Set up a Wireless IP Webcam for free

IP WebcamThis a hack for repurposing an old android handset as an ip webcam - all you need is your old unused android smartphone and the free app IP Webcam.

Heres a rundown own the steps you need to go through, I'll take you through more of the detail below.


  1. Find the old android device you'll be using and connect it to your wireless network;
  2. Download the free IP Webcam app from the Play store;
  3. Fire up the app, you'll see a few configuration options but you can skip these for now and scroll to the bottom and hit start server;
  4. You phone's camera should start up and on the screen you'll see the URL that you can view from your browser;
  5. Go to the browser on a computer on the same newtork and type in the address (probably something like 192.168.XX.XX:8080);
  6. Enjoy!

Further steps

If you want to be able to view your webcam from the internet outside your home network, there are a couple of other steps you'll need to take:

  1. Configure a static IP address for your phone (either through the router config or on the phone itself);
  2. Configure your router to route (by default port 8080) traffic from the internet to your phone;
  3. Set up static access to your home network if your broadband link has a dynamically assigned IP address.

Port 80 android limitation

Theres a limitation with the android OS we have to get around round first though. All ports below 100 are restricted so by default you'll have to serve your site through port 8080. To get around this you'll either have to

  • root your device and install iptables (I've not found a way to do this yet);
  • use some router configuration to pass port 80 requests onto port 8080;
  • or you can use another server as a proxy.

Router configuration

Most routers don't have much in the way of configuration options so unless you are using dd-wrt or similar, its unlikely that you'll be able to redirect traffic to port 8080. I have a guide here on how to set-up a domain name with your router, but unfortunately you'll probably be stuck with an address to access you webcam like:

unless you can find a service to do this for you or you have access to another server to do this.

Apache Proxy

If you have access to an apache server you can easily set up a ProxyPass to forward traffic to your webcam. You can capture the requests via a subdomain and then forward them on to your webcams network IP address (e.g.

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ProxyPass / http://Internal-IP:8080/ 
    ProxyPassReverse / http://Internal-IP:8080/ 


Once this has all been setup you will be seamlessly served your webcam images through your sub-domain URL.

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