Guide to Smart Home Security Devices & Systems
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Between intricate passwords and face recognition, everyone wants to make sure their belongings are secure. Your home should be just as safe as the password to your bank account app or Wi-Fi. Smart home security brings an extra layer of protection to your loved ones.
Lock your back door from an app on your phone or monitor who is coming to your front door with a motion sensor camera. There are plenty of options for keeping your home safe. Optimum has put together a guide to make sure you know all of your options and capabilities for smart home security.
Smart Home Cameras
When you hear a mysterious sound in the night, your first instinct is to jump out of bed with a baseball bat to see what's there. Home security cameras give you the ability to see exactly what's happening inside and outside of your home! No baseball bat needed.
Home cameras work with Wi-Fi to connect with your home network. They can also work with ethernet, Bluetooth, or Z-Wave hubs. The cameras capture anything that triggers the motion sensor. For an extra layer of security, you can have a sound sensor too. You'll then receive notifications of any activity to your phone's app or automation hub.
Smart security cameras can be set up inside and outside of your home. Even if you only catch someone sneaking downstairs for an extra slice of cake, you'll have it all on camera. Cameras outside of your house will grab whatever motion or sound activity happens in your area. They are built to handle inclement weather, so your footage during a rainstorm will be as clear as any other starry night.
Here’s a breakdown of some popular indoor and outdoor cameras models:
- Alro Ultra - Outdoor (starts at $499.99)
- Ring Spotlight Cam Battery with Echo Show 5 - Outdoor (starts at $219.99)
- Wyze Cam - Outdoor (starts at $46.98)
- SimCam 1S AI Home Camera - Indoor (starts at $99.00)
- Google Nest Cam - Indoor (starts at $129.99)
- Ring Indoor Cam - Indoor (starts at $59.99)
Smart doorbells go above and beyond the standard, old-fashioned doorbells. They can make the ringing sound and monitor who is at your door. They are often the first line of defense against home invaders, porch pirates, and the unwanted solicitor for your house.
Smart doorbells use a Wi-Fi signal to live stream what is happening outside of your front door. These doorbells can record movement that happens outside. Whether it be a car driving by or a package being delivered, you can set up notifications to see exactly what is happening at the moment. It will also record the live stream feed so you can review and save any footage as needed.
Something you need to consider when you're purchasing a smart doorbell is whether you want a wireless versus wired setup! While there is not much of a difference between their capabilities, it does make a difference during installation:
- Wired doorbells - While these are more difficult to initially install since they often require rewiring, they don’t require you to change its batteries.
- Wireless doorbells - These doorbells are easy to install since they do not need rewiring work. However, batteries may deplete quickly and require changing after 2-6 months, depending on your weather.
You might be thinking, ‘what if I live in an apartment but still want to check who is outside my door?’ Don’t worry! The Peephole Cam from Ring is the device for you. Complete with two-way talking and a removable, rechargeable battery pack.
Here’s a breakdown of some popular wired and wireless doorbell models:
- Google Nest Hello - Wired (starts at $299.99)
- Arlo Video Doorbell - Wired (starts at $149.99)
- Ring Video Doorbell 2nd Generation - Wired & Wireless ($99.99)
- Eufy Video Doorbell - Wireless (starts at $99.99)
- Ring Peephole Cam - Wireless (starts at $129.99)
- Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell - Wireless (starts at $68.95)
Picture this: you're in bed, drifting off to sleep and then your eyes shoot open, 'Did I lock the door?' The minor inconvenience of getting out of bed after you've gotten yourself comfortable feels very major. But, with a smart lock, you can have the option to use your phone to make sure the doors are locked no matter where you are.
Smart locks work with or without a home security system or an automation hub (a central smart technological system that monitors different parts of the home such as lights, thermostat, etc.). If you do not have an automation hub, you can find a smart lock that works with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and control it through a mobile app. A lot of smart locks are also compatible with your other smart technology like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. With these add ons, all you just need to do is shout, “Alexa, lock the front door,” and you’re set!
With smart locks, you can receive notifications when the door locks or unlocks and you can set schedules (temporary or permanent) to lock and unlock the doors at certain times throughout the day. For example, if the kids get out of school before you get home from work, you can schedule for the door to unlock when they get off the school bus and lock when they are home. Some smart locks also have multiple access abilities: fingerprinted activated and touchscreen. You have the option to pick which of these varieties works best for you and everyone in your home.
Here’s a list of some popular smart lock models:
- Nest X Yale Lock with Nest Connect - Starts at $286.00
- Kwikset Halo 939WiFiTSCR - Starts at $221.74
- Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro + Wi-Fi Bridge - Starts at $199.00
- Eufy Smart Lock Touch - Starts at $169.99
- August Smart Lock Pro AUG-SL-CON - Starts at $129.99
- Wyze Lock WLCKG1 - Starts at $107.98
Smart Alarm Systems
La pièce de résistance, alarm systems!
Having an alarm system is like a nice security blanket over the whole home. While it’s scary to think about, in the unfortunate event that someone breaks into your home alarms set off a signal and contact the police immediately. The system will also give you a call, to double-check who set off the alarm and to ensure your safety. With the ADT alarm, you can set up a “safe word” with the company. This allows the company to verify who is on the line and whether or not you need help.
When installing smart alarm systems, you have the option to apply sensors to different parts of your home. Sensors for the main doors and windows are recommended and you can have a motion sensor inside your home as well. Just in case someone is inside your home while you're away, the inside motion sensor will set off the alarm and call the police.
Smart home security systems have moved the needle forward. They put the security back into your hands. No more monthly contracts. Once you've set up yourself, you are all good to go.
Here’s a list of some popular traditional and DIY smart alarm systems:
- Ring Alarm 2nd Generation - DIY (starts at $200.00)
- Abode Home Security Kit - DIY (starts at $220.00)
- SimpliSafe - DIY (starts at $250.00)
- Frontpoint - DIY (starts at $49.99 per month)
- Vivint - Traditional (starts at $29.99 per month)
- ADT - Traditional (starts at $62.99 per month)
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