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Here’s how to turn your old Android or iPhone into a security camera for free

This story is part of HomeTipsCNET’s collection of practical tips for making the most of your home, inside and out.

You probably have at least one old phone tucked away in a drawer somewhere. Of course, you can sell it either make an exchange for a fraction of its purchase price. But if it still lights up, why not give it that deceased? iPhone either Android a second life?

One of the most useful ways to reuse an old phone is to turn it into a home security camera. It is a profitable trick for watching your house when you’re not

And setting it up is not difficult. In fact, you can start using that timeworn phone to keep your home safe in just three steps.

Read more: 8 reasons not to sell or trade in your old iPhone

Step 1 – Install a security camera app on your old phone

To get started, you will 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 image recording and storage, motion detection, and alerts. Once you’re set up, you’ll be able to 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 on Android phone or iPhone. And the same goes for your new phone.

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

1. Download Alfred (Android, iOS) on both your old and new phone, or whatever tablet you want to use.

two. On your new phone, scroll through the introduction and tap start. Select viewers and play next.

3. Once you get to the login page, click Sign in with Google (Google account required) and sign in with your Google account credentials.

Four. On the old phone, repeat the same steps, but instead of selecting viewersSelect Cam. And make sure you sign in to the same Google account.

Once both phones have logged into Alfred, you are done with the setup. Alfred has simplified the camera options to include only a few settings. On iOS, you can only enable motion detection, choose between 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 password lock.

From your new phone, you can change a few more settings, like turning notifications on or off, setting up a camera or viewer name, adding other people to your circle of trust (give other people access to your video streams), remove a camera, check how many times a camera has been disconnected, set motion detection sensitivity, and enable a low-light filter on cameras.

While Alfred is a solid choice, keep in mind that he’s not the only choice. Far from it, in fact. Many things, protruding eye other presence they’re all solid free options with an affordable subscription model if you need more features. other IP camera is one of the most popular Android-only options.

read more: 9 ingenious ways to breathe new life into your old Android phone

Step 2 – Choose a location for your phone’s security camera

Once you have the stream up and running, you need to set up and position the camera. You may want to focus on the main entry point into your home, your backyard, where you keep valuables, or a spot you think might be particularly vulnerable. so you can Set up an IP camera as a baby monitor.

If you have multiple older phones, you can set up multiple cameras for pretty solid video coverage.

Step 3: Mount and turn on your new security camera

To mount or position the camera, a small tripod for smartphone either suction cup car mount it can work wonders and help you place the camera in an inconspicuous place. To widen your field of vision, consider purchasing a wide angle lens for your phonesomething that can be bought for between $5 and $20 online.

Streaming video consumes a lot of power and the phone will be on 24/7. To prevent the phone from turning off in the first few hours, you should place it near a power source. A 10ft Micro USB either lightning cable it will give you more flexibility in where you put it.

And that is! You can now use the security camera app on your new phone to view the camera feed from your old phone, and you’ve made your home safer
without spending much.

While you’re here, check out Six quick tips to get the most out of your home security cameraWhat Use your Alexa device as a home security camera and the The best DIY home security systems.

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