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Turn A Phone Into A Continuous Recording Security Camera for Free

Read on to learn more about what continuous recording is and if you need, and find out which cameras support continuous recording.

How to Turn an Old Cell Phone into a Security Camera with Continuous Recording

‘We noticed that some users shared concerns about signal dropouts,’ says the product team. ‘Rather than ignoring the problem, we got to work combating it. AlfredCamera continuous recording solves the issue.’

‘AlfredCamera cloud storage allows free users to store clips for up to 7 via the internet, while a Premium subscription provides 14 days. Continuous recording records for 8 hours and loops back on itself, deleting the oldest footage first.’

In the camera’s settings, scroll down and turn on ‘Continuous Recording’.

To view footage, tap the ‘Playback’ icon in the bottom left corner on the camera menu.

From here, users can tap and drag a timeline to view footage recorded at a specific time (the red bars indicate when motion was captured, making finding relevant footage much easier).

Top 5 Continuous Recording Security Cameras

· Best continuous recording security camera overall – AlfredCam
· Best outdoor security camera with continuous recording – AlfredCam Plus
· Best continuous recording security camera without subscription – AlfredCamera (app)
· Best wireless continuous recording security camera – Arlo Ultra 2
· Best panning security camera with continuous recording – TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt


Available from AlfredCamera and Amazon. From $29.99.

AlfredCam on a glass table


  • 8 hours free continuous recording even when internet cuts out
  • Footage wipes itself once CR limit exceeded
  • Super affordable


  • Quality depends on the chosen camera device
  • Low light filter isn’t as robust as true night vision

What others are saying…

‘My internet isn’t the best, and when multiple people in the house are using it, it can get really sluggish. You can record continuously with AlfredCamera so that even if the internet drops out, it keeps recording, and saves it to the phone.’ – AlfredCamera user.

Key Specifications

  • 1080p HD video
  • 130-degree field of view
  • Two-way audio
  • MicroSD card support
  • Powered by USB
  • Infrared night vision
  • Built-in siren
  • 7 days cloud storage
  • Unlimited devices per account

AlfredCam Plus

Available on AlfredCamera and Amazon. From $39.99.

AlfredCam Plus waterproof.


  • Super affordable
  • 64 GB microSD included
  • IP65 weatherproof


  • Person, pet, vehicle detection require subscription
  • No voice assistant support

AlfredCam Plus introduces outdoor security and higher video resolution to your Alfred home security system, as well as advanced AI features for Premium users.

A 64 GB microSD card is included with AlfredCam Plus, meaning continuous recording right out of the box. Cloud storage, motion detection, infrared night vision; you name it. Everything you need for robust round-the-clock surveillance is here.

Key Specifications

  • 2K QHD video
  • 130-degree field of view
  • Two-way audio
  • 64 GB microSD card included
  • Infrared night vision
  • Built-in siren
  • IP65 weatherproof
  • Unlimited devices per account

AlfredCamera (app)

Available on Google Play and the App Store. Free.

AlfredCamera Log


  • Free, no hardware purchase required
  • Continuous recording and motion detection 
  • Motion identified easily in continuously recorded footage


  • Requires a spare smart device
  • Functionality will depend on the phone itself

Looking for a free continuous recording security camera? AlfredCamera turns old phones into feature rich security cameras with continuous recording. You’ll also get motion detection, a built in siren, and two way audio for free on as many devices as you like.

Continuous recording captures eight hours of footage in a loop, deleting the oldest footage first. Easily scrub the footage where Alfred highlights moments of motion so that you see what matters most. 

Key Specifications

  • Live feeds
  • Continuous recording
  • Motion detection
  • Push notifications
  • Low-light mode
  • Two-way audio
  • 7-day free cloud storage

Arlo Ultra 2

Available from Best Buy, Arlo, Lenovo. From $289.99 without a hub (required).

Arlo Ultra 2


  • Crisp 4K footage
  • Built-in spotlight
  • Continuous recording


  • Extremely expensive
  • Continuous recording requires a subscription
  • Requires a Smart Hub

Many Arlo cameras are compatible with continuous recording. Of all of them, the Ultra 2 is a real juggernaut of a device. 4K resolution, 180-degree field of view, and built-in spotlight are here.

To record continuously, users must purchase a ‘CVR Subscription’ from Arlo. This gives users access to either 14 or 30 days of continuous recording. It works a charm, but there’s no denying that $19.99 for 30 days of CVR is a painfully tall order for a device that already doesn’t come cheap.

Key Specifications

  • 4K HDR
  • Integrated Spotlight
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • 180 degree field of view
  • Two-way audio
  • Dual band Wi-Fi
  • SmartHub required

TP-Link Kasa Spot Pan Tilt

Available on Amazon. From $29.99.

The front of Kasa Spot Pan Tilt


  • Motorized 360 panning with AI-based tracking
  • Continuous recording up to 128 GB via microSD
  • Affordable


  • MicroSD card not included
  • Works best when mounted on a ceiling

Kasa Spot Pan Tilt is a motorized panning camera that supports continuous recording. This is done by inserting a microSD.

Key Specifications

  • 1080p Full HD
  • 360 horizontal panning
  • Vertical tilting
  • 3.2 in x 3.2 in x 4.4 in
  • Two-way audio
  • Motion detection and motion tracking
  • microSD (not included)

How Long Do Home Security Cameras Record?

The amount of time that security cameras record for depends on the model. Many don’t offer continuous recording and only record in short clips (usually 30 seconds) triggered by motion detection.

Most brands offer premium subscriptions that increase storage space on the cloud. Check out the most popular security camera brands and how long their security cameras record below.

BrandMaximum Length of Continuous Recording (local)Maximum Length of Continuous Recording (cloud-based)Maximum Length of Continuous Recording(subscription)
AlfredCamera App8 hour loop (240p for free users)No continuous recording 8 hour loop (720p for Premium users, local storage)

Unlimited (microSD)No continuous recordingUnlimited playback of locally stored footage for Premium users via the app
Google Nest

No continuous recording. Up to 30 seconds per clip. 8 minutes of local storage.No continuous recordingUnlimited footage when 24/7 Video History is enabled (Nest Aware Plus)

2-8 days depending on quality and storage size (microSD card)No continuous recordingUnlimited footage for up to 14 days (Cam Plus)
Unlimited (NVR or PC)2-8 days depending on quality (microSD card)No continuous recording7 days and 1GB storage (Basic)30 days and 30GB storage (Standard)30 days and 80GB storage (Premier)

No continuous recordingNo continuous recording No continuous recording. Up to 120 seconds, 180 day storage (Basic and Plus)

No continuous recordingNo continuous recordingNo continuous recording

Continuous Recording vs. Motion Detection

Most IP cameras incorporate some form of motion detection, usually instead of continuous recording. It’s useful for avoiding large files.

If the motion detection doesn’t incorporate other features, like person detection or animal detection, the camera might  record unnecessary movement. 

We weighed up some of the major differences between motion detection and continuous recording below.

Motion Detection (MD) FeaturesContinuous Recording (CR) Features
Instant Notifications
Get notified only when movement is detected. 
High Traffic Visibility
MD is useless in places where there is constant movement. There’s no point being notified every few minutes as someone passes by. CR avoids this nuisance.
Capture What Matters 
Sifting through hours of footage can be mind-numbing. With MD, cameras can be assigned to record only when something appears.
See Everything
Avoid signal drop out by simply capturing everything, at all times.
Cloud Storage
Less footage means less demand on broadband, meaning cloud storage can be used easily from anywhere in the world.
Local Storage
Local storage (SD cards) allows users to save potentially huge files with no fuss, freeing up bandwidth.

When Do I Need 24/7 Continuous Recording?

Some people prefer to record continuously, while others find motion detection more useful. Aside from personal preference, there are some circumstances where you might prefer continuous recording. Check them out below.

1. Storefront

Stores require continuous recording when they are open and closed. In stores, foot traffic is too high for motion detection to be useful, therefore not providing reliable surveillance.

2. Offices

Much like a store, an office is likely to have significant movement all day, making motion detection pointless. Continuous recording keeps offices safe throughout the day.

3. Warehouse

Warehouses are subject to much stricter health and safety regulations than other workplaces. Because they are dangerous, surveillance should be 24/7 to keep an eye on the health and safety of the people working there.

4. Locations Prone to Signal Dropout

For larger houses, farms, and construction sites with weak Wi-Fi, continuous recording is a good way to overcome signal dropouts without losing footage. AlfredCamera’s continuous recording feature still records even when the internet connection drops out.


Do security cameras record all the time?

Most modern security cameras do not record all the time. Using motion detection is a more efficient way to avoid overly large file sizes and only record relevant footage.

Do I need a camera that records all the time?

Can wireless cameras record continuously?

Yes, some wireless cameras can record continuously, including AlfredCam and AlfredCam Plus. 

Which camera has unlimited recording?

AlfredCam and AlfredCam Plus support unlimited recording via microSD. AlfredCamera compatible devices, including old phones and tablets, also support continuous recording, which rewrites itself over an 8 hour loop. 


Continuous recording is an important feature to look out for when investing in your security, especially if it’s for a workplace.

While continuous recording is not necessary for every situation, it’s essential that your wireless security camera continues to record even if it loses connection to the internet.