Old phone, new home surveillance system
AlfredCamera review: Taking advantage of free mobile surveillance apps
Writer’s note: Updates have been made on this post after buying the software perks on Tuesday, May 3, to compare the free version versus the paid version.
I’ve never been someone who rushes out of the door whenever a new smartphone comes out. I like new technology, but I like paying my mortgage on time far more. However, I am a sucker for a promo deal. Considering I’m anti-cable (and despise Xfinity), anything that’ll get me free video streaming memberships will win me over. Additionally, bonus phone numbers (or free phone number changes) and free smartphone promos will always get my attention. The problem with my coupon-loving, marketing promo-following fandom is I end up with more phones than phone numbers.
Up until today, I’ve always donated old smartphones to ecoATM machines. For me, there is no downside to getting a few dollars for a phone that would’ve collected dust in my closet. I’m also a tree hugger who is as enthusiastic about sustainability as I am promo deals.
This week though, there was something else on my mind—a neighbor on our block who was randomly cutting people’s “Keep Off the Grass” signs in half. Not only was he doing this painfully childish antic, but he’d stolen a set of garden fence pieces that were protecting an area of grass constantly trampled on by cigarette litterers and pedestrians (who are allergic to sidewalks).
He stole our fencing once and then threw it in the mulch with the sign. Then he took it again—and I haven’t seen it since. While I’m 99.9% sure of who is doing it, how can I prove it, especially if the neighbor is familiar with our multi-camera system and where not to stand? Although I’ve already begrudgingly admitted I’ve become the “grumpy old man” on my block, yelling at people to stay off the grass, I shrugged my shoulders at these antics. Was it really worth it to pick a fight over fence pieces and yard signs? For me, not really.
However, it started to bother me that someone could be that close to my entrance and exit doors, along with my windows and front yard, and I’d be none the wiser about what was going on. Sure, there are surveillance cameras around the building, but who wants to spend hundreds of dollars on every single inch of the property? I’d already paid for one camera (along with several others that the condo board is in charge of watching), but I had no desire to keep shelling out money for more. Plus, I liked my window setup—with pretty flowers instead of a bulky surveillance camera.
That is, until I remembered those extra smartphones that I never use. Something clicked. I looked from the flowers in my windows, the closet with old smartphones and then my calendar. Folks, it is 2022, not 1982—and mobile apps are filled with free surveillance camera mobile apps. If you have a smartphone you’re not using, then you have a free surveillance video camera just waiting to be set up.