Readers question: Use a small camera or old iPhone 5 as a surveillance camera

To monitor a room with WiFi, you can either use an IP camera or an old iPhone that you no longer have to use (Photo: Pixabay).

A few days ago a reader (Huhu, Peter!) Asked me if I had a tip for a small camera that can be used to monitor another room. The camera can be connected to the Internet via WLAN and should also be able to save the videos. Either in the cloud (Dropbox, iCloud, etc) or on a memory card that can be read out later.

As an alternative to an extra camera, there would also be an iPhone 5, which you could perhaps use if you can somehow use it for the purpose. The reader's question is: What are the best means of solving the problem of "monitoring a room in a building with WLAN"?

To monitor a room with WiFi, you can either use an IP camera or an old iPhone that you no longer have to use (Photo: Pixabay).

To monitor a room with WiFi, you can either use an IP camera or an old iPhone that you no longer have to use (Photo: Pixabay).

My answer

Some time ago I had a question from a reader who wrote a Monitor the holiday home during his absence wanted. However, there was no WiFi available there, so a normal WiFi camera would not have been sufficient. In the current case, however, only one room in which WLAN is available is to be monitored. So you can take a wifi-capable indoor surveillance camera, which is significantly cheaper than the outdoor versions.

The solution via IP camera

Personally, I would recommend Instar as a manufacturer, as these cameras combine ease of use, good features and a reasonable price. In a special case the INSTAR IN-6001HD would be a good and inexpensive choice:

INSTAR IN-6001HD
This surveillance camera offers a video resolution of 720p and also a night vision mode. The camera can be queried at any time via an iPhone or iPad app and can even be notified by email or push message on the iPhone if it detects movement in a selectable area of ​​the image. The videos are saved on an SD card and can also be downloaded to an FTP server at the same time.

The solution for an old iPhone

If you still have an old Android or Apple smartphone, you may not need an IP camera to monitor a room. There is an iOS app called "Alfred", which makes it possible to use an old iOS device as a surveillance camera. You pay just under 5 EUR for" Alfred Premium ", but you also get a well thought-out solution that offers many setting options.

With the Alfred app you can turn any iPhone (with iOS 8 or higher) into a high-quality and easily configurable surveillance camera (graphic: Alfred.camera).

With the Alfred app you can turn any iPhone (with iOS 8 or higher) into a high-quality and easily configurable surveillance camera (graphic: Alfred.camera).

Unfortunately, only devices with the app that support at least iOS 8 work. Unfortunately, an iPhone 4 is no longer one of them. But the iPhone 5 mentioned by the reader can definitely be used.

In terms of features, Alfred offers the following:

  • Switch between front and facetime cameras via the query app
  • Night mode (black and white)
  • Activation of the LED light
  • Video transmission in HD
  • Very good image quality and high resolution (hardly any surveillance camera can match the quality of the iPhone camera)
  • Notification of movement
  • Definition of the "alarm area" where movement in the image must take place
  • Two-way speaking

If you have any questions about Alfred, I would give you the area "FAQ"recommend on their website.

The manufacturer of Alfred offers another one here Free wifi camera app for iOS, which I haven't tried, but which, according to user descriptions, also offers the option of turning an old iPhone into a webcam. I assume that the features are significantly reduced here and there are no notifications or motion detection, but if you are just looking for a webcam, you can test the app.

I hope I was able to show you a few ways to monitor a room. If you have already tried certain things and can recommend them, I would be happy if you leave a comment!

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2 comments

  1. Peter Glöckner says:

    Hi Jens,

    Thank you for the quick and detailed answer! I'm trying all of this out!

    Greeting Peter

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      With pleasure! I hope you find a way that works! I would appreciate a short feedback with your experiences! : D

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