How to Turn Your Android Phone into a Security Camera

These days it’s very easy to switch phones, and as a result you probably have at least one phone sitting in a drawer. Instead of having your old Android phone collecting dust, turn it into a useful security camera.

You can see what’s going on at home and finally know which of your dogs gets into the cookie jar. To turn your phone into a security camera, all you need is one free app and your old and current phones.

To turn your Android device into a security camera, install Security Camera/ Caregiver Video Monitor – Alfred. It’s very easy to set up, and you won’t have a hard time with it, even if you’re not very tech-savvy.

After signing into your Google account, you’ll need to decide if the first device is the viewing device or a camera. When you install the app on the second device, it automatically chooses the remaining option.

At first, when you have the app set up on both devices, you can see what’s going on on the camera device. After a few minutes, the camera device will go dark, but it’s still live streaming.

Alfred can send you notifications whenever it detects movement. When motion is detected, it will start recording until the movement stops. If the notifications aren’t necessary, you can always turn them off.

alfred-notification-movement

Press the microphone button to either listen to what’s going on or to tell your dog to get off the sofa. You can only talk into the mic as long as you press the button, once you let go, it turns off.

alfred-video-audi

To the right you’ll see a recording button where you can record whatever you see on your device’s display. It can only record a maximum of 30 seconds, but it gives you the option of sharing it on Facebook, through a link, or an app you already have on your phone.

The app uses the rear-facing camera by default, but if you press the arrow at the bottom right, you can have the app stream from the front-facing camera. Next to the camera-changing option you’ll also see options to rotate the image, turn on the camera device’s flashlight, and even stream in night mode.

alfred-switch-cameras

Even if someone were to grab the camera device and use it, the app would continue to live stream. Alfred even has a useful web app where you can also see what’s going on.

Features that only the web app has include the possibility to take a picture, zoom in, and zoom out. You’re still able to rotate the image, use night mode, and switch cameras.

One thing to keep in mind is that to see the live stream from your computer you’ll need to close the session on your Android device. The app doesn’t offer the possibility of seeing the camera device from two different devices.

Alfred is a great app to see if everything at home is okay without having to spend too much money on an expensive security system. But there is always room for improvement. What features would you add to the app? Leave a comment below and let us know.

11 comments

  1. Interesting article,thank you for contributing. Only thing I wish is that you would check your spelling and grammar before posting. Since the advent of autocorrect we have become incredibly lazy on proofing.

  2. Clear and concise write-up. I have a couple of Android devices (phone, a couple of tablets). Been meaning to super-charge them with some additional capabilities. This seems like a good start.

  3. I presume somehow you can install that software on your old phone even though it is no longer associated with a provider like AT&T or Verizon? Maybe through Wifi?

    • Hi John,
      Yes, you can. I don’t see why it should be an issue. Thanks for commenting.

      • Thanks for the reply… Never bothered accessing Google Playstore with a cell that no longer has a provider. Good to know.

        • A android with no provider must connect by wifi (unless it has Ethernet).

          Also if your in the USA all cell phones are able to call 911 with or without service.
          To test on a simple based device. power off the device, remove all sim cards, and power on. Your device is now in emergency mode. can use your apps, connect to wifi, and dial 911. It can not connect to any cellular network (because the sim card has authentication information for your account)

          • Hi Overlord_Laharl,
            Hopefully, calling 911 won’t be necessary. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Good article but you need to clarify if all this can be done w/o having old phone connected to a cellular provider. If not how will it stream the video??? This question has been asked a couple of times but you have been very short on the answer. I don’t know if its because you are short in words or just don’t know the answer. If you do, can you clearly explain what is required to do this? Cellular connection or wi-fi ? It can stream w/o some system.

    • To turn your Android device into a security camera, install Security Camera/ Caregiver Video Monitor – Alfred. It’s very easy to set up, and you won’t have a hard time with it, even if you’re not very tech-savvy.
      After signing into your Google account, you’ll need to decide if the first device is the viewing device or a camera. When you install the app on the second device, it automatically chooses the remaining option.

      The above text is from the first two paragraphs of the author’s article. If he is meaning for his text to be followed, the android phone being used as a camera would have to still have an account with a service provider (imho). Whether or not you could get them to work w/o still having provider accounts I am not sure. As someone said, it should have been proven before writing and publishing here. As it is I believe it is only an idea or suggestion, imho.

  5. The camera can be used on its own or paired with accessories customized to fit different use cases or locations. A selection of mounts such as the Window Mount lets you see more of what’s happening outside, from the inside, or choose the Plug Mount to watch over your home from any wall outlet, in the kitchen, garage, or even down low to see your pet.

Comments are closed.

Sponsored Stories