Turn your old phone into a home security camera for free

Use Manything, Salient Eye or the same free app to show an outdated phone right into a safety digital camera. 


Chris Monroe/CNET

If you may have some outdated phones accumulating mud in a drawer someplace, do not promote them for a fraction of what you acquire them for.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concepts and you could find extra within the hyperlink beneath, however one of the vital helpful methods to upcycle an outdated phone is to make it right into a home security camera.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Step 1: Get a safety digital camera app working in your outdated phone(s)

To start, you have to to decide on a security-camera app on your phone. Most apps supply most of the identical options, resembling 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 observe your residing area and management your safety digital camera from anyplace, straight out of your new phone.

One of the very best choices for establishing your phone as a safety digital camera 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 It’s cross-platform, so it does not matter in case your outdated phone was an Android phone or iPhone.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 offers you a distant view of your stay 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  • Download Alfred (Android, iOS) on each your outdated and new telephones or any tablets you need to use.
  • On the brand new phone, swipe via 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 sign up together with your Google account credentials.
  • On the outdated phone, repeat the identical steps, however as an alternative of choosing Viewer, choose Camera. And ensure to sign up to the identical Google account.

Once each telephones are signed in to Alfred, you are just about carried out with the setup. Alfred has simplified the digital camera choices to solely embrace just a few 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 may have these choices and it’s also possible to 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 just a few extra settings, resembling turning notifications on orff, setting a digital camera or viewer identify, including different individuals to your Trust Circle (granting different individuals entry to your video feeds), eradicating a digital camera, checking what number of occasions a digital camera has disconnected, settng movement detection sensitivity and enabling a low-light filter on cameras.

While Alfred is a stable selection, remember it isn’t the solely selection. Far from it, the truth is. Manything, Salient Eye and Presence are all stable free selections with an inexpensive subscription mannequin in the event you want extra options. And IP Webcam is likely one of the extra common Android-only choices.

Step 2: Choose a spot to place your digital camera

After you may have the stream up and working, you have to to arrange and place the digital camera. You might want it centered on the principle entry level to your private home, your yard, the place the place you retailer valuables or some extent you suppose is perhaps notably susceptible. You also can arrange an IP digital camera as a child monitor.

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

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

To mount or place the digital camera, a small smartphone tripod or suction cup car mount can work wonders and enable you place the digital camera in an not noticeable place.

To broaden the sector of view, think about 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 preserve the phone from dying within the first few hours, you have to to place it near an influence supply. A 10-foot Micro-USB or Lightning cable provides you with extra flexibility in the place you set it.

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