Android as a webcam via USB

Since the days of the Symbian operating system, smartphones can be used as webcams. Naturally, the Android operating system also has this option. In this article, you will learn how to use an Android smartphone as a webcam by connecting it to USB or WI-FI.

Installing DroidCam Wireless Webcam App on Android Smartphone.

In order to use an Android smartphone as a webcam via USB, you need to install a special application on it. Now there are many applications that implement this feature. In this article, we will use the DroidCam Wireless Webcam as this application is free and very simple.

Installing the client program on the computer.

Next, we need to go to the site, download the client program there and install it on your computer. This program will receive the image and sound from the smartphone, and Process them.

Turn on USB debugging on your smartphone.

If you want the image to be transferred from the smartphone to the computer via USB, then you need to enable the “USB debugging” function. This can be done in the smartphone settings in the “Developer options” section. You can read more about this in one of our articles.

If you plan to transfer the image not via USB, but via WI-FI, then this step can be skipped.

Launching the DroidCam Wireless Webcam application on a smartphone.

After enabling USB debugging, you can launch the DroidCam Wireless Webcam application. At this point, all you need to do is launch the application. No further action is required.

Connect your smartphone using a USB cable and run the client program on your computer.

Next, connect your smartphone using a USB cable and launch the client on your computer. After that, a window like the one in the screenshot below should open on the computer. Here you need to select the mode of operation via USB (the second button in the top row), turn on video and sound (checkboxes video and audio) and click on the “Start” button.

After that, the image from the smartphone camera will appear in the program window.

This completes the setup. You can now use your Android as a webcam via USB. In order to make sure that everything works, you can open the Skype settings.

If you want to connect your smartphone to a computer not from USB, but via WI-FI, then when you start the client program, you need to select the WI-FI mode and specify the IP address of the smartphone (you can find it in the DroidCam Wireless Webcam application on the smartphone).

It should also be noted that there is a paid PRO version of this application. In the paid version of the app, you can control the image (change brightness, contrast, etc.) and use 720p video resolution.

Using your phone as a Wi-Fi router (Android, iPhone and WP8)

Yes, the phone can be used as a Wi-Fi router. almost all modern phones on Android, Windows Phone and, of course, Apple iPhone support this feature. At the same time, the mobile Internet is “distributed”.

Why might this be required? For example, to access the Internet from a tablet, and not equipped with a 3G or LTE module, instead of buying a 3G modem and for second purposes. However, you should remember about the tariffs of the telecom operator for data transmission and DO NOT forget that various devices can independently download updates and other information by default (for example, by connecting a laptop in this way, you may not notice how the updated half-gigabyte was loaded).

Wi-Fi hotspot from Android phone

To use an Android smartphone as a router, go to the settings, then, in the “Wireless networks” section, select “.” and on the next screen. “Modem mode”.

Check the “Wi-Fi Hotspot” item. The settings of the wireless network created by the phone can be changed in the corresponding item. “Setting up a Wi-Fi access point”.

The access point name SSID, network encryption type and Wi-Fi password are available for change. After all the settings are made, you can connect to this wireless network from any device that supports it.

Iphone as a router

I give this example for iOS 7, however, in the 6th version it is done in a similar way. In order to enable the wireless Wi-Fi hotspot on your iPhone, go to Settings. “Cellular”. And open the item “Modem Mode”.

On the next settings screen, turn on the tethering mode and set the data for accessing the phone, in particular, the password for Wi-Fi. The access point created by the phone will be called iPhone.

Sharing the Internet over Wi-Fi with Windows Phone 8

Naturally, all this can be done on a Windows Phone 8 in approximately the same way. To enable Wi-Fi router mode in WP8, please do as follows:

  • Go to settings and open the “Shared Internet” item.
  • Turn on “Sharing”.
  • If necessary, set the parameters of the Wi-Fi access point, for which click the “Settings” button and in the “broadcast name” item specify the name of the wireless network, and in the field a password. password for wireless connection, not less than 8 characters.

This completes the setup.

Additional Information

Some additional information that may be helpful:

  • DO NOT use Cyrillic or special characters for the wireless network name and password, otherwise you may experience connection problems.
  • According to the information on the websites of phone manufacturers, in order to use the phone as a wireless access point, this function must be supported by a telecom operator. I have not seen anyone working and I don’t even quite understand how such a ban can be organized, provided that the mobile Internet is working, but this information should be taken into account.
  • The declared number of devices that can be connected via Wi-Fi to the phone on Windows Phone is 8 pieces. I think Android and iOS will also be able to work with a similar number of simultaneous connections, that is, it is enough, if not excessive.

That’s all. I hope this instruction was helpful to someone.

How to make your cell phone unavailable for surveillance?

The Only Way To Avoid Tracking Your Phone. It’s not to use it. As soon as the phone is connected to the network (mobile or fixed line), the network already determines its location.

The equipment of the cellular network registers Not only the subscriber number, but also a number of other parameters, in particular, the IMEI code. A unique identifier for mobile equipment, which manufacturers assign to each device during manufacture.

This is usually a 15-digit number that identifies the device on the network and is stored in the device’s firmware. The IMEI code is also used to track phones, for example to block stolen phones. THOSE. Even changing the SIM card will NOT allow you to avoid Tracking the phone by its unique identifier.

In older devices, the IMEI code could be changed using special software, but now equipment manufacturers are constantly increasing protection, which makes changing the IMEI code impossible.

The place where you are can easily be cleaned up by special services and cellular operators if they have access to information about the coordinates of base stations, or if the phone has a GPS receiver, the phone is turned on, an active call to the subscriber is required.

Is there any benefit from surveillance?

Thanks to Tracking the location of a cellular subscriber, the state security bodies can quickly find the wanted criminal.

Also, by signaling a mobile phone, doctors or rescuers can find the victim. That is why it is important for mobile operators to use technologies that provide a sufficiently high accuracy of determining the location of the subscriber.

The Tracking feature also allows the family member to receive information about the location of the child or Elderly relative at any time. Many operators have such a service in their tariff plan.

How to find out where a mobile phone subscriber is?

The cellular operators, whose services the subscriber uses, provide geolocation services, but, as a rule, the other subscriber must agree that information about his location will be provided to someone else. Here are some of the services provided.

“Smeshariki” (Megafon)

The “Smeshariki” tariff plan from MegaFon provides the “Beacon” service. It is designed for children, so that parents can always get information about the location of their child. The location is done by calculating the distance of the mobile phone to the antenna tower. The accuracy of the calculation is from several hundred meters to several tens of kilometers. However, there are restrictions for finding a location. It is allowed to search for NOT more than 5 mobile devices and with the consent of the subscriber.

“Mobile employees” (MTS)

The “Mobile Employees” service from MTS allows you to locate employees and vehicles of the company. You can determine the location on a detailed electronic map (more than 300 cities of the Russian Federation), control the location of employees inside or outside the specified geographic zone and receive messages about violation of the conditions for monitoring zones, take into account the working hours of employees working outside the office.

“Supervised child” (MTS)

The Supervised Child service allows parents to see the location of the child’s phone on the screen of a smartphone or tablet. Mobile application “Where are the children” is available for installation on smartphones and tablets based on the OS Android 2.3. The location function works even if the child has the simplest mobile phone.

How subscriber tracking works?

The collection of information occurs in several ways: when a cell phone establishes a connection with the operator’s tower, when using wireless Internet Wi-Fi networks. The antenna towers analyze the signal sent by the mobile phone and then calculate which towers are closest to the mobile phone. The location of the mobile phone is estimated by comparing the signals sent by the mobile phone to the antenna tower.

Each base station broadcasts information to neighboring stations, indicating the frequencies on which they operate. The phone constantly measures the signal strength from each of the base stations and, if necessary, selects the one where the signal is clearly coming from. Having the coordinates of the six base stations closest to the phone, you can accurately calculate the coordinates of the phone without any GPS. If there is data in the location of base stations, then it will not be possible to calculate the location of the phone.

Also, with the advent of the global positioning system (GPS), it became possible to determine the location of a person using satellites. Some mobile phones have built-in GPS navigators. The network includes a number of satellites, which send signals for analysis to determine the location of a mobile phone. If the system receives signals from three or more satellites, then the position is calculated quite accurately.

Is caller tracking legal?

The constitution protects the right of citizens to privacy, but at the request of the special services, the cellular operator can provide information about the location of the subscriber for the purpose of conducting investigative measures.

Internet fraud

Recently, many Internet users have come across a service to locate a person by his mobile phone number. The subscriber is asked to send an SMS message with a set of certain numbers to the specified number and for 10 rubles to receive an access code to the service. If such an offer does NOT come from a mobile operator, but from third parties, then this is NOT more than a fraud. warn to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

How to make a CCTV camera from a phone?

Of course, buying and installing a full-fledged video surveillance system could cost a pretty penny, but everything can be done much easier. for THESE purposes, you can use the camera of an old phone.

Minimum device requirements

By itself, the phone is not created in order to become a surveillance camera, and we are planning to use not even a new unit, but an old one. To use its capabilities with the expected effect, you should choose Not any cellular, but only the one that suits our purposes.

First of all, a mobile phone camera should shoot more or less decently. The choice of specific characteristics depends on what and for what purpose you plan to observe: for an alternative view of the surroundings, purely pleasure advice is enough for a simple camera of up to 2 megapixels, the same can be said about home surveillance, where all the most interesting happens in the immediate vicinity of the camera. so you can clearly see.

If you want to use a smartphone as a monitoring system for a car, which is located several floors below and slightly away from the building, and we expect that the camera will be able to capture the face of a possible intruder, options below 5 megapixels can not even be considered, and 5 is unlikely is enough.

Best in this situation. take the smartphone in hand, go to the place where you planned to mount it, and launch the camera to assess how it is able to cope with the task.

In fact, almost the only way to design a video surveillance system with your own hands. use a modern smartphone. The fact is that in order for a gadget to acquire the functions of a webcam, you need to install third-party applications on it. They usually DO NOT differ in impressive weight and loading of the main resources of the device, but too old versions of Android are no longer supported.

Of course, you may be lucky with the software, but it is better not to use a version of the operating system lower than Android 4 for such purposes. There will be fewer glitches and unexpected crashes.

Among other things, you need to assess the functional state of the phone at the moment.

  • First, while in continuous operation, it will use the battery. practice shows that even if it is completely worn out, even a direct connection to the mains does not always make the unit work.
  • Secondly, you need to check the ability of the device to communicate with the computer in order to ensure proper observation from the outside. The connection is usually either wireless. then you need to check the functionality of the module, or wired. then you should evaluate the functionality of the connectors and make sure in advance that the ability to establish contact is present.

In addition, the phone should be prepared for new features. If you do NOT plan to use it any other way, it makes sense to reset the system to factory settings. this will delete all applications and other information as if you turned on the unit for the first time, and due to this, it should work flawlessly. After that, you should install the programs responsible for video recording and transmission, which we will talk about separately. In addition, you should also password-protect your mobile phone, otherwise anyone who wants to either get access to the captured video, or can turn off surveillance at their own discretion.

Additional components and system assembly

From the foregoing, we conclude that the phone occupies a central place in the Homemade surveillance system, but it is NOT limited to it alone. At the very least, you have to solve the problem with the power supply of the unit, therefore the connection with other units of the system is often carried out via a cable. It not only transmits video, but also powers the cell.

However, if the entire system is located in place, it is possible to organize wireless signal transmission, for which the phone is simply connected with the charger to the outlet. In this case, it is important to use a Wi-Fi wireless connection as the main communication channel, the speed of which is much higher than in ordinary mobile Internet.

Accordingly, with wireless connections, it is almost always necessary to have a constantly switched on router somewhere nearby to distribute the Internet.

When building a homemade video surveillance system from a phone, you are unlikely to plan to look at the screen around the clock, and you can and will miss the moment of committing a crime. If that’s what you started with, then you need to solve the problem of how to store the video. Even if you are ready to check your phone every day, which writes all videos to its own memory, it will be extremely inconvenient, and memory may simply not be enough.

Many applications offer their own servers, where video from a cell camera is uploaded like a car DVR. a certain file is simply constantly overwritten until you decide to leave a certain piece for good.

Finally, it is desirable to have remote access to the surveillance system. Today’s software allows you to do this from almost any gadget, be it a computer, tablet or even another smartphone. It is not excluded that for this the program with which you track events will have to be installed there, so for remote access you need to select an aggregate No worse than the one used as video surveillance.

Observation programs

The developers are constantly releasing something new, so it is NOT excluded that you have seen a program somewhere that will seem to you better than those offered by us. In this article we will consider only two options for monitoring programs, but they have been tested many times and are very popular, which speaks for itself.

The first option is called unpretentious, but logical. IP Webcam. The program interface is intuitive, its main window looks like a set of settings, which you choose to your liking. The “Start” button allows you to start broadcasting from the device camera to the paired one using a direct link that opens in the browser. Transmission priority. within the same Wi-Fi network, but access to the entire Internet is provided.

The standard set of functions is just as good, if not better, than a regular camera. In the browser window, you will see the image from the smartphone camera, and if everything is in order with the microphone, then you will hear the sounds. The program does NOT limit you to the main camera of the device only. if there is also a frontal one, you can switch to it at any time.

You practically have all the same possibilities as if you were holding a smartphone in your hands. you can play around with the zoom in, set the quality of the transmitted video, turn on the flash, even use filters for the picture, do not talk about saving photos and videos.

Additional functions are even more impressive: the system can detect motion and start filming only upon its fact, it is also possible to send a message in the detected motion to the mail. In some situations, the function of taking pictures at regular intervals may be useful.

Contrary to expectations, such a functional software is undemanding to resources, and is also completely Russified, but most importantly. he works for free.

Manything. worthy alternative version of the program. This application does not have Russification, but there is another advantage: all the collected information is immediately sent to the cloud and stored there, so that if the camera is lost or broken, the collected photo and video materials will NOT go anywhere. This program also works for free, but there is also a paid mode. it is useful in case you like the delivered experience and you want to connect several phones at once, creating a network.

Otherwise, the available functions are practically NOT different, although the interface looks a little different. First, you register in the system, and when you log into your account, it will ask how to use this device. as a camera or to watch videos from other devices.

If you want to watch, the program will show you a list of all gadgets working in camera mode and connected to this account. Since when transmitting information over mobile networks, the problem may be excessive traffic, and not provided for by the tariff plan, in the program settings you can set restrictions for this parameter in order to lower the quality of shooting.

To learn how to make a CCTV camera yourself from a phone, see below.

How to install Windows using an Android smartphone

Friends and acquaintances, found out that I “rummage in computers”, often ask me to change Windows for them. But you do not always have an installation disc or flash drive on hand, and not always in old or cheap devices there is an optical disc drive. That’s when I remembered about the DriveDroid program, which allows you to give a computer via USB disk images stored in the phone’s memory as an external USB flash drive.

Although the application is mainly focused on booting Linux operating systems, with a little fiddling with the settings, you can create a boot image for Windows as well. In this article I want to tell you how to install Windows using an Android smartphone.

Required tools

We will need a smartphone itself based on the Android operating system version NOT lower than 2.0 with root access and 3GB of free memory. We also need the latest version of the DriveDroid program, which can be taken from GooglePaly, an image of the Windows installation media, the version we need, and the Winusb utility. To create a bootable USB stick. Winusb can be installed from the official repositories of most distributions, for example, in Ubuntu:

Sudo apt-get install winusb

Using DriveDroid is not so difficult, installing windows from android can be done with a minimum of knowledge, difficulties can arise only with recording an image.

Preparing the image

It will not work just to take and immediately connect the iso image of the Windows Installer, since I already said that the program works with Linux images by default. Therefore, when you go through the initialization process of DriveDroid, grant root access to the program and the program will check if your device is supported, click the “” sign at the top of the screen and select create blank image to create a blank image:

On the next screen, you need to specify the name of the image, for example, Windows7, size. Not less than the Windows installation image, and also Uncheck the Partition table (MBR) box and select None for the file system:

Creating an image It will take a long time when everything is ready Connect the newly created USB flash drive to the computer, Tap the Writable USB icon to have write access:

Now let’s move on to the actions on the computer. Run:

Here / dev / sdb. The newly connected memory of the Android device, with which you are going to install windows from the phone. Select the dos partition table, hit new, then enter, then write down and yes. Then format the disk to ntfs:

Mkfs.T ntfs / dev / sdb1

Finally, let’s capture the image:

Winusb.-install windows7.Iso / dev / sdb1

Where windows7.Iso. The windows installation image, and / dev / sdb1 is the address of the connected flash drive. You can find out the address by looking at what new devices appeared after connecting the flash drive in the Dev directory:

Ls / dev | grep sd

After the recording is complete, it remains to reboot the computer, go into the BIOS settings, press F2 or F10, in the Boot section set the Highest priority for our flash drive.

Phone as a modem: connecting via USB and Wi-Fi

Phone, smartphone, tablet. any of THESE devices can be used as a modem for a PC, provided that these gadgets support work with SIM cards.

Why use your phone as a modem? The answer is simple: in case of problems with wired Internet, or the need to use it in places where it is absent. on trips, in the country, etc.

Later in the article, we will look at how to connect an Android phone to a computer as a USB tethering or to a laptop in Wi-Fi hotspot mode. It is based on a device with a preinstalled clean version of “Android 7.0”. On the second smartphones, the menu items may differ, depending on the shell. Launcher, but the meaning remains.

Phone as USB modem

To connect your phone to a computer, use a USB cable, preferably from the package.

The USB cable supplied with the device has a higher workmanship due to the materials used. Plus, it is shielded, which reduces losses when exposed to extraneous interference, at the time of data transfer.

The sequence of actions when connecting the phone to the computer as a modem is as follows:

make, phone
  • Turn on data transfer in any way convenient for you.
  • Connect your phone to your computer.
  • In the settings of the mobile phone, follow the chain: “” → “Modem mode” → “USB modem”.

If, at the time of connection, a proposal appears on the screen to make the computer public, this is not necessary. just press “net”.

Everything, you can use the Internet!

Wi-Fi hotspot on your phone

If your computer is equipped with a Wi-Fi adapter or you are working on a laptop, using your phone as a modem is much easier. Almost any smartphone easily turns into a Wi-Fi router.

Steps for setting up a Wi-Fi hotspot:

  • Turn on the Internet on your smartphone.
  • In the settings of the mobile phone, perform the following steps: “” → “Tethering” → Wi-Fi hotspot.

2.1. First of all, open the item “Wi-Fi hotspot settings” and set your password. Other options can be left as they are. Save changes.

2.2. Activate the Wi-Fi hotspot.

  • On your computer, select your access point from the list of available Wi-Fi networks and enter the password, then click “Next”. If you check the box next to the “Connect automatically” option, the password will be saved in the system.