In these days of nonstop hacking, phishing and data breaches, it’s easy to forget that regular old burglars are still lurking around to steal from your home.
That’s why I’m a big fan of home security systems, especially ones that let you watch your home from a distance and alert you when someone breaks in.
Of course, you don’t always need a security system that covers an entire house. Maybe you want to watch a specific drawer or jewelry box, your cubicle at work, the door to your room (if you have roommates or a snooping contractor) or what’s happening in your hotel room while you’re out. In those and similar cases, you might be able to set up a quick security system for free with the right tools.
The main thing you need is a smartphone (a tablet with a rear camera can work, too), a stand to keep the gadget upright and a monitoring app. Set up your gadget on the stand and point the camera in the direction you want to watch. Then start the app. If the app detects movement, it will alert you via email or text, take pictures of the thieves and even sound an alarm to scare them off.
If you already have an old smartphone or tablet lying around, you can be up and running in no time. You can also use your main smartphone if you want to guard something overnight while you’re sleeping, like a hotel room door.
So, let’s take a look at the apps that turn your smartphone into a security camera. At the moment, few monitoring apps work for both Android and Apple, so I’ll tell you about one for each.