Surveillance cameras, like most other technology, has improved dramatically in recent years. No more fuzzy, black and white stills where you can hardly tell if what is on the screen is even a person, let alone a recognizable image. 

Having a great CCTV system when something happens is a blessing, providing important evidence of a crime or situation. What if you want to view the footage live? What if you are not near the monitor, or even in your home or business? 

The ability to monitor your security system on your mobile phone will give you the freedom and flexibility to disconnect from the monitors and still be able to see what is going on, no matter where you are. Connecting your CCTV camera to a mobile phone may not be as simple as you may believe. We’ll go through everything you need to know to make the connections properly and give you the mobile monitor capability.

What is CCTV?

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is a video surveillance system that includes cameras, monitors, and a video storage system that is closed to outside interventions. Unlike open airwave signals, like television stations or open radio waves, CCTV uses either direct connections to the recording device or uses an encrypted signal to keep the feed protected.

Most people are familiar with CCTV systems used in businesses, and even by law enforcement officers and city municipalities to monitor a specific area. CCTV is a stable monitoring system that can be used in small areas or multiple cameras across several areas.

Benefits of CCTV Cameras

  • CCTV primarily acts as a deterrent for would-be criminals. CCTV cameras often signal to thieves they are being monitored record it or even watched live.
  • These cameras lead to increased security for you, your property, and anyone else that maybe there.
  • CCTV cameras also give the People that live or work in a space added peace of mind; knowing that they essentially always have someone watching their back. Not every crime has a witness, but when you have a CCTV camera do you have a witness all the time.
  • Another advantage is that you can monitor your business from anywhere. Advances in technology make it possible to monitor your camera feed on your smartphone or tablet using Wi-Fi. That means you can check in on weekends or even when you are on vacation.

As mentioned, technology now allows you to monitor your CCTV surveillance cameras with a mobile phone. This means you are no longer tied to a security monitor for real-time viewing of your security system.

Benefits of Adding Mobile Phone Monitoring

  • The biggest benefit, by far, is the remote capabilities that mobile phone monitor allows you to have. Some CCTV systems can be adjusted remotely, including arming or disarming motion sensors and switching from streaming to the recording. Some CCTV systems even feature two-way voice communication, allowing you to communicate through the camera to whoever is in the field of view.
  • Adding a mobile monitor is inherently more convenient, allowing you to be in more than one place at a time. This is a great benefit to individuals that need to monitor the activities at multiple locations. 
  • Mobile monitoring can be cost-effective for business owners, decrease the need for specialized security personnel, or at least decrease the necessary manpower.
  • Mobile monitoring has also been shown to drastically decrease emergency response times and drops in criminal activity. Of the activity that still occurs, homes and business with surveillance exponentially increase the identification, apprehension, and conviction of the perpetrators.

How to Connect a CCTV Camera to a Mobile Phone Using Wi-Fi

If you have a DVR system that is not currently connected to the internet and want to monitor your CCTV system from your mobile phone, follow these steps.

  1. Connect your CCTV to the Internet

If you are using a DVR you will have to go into the network section of your DVR to configure the network settings to a static IP address. This will bypass the automatic option that the DVR will use automatically.

  1. Configure your router

The next step will entail configuring your router for port forwarding. 

Steps 3-6 are optional… once a DVR is connected to the internet and assigned a static IP, configuring the port directly allows remote access with ID & Password.

Individuals that are not comfortable configuring port protocols should continue and use a reputable monitor app. Check with the app designer before setting your IP, as they may have specific requirements or suggestions

  1. Download monitoring app to mobile phone
  2. Add security cameras to the app
  3. The select security camera you want to view
  4. Apply optional configurations

How to Connect a CCTV Camera to a Mobile Phone with Cellular Network

If you have an NVR system that utilizes a cellular network, follow these steps to connect your CCTV systems to a mobile device.  This method is straight forward, however, check the instruction within your desired app for any additional steps that may be required. 

  1. Purchase a compatible SIM card
  2. Insert the SIM card into the camera
  3. Download monitoring app
  4. Add security cameras to the app
  5. Select security camera to view

Connecting a Mobile Phone to CCTV without Internet

Though limited, you can add mobile monitoring to a CCTV system that does connect to the internet. What many people do not realize is that there are ways to use a router that does not require an active internet connection. 

  1. Connect CCTV camera to the router

This will most likely require a direct ethernet cable connection between the CCTV camera and router, the resulting footage, however, may have distortions or delays.

  1. View camera footage within router range

Security Cameras with Built-in Mobile Access

An alternative in both expense and complexity is to purchase a security system with built-in mobile access. I’ll admittedly not as encrypted, but with the current technology almost as secure as traditional CCTV systems. Unless you require CCTVs to protect highly sensitive material, then they will be more than adequate for most home and business security systems.

Security cameras with built-in access can either be wi-fi or cellular, each with their own unique set up and perks.

In Conclusion

In today’s busy world, it only makes sense to use mobile access with your security cameras. Very few people have the ability to set up dedicated monitors in order to view their security footage. After all, who really has the time? Technology is improving on a constant basis, and the security of wireless cameras using mobile access is only going to continue to improve. As long as you are taking all the steps possible to secure your video data, then the data is going to be more than secure enough in most cases. 

We hope you have found this article helpful and have a slightly better understanding of the ends and outs of connecting your closed-circuit television camera system to a mobile device. We know that there has been a lot of information in this article and some of it can be overwhelming. We hope to have at least pointed in the right direction. As always, be safe and take care of you and yours.


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