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Tom WestrickWriter

Tom Westrick has been creating about modern technology professionally since 2014, but he started poking and prodding at electronics as a teenager. His work has actually been published on Android Central, iMore, and also Windows Central. Once he"s no writing, Tom is a Tier-1 aid Desk Technician, songwriter, and guitar player. Review more...

You are watching: How to use old phone as security camera

About How-To Geek

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If you have an old phone lying around, friend can easily put the to good use by transforming it into a mobile protection camera. Through the help of an app by Edward Snowden, it’s at sight simple. Here’s how.

Your phone currently has the components of a “real” protection camera—namely, a camera lens and an net connection. You’ve been able to carry out this v an Android phone because that years, yet there’s a newer means that’s even much more secure.

We’re going come be using an app named Haven, i m sorry was built by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. You deserve to use the app on virtually any Android phone or tablet, from her old spare sit in your drawer to a cheap $50 phone from WalMart. As long as your machine has a functioning camera and also microphone, you deserve to use it as a defense cam. You deserve to install the Haven beta indigenous the Google play Store or translate into it yourself from that is Github repository.

Haven will job-related whether her phone is connected to Wi-Fi or with a USB-to-Ethernet adapter. If you walk the wired internet route, make sure to obtain an adapter that additionally carriers power. The Haven app itself only runs on Android devices, but you can collection it to alert your iPhone.


Setting up Haven on your Old Phone

Before gaining the Haven app set up, make sure your ideal spot has sufficient room for her phone to it is in mounted, gain power, and also where you have the right to run an Ethernet cable or obtain Wi-Fi. Once that’s settled, open the Haven app. Swipe v the first couple of screens, then select “Configure.”

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Tap “Allow” on the permission prompts because that photo, media, and paper access, and also to take it pictures and record video.

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Tap “Allow” on the next permission note to take it pictures and record video.

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The next screen will be your live camera feed. Tap the symbol in the reduced left come switch in between the front-facing and rear-facing cameras, and also use the slider along the bottom the the display to collection how perceptible you want the movement detection come be. Friend can always go back and progressive or reduced the activity sensitivity to better match her environment. Tap the “Back” in the upper left come see an ext options.

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Next, accept the permission note to document audio for this reason you can hear the environment about the camera. Again, usage the slider in ~ the bottom of the display screen to adjust the detection sensitivity. Insanity the “Back” switch in the upper left again.

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Next, shower the call or usage the slider at the bottom to set the song the activity detection. This will let her camera start recording if the phone call physically moves, choose if one intruder beginning banging top top the side of your house. Insanity the “Back” button in the top left one more time.

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Swipe through the rest of the arrival screens. Grant permission to send and view SMS messages if girlfriend would prefer SMS alerts sent to your primary phone, then go into your phone call number. You’ll require to have an energetic SIM card set up mounted to send SMS messages, or you deserve to configure Signal for advises in the application settings (more on the in a moment) if you’re simply using an internet connection.

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Swipe v one more screen, climate tap “Finish.”

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Once it is done, madness “Start Now” to begin monitoring your environment. Tap the Settings gear in the lower-right to adjust the camera, sound, and motion sensitivity, change your SMS or Signal messaging settings, and also more.

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Set up Haven’s video Monitoring

Motion and audio detection room great, however Haven also lets girlfriend record video for a collection period. Insanity the Settings equipment in the lower-right the the main screen, then rotate on the “Video Monitoring” toggle.

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Tap “Set video clip Monitoring Length” to select how lengthy Haven will document the environment.

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With that, you have a cheap and reliable protection camera! your events—complete through photos and audio—will automatically be sent out via SMS or Signal, and also you have the right to always good back and view events from the old phone call itself. Keep in mind you’ll need to create the monitoring manually prior to heading out, and it’ll continue to be on till you manually turn it off again. Also with those young limitations, this is a an excellent way to reuse one old phone!