Legally Monitor your Airbnb with cheap Sensr.net security cameras
We’ve been renting our place on Airbnb for about a year now and it’s been great to have Sensr.net cameras monitoring our place while we aren’t there. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t have cameras inside the private spaces of our home, we have exterior cameras that monitor the approaches to the house. Think Driveway Camera and Front Door Camera, etc. We only monitor the public spaces around our home, with one exception: owner only spaces.
Don’t Go There
When we rent our home on Airbnb we close off a handful of rooms, like the home office, garage, and basement storage rooms. We do have cameras in these spaces, where we don’t allow the Airbnb guest to go. These cameras are behind locked doors and should never record the guests unless they have picked the locks to get into the rooms.
External cameras are great in letting you know when or if the guest arrived and if the correct number of guests arrived. Our home has a strict ‘no parties’ rule. We have found this violated a couple of times and it was obvious from the cameras that more than the max 8 guests were staying at the home.
We share a driveway with our neighbors, and we make it very clear to our Airbnb guests that they are not to use the driveway. This didn’t really work the first few times, but after we added You will be fined for using the driveway to the directions with an additional The driveway is monitor by security cameras this problem went away.
Adding external cameras can be more difficult than adding an internal wifi camera. There are lots of great solutions, and if you can run a wire to the location where you want the camera, a POE (Power Over Ethernet) camera can be a great solution. You only need to run one wire but you need a special router that can also send power. If you live in a temperate climate, you might try this cheap camera cover solution.
Internal cameras are pretty easy to setup and there are thousands of models to choose from. Generally these are cheap and work with your wifi. You only need a power outlet and access to your wifi. Lately I’ve been using Tenvis PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras. I use their live viewing app to view the camera and change it’s positioning. I use Sensr.net for recording, alerts, and sharing.
Share the Fun
We have a friend who keeps an eye on our home when we aren’t around. With Sensr.net it’s easy to give him access to the exterior cameras. When you have a camera on Sensr.net, you can give other’s guest access to those cameras. He helps out when we’re not around and manages the cleaning crew.
With Sensr.net you can use almost any camera. If your camera can upload JPEG images with FTP (like 98% of all security cameras), then it will work with Sensr.net. We don’t sell cameras, so we’re _camera agnostic. _You could even make your own camera with a Raspberry Pi and a USB cam and it would work with Sensr.net.
With Sensr.net not only do we record in the cloud, but we can send you alerts when we detect motion. This works great for the owner only spaces. If you have a camera setup in your private space, you’ll appreciate a SMS or email when something starts moving around in there!
If you’re an Airbnb host, you can give this a try for free. If you’re not an Airbnb host, you can try it out too! We have a one week free trial. Grab a camera and give it a try.
Warning: setting up an IP camera can be a bit complex. If you’re comfortable setting up a wifi router, then you’ll probably be fine. One big advantage to using Sensr.net is that you don’t need to do any port forwarding or complex firewall rules, so it’s a bit easier than you might expect if you’ve tried this kind of thing in the past. If you get stuck, just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you a hand.