Turn your old phone into a home security camera for free

Use Manything, Salient Eye or an identical free app to show an outdated phone right into a safety digicam. 


Chris Monroe/CNET

If you have got some outdated phones accumulating mud in a drawer someplace, do not promote them for a fraction of what you purchased them for. If they nonetheless activate, you possibly can put them to good use in your home.

You might flip one right into a baby monitor or a makeshift Google Home speaker, for instance. Those are good concepts and you will discover extra within the hyperlink beneath, however probably the most helpful methods to upcycle an outdated phone is to make it right into a home security camera.

Further studying: Find new uses for that old Android phone or iPhone.

Step 1: Get a safety digicam app working in your outdated phone(s)

To start, you will want to decide on a security-camera app on your phone. Most apps supply lots of the identical options, similar to native streaming, cloud streaming, recording and storing footage domestically or remotely, and movement detection and alerts.

Once you are arrange, it is possible for you to to watch your residing house and management your safety digicam from wherever, straight out of your new phone.

One of the perfect choices for establishing your phone as a safety digicam is Alfred. It’s cross-platform, so it does not matter in case your outdated phone was an Android phone or iPhone. And the identical goes on your new phone.


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Alfred is free to make use of and provides you a distant view of your dwell feed, movement detection with alerts, free cloud storage, a two-way audio feed and use of each the entrance and rear cameras. To unlock further options, like higher-resolution viewing and recording, zoom capabilities, advert removing and 30-day cloud storage, you possibly can improve to Alfred Premium.

  • Download Alfred (Android, iOS) on each your outdated and new telephones or any tablets you wish to use.
  • On the brand new phone, swipe by way of the introduction and faucet Start. Select Viewer and faucet Next.
  • Once you get to the sign-in web page, click on Sign in with Google (a Google account is required) and check in along with your Google account credentials.
  • On the outdated phone, repeat the identical steps, however as an alternative of choosing Viewer, choose Camera. And be sure that to check in to the identical Google account.

Once each telephones are signed in to Alfred, you are just about achieved with the setup. Alfred has simplified the digicam choices to solely embrace a couple of settings. On iOS, you possibly can solely allow movement detection, select between the entrance and rear cameras and allow or disable audio. If you are utilizing an Android system, you have got these choices and you may also allow steady focus, have Alfred routinely reopen if the phone reboots, set a decision and allow a passcode lock.

From your new phone, you possibly can change a couple of extra settings, similar to turning notifications on orff, setting a digicam or viewer title, including different individuals to your Trust Circle (granting different individuals entry to your video feeds), eradicating a digicam, checking what number of instances a digicam has disconnected, settng movement detection sensitivity and enabling a low-light filter on cameras.

While Alfred is a strong alternative, take into account it isn’t the solely alternative. Far from it, in reality. Manything, Salient Eye and Presence are all strong free decisions with an inexpensive subscription mannequin for those who want extra options. And IP Webcam is likely one of the extra in style Android-only choices.

Step 2: Choose a spot to place your digicam

After you have got the stream up and working, you will want to arrange and place the digicam. You might want it targeted on the principle entry level to your property, your yard, the place the place you retailer valuables or a degree you assume may be notably weak. You can even arrange an IP digicam as a child monitor.

If you have got a number of outdated telephones mendacity round, you possibly can arrange a number of cameras for pretty strong video protection.

Step 3: Mount and energy your new safety digicam(s)

To mount or place the digicam, a small smartphone tripod or suction cup car mount can work wonders and make it easier to place the digicam in an not noticeable place.

To broaden the sphere of view, contemplate shopping for a wide-angle lens for your phone, one thing that may be bought for between $5 and $20 on-line.

Streaming video may be very power-intensive, and the phone can be on 24/7. To maintain the phone from dying within the first few hours, you will want to place it near an influence supply. A 10-foot Micro-USB or Lightning cable will provide you with extra flexibility in the place you set it.

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Tarun Banerjee

Professional Web Designer & Developer,Expert in SEO & Digital Market, Founder of Tech Hunt.

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