If you have some old phones that melt in a box somewhere, don'tfor a fraction of what you bought them. If they are still on, you can put them to good use.
You can convert one toor a for example. It's all good ideas, but one of the most useful ways to upgrade an old phone is to make it a wireless security camera.
Step 1: Get a security camera app running on your old phone (s)
To begin with, you need to choose a security camera app for your phone. Most programs offer many of the same features, such as local streaming, cloud streaming, video recording and storage locally or remotely, as well as motion detection and alerts.
When finished, you can monitor your living space and check your security camera anywhere, right from your phone.
One of the best options for configuring the phone as a security camera is Alfred. It's platform, so it doesn't matter if your old phone was an Android phone or iPhone ($ 950 on Amazon) . And the same goes for your new phone.
Alfred is free to use and gives you a distant picture of your vivid flow, motion detection with alerts, free cloud storage, a two-way audio feed and the use of both front and rear cameras. To unlock additional features, such as viewing and recording with higher resolution, zoom features, ad removal, and 30-day cloud storage, you can upgrade to Alfred Premium.
- Download Alfred (Android, iOS) on both your old and new phones or All tablets you want to use.
- On the new phone, scan through the introduction and press Start . Select Viewer and press Next .
- Once you've entered the login page, click Sign in with Google (a Google Account required) and sign in with your Google Account details.
- Repeat the same step in the old phone, but select Camera instead of selecting Viewer . And make sure you sign in to the same Google Account.
When both phones are logged in to Alfred, you are quite satisfied with the installation. Alfred has simplified the camera's options to include only some settings. On IOS, you can only enable motion detection, choose between front and back cameras, and enable or disable the sound. If you use an Android device, you have these options as well as the ability to activate continuous focus, if Alfred opens automatically if the phone restarts, sets up a resolution and activates a password lock.
From your new phone, You can change some more settings, eg. to turn messages on or off, set a camera or viewer's name, add other people to Trust Circle (give other people access to your video tapes), delete a camera, check how many times a camera has disconnected, set motion detection sensitivity and activate a low light filter on cameras.
While Alfred is a solid choice, keep in mind that there is no choice . Far from it, actually. If you work entirely with iOS devices, Manything is a solid optional option with an affordable subscription model if you need more features. And IP webcam is one of the more popular options for Android.
Step 2: Select a location to place your camera
Once you have turned on the power, set and place the camera. You might want it focused on the main entrance of your home, your garden, the place where you store valuables, or a point you think might be particularly vulnerable.
If you have several old phones around, you can set several cameras for quite robust video coverage.
Step 3: Mounting and Operating Your New Security Camera (s)
To mount or place the camera, a small smartphone stand or suction cup screen can do wonders and help you position the camera in an unambiguous place.  To expand the point of view, consider buying a wide-angle lens for your phone, which can be purchased between $ 5 and $ 20 (under about £ 13 or $ 28) online.
Streaming video is very power intensive, and the phone will be 24-7. To keep your phone from dying for the first few hours, you must place it near a power source. A 10-foot Micro USB or Lightning cable will provide some flexibility to where you place the camera.
Editor's note: This article was originally published November 9, 2015 and has been updated.