Interview With Alex Song – AlfredCamera
PIA spoke with Alex Song, founder and CEO of AlfredCamera, we talked about the security benefits that his platforms offer to businesses and individuals, how they ensure the video stream is secure, and what are some of the cybersecurity concerns that deal with.
Private Internet Access: Tell me about AlfredCamera, and what is your flagship product?
Alex Song: AlfredCamera is a leading IoT security brand that aims to provide accessible security for everyone. Our flagship product is a mobile application that turns your old, unused smartphones into fully functioning home security cameras.
AlfredCamera has received more than 50 million downloads and acquired exceptional user ratings on both iOS/Android platforms, reflecting our position as the most trusted video monitoring app on the market.
In 2022, we launched our first hardware security camera, AlfredCam, expanding AlfredCamera’s service offerings from home security software to hardware devices.
PIA: Who is your ideal customer, is it businesses or personal use?
AS: As wireless security cameras continue to gain popularity, video monitoring has become widely adopted by families, pet owners, and small business owners alike.
AlfredCamera is currently operating in over 150 countries, and it’s clear that certain uses for it are more common in certain regions. For example, nearly half of the users in the US use AlfredCamera for home security purposes, while in countries like India and Brazil, it is often used by small business owners as an affordable surveillance option. We found that business surveillance accounts for a higher percentage in these countries compared to the US and the UK.
PIA: Other than streaming video, what are some of the features of AlfredCamera?
AS: Our favorite features include Motion Detection, Person Detection, Continuous Recording,Two-Way Talk, Siren, Night Vision, and free cloud storage for videos. Motion detection allows security cameras to only begin recording when motion is detected, while continuous recording ensures 24/7 round-the-clock surveillance. Continuous recording is one of AlfredCamera’s latest features launched back in May. Unlike many apps, AlfredCamera can record 24/7 in the event of a signal dropout, whether that’s the result of bad Wi-Fi or a momentary power outage.
With two-way talk, users can speak with loved ones in real-time. In the event of break- ins, you can also easily use the same feature to scare away intruders alongside the loud siren.
PIA: What smartphones are compatible with the AlfredCamera system? Would I need the latest versions, or can I use an older phone that isn’t being used?
AS: We promote the idea of DIY, and therefore repurposing old phones as security cameras. So, no, you don’t need the latest smartphone in order to use our security camera app. The AlfredCamera app works on Android and iOS devices. Check out below for more details on compatible devices.
You can set almost any smartphone and tablet device as Viewer devices, as long as they run on systems above Android 5 or iOS 10 (meaning models from 9 years ago!). The same Viewer device requirements apply if you also use AlfredCam (Alfred’s own hardware camera). We suggest that you use your daily phones as Viewer devices.
As long as you can find Alfred’s app on the Google Play Store or App Store, you can use your device as a camera.
- Android Viewer Android 5; Camera Android 4.1 or above (for a better experience, operating systems above Android 5 are highly recommended)
- iOS: iOS 10 or above
PIA: What online privacy measures does Alfred Camera take to ensure that no one can pair up and watch another user’s video stream?
AS: AlfredCamera leverages the login process by Google and Apple to support multi-factor authentication on Android/iOS. In addition, the connection is established based on end- to-end encryption, avoiding server transfer to further enhance user privacy and safety.
As product developers, we have the highest responsibility to incorporate practices and methods into enhancing our security infrastructure, platforms, protocols, etc., in order to protect the privacy and security of our users. We prioritize the efforts to educate users on what they can do on their part through our product design.
What users need to pay attention to is password and account hygiene. We will advise users to log in through 2FA and not to share passwords. If accounts need to be shared, our Trust Circle feature allows users to safely share access with family and friends.
If users log in on different devices, we will immediately notify the user, and also provide an in-app lock to prevent others from accessing the account owner’s data should the device have been stolen. We also provide users with the option to delete all account information from our database if they wish to do so.
PIA: What are the biggest cybersecurity threats that AlfredCamera has seen and how have you dealt with them?
AS: AlfredCamera faces potential security threats just like other consumer-facing network services. We try our best to identify and thus avoid possible security risks that could arise from data transmission, and have based our services on the most advanced operating systems and cloud services. We made sure that the security components we use are open-source and iterable.
PIA: Does AlfredCamera work with VPNs, as an added way to protect user privacy and keep hackers and snoopers away?
AS: The peer-to-peer transmission technology used by AlfredCamera has VPN-like characteristics, and can perform end-to-end encryption to protect user privacy and effectively prevent hacking.
AlfredCamera’s transmission protocol is compatible with most VPN services on the market. If users decide to use a VPN service, AlfredCamera will still function properly. However, it is recommended that users avoid using VPN services from untrusted sources to avoid unnecessary risks.