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So you’re looking for a great way to protect yourself should the need arise? Most people would think a knife, gun, sword, or even some kind of blunt object to get this job done. With modern technology though there are far better weapons to protect yourselves. Audio and video recording are quickly becoming the weapon of choice for everyone from a protestor, firearms owners that choose to openly carry, or anyone that feels they may need to keep others accountable. Here are a few that I have tested and use.
Let’s go over personal use or something that you could wear on your body. There is always your cell phone. Even if you don’t have the best smartphone out there I can’t think of any phone that is out right now that doesn’t have a camera or audio recorder of some sorts. This is a great way to protect yourself in a situation that you may have to prove your side of a conversation or actions. There are instances where I have read about law enforcement or another individual taking a cell phone and smashing or try to delete the data that could be used against them. There are several great apps that allow you to stream live and save remotely to the apps server. The one I have been using and testing is called Bambuser.
Bambuser is a free app that I use on my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that works pretty well. Depending on the amount of service that you are getting the picture could be a it grainy but it truly gets the job done. The audio is good and the video although choppy isn’t pixelated beyond the point where you couldn’t tell what was going on. Far from HD but the fact that the video is live streaming to Bambusers server is well worth it. If someone wants to take your SD card or break your phone it’s not going to prevent you from logging onto your account and retrieving that data and still be able to keep the video. For that reason I would highly recommend this app. Hey it’s free and it works well. I would give it a 7 out of 10.
Personal cameras are a great idea also. You can literally go on Amazon.com and find a set of sunglasses that have a micro camera built into the bridge of the glasses for under $20. For this reason alone it’s a great idea to check it out. They may not last very long maybe through the summer or a few months but the daytime recording is amazing and crisp HD. They usually support up to a 16gb micro SD card so you can get about 2 or 3 hours of recording time. The directions are not that easy, although anyone with a little common sense would be able to figure it out easily. I have gone through a few of them and don’t mind for the price to have a great little disposable camera, and the sunglasses aren’t too bad either.
I have another camera that I can carry on my person also. The manufacturer is Veho and the camera is the Muvi micro. This is another HD camera that records onto a micro SD card and is built fairly well. The version I got on Amazon.com was around $40 and came with a waterproof case which I have to admit protects the camera very well although it takes about 85% of your audio away because the mic is built on the camera hence sealed in the box. Other than that it’s a great little camera that I have hidden in my vehicle and I am able to access it should I get pulled over to ensure the person coming up to my window is seen by the camera. This was the best application that I can find for this camera. It also has a decent lens on it and can get a good view even through my tinted windows.
For inside my truck I also have a DOD600 dash cam mounted on the inside center of my windshield. This camera I bought used for next to nothing off some guy on Craigslist. Now I am having some issues with this camera and am trying to work it out BUT with that said it is actually a very nice camera when working properly. DOD does not make this model anymore and from what I can read the internal battery is the root of my issues. Just a matter of buying a $4 battery off Ebay and soldering it in the camera itself. This camera shows your GPS coordinates as well as your speed. This is a great way to record while you drive should you get pulled over, or get into a accident. There are a few newer models of this camera that I found online but they can range from $20-$500 depending on the maker and the rating. This camera also records on the micro SD card and has a loop feature that after a specified time it will erase the oldest recording and record over it. Definitely a handy feature. I would rate this camera a 8 out of 10 even with the current issues. Great idea to set and forget until you need it. It also has a great feature that you can mute the sound with the push of a button so you don’t have to record everything in the car.
Most recently I have installed and tested out the app called Autoguard. This is a great app that has a ton of features. It also utilizes the GPS on your phone to judge speed and puts on the screen your location also. It uses a G Shock sensor that is built into the phone to determine if you have been involved in a accident. This feature right now is useless because of all the potholes from the winter beating the roads take during the winter so I turned it off. The feature also will record for a specified amount of time and autosave to your device if you are involved in a accident and also has a special feature that will dial a number that you choose if you are in a accident and are not able to press the button to tell the phone you are ok. This would come in handy in case you were knocked unconscious in an accident.
Those are a few that I have personally owned and tested but the bottom line is to just do a little research and read the reviews on these products. Although most reviews are someone that may have a little issue that they could have worked out but rather decided to bash the company instead, there are some really cost effective and great ways to protect yourselves and your rights. Don’t forget also it is absolutely your right to record in public or to record the police. If they tell you different make sure your aiming that camera at them and get it on recording.