How to turn an old phone into a security camera

There is a lot of cool stuff you can do with an old Android phone. This includes everything from making your own Google Home to a frame. You can even use your old Android phone to make a custom security camera system. It’s not as difficult as you might think.

HOW TO TURN YOUR OLD PHONE INTO A CAMERA: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

To begin with, you will need to choose a security camera app for your phone.

Once you are set up you will be able to monitor your living space and control your security camera from anywhere straight from your new phone.

WHY USE THE ALFRED APP?

Alfred is one of the most popular security camera apps by a long shot with over 10-million downloads and a solid 4.7-star rating on the Google Play Store.
Alfred app is one of the best options for setting up your phone as a security camera. It’s a cross platform so it does not matter if your old phone was an Android phone or iPhone. The same applies to your new phone.

ALFRED APP FEATURES

Alfred is free to use and gives you a remote view of your live feed, motion detection with alerts, free cloud storage, a two-way audio feed and use of both the front and rear cameras. To unlock additional features, like higher-resolution viewing and recording, zoom capabilities, ad removal and 30-day cloud storage, you can upgrade to Alfred Premium.

STEPS REQUIRED TO DOWNLOAD THE ALFRED APP

• Download Alfred (Android, iOS) on both your old and new phones or any tablets you want to use.
• On the new phone, swipe through the introduction and tap Start. Select Viewer and tap Next.
• Once you get to the sign in page, click Sign in with Google (a Google account is required) and sign in with your Google account credentials.
• On the old phone, repeat the same steps, but instead of selecting Viewer, select Camera. And make sure to sign in to the same Google account.

Once both phones are signed in to Alfred, you’re pretty much done with the setup. Alfred has simplified the camera options to only include a few settings.

On iOS you can only enable motion detection, choose between the front and rear cameras and enable or disable audio.

If you’re using an Android device, you have those options and you can also enable continuous focus, have Alfred automatically reopen if the phone reboots, set a resolution and enable a passcode lock.

SETTINGS CAN BE CHANGED FOR YOUR NEW PHONE

From your new phone, you can change a few more settings, such as turning notifications on or off, setting a camera or viewer name, adding other people to your Trust Circle (granting other people access to your video feeds), removing a camera, checking how many times a camera has disconnected, setting motion detection sensitivity and enabling a low-light filter on cameras.

CHOOSE A SPOT TO SET UP AND POSITION THE CAMERA

After you have the stream up and running, you will need to set up and position the camera. You may want it focused on the main entry point to your home, your backyard, the place where you store valuables or a point you think might be particularly vulnerable. You can also set up an IP camera as a baby monitor.

If you have multiple old phones lying around, you can set up multiple cameras for fairly robust video coverage.

MOUNT AND POWER YOUR NEW CAMERA(S)

To mount or position the camera, a small smartphone tripod or suction cup car mount can work wonders and help you position the camera in an inconspicuous place.

To broaden the field of view, consider buying a wide-angle lens for your phone, something that can be purchased for between $5 (R84) and $20 (R337) online.

STREAMING VIDEO IS POWER INTENSIVE

Streaming video is very power intensive, and the phone will be on 24/7. To keep the phone from dying in the first few hours, you will need to position it close to a power source. A 10-foot Micro-USB or lightning cable will give you more flexibility in where you put it.

ALTERNATIVE CHOICES TO ALFRED APP

While Alfred is a solid choice, keep in mind it’s not the only choice. Manything, Salient Eye and Presence are all solid free choices with an affordable subscription model if you need more features. IP Webcam is also one of the more popular Android-only options.

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