5 Best Security Camera Apps for 2018

Use your iPhone or Android device as a hidden spy cam with these apps

A mother installing a hidden security camera app on her smartphone to look after her two children.

 MoMo Productions / DigitalVision

It's natural to consider installing hidden security cameras in your home, especially if you live in an area with a high crime rate. With the advent of camera-enabled smartphones, tablets, and computers though there are now a variety of ways to turn your old devices into fully-functional hidden spy cams simply by installing a free or paid app.

Here are six high quality secret camera apps for creating your own cheap security camera in a matter of minutes. All you need is an iOS or Android device, a Windows computer, or even an Xbox One video game console. 

01
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Best Hidden Camera App for iOS: AtHome Camera Surveillance App

AtHome camera app for iPhone

 AtHome

The AtHome Camera Surveillance App can transform any old iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad into a hidden security camera as long as it's running iOS 7 and above. Like all of the other spy cam apps, AtHome can begin recording footage from the iOS device's webcam whenever it detect motion.

What sets it apart though is its facial recognition technology that will begin recording video when it sees a person. When this happens, not only will the app record what the person is doing but it will also generate an animated gif of the individual and send it to you via a notification.

All recorded footage can be viewed on another iOS device or on a computer and recordings can be automatically saved to an online cloud account as part of a monthly subscription service.

What We Like

  • The animated gif notifications are an incredible idea that's unique to this app.
  • Video streaming is encrypted which makes it harder for others to view your footage.

What We Don't Like

  • Cloud save functionality requires payment from $5.99 a month to $49.99 a year.
  • $1.99 in-app payment to remove ads.

Available on: iOS.

02
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Best Hidden Spy App for Android: Manything

Manything smartphone app turns your iPhone and Android into a hidden security camera.

Manything

Manything is a free Android spy cam app that lets you turn any device running Android 4.2 and up into a security camera. Video from the app can be streamed live on your main smartphone or tablet and alerts will be sent to you whenever motion is detected.

One particularly useful feature is the ability to talk through the device working as the camera. This could not only be used to startle intruders but can also work as a way to talk to pets while you're out of the house or even to turn the device into a baby cam.  

What We Like

  • Clean app design that's easy to use and navigate.
  • Clips can be downloaded and shared with other people easily.

What We Don't Like

  • A $3.99 monthly subscription is required to save footage to the cloud.
  • You'll also need to pay the monthly subscription fee to use more than one device as a hidden camera.

Available on: Android and iOS.

03
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Easiest Windows 10 Hidden Camera App: SecurityCam

SecurityCam turns a Windows 10 computer or tablet into a hidden spy cam.

 Silverdex IT Limited

SecurityCam is an incredibly streamlined hidden camera app designed for Windows computers running Windows 8 and up. This app turns your Windows computer or tablet into a security camera that begins recording video with its webcam as soon as motion is detected.

All recorded footage is saved directly to the app for on-demand viewing along with date and time stamps.

What We Like

  • SecurityCam is completely free.
  • Runs on Windows 8 and 8.1 devices in addition to Windows 10.

What We Don't Like

  • No cloud backup of recorded video.
  • Missing premium features such as email or text alerts.

Available on: Windows 8, 8.1, and 10.

04
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Best Camera App for Gamers: Viewer for Baby Monitor for Kinect

Viewer for Baby Monitor for Kinect turns your gaming console into a security camera or baby cam

 Viewer for Baby Monitor for Kinect

Viewer for Baby Monitor for Kinect is a rather ingenious app that lets you use the Xbox One's Kinect sensor as a security camera or baby monitor. One version of the app is installed on the Xbox One console to let it record video while the other is downloaded onto your Windows 10 device to view the video stream from elsewhere in the house.

What We Like

  • Creative use of the Xbox One gaming console accessory.
  • The Kinect camera can see in the dark which makes it perfect for baby monitoring.

What We Don't Like

  • The Xbox One console must be turned on for this app to work which could increase your power bills quite a bit.
  • You won't be able to use your Xbox One while this app is running.

Available on: Xbox One, Windows 10, and Windows Phone.

05
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Best Overall Hidden Camera App: Alfred Home Security Camera

Alfred Security Camera app running on Android and iPhone.

 Alfred Security

Alfred Home Security Camera is one of the best hidden spy apps for both iOS and Android devices. The app works by turning one smartphone or tablet into a camera and another as the viewing monitor. Once set up, the Alfred Home Security Camera will begin recording video once motion is detected and all footage is uploaded to a free online cloud account for viewing later.

What We Like

  • All primary hidden camera functionality is free.
  • Recorded video can also be viewed via the web on a computer if you don't own a secondary smart device.

What We Don't Like

  • Some features such as the zoom ability are behind a premium $3.99 monthly subscription.
  • The app works on older devices running iOS 8 but also occasionally crashes on aging hardware such as the iPhone 4S.

Available on: iOS and Android.