearing a suit.

About Liam Alexander Colman

is an experienced Home Assistant user who has been utilizing the platform for a variety of projects over an extended period. His journey began with a Raspberry Pi, which quickly grew to three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-fledged server. Liam's current operating system of choice is Unraid, with Home Assistant comfortably running in a Docker container.
With a deep understanding of the intricacies of Home Assistant, Liam has an impressive setup, consisting of various Zigbee devices, and seamless integrations with existing products such as his Android TV box. For those interested in learning more about Liam's experience with Home Assistant, he shares his insights on how he first started using the platform and his subsequent journey.

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