No matter where you live, you want to feel safe.
Protecting your home, your valuables and most importantly your family is a high priority for many people. It can be difficult to have that feeling of safety without a level of control, though. If there is no one in your home during the day, it becomes that much easier for a robber to break in. In this case, automated home security can help you stay safe and maintain peace of mind.
There are several types of automated home security devices you can buy. Some are all-in-one home security kits that wrap it all into one package. You will learn about them in this article.
There are three major types of smart cameras available:
- Indoor cameras
- Outdoor cameras
- Doorbell cameras
Free smart camera apps can be the best place to start, as they allow you to use Apple or Android product you already have to give you a good idea of what it is like to have a camera set up in your home. These camera apps function best indoors, as that allows whatever device you use to be protected from weather conditions, but with proper placement, they can also be used outside.
The two most prominent free smart camera apps are Manything and Salient Eye. Your choice of which one to use will largely be determined by which device you already have. Manything works with iOS devices, whereas Salient Eye works with Android devices. Manything essentially functions as a recording device and a webcam, allowing you to view your home from a second iOS device and saving the video it takes. It will then send you an email if motion is detected. Salient Eye is a bit simpler, not allowing you to view a livestream of the camera. It records everything it views, but its biggest difference is its alarm. If it detects motion, it will notify you and set off a loud alarm. The only way to deactivate this alarm is to enter your code into the device. The Salient Eye may not be best for individuals who have pets, but it works well as a deterrent.
If you are willing to spend money on an indoor camera, the two best products are Piper NV and Homeboy. Piper NV is the higher-end model, offering a built-in klaxon, a 180-degree range of sight and customizable alert capabilities. With a cost of $280, it is the pricier of the two options, but it offers all of those features plus high-definition streaming capability. The Homeboy is a cheaper camera, costing only $150, and its features are less impressive: it does not live stream its feed, and its video is only standard definition. However, it does have a klaxon to scare off intruders, and the alarm can be disabled merely by getting your phone in close range of it.
The two best outdoor cameras are Netgear’s Arlo Pro and Canary Flex. Arlo Pro is a 130-degree camera that stores its video for seven days. It has a klaxon to deter intruders, and it also allows you to speak through or listen with the camera. Its biggest advantage is its battery life, though: you only need to charge the camera twice a year. Costing a little less than $200, it is not significantly more expensive than the Canary Flex. At $148.99, the Canary Flex is a simpler camera designed to work in a variety of situations. It only has a 116 degree range of vision, but it works inside or outside, plus it can see in the dark.
The two best doorbell cameras are Skybell and Ring. Both offer a 180-degree range of vision, all presented with HD clarity. Their biggest differences are price and recording capability. Skybell costs $159 and offers live streaming capabilities. Ring, on the other hand, is only $99. Unfortunately, there are occasionally problems with the video, which can be a serious issue, if you want to record an intruder, only to find that the camera is not currently working.
The biggest benefit a smart lock provides to your home security is helping to prevent human error. If it is late at night and you are not sure you have locked your door, or if you rushed to get to work and wonder if you forgot to keep your home safe, a smart lock allows you to check and see when your door is locked, no matter where you are.
There are two major types of smart locks on the market today. They are:
- Smart locks that are designed to completely replace your old lock
- Smart locks that are designed to work with your old lock
The August Smart Lock is the best-rated lock that is designed to work with your traditional lock. It can also coordinate with most major home automation platforms, and because you do not have to replace your whole lock, it is relatively easy to install. It costs $169.99.
The Schlage Sense is the best-rated lock that completely replaces your old lock. Installation can be a bit more difficult, and at $199 it is a bit more expensive. However, its lock can be opened simply by touch, adding to its level of convenience.
Automated Security Kits
If you have a big house or you want a robust security system, some companies offer an automated security kit, which means full suites of their products are bundled together. The two best kits are iSmartAlarm and Abode. iSmartAlarm’s costs $445. The company will monitor your home for intruders for $20 a month. Abode costs $450 a month, and they will monitor your home for $30 a month.
iSmartAlarm’s biggest advantage is that it is designed to continue running even if the power goes out. On the other hand, Abode is able to function with all the major smart home platforms, while iSmartAlarm is not compatible with Nest or Alexa.