Having a smartphone means enjoying an open door to a huge number of functions, including devices agglutinated within the same device. It is a multimedia player, serves as a photo camera, offers Internet access, puts us in contact with all of us who use a smartphone and it can also be extended when the mobile stopped being used as the main device.
It is logical to accumulate several smartphones since, although we insist on extending their use time, sooner or later some end up in the drawer. And it would not have to be that way either, since an “old” Android maintains a second life. For example, it is a game console for a child, it can also become a Dash Cam or car camera. And with a couple of apps, and a pinch of configuration, we can turn an old Android into a face of security or surveillance.
Find the best place to monitor
It is not that security cameras are very expensive since there are models that offer a great service for a price of around thirty euros. But, if we already have a device capable of supplying one of these camerasWhy not use it? This is what happens with any Android smartphone that has a functional rear camera. This is, the mobile must be able to take photos and also video; In addition, it is essential that you connect to the Internet (in this way you can access the live video).
Before preparing the mobile to act as a surveillance camera, you have to find the right place to place it. In this sense, the rear camera must focus on the area to be monitored making sure the phone is seen as little as possible and that it is not too far from a socket (it needs to be connected to the mains).
To use the mobile as a security camera, it needs to be out of sight and close to a socket
The WiFi connection must be active whenever the Android mobile is working as a surveillance camera; even though it can work offline if you have enough storage to save the recordings (although we will not receive alerts in case it detects movement nor will we be able to access the broadcast in real time, something essential to keep calm outside the home). A good recommendation is to buy a prepaid SIM card in case the power goes out: with what the mobile has battery, and its data connection, we will get a very economical autonomous surveillance system.
Once you have determined the best place to place the smartphone (on a shelf pointing to the door, for example), it is time to prepare it at the software level. For this, nothing like using some applications.
Camy: your personalized surveillance camera
After having tried several applications of this style, our first recommendation is Camy, an app that works perfectly for the use we are looking for: transform an old mobile into a surveillance camera. And it does it very simply: just install the Camy application on the Android that will act as a security camera. Afterwards, the application is installed on the mobile with which we will access the live broadcast. And voila: a simple QR code capture gives access to remote control of the recording.
We can see what happens at home from anywhere since Camy offers the live broadcast to those mobiles that have registered through the QR. In addition, it offers a recording service, we can switch between the rear and front cameras, it has motion detection and we can even use the surveillance camera at night; either thanks to the included low light filter or remote camera flash activated.
Camy is worth it: it is free to download (with ads), it is suitable for Android and also for iOS, it offers its functions at no cost and it has a premium service with which some extras are added, such as broadcasting in 1080p. Of course, you can use it perfectly without paying a penny. We recommend it.
Alfred: surveillance camera
Our second recommended application is a well-known one on Android, it is also one of the most used and has the best reviews. This popularity is in line with everything that the application offers: it is powerful, versatile, the live broadcast works without interruptions and Allows you to replace a surveillance camera with any old Android mobile (above version 4.1+).
Alfred’s operation is very similar to Camy’s: you need the mobile that captures the video and another that will serve as a viewer. To pair them, just log in using the Google account once the app is installed on both. And, as long as Alfred is open on the old Android, we can access live video from mobile phones that act as a viewer.
Monitor the house with the rear camera and also the front one, receive alerts thanks to motion detection, Alfred transmits video and also sound, has night surveillance and It has a Walkie Talkie function to establish a call between both devices. In this way it is possible to notify whoever is at home. Or scare thieves, by trying not to fit.
With these two applications there is more than enough when it comes to using an old Android mobile as a security camera. In case you are looking for more options, you can download some of the following:
One last recommendation: connect the surveillance system on your mobile only when you are going to leave home. Although the applications are safe, it never hurts to take precautions. This will prevent anyone from viewing what you are doing while you are at home.