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Monday, March 11, 2019

How to Turn an Old Android Phone into a Security Camera

Haven on an Android phone

If you have an old phone lying around, you can easily put it to good use by turning it into a mobile security camera. With the help of an app by Edward Snowden, it’s super simple. Here’s how.

Your phone already has the components of a “real” security camera—namely, a camera lens and an Internet connection. You’ve been able to do this with an Android phone for years, but there’s a newer way that’s even more secure.

We’re going to be using an app named Haven, which was built by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. You can use the app on almost any Android phone or tablet, from your old spare sitting in your drawer to a cheap $50 phone from WalMart. As long as your device has a working camera and microphone, you can use it as a security cam. You can install the Haven beta from the Google Play Store or compile it yourself from its Github repository.

Haven will work whether your phone is connected to Wi-Fi or with a USB-to-Ethernet adapter. If you go the wired Internet route, make sure to get an adapter that also carriers power. The Haven app itself only runs on Android devices, but you can set it to alert your iPhone.

Setting Up Haven on Your Old Phone

Before getting the Haven app set up, make sure your ideal spot has enough room for your phone to be mounted, get power, and where you can run an Ethernet cable or get Wi-Fi. Once that’s settled, open the Haven app. Swipe through the first couple of screens, then select “Configure.”

Haven setup screen

Tap “Allow” on the permission prompts for photo, media, and file access, and to take pictures and record video.

Haven permission prompt on Android

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