If you have legal problems, it can be useful to be able to prove that something was said or not. Recording your phone calls is a reliable way to have proof on hand in case you ever need it. Read the steps below to learn how to record a phone call.
Method 1 of 6: Avoiding legal issues
Step 1. Make sure you're doing it legally
In the United States, as a private individual, you may record your telephone conversations with others, but many places require the consent of everyone involved. Without that permission, the recordings are of no use in a legal dispute and you can even get into trouble.
- In the Netherlands you are only allowed to use recorded conversations in limited cases.
- If you go drain, even more specific rules apply. You tap a telephone if you record the conversation without the callers' permission. Usually this may only be done by the police and/or security services.
Step 2. Be aware of the possible consequences
Recording your phone calls can be very useful, but it can also have unexpected consequences. Arm yourself with knowledge and play it safe.
- You can run into problems if you record a conversation without permission from both parties.
- Your friends and family may not appreciate it if they find out that you answer all your calls. It is better to attune this before you start with the people around you and stick to the limits of the proper.
- Depending on how public your own conversations are, you could be in trouble if your recordings fall into the wrong hands. Be sure that you are on the right track regarding your love life, your finances, and regarding whatever illegal activity you may have been discussing over your phone.
Method 2 of 6: Recording from a landline with an induction microphone
Step 1. Record with an induction microphone
These microphones are available at electronics and telephone stores and are usually attached to a suction cup that you attach to the handset.
Step 2. Connect a recording device
Plug the microphone into a computer, tape recorder or other device. A tape recorder or digital recording device has the advantage of being relatively small and portable, but a computer has the advantages of cataloging and organizing your conversations.
A good sound editing program for your computer is Audacity. Audacity is free, simple, and useful for cutting empty space at the end of a conversation. It can also convert the conversation files to various other audio formats. You can download Audacity here
Step 3. Install the microphone
Attach the microphone to the handset on the side of the receiver (the side you talk into). Test the microphone by talking into the phone and playing the audio recording on your input device.
If you're not sure if the suction cup will stay in place, use tape to secure the microphone and make sure your recording isn't interrupted
Step 4. Record your conversation
Turn on the induction microphone when you pick up the phone. Turn it off and stop recording when you're done.
Method 3 of 6: Recording from a landline using a direct recording
Step 1. Record your call with a device to which your phone is directly connected
These devices are connected to your phone, so you don't have to place anything on the phone itself.
Step 2. Set up the device
Connect your telephone to the correct input on your recorder, then connect the output of the recorder to the telephone socket in the wall, as if it were a regular telephone.
Locate the audio output cable from the recorder and connect it to your audio recording equipment. Some recorders already have the option to record the recording. Choose such a model if you want to save a step. Simpler models allow you to choose what kind of sound recorder to use, which may be more convenient for some people
Step 3. Activate the call recording device
Do this when the conversation starts and don't forget to start recording if you're using a separate sound recorder.
Some devices start automatically when a call comes in
Method 4 of 6: Recording from a cell phone with an earpiece
Step 1. Use an earpiece
These microphones are available in electronics and phone stores. Their main advantage is that they are small and unobtrusive.
Step 2. Wear the microphone
Wear it in the ear where you hold the phone so that sounds are picked up from the speaker when you pick up the phone.
Step 3. Plug in the microphone
Connect the phone to a portable recording device.
Pocket recorders are widely available in electronics and phone stores
Step 4. Record your conversation
Turn on your recording device when you get a phone call. The microphone is always on and sends the sounds it records to your recording device.
Method 5 of 6: Recording from a mobile phone software
Step 1. Use a software program to record your conversations
If you use a smartphone, there are programs available to record every phone call you have without any problem. While not all cell phone users have a smartphone, for those who do, this is the easiest way.
- Search the app store of your phone's operating system. Search for 'call recorders'. Most are free or cheap.
- Double check what you get. Read the description of the app developer to make sure this is what you want. Most call recording apps only work with certain phones or brands; others only work when the phone is on speakerphone. Find one that does what you want.
Step 2. Tap the "Install" or "Purchase" button to download and install the app
Make sure the app works correctly by recording a test conversation with a friend.
Step 3. Follow the app's instructions to record your conversations
If the app seems to be working fine but recording quality is low, check the internet for solutions. There are often ways to get around this kind of problem.
Method 6 of 6: Record without additional hardware or software
Step 1. Use cloud-based applications
Several cloud-based web portals allow you to record phone calls without the hassle of installing software or purchasing hardware.
Step 2. Most of these services use the 'Cloud-Bridge' technology
The service calls both outgoing and incoming numbers, hangs them together and records the call. The service is integrated in a telephone structure in the cloud. This means that providers can store conversations in the cloud and make them available to subscribers through personal portals.
Step 3. There are different providers
For example, www.recordator.com or www.saveyourcall.com. A full list can be found in this Wikipedia article.
Step 4. They can be used with any type of phone (landline or mobile)
All your conversations are made available by the providers via your personal dashboard and you can even download them.
Step 5. All these web applications use a subscription model
You first have to create a personal profile on their website and buy calling minutes from them. The costs (in America) are on average 10 to 25 cents per minute.
Step 6. Your caller will not be notified of the recording
You have to arrange the legal side yourself. So if you need permission from two parties, it is your responsibility to inform the caller that the call is being recorded.
- Adhere to the rules regarding permission. If you live in a country where consent from all parties is required before recording a conversation, make sure that this is arranged before you start. Just to be sure, ask the other party to repeat the permission one more time when the recording is running, because then you have recorded that too.
- As mentioned above, it is mainly illegal to wiretap a telephone (listen to the conversations of others without their knowledge). Police and security services are sometimes allowed to tap, but they too have to prove that the tap is useful and necessary. Only record your own conversations or conversations for which you have recorded permission.
- it is illegal to buy a scanner that can intercept phone calls. Record your conversations in a different way.