If you recently got a brand new iPhone 14 (or Pixel 7 or Galaxy Fold) and don’t know what to do with your old one, here’s a suggestion. Go into your “old cell phone drawer”, grab your old phone – Android or iPhone, it doesn’t matter – and use that forgotten piece of technology.
Read also- Shooting down Chinese spy balloon much harder than it looks
One of the most useful ways to repurpose an old phone is to turn it into a home security camera. It’s a cost-effective trick to keep an eye on your home when you’re not around.
Read also- Netflix has just given us a glimpse of how it plans to handle password sharing
And setting it up isn’t difficult. In just three steps, you can start using that worn-out phone to keep your home safe. As for the other phones your drawer is, here’s how to sell or trade them in. (For more tips, check out why your Internet router is probably in the wrong place and the six places you should put security cameras for your home.)
Best home security cameras of 2023: See on Cnet
Step 1: Install a security camera app on your old phone
To begin with, you need to choose a security camera app for your phone. Most apps offer many of the same features, such as local streaming, cloud streaming, local or remote recording and storage, and motion detection and alerts. Once set up, you can monitor your living space and control your security camera from anywhere, right from your new phone.
One of the best app options to set your phone as a security camera is Alfred. It’s cross-platform, so it doesn’t matter if your old phone was an Android phone or an iPhone. And the same goes for your new phone.
Read also- Scientists have a genius plan: turn abandoned mines into gravity batteries
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 such as higher resolution viewing and recording, zoom capabilities, ad removal, and 30 days of cloud storage, you can upgrade to Alfred Premium.
1. Download Alfred (Android, iOS) on both your old and new phones, or any tablet you want to use.
2. On the new phone, swipe through the introduction and tap Get started. Select viewer and tap Next one.
3. Once you are on the login page, click Sign in with Google (a Google account is required) and log in with your Google account credentials.
4. On the old phone, repeat the same steps, but instead of selecting viewerselect Camera. And make sure you sign in to the same Google account.
Once both phones are signed into Alfred, you’re pretty much done with the setup. Alfred has simplified the camera options to include just a few settings. On iOS, you can only turn on motion detection, choose between the front and rear camera, and turn audio on or off. If you’re using an Android device, you have those options, and you can also enable continuous focus, have Alfred automatically reopen when the phone reboots, set a resolution, and enable a passcode lock.
You can change a few more settings from your new phone, such as turning notifications on or off, setting a camera or viewer name, adding other people to your Trust circle (allow other people to access your video feeds), delete a camera, check how often a camera has disconnected, set motion detection sensitivity, and enable a low-light filter on cameras.
While Alfred is a solid choice, keep in mind that it’s not the only choice. On the contrary. 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 more popular Android-only options.
Read also– What is a multi-gig router and do you need one?
Step 2: Choose a spot for your phone’s security camera
After you start the stream, you need to set up and position the camera. You may want it to focus on the main entryway to your home, your backyard, where you store valuables, or a point you think is particularly vulnerable. You can also set an IP camera as a baby monitor.
If you have several old phones laying around, you can set up multiple cameras for fairly robust video coverage.
Step 3: Mount and power your new security camera
To mount or position the camera, a small smartphone tripod or car mount with suction cup can work wonders and help you place the camera in an inconspicuous place. To broaden the field of view, consider getting a wide-angle lens for your phone, something that can be purchased online for between $5 and $20. Joby Gorillapod Phone Tripod: $39 at Amazon Phone Suction Cup: $23 at Amazon
Streaming video is very energy intensive and the phone is on 24/7. To prevent the phone from dying in the first few hours, place it close to a power source. A 3-meter Micro-USB or Lightning cable gives you more flexibility in where you put it.
Read also– Earth’s inner core may have stopped spinning and may be deteriorating, study suggests
And that’s it! Now you can use the security camera app on your new phone to view the feed from your old phone’s camera, and you’ve made your home safer without breaking the bank.