(in)Security...by LaView

I've been interested in getting a wifi camera for a while, but always found them to be out of reach price-wise...$30-ish and higher was just more than our budget would allow for such a toy type interest...
And then:
I got tempted enough to go for a deal on a pair of wifi security cameras made by LaView.
(The pair were really inexpensive by way of a coupon code.)

Cute little things with IR ability, etc & billed as viewable via Android app.

Set the 1st up as just a plain cam with IR shut off, using their app (required for viewing) and a spare LG K8 that I'd gotten for peanuts but never used, as it is US Cellular, which we have none of around here.

At the start I was positively impressed as it had a good field of view & streamed pretty well.
At some time after starting to use it, it would disconnect sort of randomly from its app.
It took some trial & error, but after that I figured out how to make it connect without having to totally recreate the entire connection at both ends.

Contacted the seller for support, and after a few days the response I got was...just a refund, so OK, now they became free cameras - but with zero support efforts made by the seller ?!?

Kept at this, and a bit later their app updated itself, then began closing itself in various ways as well.
It could be re-opened, but would soon fail again - like within just a few minutes.

Tried contacting the company directly for support via phone (no answer after 1/2 hour hold time), support ticket, and email.
No responses from them via any method.

Based upon all the above, and even if a superb looking deal comes along=>
I strongly recommend staying far away from any product made by LaView, unless disappointment is desired.
(Now I know why they were selling 'em so cheaply !!)
They may have some other great products, but minus any sort of support from the company, they could easily just become a total waste of time & $$$ - essentially just paperweights like what I got.

Thanks for the heads up.

Wyze cameras are an excellent value ~$20/each.

There is a third-party Linux-based firmware that can be used:

I use the third-party firmware on my Wyze cameras as I don't want or need the cloud features.

VLC or any ip camera surveillance software/app that supports RTSP streams can be used.

Wyze cams are decent for the price. They have an outdoor camera that costs $50 which is about as good as you can get for that price.

The Eufy 2k indoor is a better camera though than the wyze indoor in my opinion and is $30 right now on amazon with code ENDOOR22
App is better, motion detection excellent, 2k footage nice. Stores to a microsd card. Only thing is there aren't any outdoor mounts right now so not as easy to use outside.

Your cameras may support RTSP streaming. If so, you do not have to use the LaView app.

If interested, you can test with VLC.

More info:

Thanks very much for the replies here Folks !!

I do also have an older D-Link camera which works fine with VLC via RTSP, it just took some fiddling around with it a while back to get the right settings for it to stream that way - but the laview thing is VERY different...

It looks to be a 3 part problem to me:

  1. It utterly requires to be logged in at their site & service before it will work at all;
  2. That is done ONLY via its app;
  3. I can get its IP address, but it doesn't respond in any manner, so most likely it doesn't actually have the mini-server s/w needed for a generic connection at all.

All the above, combined with the total absence of any support leads me to think that this is their (really stupid) way of trying to force folks to pay for their 'cloud service' - and frankly after what I've (not) seen from laview, the notion of paying them for ANYTHING, EVER is just NOT happening.
(That, and they got the worst possible seller review from me.)

No biggie though - like I said, this was just a toy thing;
I know I can replace it with the older DLink cam which has no gripes about anything & no further spending is required in order to use that.

OK...well, not actually OK - but now I have absolute confirmation from Laview itself, after wasting yet another 1/2 hour+ of phone time & effort.

Their camera ABSOLUTELY & ONLY connects with their app, which (on this brand new Android 6 phone) endlessly FCs & must be re-initialized - clearing the cache, data & even reinstalling it brought no improvement.

The (very) foreign accented rep affirmed that just for it to stream locally, it requires the internet connection with their server to 'authorize' it, and that there is no method using RTSP or any non-Laview app by which to view its output...period.

A shame - but it is now time to simply trash the thing as it is 100% useless given that it cannot be used for the purpose it was supposedly made & sold to satisfy.

The big lie in their sales pitch is that it is an indoor camera which can be used without their services, cleverly omitting how it cannot be used AT ALL unless their server is involved.
(Even the old DLink el-cheapo I have here can connect via RTSP & IP with almost zero effort.)

Conclusion from this highly disappointed customer:
Utter junk from a terrible company that was a total waste of $$ and time.

See possibly related discussion: https://www.nthcircle.com/forum/misc-tech/3313-any-use-wireless-battery-security-cameras

Thanks Jamielih !!
I visited that thread before as well.

My 'window to the outside world' is now working quite well & I do enjoy very much having it during the extreme heat here which forces me to stay indoors so much of the time due to health concerns.

As it turns out, the el-cheapo D-Link cam also connects very well using an app called 'IP Cam Viewer' on a spare older phone I already had, and it is also nice to have it full-screened in landscape mode right where I can see it at my desk.
Even though the camera is a 2015 model & a bit of an oddball, it was only ~$12 & works via our wifi, plugged in so it is without any battery concerns & I've found that the older LG phone is 100% OK being plugged in to a USB charger 24/7 as well.
Another cool thing is that even our little, yellow tinted outside light is enough to get a really clear picture from this at night.

The extremely low cost for this has been its greatest attraction, what with other, similarly capable stuff costing multiples of what this all did.

All things considered, this project is now completed for me in a very satisfactory manner - MINUS the laview folks & their problems.

In case anyone else here has an older Android phone (or 2...) and wants to cobble together a really cheap surveillance rig, here is some added info which could take the place of some trial & error (what laview was for me)...

What I am using is a D-Link DCS-2132LB which was ~$12 when I got it - and is presently ~$18, here:

Great little camera, slightly challenging to set up - but works flawlessly with a strong wifi signal & this app:
IP Cam Viewer, from:

(It also has a paid version without ads...
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rcreations.WebCamViewerPaid )

A truly great thing about the above setup is that the camera does really well viewing the outdoors through the window at night with a very small amount of light.
Please note:
It is critical to shut off its IR LED or it reflects on the glass of the window & kills the picture.

Another option that I tried was via an older (Kitkat) device with an added dollar tree wide angle lens clipped on as the source, with this app to broadcast it via wifi:
Phone eye Web camera (No longer at GPlay...)

Requires: Android 2.3.2+ (2015-02-25)

It worked superbly with only a browser for viewing on a 2nd older phone, but the 1st phone's camera did not do very well in the low light of our front porch at night.

Great stuff IMO as I must stay indoors when the heat outside is a danger to my health.
My usual spot indoors is around 25' or so from our front porch, beyond a corridor with 2 doors - but as I sit here I can see our 1/2 of the porch, our mailbox, front path, driveway entrance, and even the street out front;
All of which makes my world seem just a little bigger until the overheated time is safely past.

Can this setup be used without internet, just viewing the camera via wifi router?


Requiring the internet was my main objection to the laview krap;
Both of the homebrew solutions I posted above DO NOT need any internet at all to work fine.

The best solution for this type of situation is a bit more work to figure out...more details below.

I've made some efforts seeking a replacement for the cam I use & some are as low as 16.99, but=>
Pretty much all the cheapo cameras require an internet connection so as to reach the company's server for whatever reason they've dreamed up in hopes that they can get you to pay for something besides the cam - must be why they're so cheap !!

Pointing backwards at Laview for a minute, it seems their company has fallen upon hard times because peeking in at their site has this banner at the top:

Moving forward, since I have several older unactivated & unused Android devices, and they all have cameras built in, using one of those as a sort of wireless cam has always been attractive for me, but sadly all my attempts at it revealed all sorts of goofy problems, so I hadn't checked for any more solutions for a while.

Re-checking this idea today brought what looks like some good news:

The 'pro' version is 4.99, but the lite version is free, so it looks like time to give this a try.
If it works as it should, I can use an idle LG Fuel as the cam & an old Nexux 7 with VLC player to display it.
That would be ideal and at a total cost of 4.99, loads less than buying any IP Camera that I could find.

Et_Z, that is most intriguing! Please let us know if you give this a shot.

Hi KentE & Thanks for your interest.
As it happens, the Fuel works well with VLC or even just a browser window - but its camera has no night mode.
Our street is very well lit with the new LED streeetlights & we have a bright LED porch light too, but minus any night mode that one is too week for night use...BUT:

A really generous friend who lives in KC MO gifted us with a TF Onetouch that DOES have the night mode !!
Since we totally quit using TF it has been carefully stored & still has all the 'normal' TF bloatware in it.
For this attempt I'll have to put a bit of time into de-bloating its s/w - maybe even rooting it if I'm fortunate, & then it may make a dandy door-cam.

More will be posted as this develops...

Again - Thanks !!

OK, my playtime is done for now !!
(As of last night's bedtime.)

My ultimate goal in all this was to use an older phone as the video source - inside our front door's window rather than putting it outdoors as it would require being connected to AC all the time to remain steadily working.

Unfortunately the impression I got is that phone cameras have something very different about them as compared with dedicated cams such that they seem sort of...weak ?!?
(No IR illumination has been used or needed to get a clearly visible stream before this experiment.)

Even with the 'night mode' on, the Alcatel phone only picked up small glimmers through the window.
(In addition - that device is so tightly TF'd that even with advanced techniques it is impossible to de-bloat.)

The LG Fuel was actually a bit better all around, even without having any 'night mode' - but still would need to be fully outside for it to work enough for good visibility at night.

The app I mentioned herein is truly terrific though !!
I have tested a bunch of such things & this is the only one of that lot which does a great job of wifi-only, zero internet needed home video streaming from such an inexpensive source to either a browser or VLC.

OK, lesson learned - t'was sort of fun testing this idea too.
Ultimately, when & if I may come across some sort of good, dedicated non-internet based wifi-only camera that we can actually afford, I'll give this another attempt - but until something like that comes along I remain delighted to have found such a great app to do it with !!

To anyone who has read all of this adventure's story - Thanks !!