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How to Monitor your CCTV from your Smartphone

In this day and age, we are able to take less and less risks with our security. CCTV is becoming something that is more or less normal for family homes, and recent technology has made it a lot easier for the average person to monitor their CCTV. While before, you needed to plug your CCTV into a monitor or television, or a video recording device to watch back the tapes, you can now quickly and easily connect up your CCTV to your smartphone or tablet. This means you can monitor your CCTV on your smartphone wherever you are, as long as you have access to the internet. Setting up CCTV to connect to other devices used to be something quite niche, that only a hobbyist well educated on the subject could do, but now pretty much anyone can give it a go.

What are the benefits of monitoring my CCTV from a smartphone

There are many benefits to monitoring your CCTV through your smartphone. In today’s day and age, most people are never without their smartphones, which gives them an opportunity to monitor their CCTV all of the time, but there are lots of other reasons people chose this route when they are setting up their home security systems.

Monitoring CCTV from a smartphone is cheaper

Once you have purchased the camera that you are going to use to record CCTV footage one, if you are aiming to connect up with a smartphone then this is the only piece of hardware you will need. You may need to purchase an app, or this may come in the package, but that it about it. Older ‘tape’ style CCTV systems would of required you to purchase a monitor and and continuous stream of blank VHS tapes.

You can monitor CCTV from a smartphone live

Another great benefit to getting set up to monitoring your CCTV on your smartphone is that you can log in and watch live. If you record CCTV footage, you probably wont have access to it until after it has recorded if you are using an old fashioned system. This means that you will have to report the event after it has happened, and give the correct authorities less time to catch the culprit. If you are away, and you log in and watch your CCTV in real time on your smartphone, you can contact the police straight away if you see something suspicious. This means they can get to your home more quickly after an event.

Monitoring CCTV from a smartphone is easier

Monitoring your CCTV from a smartphone is a lot easier than setting up loads of equipment. Old style CCTV set up consists of the recording device, a monitor and the tapes. This will also require a lot of wire. The smartphone approach is a lot less hassle, and it will take a lot less time to get started.

How do I set up monitoring my CCTV from my smartphone

There are a number of ways you can set up CCTV monitoring for your smartphone or tablet, and there are ways to do this with both iPhone and Android devices. If you are using a device specifically for CCTV monitoring, you may want to look up what works best with your hardware between the two. You will also need to consider the scale of your set up. A home set up is easy to do, but if this is for a business then there are probably going to be more than one way that you can get this into action.

Using apps

For both Android and iPhone there are a number of apps you can use to connect to recording devices and then monitor in app.

AtHome Camera – iPhone

This iPhone app comes with both a free and paid for version. The free version has a limited recording time, however this is a good way to give the app a try before you use it in real life. You can connect this up to your chosen piece of hardware, and then you can either record or monitor live depending on your preference.

Foscam Surveillance Pro – iPhone 

This iPhone app will connect up to it’s piece of hardware, so you do need to match the two when you are thinking about your set up. However, one thing that you need to consider is the fact that not only can you record and monitor live, but you can also control the actual camera remotely. This is a great addition to the app, especially if you get out somewhere and remember you have forgotten to turn your camera on.

Motion detector pro – Android 

This clever apk uses a motion detection algorithm so it will start recording as soon as it see’s movement. You can use it to monitor a specific area of your home, like the front door.

M – Surveillance Free – Android 

This apk works like many of the others, aside from the fact that it can be triggered with an SMS message. Although you cannot actually control it remotely, you can make it start filming with an SMS.

Using smart camera’s

There is a slight difference between normal cameras and smart camera. If you buy a normal camera, and download the app to monitor your CCTV, you are just adding on an extension of what the product already does, which is record. However, because monitoring from a smartphone has now become so popular, there are a while range of camera available that are called smart cameras. Smart cameras are designed directly for the purpose of monitoring with a smartphone or tablet. Because of this, they are a lot easier to use and you will have a lot more control of the camera from your smartphone. The app will be something that comes with the camera, and the perfect marriage between the software and hardware means that you will always get the best user experience.

Using IP cameras or webcams to stream over a server

When smart cameras were not around and apps were not invented for this exact purpose, many internet savvy people started coming up with their own ways to circumnavigate the process to make there an easy way for them to use a normal IP camera or a webcam as a CCTV camera. The difference between and IP camera and a web camera is that an IP camera can be connected over the network or wifi, and a webcam will need to be plugged in.

When it comes to monitoring, the process is fairly complex. What you would effectively do, is set up a live streaming service that is hosted online. You can either use your own server for this or find one, or search for a website that hosts this kind of streaming as their primary business. When you have set this up, every time you activate the camera before you leave you will essentially be setting up a live stream. You can set these to private so that only yourself can view, but remember, this method will not afford you as much privacy as the other.

When you have done this, all you will need to do is log in to the live stream to be able to monitor from your smartphone. You will not need an app for this, as you will just be able to access the website and log into the stream on your devices internet browser. This method is still fairy primitive, and would not be recommended unless no other avenue really does work for you. This is because live streaming on the internet will be a massive privacy issue, as even if you have secured the server you could still be hacked.

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