If you thought it was interesting to learn about how some people use their cell phones to make their homes and workplaces more secure. If you are interested in doing the same, then you’ve come to the right place.
If you have a security camera installed at your house and find that the motion detection is often too sensitive, you might be wondering if there’s a way to turn it off or use a phone for the same purpose. Well, Modern homes are now coming equipped with internet-connected cameras that can send footage straight to your cell phone. In fact, you can be streaming video to your phone from your camera so that you can view events that are going on at home or at the office.
Now you’re probably asking yourself, “Can I use my cell phone as a security camera?” Well, if you have a smartphone with an IP camera app installed, then it’s possible. You can use even your old smartphone as a security camera. For starters, you need to choose a security camera app for your phone. Most apps offer standard features such as local streaming, cloud streaming, recording and saving footage locally or remotely, and motion detection and alerts.
There are some impressive free choices available for both Android smartphones and iPhones, including highly recommended apps like Alfred, Manything (short for “monitor everything”), Home Eye, or Presence, all of which work on both platforms. With one this apps, you can use your old mobile camera as CCTV.
One of the most convenient ways to reuse an old phone or your current smartphone is to turn it into a home security camera. Once you’re done, you can keep an eye on your living space and control your security camera from anywhere, right from your new phone.
Just because your smartphone is a few generations old doesn’t mean it can’t be used properly. If you get it, even the most outdated phone is still a palm-sized computer packed with advanced sensor technology. So instead of throwing it away or reselling it for less than what you originally paid, why not reuse the device and turn your old smartphone into a security camera.
There are dozens of incredible Android and iOS apps that can transform your phone into a handy smart home fixture and surprisingly smart security camera (especially if you’re willing to mount it on a wall near an outlet for power), as well as countless low-cost accessories that can add extra functionality to your device.
How can I use my phone as a Security Camera?
In this section, you are going to learn how to convert your smartphone into a security camera in few simple steps. To begin, you will need two phones. One phone will serve as the camera, while the other will serve as the monitoring screen. It does not matter if they’re old or new.
1. Choose a security camera app
Firstly, you have to choose a security camera app for your phone. Most apps offer many of the same features, such as local streaming, cloud streaming, recording and saving images locally or remotely, and motion detection and alerts. Once you’re 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 up 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 iPhone. And the same goes for your new phone.
For this guide, we are using the Alfred security camera app. 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 playback and recording, zoom capabilities, ad removal, and 30 days of cloud storage, you can upgrade to Alfred Premium.
2. Install and configure the Alfred security app
Download Alfred (Android, iOS) on both your old and new phones, or any tablet you want to use. On the new phone, swipe through the introduction and tap Start. Select Viewer and tap Next. Once you are on the login page, click Sign in with Google (a Google account is required) and sign in with your Google account information.
Repeat the same steps on the old phone, but select Camera instead of selecting Viewer. And make sure you 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 include just a few settings. On iOS, you can only enable motion detection, choose between the front and rear cameras, and enable or disable audio.
3. Choose a vantage point for your phone’s security camera
Now that you have setup up the Alfred security camera app on your phone and the stream is active, you need to set up and position the camera.
You may want it to target the main entry point to your home, your backyard, where you store valuables, or a point you think is particularly vulnerable. You can also set up an IP camera as a baby monitor. If you have several old phones lying around, you can set up multiple cameras for fairly robust video coverage.
4. Mount your phone Security Camera close to a power source
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.
To mount or position the camera, a small smartphone tripod or car mount with a suction cup can work wonders and help you place 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 bought online.
Now you have turned your phone to a security camera using a security camera app on your new phone to view the feed from your old phone’s camera.
Your security app delivers a live feed from the old phone’s camera to your new phone using streaming video. Keep in mind that streaming video uses a lot of battery power, so you’ll also want to charge the older “camera” phone regularly. If possible, place it near a power source and leave it plugged in – that way you can have it monitored 24/7 without worry.
Alternatives to the Alfred Security Camera App
Although Alfred is a solid choice, you should keep in mind that it isn’t the available security camera app available. There’s Manything, Salient Eye, and Presence they are all solid free choices with an affordable subscription model if you need more features. And IP webcam for Andriod is one of the more popular options for Android only.