Using a Smart Device to Power a DIY Security System
This how-to will demonstrate an easy, low-cost method to provide video surveillance of a vacant listing.
June 13, 2016
Traditionally, protecting your home from intruders has come in the form of an expensive, professionally installed system. Although these can certainly be effective, the costs can be prohibitive. However, now you can simply set up an old internet-enabled device as a security system on your existing Wi-Fi network.
All it takes is setting up a simple app and your phone or tablet can become your window into an unoccupied house. I used the Presence app, available on both Android and iOS, though there are other options available.
Another possible issue was that when I turned only a small desk lamp on, bright enough for me to easily see what was in the room, it was too dark for the camera to pick the surroundings up correctly. A possible solution to this (besides leaving a few more lights on if you’re gone) would be a motion-detector light. These are relatively cheap these days and could serve as an added deterrent to an intruder.
Is the Smartphone Solution Right for You?
Although certainly not as good as many professional security systems, this solution could be a very good way to make use of old devices. If Presence doesn’t quite fit your needs, Manything is another similar app with free and paid versions. TrackView, another phone and tablet app, might be worth checking out as well. Although it doesn’t have cloud storage, it features some interesting phone tracking capabilities.