Recycle your old phone by turning it into a security camera. This is how

Recycle your old phone by turning it into a security camera.  This is how

This story is part of 12 days of tipsthat help you get the most out of your technology, your home and your health this holiday season.

If you unpacked a brand new one iPhone 14 (or Pixel 7or Galaxy Fold) a few days ago and don’t know what to do with the old one, here’s a suggestion. Enter “old cell phones,” grab your old phone—Android or iPhone, doesn’t matter—and use the forgotten technology.

One of the most useful ways to use an old phone is to convert it into one home security camera. It’s a cost-effective trick to keep an eye on your home when you are not there.

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And setting it up is not difficult. In fact, you can start using your worn-out phone to keep your home safe with just three steps. As for the other phones being your drawer, here’s how you can sell them or make a trade-in. (For more tips, check out why the Internet router is probably in the wrong place and the six places you should place home security cameras on your property.)

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

To begin, 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, recording and storing footage locally or remotely, and motion detection and notifications. Once set up, you’ll be able to monitor your living space and control your security camera from anywhere, right from your new phone.

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One of the best app options for setting up your phone as a security camera is Alfred. It’s cross-platform, so it doesn’t matter if your old phone was one 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 feed, motion detection with alerts, free cloud storage, a two-way audio feed and use of both 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 old and new phones, or other tablets you want to use.

2. On the new phone, swipe through the introduction and tap Start. Select Seer and press Next.

3. 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.

4. Repeat the same steps on the old phone, but instead of selecting Seerselect Camera. And make sure to sign in to the same Google account.

When both phones are logged on to Alfred, you are mostly 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 sound. If you’re using an Android device, you have these options, and you can also enable continuous focus, have Alfred reopen automatically if the phone restarts, set a resolution, and enable a password lock.

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From your new phone, you can change a few more settings, such as turning notifications on or off, setting a camera or viewer name, adding other people to Trust Circle (give other people access to your video streams), remove a camera, check how many times a camera has disconnected, set motion detection sensitivity and enable a small light filter on cameras.

While Alfred is a solid choice, remember that it isn’t just choice. Far from it, actually. Lots of things, Prominent eye and Presence are all solid free choices with a reasonable subscription model if you need more features. And IP Webcam is one of the more popular Android-only options.

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

After you have the power going, you need to set up and position the camera. You may want to focus on the main entrance to your home, your garden, the place where you store valuables or a point you think may be 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.

Step 3: Mount and turn on the new security camera

To mount or place the camera, a small smartphone stand or suction cup car mount can work wonders and help you place the camera in an inconspicuous place. To expand your field of view, consider purchasing a wide-angle lens for your phone, which can be purchased for between $5 and $20 online.

Streaming video is very power-intensive, and the phone will be on 24/7. To prevent the phone from dying in the first few hours, place it near a power source. ONE 10 foot micro USB or Lightning cable will give you more flexibility in where you place it.

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And that’s it! Now you can use the security camera app on the new phone to see the feed from the camera on the old phone and you have made your home safer
without spending much.

While you’re here, check it out six quick tips to get the most out of your home security camerahow use your Alexa device as a home security camera and best DIY home security systems.

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