Home monitoring solution on the cheap
December 27, 2017 8:26 AM   Subscribe

Do you use any sort of home security app where you pair your phone with a tablet or old phone at home? I'm hoping for recommendations for apps. I'm also concerned about the safety of leaving the tablet or phone at home plugged in all day, so am wondering if there are any Android tablets out there that would be able to run such an app on battery power for 8-9 hours a day.

My main goal is to monitor the sound in my home while I'm away. I was thinking of buying a cheap Android tablet such as a $50 Kindle Fire to keep at home and pair with my phone.

Do you use anything like this, or have any particular recommendations for either apps or Android tablets?

Thanks in advance!
posted by whistle pig to Technology (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
That kind of battery failure tends to happen as a function of age and the charge/discharge cycle...it's not an instantaneous event, so if you do have old hardware that will work with that app and you like its features it's probably fine to give it a try and see if it's reliable enough for your purposes.

Just favor phones with removable batteries, and keep an eye on their condition.

Otherwise there are cheap competitors to Dropcam/Nest and the like that will be around the same pricepoint as a Fire (if less versatile, and in some cases with kinda sketchy monitoring providers).

If you are comfortable running ZoneMinder on your own hardware, you can use generic IP cams (which get very cheap).

If you really want audio only, you might look at cloud-based baby monitor apps or products. Ideally something that directly connects the endpoints and only uses the company's server for notification etc. Or uses Dropbox to deposit audio clips. Maybe this, although it does video too.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:02 AM on December 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

A cheap ip camera like this Dlink that i have will allow you to listen to sound remotely using the free app
posted by canoehead at 10:13 AM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

The app Manything is made for this. Not sure about the battery end of the question.
posted by ftm at 10:21 AM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've been happy with the free version of Presence for keeping an eye on pets. Also not sure about the battery thing, though.
posted by bunji at 12:56 PM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

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