Turn your old phone into a surveillance camera for free – CNET


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

Chris Monroe / CNET

If you have old phones that collect dust somewhere in a drawer, don’t sell them for a fraction of what you bought them for. If they still turn on, you can put them to good use in your device At home.

You could turn one into one Baby monitor or a provisional Google Home speaker, for example. These are good ideas, and you can find more at the link below, but one of the most useful ways to upgrade an old phone is to make it one Home security camera.

further reading:: Find new uses for this old Android phone or iPhone.

Step 1: launch a surveillance camera app on your old phones.

To start, you need to choose a security camera app for your phone. Most apps offer many of the same features as local streaming, cloud streaming, recording and saving footage locally or remotely, as well as motion detection and alerts.

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

One of the best ways to set up your phone as a surveillance camera is Alfred. It’s cross-platform, so it doesn’t matter if your old phone was a phone Android phone or iPhone. The same applies to your new phone.

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

  • Download Alfred (Android, iOS) to your old and new phone or any tablet you want to use.
  • Swipe through the introduction on the new phone and tap Beginning. Choose spectator and tap Next one.
  • When you get to the login page, click Sign in with Google (a Google account is required) and sign in with your Google Account credentials.
  • Repeat the same steps on the old phone instead of selecting them spectator, choose camera. Make sure you’re signed in to the same Google Account.

Once both phones are registered with Alfred, you’re pretty much done with the setup. Alfred has simplified the camera options so that they contain only 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 are using an Android device, you have these options and can also activate continuous focus, have Alfred automatically reopen when the phone restarts, set a resolution and activate a passcode lock.

You can change some other settings from your new phone, e.g. B. Enable notifications on orff, set a camera or viewer name, and add others to yours Circle of trust (give other people access to your video feeds), remove a camera, check how often a camera has been disconnected, set motion detection sensitivity, and enable a low light filter on cameras.

Alfred is a good choice, but keep in mind that it is not the right one just Choice. Far from it, indeed. A lot, Striking eye and presence If you need more features, all free options are available with an affordable subscription model. And IP Webcam is one of the most popular options for Android only.

Step 2: Pick a point to position your camera

After you set up and run the stream, you need to set up and position the camera. You may want it to focus on the main entry point to your house, your garden, the place where you store valuables, or a point that you think is 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.

Step 3: Assemble and supply your new surveillance cameras.

A small smartphone tripod or for mounting or positioning the camera Suction cup car holder can work wonders and help you position the camera in an inconspicuous place.

To expand the field of view, you should buy a wide-angle lens for your phone that is available online for $ 5 to $ 20.

Streaming videos is very energy intensive and the phone is available around the clock. To prevent the phone from dying in the first few hours, you must place it near a power source. A 10-foot micro USB or Lightning cable gives you more flexibility in placement.