Use an old phone as a security camera

Like each seasoned tech author, I’ve an embarrassing assortment of old iPhones and Android gadgets accumulating mud round the home. Nearly all are price subsequent to nothing by now, however the least-old ones of the bunch are prime candidates to be given second lives as . . . drumroll please . . . free wi-fi security cameras!

Give it some thought: Cellphones have respectable cameras. They hook up with the web. They will work for hours with out being plugged in. Actual cameras value cash.

It’s a techno-match made in cheapskate heaven. And lest you assume it’s sophisticated to show an old phone new methods, the strategy I’m going to share with you is about as easy as logging into an app.

Table of Contents


First, obtain AlfredCamera

The app to make use of is the free and glorious AlfredCamera Home Security, which is out there for each iOS and Android.

Obtain it in your common on a regular basis phone, which you’ll use as the viewer phone, and your old phone, which you’ll use as the camera.

And don’t be afraid to strive a really old phone. I’ve it working right here on the primary Google Pixel phone, circa 2016, however I’ve loaded it up on even older handsets.

Signal into the app on each telephones

When you hearth up the app for the primary time, you’ll be able to create an account utilizing your electronic mail handle or simply log in together with your Google account or your Apple account. It doesn’t actually matter which order you go in: Check in after which choose the phone to be the viewer or the camera.

You possibly can change the gadgets round later by utilizing the pulldown within the upper-left nook, which is helpful when your unimaginable present phone turns into a creaky old phone someday sooner or later.


That’s about it

When you’re signed in, your camera phone will ask for some permissions with a view to use the camera to stream. When that’s taken care of, set it up in a spot you’d prefer to surveil.

From the viewer phone finish, merely log into the app and faucet on the screenshot of the room the camera phone is streaming. Moments later, you’ll be watching the stay feed.

On the backside of the display, there’s a speak button, which allows a helpful two-way speak function between telephones. There’s additionally a file button do you have to need to file no matter’s occurring.

The Movement Detection function is a good one to activate from the camera phone’s finish. It’ll alert your viewer phone if it senses exercise within the room, which you’ll then watch in actual time.

It’ll file it as effectively, so you’ll be able to watch it later.

There’s a little carat button to the suitable of the Discuss and Document buttons that allows you to rotate the picture on the camera phone, flip between front- and rear-facing cameras, activate its flashlight to higher illuminate the room, and even allow a siren function to scare off intruders. All of those options are launched from the viewer phone to the camera phone. Neat, huh?

And in the event you’d like to make use of your laptop as a viewer, you are able to do that, too, directly from the app’s website. Simply log in such as you would in your viewer phone.

Now what?

Okay, so you may use this as a run-of-the-mill security camera, however keep in mind that you’ve bought a number of hours of untethered battery life to mess around with. I take advantage of this setup totally on an ad-hoc foundation, like when the children are enjoying in one other room and I need to preserve an eye on them, or if I’m anticipating a bundle and need to know as quickly as it arrives.


It’s nice as a journey child monitor as effectively. Simply hook up each telephones to the Wi-Fi wherever you’re staying and also you’re all set.

I even use it to maintain an eye on the laundry: These newfangled dryers say the load can be accomplished in 46 minutes however with all of the dampness sensors constructed into them now, they not often hit the mark.

As for the AlfredCamera app, check out the free model first to get a really feel for it. It’s fairly totally featured as is. There’s additionally a premium model for $6 per thirty days or $30 per 12 months, which presents higher viewing high quality, longer occasion recording, prolonged storage time, no advertisements, and a few different goodies. That is a uncommon gem: An app with a nice free model and an inexpensive, totally-worth-it premium providing.