If you want to beef up the security of your home but don’t necessarily have the budget to purchase new security equipment, then there’s a simple solution to your dilemma. You can convert your old, unused smartphones into security cameras and place them around your house. Here’s how.
INSTALL A SECURITY CAMERA APP
You first need to choose a good security camera app that you will install on your mobile phones. Most security camera apps offer such capabilities as local and cloud streaming, recording, storing of footage either locally or remotely, and motion detections. Once you’ve set that up, you will then be able to monitor your home and control your security cameras on your own mobile device.
A good option when it comes to setting up your phone as a security camera would be to install the application, Alfred. This is a cross-platform mobile application that you can install on either an Android device or an iOS device. Install the app on both your old phone and your personal one. The app is free for download and allows you to remotely view live feed, enable motion detection, as well as free cloud storage. It also has two-way communication capabilities as well as being able to use both the back and front camera.
Another app that you can use to turn your mobile phone into a security camera is one that is developed by Edward Snowden, the famous (or infamous, whichever way you see it) NSA whistleblower. The app’s name is called Haven and it’s available for Android phones and tablets. So long as the device has an internet connection and a working camera, it can serve as a security camera. Haven is available for download at the Google Play Store. Although the app only runs on Android devices, it’s possible to receive alerts and notifications on iOS devices.
The AtHome camera app is also another great option for turning any old smartphone into a security camera. It has features like two-way communication, night vision, and the ability to recognize movement made by people instead of random objects. It’s also possible to set the camera on a 24-hour time-lapse mode. And if the smartphone has the needed sensors, Athome can be triggered to record the moment it detects vibrations. Two versions of the app are available for download, one for the phone to be converted into a security camera and the other one that will do the monitoring and handle the controls.
While Alfred, Haven, and AtHome are very good choices for apps to turn old smartphones into security cameras, it’s important to note that those are not the only apps you can use. Manything, Presence, and Salient Eye are also solid choices, although these three apps require that you pay a monthly subscription fee, albeit an affordable one.
CHOOSE A LOCATION FOR YOUR CAMERA
Once you’ve set up streaming for both devices, you will then need to choose the right location to place the Viewer. You want to choose a location that offers the most vantage point. A lot of people placed the camera in front of entryways or near windows. Others choose to point them towards a spot where they store their valuables or towards an area of the house that is most vulnerable. Ideally, you’ll want to place the camera where you would normally place spy equipment like an IP camera or a baby monitor.
MOUNTING AND POWERING YOUR CAMERA
In order to get the best footage on your security camera, you’ll need to properly mount the device – don’t just prop the phone on a stack of books. Ideally, you’ll want to use a smartphone tripod or car mounts with suction cups if you’re going to be positioning it on walls and other inconspicuous places. If you want to get the maximum viewing angle for the camera, you can equip it with a wide-angle lens that can be attached to the phone’s camera.
Continuously streaming video on your phone is going to suck up the battery pretty quickly so you’ll want to make sure the camera is connected to a reliable power supply to ensure uninterrupted monitoring. Position it near a power source using a longer charging capability.