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Turn your old telephone into a home security camera for free



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Use Manything, Salient Eye or a similar free app to turn an old phone into a security camera.


Chris Monroe / CNET

If you pick up some old telephones somewhere in a drawer, do not sell them for a fraction of what you bought them for. If they are still switched on, you can use them well in your home .

For example, you could turn one into a baby monitor or a improvised Google Home speaker . Those are good ideas and you can find more in the link below, but one of the most convenient ways to upcycle an old phone is to turn it into a home security camera .

Continue reading : Find new applications for that old Android phone or iPhone .

Step 1
: Download a security camera app that runs on your old phone (s)

To start, you must choose a security camera app for your phone. Most apps offer many of the same functions, such as local streaming, cloud streaming, recording or storage of footage locally or remotely, and motion detection and alerts.

Once set up, you can monitor your living space and control your security camera anywhere, directly from your new phone.

Alfred is one of the best options for setting up your phone as a security camera. It's platform independent, so it doesn't matter if your old phone was an Android phone or iPhone . And the same applies to your new phone.


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Alfred is free to use and offers you an external view of your live feed, motion detection with alerts, free cloud storage, a bi-directional audio feed and use of both the front and rear cameras. To unlock additional features such as higher resolution viewing and recording, zooming options, ad deletion and 30 days of cloud storage, you can upgrade to Alfred Premium.

  • Download Alfred (Android, iOS) on both your old and new phones or tablets that you want to use.
  • Swipe the new phone through the introduction and tap Start . Select Viewer and tap Next .
  • Once you reach the sign-in page, click Sign in with Google (a Google account is required) and log in with your Google account information.
  • Repeat the same steps on the old telephone, but select Viewer Camera instead of . And make sure you sign up with the same Google account.

Once both phones are registered with Alfred, you are almost done with the installation. Alfred has simplified the camera options and only made a few settings. On iOS, you can only enable motion detection, choose between the front & rear cameras, and enable or disable audio. If you use an Android device, you have those options and you can also enable continuous focus, have Alfred automatically reopen when the phone restarts, set a resolution and enable a code lock.

From your new phone, you can change a few more settings, such as enabling or disabling notifications, setting a camera or viewer name, adding other people to your Trust Circle (giving other people access to your video feeds), remove a camera, check how often a camera is disconnected, set sensitivity for motion detection and activate a filter in low light on cameras.

Although Alfred is a solid choice, you have to keep in mind that it is not the alone . Far from it, actually. Manything Salient Eye and Presence are all solid free choices with an affordable subscription model if you need more features. And IP webcam is one of the most popular options for Android only.

Step 2: Choose a place to position your camera

After you have activated the stream, you must set up and position the camera. You may want to focus on the main access point to your home, your backyard, the place where you store valuables, or a point that you think is particularly vulnerable. You can also set an IP camera as a baby monitor.

If there are multiple old telephones lying around, you can set multiple cameras for fairly robust video coverage.

Step 3: Attach and feed your new security camera (& # 39; s)

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

To widen the field of vision, consider buying a wide-angle lens for your phone, something you can buy online for $ 5 to $ 20.

Streaming video is very energy intensive and the phone is on 24/7 On. To prevent the phone from dying during the first few hours, place it near a power source. A 10-foot Micro-USB or Lightning cable gives you more flexibility in where you put it.


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