Ever wondered what to do with that old smartphone you tossed into the junk drawer after getting a new one? Here’s an idea that will give that old phone new life—and protect your home!
One of the most useful ways to reuse an old phone is to make it into a home security camera. Once you’re set up, you will be able to monitor your living space and control your security camera from anywhere, right from your new phone.
To begin, you will need to choose a security-camera app for your phone. Most apps offer standard features like local streaming, cloud streaming, recording and storing footage locally or remotely, and motion detection and alerts. There are a number of impressive, free choices available for both Android smartphones or iPhones—including highly recommended apps like Alfred, Manything (short for “monitor anything”), Home Eye, or Presence, all of which will work on either platform.
Generally, you’ll need to download the app on both your old and new phone, and follow a few simple installation and setup steps to get started. Once both phones are signed in to the app, the old phone serves as your security camera. You’ll need to set it up at a point you most want to monitor, like the main entry of your home, backyard, or a place where you store valuables. Mounting it on a smartphone tripod, or a car mount, will help stabilize it in place.
Your security app will provide a live-feed from the old phone’s camera to your new phone using streaming video. Keep in mind that streaming video uses a lot of battery power, so you’ll also want to keep the older “camera” phone charged regularly. If possible, position it near a power source and leave it plugged in—that way, you can have it monitoring 24/7 without worry.