There are many apps that promise to turn your old smartphone into a security camera, but do they really work? The short answer is no.
Here’s why smartphone security cameras don’t make good security cameras:
While smartphone security cameras are capable of detecting objects (highlighted in red in the image above), they can’t distinguish between objects and people. This will result in alerts for any motion detected from pets, doors, curtains or insects.
Your smartphone is valuable too
Did you know that your old smartphone can be resold for hundreds of dollars?
Monitoring the entry points of your home with a smartphone security camera is equivalent to leaving your valuables in plain sight. It’ll be the first thing a burglar sees when they break into your house and the first thing they pocket.
Not only would you lose your smartphone, you would also lose the footage captured, unless it’s stored in a secure cloud.
Short battery life
According to this review of 58 smartphones, a smartphone’s battery life can last anywhere between 7 hours 12 minutes to 18 hours 42 minutes. How does your smartphone stack up?
While the smartphone security camera app Salient Eye claims that they use a low energy profile that allows your phone’s battery to last up to 10 hours, it’s not enough to monitor your home.
What happens for the rest of the day or if you’re on holiday? Your home and possessions would be left vulnerable without a security camera or monitoring system.
While smartphone security camera apps can detect motion and record video, you’ll receive an influx of false alarms and you won’t receive the full benefits and peace of mind that a WiFi security camera system provides.
The best security camera software, will alert you only if a person is detected on camera. From the alert, you can switch to live view to see what’s happening in your home or business from anywhere in the world. If you recognise the person on camera, you can disarm the system for a period of time or tap to call the Police straight from the app.
More importantly, any footage captured is stored in a secure cloud. This lets you quickly access your footage if anything were to happen or in the unlikely event of your camera being compromised. Check out how this family’s stolen security camera helped track down a thief!
Your can’t monitor the perimeter of your home
If you’re thinking of monitoring the perimeter of your home with a smartphone security camera, think again. Not only would it be a nightmare to mount and charge, but most smartphones are neither waterproof nor weatherproof.
What’s more, a smartphone mounted above your front door would only serve as a burglar magnet rather than a burglar deterrent. Learn more about how to monitor the perimeter of your home.
Turns out, you need to buy some hardware anyway
One of the main draws of smartphone security cameras is the lack of hardware required. Many people think that you need nothing more than an old smartphone to monitor your home, but as it turns out, you need to purchase additional hardware such as tripods to mount your smartphone and battery packs to keep your smartphone charged.
These costs can all add up, especially if you have multiple smartphone security cameras.
Narrow field of view
Smartphone security cameras have a narrow field of view compared to WiFi security cameras meaning you can’t see as much through the camera lens and they capture much less. This also means that you’ll need more smartphone security cameras to cover the same amount of space.
Meanwhile WiFi security cameras with pan/tilt allow you to look left, right, up or down to see even more. For example, this indoor camera has an impressive 350 degree horizontal field of view and 120 degree vertical field of view.
Hopefully you’ve found this blog post useful in your journey to finding the perfect home security system. Here’s a recap of why smartphone security cameras don’t work:
- They’re prone to costly false alarms
- Burglars will want to steal your smartphone security camera as it’s valuable too
- Smartphones have a short battery life
- Smartphone security cameras have limited functionality
- You need to purchase additional hardware anyway
- You can’t capture much through a smartphone’s narrow field of view
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