Try this free security camera hack to reuse your old Android or iPhone

This story is part Tips for the houseCNET’s collection of handy tips for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

You probably have at least one old phone stuffed in a drawer somewhere. Sure, you can sell this phone Where make an exchange for a fraction of its purchase price. But if it still lights up, why not give that deceased iPhone Where android a second life?

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One of the most useful ways to recycle an old phone is to convert it to a home security camera. This is an inexpensive trick to keep an eye on your home when you’re not there.

And setting it up is not difficult. In fact, you can start using this time-worn phone for home security in just three steps.

Read more: 8 reasons not to sell or trade in your old iPhone
and 9 ingenious ways to breathe new life into your old Android phone

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

To start, 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, recording and storing footage locally or remotely, and motion detection and alerts. Once 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 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 a 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, two-way audio streaming, and use of the front and rear cameras. To unlock additional features, such as high-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 your old and new phones, or on any tablets you want to use.

2. On the new phone, scroll down to the introduction and tap Begin. Select Viewer and press Next.

3. Once on the login page, click Login with Google (a Google account is required) and sign 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 connected to Alfred, you are almost 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 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.

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 your circle of trust (grant others access to your video feeds), delete a camera, check how many times a camera has disconnected, adjust motion detection sensitivity, and enable a low-light filter on cameras.

Although Alfred is a solid choice, keep in mind that it’s not the only choice. Far from it, in fact. Many things, protruding eye and Presence are all solid free picks with an affordable subscription model if you need more features. And the IP webcam is one of the most popular Android options.

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

Once the feed is up and running, you will need to configure and position the camera. You may want it to focus on the main entry point to your home, your garden, where you store valuables, or a point you think is particularly vulnerable. You can also configure an IP camera as a baby monitor.

If you have several old phones lying around, you can set up multiple cameras for pretty robust video coverage.

Step 3: Mount and power your new security camera

To mount or position the camera, a small smartphone tripod or suction cup car holder can do wonders and help you position the camera in an inconspicuous place. To widen the field of view, consider buying a wide-angle lens for your phone, something that can be purchased for between $5 and $20 online.

Streaming video is very power hungry and the phone will work 24/7. To prevent the phone from dying in the first few hours, you will need to position it near a power source. A 10ft Micro-USB or Lightning cable will give you more flexibility in where you place it.

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

While you’re here, check out six quick tips for getting the most out of your home security cameraHow? ‘Or’ What use your Alexa device as a home security camera and the best diy home security systems.

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