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How to Install and Connect a Webcam to Your PC

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How to Use an Android Phone As a Webcam For PC [Windows & Linux].

For most people a video call such as MSN or Skype, Google+ hangout or a video chat is something occasional. And when you want to start one, you need a webcam. But why spend money for a separate webcam when you can easily use your android phone’s camera as a webcam?

The process involves streaming video from your phone to a particular port on your PC and having a PC driver software capture it and provide it as webcam video to any application that needs webcam access.

Don’t get scared with the details. Its actually very easy and there are two ways to do it.

1. Use your android phone as webcam using Wifi.

Here, you phone video will be streamed and made available to your PC applications via WiFi. This is the easiest and most flexible way to do it.

Requirement — both your computer and your android phone should be connected to the same network with android connected via WiFi. That means you can either —

  • Connect both your phone and computer to the Internet using a wireless router.
  • Or connect your Android to the pc internet using virtual router (Only for windows 7)
  • Or connect your Android to the PC with a shared wifi network (needs rooted phone with ad-hoc networking enabled).

Once your phone is connected to the same PC network via wifi, follow these steps —

  1. From android market in your phone, install IP Webcam.
  2. Open the app and you will get the configuration screen where you can set the options for port, sound, video quality and username/password.
  3. The default options are good enough, so scroll down and click on he «Start server» option.
  4. Ip Webcam will now open your camera and start streaming the video to a particular IP address and port. Click on the «How do I connect» button appearing on the top left and choose «I’m using Wi-fi router» to get this IP address and port. You will get some thing like «http://10.42.43.89:8080«.
  5. Note this address down and type it in your PC web browser. You will get a page with links for various ways in which you can use your new webcam. From the list, you need to use either of the two links.
    • Connect to PC for use with Skype and other videochats on Windows.
    • Connect to PC for use with Skype and other videochats on Ubuntu GNU/Linux

Depending on your operating system (Windows or Linux), use the links to download and install the webcam driver on your PC.

Windows — For windows, the driver comes as an easy installer.
Linux — For Linux, it comes as a script which you need to run in a terminal as root. Before running, change the value of the variable » WIFI_IP =» to the ip address from IP Webcam in the script. Make sure the computer is connected to the Internet when you run the script the first time. It will try to download and install additional files if your linux doesn’t already have them. You need to run this script every time you want to use your android as webcam.

That’s it. Now open Skype, Google+ hangout or any other video call application and for the video section, choose the webcam driver you just installed and start it. Here’s a Google+ hangout with my android as webcam in Linux.

Tip: For Linux, disabling sound in IP Webcam settings could make the driver not to work.

2. Use your android phone as webcam using USB.

You can use your android as webcam even without wifi by connecting it to your PC via USB. But doing this requires extra work because android can communicate with PC via USB only in debugging mode by using adb.

Also, for USB mode, we need another app called DroidCam. Although the earlier IP Webcam app is more popular, it is more or less limited to WiFi connections especially for windows. So lets see how to configure your android as a webcam via USB —

  • Setup your phone in debugging mode (Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB debugging).
  • Connect the phone to your computer via USB (don’t select storage mode if the phone asks while connecting USB).
  • Download DroidCam from android market,install it and open it on your phone. It will show a «Starting server» message.
  • Download and install the client application in your computer from Dev47Apps.
  • Start the DroidCam client and choose the «USB» option or button.

That’s it. DroidCam will now open the camera on your phone and you can use it as webcam on your PC. Just configure the video settings of your video call application to use «DroidCam» driver. Here’s my Google+ hangout with video from my android phone connected via USB.

For Linux, you can use the IP Webcam app as well. Just connect your phone via USB in debugging mode to your computer and start the driver script. It will detect and use adb to initiate a connection using USB automatically.

How to use your phone as a webcam

By Mike Prospero 30 April 2020

No need to go out and buy a new gadget; here’s how to use your phone as a webcam.

Did you have to set up a home office due to the coronavirus pandemic, but found that all of the best webcams were out of stock? Fortunately, there’s a workaround, and it doesn’t have to cost you anything. That’s because you can use your phone as a webcam.

Yes, the same camera that you use to take selfies, vacation photos and pictures of food can be used as a productivity tool when working from home.

There’s a few ways you can use your phone as a webcam. We’ll show you a few techniques for how to set up your Android smartphone or iPhone to use as a webcam, whether you have a Mac or a PC. Best of all, many of these options are free.

For starters, you can simply download one of the best video chat apps directly to your smartphone. Zoom, Skype, Google Duo, and Discord all have free mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices.

However, if you want to use your smartphone as your computer’s webcam, you’ll have to do something a little different. This involves downloading an app to your phone, which broadcasts a signal via Wi-Fi to an app on your computer. This desktop app then tells the videoconferencing service of your choice (Skype, Zoom, etc), that your phone is a webcam.

A few things to note: If you’re planning to use your phone as a webcam for an extended period of time, we recommend you keep it plugged into a power source, as streaming video from your phone will use up its battery in no time.

We also recommend you pick up one of the best iPhone tripods, so that you don’t have to prop your phone up on a set of books, or something else more precarious. Android owners fear not, as these tripods generally work with phones of all types.

Ready to learn how to use your phone as a webcam? Here are our four favorite apps for converting your smartphone into a videoconferencing camera.

How to use your phone as a webcam: Top apps

(Image credit: iCam)

Supported phones: Android, iPhone | Supported operating systems: MacOS, Windows

Unlike most of the other webcam software, which has a free trial, iCam’s app costs $5 upfront, but you get all of its features, including full-resolution video, the use of both of your smartphone’s cameras. iCam’s mobile app is available for both Android and iOS devices, and can either stream via Wi-Fi or connect directly to your computer via USB.

After downloading the iCam app to your smartphone or tablet, you then have to install the appropriate software to your Mac or PC. The app on your smartphone then talks to the program on your computer; Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype all recognized my iPhone’s camera as a source.

(Image credit: EpocCam)

EpocCam Webcam for Mac and PC

Supported phones: iPhone | Supported operating systems: MacOS, Windows

After downloading and installing the EpocCam Webcam app on your smartphone, you will be directed to go to www.kinoni.com to install the appropriate drivers on your Mac or PC. You then need to download the EpocCam iPhone Webcam Viewer from the App store on your Mac or PC, and have both your phone and computer on the same Wi-Fi network.

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After the drivers have installed, the app on your phone will change to show an icon of your phone with some circles beaming out of it. After launching the app on your notebook, you should see video from your iPhone’s camera on your computer.

Initially, you can only use the rear camera on your iPhone, but if you leave a rating for the app, you can then use the front camera. The free version of EpocCam limits the resolution of your camera to 640 x 480, and the app launches with an advertisement; if you upgrade to the paid version ($7.99), you can stream at resolutions up to 1080p, use pinch-to-zoom, use the iPhone’s flash as a light source, get HDR video, and more.

(Image credit: IVCam)

iVCam Webcam

Supported phones: Android, iPhone | Supported operating systems: Windows

iVCam is free, but you’re limited to a maximum resolution of 640 x 480. The full version, which removes the company’s watermark as well as ads, and enables all of the app’s features, costs $7.99. Users in the Google Play store also complain that if you want to try all of the app’s features, you have to leave a 5-star review.

IVCam’s mobile app is available for both Android and iPhones, but its desktop software only works on PCs, so it isn’t an option for Mac users.

(Image credit: NDI)

NDI HX Camera

Supported phones: iPhone | Supported operating systems : Windows

NDI requires you to download an app to your iPhone, as well as an app and driver to your laptop. Both your computer and your smartphone need to be on the same wireless network; the NDI HX app then transmits a feed from your smartphone to the NDA app on your PC. Using the NDI Virtual Input program, you can then tell the chat app of your choice to use your iPhone as the camera.

NDI’s mobile app has some nice on-screen tools, such as zoom, exposure adjustment, and the ability to use your phone’s flash as a light source. NDI recently made its NDI HX app free — it was $20 — but its desktop software for chat apps is only available for PCs.

(Image credit: DroidCam)

DroidCam

Supported phones: iPhone, Android | Supported operating systems : Windows, Linux

As with competing products, DroidCam is offered in both free and paid versions. The paid version, DroidCamX Pro, which costs $5, gets rid of in-app advertisements, boosts the resolution to 720p, and gives you more camera controls, such as flip, mirror, and rotate video, adjust brightness and contrast, and turn your smartphone’s LED flash on for more light.

DroidCam, made by Dev47apps, has an app for both Android and iPhones, but its desktop client only works on Windows and Linux systems. If you have a Windows machine, you’ll need one running 64-bit Windows 10, but if you’re on Windows 7 or 8, both 32- and 64-bit versions are supported.

You can connect your smartphone via Wi-Fi or USB, the latter of which will help preserve the battery life of your phone. If you’re using an Android phone, you can run DroidCam in the background and use it as an IP webcam.

Digital Citizen

If you own a Windows desktop PC, laptop, or tablet and need to enter a video call, you must also have a webcam. However, if you did not buy a webcam for your PC or if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where your laptop’s webcam is not working, you must find an alternate way of making video calls. One of them is to use your iPhone or iPad as a webcam on your Windows 10 PC. Fortunately, it is an easy thing to do, if you have the right tools: a specialized app and some drivers on your Windows 10 PC. If you want to turn your iPhone or iPad into a webcam, here are all the steps you need to take:

NOTE: Because we wanted to use an iPhone as a webcam for a Windows 10 PC, the screenshots in this guide are made on an iPhone SE with iOS 13.4 and on a Windows 10 computer running November 2019 Update. However, you should be able to use your iPhone (or iPad) as a webcam on older versions of Windows too.

What you need to use an iPhone or an iPad as a webcam on a Windows PC:

To be able to turn your iPhone or iPad into a webcam for your Windows PC, you need a few things:

First of all, you need an iOS app that can make your iPhone or iPad work as a webcam. There are many such apps in the App Store, both free and paid. After trying and testing several of them, the one that we liked best is EpocCam. The app is free to use, but it has a few limitations: the maximum resolution supported is 640 x 480 pixels, and the iPhone’s or iPad’s microphone, the manual focus, and the flashlight are disabled. It also shows a watermark and advertisements on the images. If you buy the Pro version of the app, the maximum resolution you can use is up to 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p), the microphone, manual focus, and flashlight are enabled, and the watermark and advertisements are removed.

Before going ahead, you must also make sure that both your Windows 10 PC and the iPhone or iPad that you are going to use as a webcam are connected to the same network.

Step 1. Download and install the EpocCam app on your iPhone or iPad

On your iPhone or iPad, open the App Store and use it to search for EpocCam. The full name of the app is EpocCam WiFi Virtual Webcam, and its developer is called Kinoni. When you find it, tap the Install or Get button and wait for the app to download and install.

After you install the app on your iPhone or iPad, go to your Windows 10 PC and take the next step.

Step 2. Download and install the EpocCam drivers on your Windows 10 PC

On your Windows PC, open a web browser and visit this website: Kinoni. Once it is loaded, look for the section called EpocCam iOS / Android. In it, there are several links with drivers: click or tap on Download drivers for Windows 7 and later link.

You should now get a small executable file called EpocCamInstaller[version_number].exe. Download and save it somewhere on your Windows 10 PC.

Click or tap on Open file or use File Explorer to navigate to where you saved the executable and double-click (or double-tap) on it.

The driver installation wizard only has a few easy steps, which you go through by pressing Next a few times.

During the installation, the wizard asks you to install a device driver from Kinoni. Make sure you approve the driver installation by pressing Install. Otherwise, you cannot use your iPhone as a webcam on your Windows 10 PC.

When the installation is finished, we recommend that you restart your computer to make sure that every driver loads appropriately. However, it is not a mandatory thing to do.

Step 3. Connect the EpocCam app on your iPhone or iPad to your Windows 10 PC

On your iPhone or iPad, open the EpocCam app.

Allow EpocCam to access your iPhone’s or iPad’s camera; otherwise, it can’t turn your iPhone into a webcam for your PC. Tap on OK and then read the welcome message. Once you’re done reading, tap anywhere on your screen.

For a brief moment, the app might show a screen on which your iPhone or iPad is searching for Windows 10 PCs that are connected to the same network.

Once it finds your Windows 10 PC, EpocCam immediately starts streaming video to it. If you are using the free version of the app, it is also a time when advertisements are shown on your iPhone or iPad. On your Windows 10 PC, the connection is also signaled by a desktop notification the first time it’s made.

Step 4. Check if the connection between your iPhone or iPad and your Windows 10 PC works correctly

The EpocCam drivers that you installed on your Windows PC also include an app called EpocCam Viewer. This app is useful if you want to check whether the connection between your iPhone or iPad and your Windows 10 PC is working correctly. Find EpocCam Viewer on your Windows 10 PC: use the search to look for it, or open the Start Menu and navigate to All apps -> Kinoni -> EpocCam Viewer.

If the EpocCam Viewer app shows the video feed from your iPhone or iPad, then it means everything is set up and working as it should.

Now you can start using your iPhone as a webcam on your Windows 10 PC. For instance, it’s automatically detected by the Camera app from Windows 10.

You can now also use your iPhone as a webcam for Skype on your Windows 10 PC.

Theoretically, EpocCam now lets you use your iPhone or iPad as a webcam on your Windows 10 PC in any apps that need and support webcams. However, there might be issues with some apps; if you have trouble using this app, check the next article section too.

What to do if my iPhone or iPad doesn’t work correctly as a webcam for my Windows 10 PC?

Like anything else that involves wireless connections and some kind of emulation, the EpocCam app might not always work as expected. Some people are satisfied, and others are not, and you can immediately see that if you are looking through the app’s reviews section in the App Store. However, even if you encounter problems, you should not abandon using it immediately: you should check the troubleshooting guide created by EpocCam’s developers. You can find it here: Kinoni EpocCam Troubleshooting.

Are you using an iPhone as a webcam on your Windows 10 devices?

Now you know how easy it is to use an iPhone or iPad as a webcam on a Windows 10 computer. Do you like EpocCam and how it works? To be honest, we believe there is room for improvement, but, as far as we can tell, EpocCam is the only «pretty good» app of its kind in the App Store. If you know others that work better than it, please let us know in the comments section below.

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How to Use Your Android Phone as a Webcam

Your android mobile can be used in various ways; one of them is that you can use it as a webcam for your desktop applications. It is obviously easier to buy a dedicated camera, but if you don’t want to buy a brand new webcam, or want to find a good use for your old phone instead of selling it, then setting it up like this is a nice idea. To make this possible, you need to download IP webcam and Droidcam on your android phone and the DroidCam client on your desktop computer. In this guide, I will walk you through the steps to achieve this.

There are two methods for this process. If you don’t have wifi or wireless medium to connect with, then you can plug your phone via USB cable and use it as a webcam, otherwise, you can connect your mobile device to your pc wirelessly and use its camera as a webcam.

Method 1: Connect Wirelessly To the Router

  1. Download IP Webcam from Google play store (Link).
  2. After installing the app, open it and navigate to Connection Settings> Local Broadcasting. You need to make sure that your mobile and computer are connected to the same network.
  3. Now click on Login/Password. Here you need to enter login and password. The login and password you enter here will be used on your pc while connecting. So better make it simple. After that click OK and navigate back to the home screen.
  4. Now go to Service Control -> Start Server. Now your mobile begins streaming its camera.
  5. On your desktop, open and browser to this address : 192.168.0.100:8080
  6. Enter the login and password you set up on your phone and click OK. Now you can see the following screen.
  7. Click on Video Renderer > Flash

Method 2: Connect Your Android Phone via USB Cable

To use your phone as a webcam via USB you need to turn on USB Debugging. For that, you need to have Developer Options enabled on your mobile. If you haven’t enabled it yet follow the two steps below:

How to Fix Your Webcam If it is Not Working in Windows 10?

Read this article to find out what to do if a webcam in your desktop computer or laptop is not working. How to fix this problem, install proper drivers or find the process that’s causing the error in the work of the webcam.

Contents:

Introduction

With lots of processes that involve a webcam in this way or another, and the growing number of various software using webcam potential, Visualization and video streaming have become an integral part of everyday use for computing devices.

Unfortunately, built-in (in laptops) or external webcams (for desktop PCs) do not always work properly in Windows 10, And there are a few reasons why. Various bugs with webcams can be eliminated both with typical troubleshooting methods and the new system option available in Windows 10 that is in charge of managing your webcam in all aps you have on your computer. In today’s article, we will describe in detail the possible methods of fixing webcam issues.

Check Webcam Configuration in Windows 10 Settings.

In Windows 10, main system services and settings are concentrated in the Settings app that helps you manage permissions entirely and monitor the functionality of your machine from the single place in the operating system. To fix a webcam issue, you should start with checking if the camera is enabled for the app which is experiencing trouble, and if access to camera is permitted on this specific device. It won’t take long but it requires you to follow a step-by-step sequence of actions.

On the computing device to which the webcam is connected, open the Settings app in any way you prefer. For example, click on the Start button in the lower left corner of your desktop, on the Taskbar and open the main Windows menu. On the left vertical panel, click on the Settings button shaped as a gearwheel, and open the app.

You can also use the quick access button from the Windows Action Center, use the search function, Windows Explorer, or press the keyboard shortcut Windows + I and open the Settings app immediately.

In the main window of the Settings app, scroll down to the bottom of the page and select Privacy.

In the new page, look at the left side panel, find and select Camera. On the right, you will see all settings and several switches that you can use to turn the web camera on or off both for the specific device and app. If you disable the webcam here, no app will be able to use it.

It would seem that permission settings in the Privacy section should mostly influence only new Windows 10 apps installed from Microsoft Store, also known as apps UWP. However, these webcam permission settings affect all applications.

So if the webcam doesn’t work, look at the right-side panel to find the section Allow access to camera on this device and make sure that it says Camera access for this device is on.

If the webcam access is off, click on Change and in the new pop-up window, set the switch to On.

If access to camera is denied, Windows 10 and any installed apps won’t be able to use it – even such system services as Windows Hello (the biometric facial recognition in Windows 10, which logs you in to devices three times faster if compared to the traditional password-protected method). After you enable the webcam, it should start working properly at once.

Besides, make sure that the section Allow apps to access your camera also has its switch in the On position. If the switch is Off, no app in your system will be able to detect or use your webcam. But Windows will be able to use your webcam for some functions like Windows Hello.

Functionality of the section Allow apps to access your camera has been changed in the April Windows 10 update. Previously, it only influenced apps from Microsoft Store and did not affect performance of conventional applications.

In the next section, Choose which apps can access your camera make sure that the app that needs access to your webcam is not listed here. If it’s on this list, check the switch position and set it to On, in case it was disabled.

Please note that standard apps are not shown here. All the elements in this list are Microsoft Store applications. Conventional system apps will always be able to access your camera if you have these two settings enabled: Allow access to camera on this device and Allow apps to access your camera.

As long as these two permission settings are on, Windows 10 will not interfere with the full-scale use of your webcam. However, if this method doesn’t solve your problem, then move on to the next part of this article to see what else can be done.

Make Sure the Webcam is Not Disabled Otherwise.

In the preceding part of the article, we described main methods of turning off a webcam on a computing device (desktop PC or laptop) running Windows 10operating system. In addition to the simple ways that we described, you can disable a webcam in BIOS or UEFI on some laptop models. You can find this option in system settings of business-class laptops as it helps system administrators of large enterprises disable access to webcams for improved security. So if the webcam was disabled in BIOS or UEFI, you should enable it by opening the corresponding settings.

Also, a webcam can be disabled in Device Manager. If you do so, the webcam won’t work properly until you enable it again. If the webcam was disabled this way, go back to Device Manager and enable the camera.

There are several ways to open Device Manager in Windows 10. For example, right-click on the Start button in the lower left corner of the desktop, or press the key sequence Windows + X instead to open the context menu, and choose Device Manager from the list.

In the window that opens, find the section Imaging devices, click on the black arrow to open the list of installed devices, right-click on the webcam name to open a context menu and select Enable device.

The command will be performed immediately and the webcam will be on and ready for use.

Install or Update Webcam Drivers.

Windows 10 includes a special service monitoring proper work of applications and connected devices, which tries to install drivers automatically every time a user connected a device, and this is usually enough to ensure that it works as expected. However, sometimes the driver installation fails and the device may not work correctly. Sometimes you may have to download a new driver installation package from the official website of the webcam manufacturer, and install the drivers on your own.

Before it comes to that, you can try updating the camera’s current drivers with Device Manager. Use one of the previously described way to open the app, then right-click on the webcam and select Update Driver from the menu.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, visit the webcam manufacturer’s website and download the latest driver package to update them manually. Such website should also have troubleshooting advice for your specific webcam model.

Double-Check Connection Between the Webcam and the Computer.

If none of the apps can detect your webcam, it’s time to check if it is connected properly. People tend to look for issues at the software level first, while they may often dismiss the fact that a cable plugged incorrectly or having poor contact is often the root of the problem.

If the webcam uses a USB port, make sure that the USB cable of your webcam fits tightly into the USB port of your computer. Unplug it, and then plug it in again to make sure that there is no sagging and the cable sits firmly in the port. Some webcams have indicators which light up when they are connected. If you have such a model, check if the indicator lights up when you connect the webcam. It’s also worth trying another in your computer, as possible port issues may cause problems with connection and the webcam won’t work properly.

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If the webcam is integrated into a laptop make sure you haven’t closed it accidentally: New laptop models have special covers that can hide the webcam when it is not in use.

Check Webcam Settings in the App and Select the Necessary Device.

So, Windows 10 services don’t block the webcam, your computer has proper drivers for tit, and the connection is good. Then, the reason why the webcam can’t be detected by a specific app may be the wrong settings of this app.

In this case, you may have to configure webcam settings in the app which is trying to use the camera. This step is especially important if you have several video capture devices connected to your computer. Sometimes the app using the webcam may select the wrong device automatically.

To fix the problem, open the app in question, go to its settings and select the proper webcam. For example, in Skype, a popular video communication app, look at the user name in the upper left corner of the main screen, and next to it, click on the More button, with three horizontal dots on it, to open the menu and select Settings.

In the left-side panel of the settings menu, go to Audio & Video, and select a webcam from the list on the right.

If the webcam is not displayed in the app menu, then it may not support this specific model. For example, apps installed from Microsoft Store, also known as UWP apps mostly support new webcam models only. Thus, Microsoft claims that webcams designed to work with Windows 7 may not work with applications from the Store installed to Windows 10, But most apps still support older webcam models. So if the webcam is not listed as available for some apps but shows up in other apps settings, it is likely that certain apps no longer support this specific model, and the only way out would be to buy a newer model instead.

That being said, the Skype app does have some peculiarities. In the Windows 10 operating system, the downloaded version of Skype and the preinstalled version of Skype are almost identical. Still, they have some differences, and one of them is that the downloaded version supports more webcam models than the preinstalled version. And the only reason is that the downloaded version of Skype is a classic app while the preinstalled version is a UWP app.

Webcam Still Not Working?

If you tried all of these tricks to fix the problem but your webcam is still not working in any of the apps, most likely it is just broken. If this is an external webcam, try connecting it to another PC to check if it can work with it.

If the problem is in the webcam itself, contact a service center to have it repaired for free if the warranty period for your laptop (in case of built-in webcam) or webcam (if you use it as an external device) has not expired yet.

Conclusion

There are lots of various apps that can be used on computing devices, and in order to perform all their functions, some of them need to visualize data by capturing and transmitting video images with the help of built-in and external webcams.

Webcams may not always work properly in Windows 10, and there’s a number of reasons why. Use the advice in this article to quickly find out why your webcam does not work as it should, and make it operable again.

How to use your phone as a webcam

By Mike Prospero 30 April 2020

No need to go out and buy a new gadget; here’s how to use your phone as a webcam.

Did you have to set up a home office due to the coronavirus pandemic, but found that all of the best webcams were out of stock? Fortunately, there’s a workaround, and it doesn’t have to cost you anything. That’s because you can use your phone as a webcam.

Yes, the same camera that you use to take selfies, vacation photos and pictures of food can be used as a productivity tool when working from home.

There’s a few ways you can use your phone as a webcam. We’ll show you a few techniques for how to set up your Android smartphone or iPhone to use as a webcam, whether you have a Mac or a PC. Best of all, many of these options are free.

For starters, you can simply download one of the best video chat apps directly to your smartphone. Zoom, Skype, Google Duo, and Discord all have free mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices.

However, if you want to use your smartphone as your computer’s webcam, you’ll have to do something a little different. This involves downloading an app to your phone, which broadcasts a signal via Wi-Fi to an app on your computer. This desktop app then tells the videoconferencing service of your choice (Skype, Zoom, etc), that your phone is a webcam.

A few things to note: If you’re planning to use your phone as a webcam for an extended period of time, we recommend you keep it plugged into a power source, as streaming video from your phone will use up its battery in no time.

We also recommend you pick up one of the best iPhone tripods, so that you don’t have to prop your phone up on a set of books, or something else more precarious. Android owners fear not, as these tripods generally work with phones of all types.

Ready to learn how to use your phone as a webcam? Here are our four favorite apps for converting your smartphone into a videoconferencing camera.

How to use your phone as a webcam: Top apps

(Image credit: iCam)

Supported phones: Android, iPhone | Supported operating systems: MacOS, Windows

Unlike most of the other webcam software, which has a free trial, iCam’s app costs $5 upfront, but you get all of its features, including full-resolution video, the use of both of your smartphone’s cameras. iCam’s mobile app is available for both Android and iOS devices, and can either stream via Wi-Fi or connect directly to your computer via USB.

After downloading the iCam app to your smartphone or tablet, you then have to install the appropriate software to your Mac or PC. The app on your smartphone then talks to the program on your computer; Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype all recognized my iPhone’s camera as a source.

(Image credit: EpocCam)

EpocCam Webcam for Mac and PC

Supported phones: iPhone | Supported operating systems: MacOS, Windows

After downloading and installing the EpocCam Webcam app on your smartphone, you will be directed to go to www.kinoni.com to install the appropriate drivers on your Mac or PC. You then need to download the EpocCam iPhone Webcam Viewer from the App store on your Mac or PC, and have both your phone and computer on the same Wi-Fi network.

After the drivers have installed, the app on your phone will change to show an icon of your phone with some circles beaming out of it. After launching the app on your notebook, you should see video from your iPhone’s camera on your computer.

Initially, you can only use the rear camera on your iPhone, but if you leave a rating for the app, you can then use the front camera. The free version of EpocCam limits the resolution of your camera to 640 x 480, and the app launches with an advertisement; if you upgrade to the paid version ($7.99), you can stream at resolutions up to 1080p, use pinch-to-zoom, use the iPhone’s flash as a light source, get HDR video, and more.

(Image credit: IVCam)

iVCam Webcam

Supported phones: Android, iPhone | Supported operating systems: Windows

iVCam is free, but you’re limited to a maximum resolution of 640 x 480. The full version, which removes the company’s watermark as well as ads, and enables all of the app’s features, costs $7.99. Users in the Google Play store also complain that if you want to try all of the app’s features, you have to leave a 5-star review.

IVCam’s mobile app is available for both Android and iPhones, but its desktop software only works on PCs, so it isn’t an option for Mac users.

(Image credit: NDI)

NDI HX Camera

Supported phones: iPhone | Supported operating systems : Windows

NDI requires you to download an app to your iPhone, as well as an app and driver to your laptop. Both your computer and your smartphone need to be on the same wireless network; the NDI HX app then transmits a feed from your smartphone to the NDA app on your PC. Using the NDI Virtual Input program, you can then tell the chat app of your choice to use your iPhone as the camera.

NDI’s mobile app has some nice on-screen tools, such as zoom, exposure adjustment, and the ability to use your phone’s flash as a light source. NDI recently made its NDI HX app free — it was $20 — but its desktop software for chat apps is only available for PCs.

(Image credit: DroidCam)

DroidCam

Supported phones: iPhone, Android | Supported operating systems : Windows, Linux

As with competing products, DroidCam is offered in both free and paid versions. The paid version, DroidCamX Pro, which costs $5, gets rid of in-app advertisements, boosts the resolution to 720p, and gives you more camera controls, such as flip, mirror, and rotate video, adjust brightness and contrast, and turn your smartphone’s LED flash on for more light.

DroidCam, made by Dev47apps, has an app for both Android and iPhones, but its desktop client only works on Windows and Linux systems. If you have a Windows machine, you’ll need one running 64-bit Windows 10, but if you’re on Windows 7 or 8, both 32- and 64-bit versions are supported.

You can connect your smartphone via Wi-Fi or USB, the latter of which will help preserve the battery life of your phone. If you’re using an Android phone, you can run DroidCam in the background and use it as an IP webcam.

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