Gone are the days of protecting your home with old-fashioned home security systems, shelling out money to have a company do the work for you. Now you can use smart home security devices to protect your home.
As their name suggests, they have an intelligence and ease of access that older systems can’t match. Devices like smart locks, video doorbells, and security cameras connect to the internet, allowing you to view camera feeds, alarm notifications, door locks, access logs, and more. . via the provider’s mobile application.
The demand for these devices continues to grow. Half of households now own at least one smart home device, with security systems being the most popular segment. Our guide covers some of the most innovative security devices available, some of the benefits of using them, and things to consider before buying them.
How do smart home security systems work?
Smart home security systems connect to the Internet through your home’s Wi-Fi connection. And you use your provider’s mobile app to access your security tools via your smartphone, tablet or computer. This allows you to create specialized settings, such as setting temporary codes for door access.
Plus, innovations have come a long way to provide you with enhanced protection. Doorbell cameras are now equipped with facial recognition software. The cameras have smart detection capabilities that can send an alert to your phone.
“Many modern security systems can now integrate with other smart devices in your homes, such as thermostats and door locks,” says Jeremy Clifford, CEO and Founder of Router CTRL. For example, you can program the lights to turn on when you arrive home and program other measures to ensure your safety.
Types of smart home devices
Here are some of the smart home security gadgets you can buy to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Cost: $250 to $400
Smart locks control your home’s primary access point, whether you’re there, across town, or multi-state. Some models come with Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to use the manufacturer’s app to unlock and lock your door instead of fumbling with keys. They also have an activity log, letting you see who’s coming and when they’re leaving – a must, for example, if you have a pet sitter or are waiting for your child to come home from school. You can assign temporary codes for babysitters, guests, and contractors.
Cost: Price from $24.99 and up
Video doorbells let you know when someone is at your door. You’ll get a notification to access the doorbell camera to see who it is and grant them access (if you have a smart lock). Some products come with audio and video, giving you the ability to speak to the person at your door. Most models come with video storage (you may need a paid subscription depending on the manufacturer and how much storage you need), and newer ones have facial recognition software . More importantly, a video doorbell could reduce the risk of someone trying to steal your packages or break in, if they can see the camera.
Home Security Cameras
Cost: $60 and up
Home security cameras provide a fresh set of eyes when you’re away. They send you notifications when they detect motion. Some feature night vision capabilities, providing clear images of who or what triggers the camera sensor. And the improvement on the image resolution side means that some cameras have the view and the strength to capture the license plates of passing cars or facial recognition. Either way, “these sensors can detect the slightest movement, which can help deter intruders before they cause damage,” says Clifford. Some cameras, like the Wyze Cam, even come with a micro-SD slot for local video storage and can alert you when your smoke detector activates.
Cost: From $100
“One of the security devices that I wish I had seen more popular is a pool alarm,” says Leonard Ang, CEO of iPropertyManagement. “No other safety gadget has a better chance of saving the life of your child, your pet or your neighbor. These alarms go off whenever there is enough splash in your pool to move the sensor, which floats on the surface. You can also install front door alarms. When the sensor detects movement, it triggers an alarm. These work a little less than surface pools, with costs to starting at around $33.
Home Security/Monitoring Systems
Cost: From $60 (monitoring systems have monthly fees)
Home security systems consist of a camera, motion sensor, and basic device (including a router in Wyze’s case). You can customize the equipment to suit your needs, adding more cameras for large construction sites, a video doorbell, more motion sensors for windows (these can detect and report glass breakage) and even carbon monoxide. Plus, since it’s all from one manufacturer, they work in tandem, letting you access camera feeds, a video doorbell, smart locks and more from a single mobile app. More importantly, you can add monitoring services, which contact first responders in the event of an emergency.
Benefits of smart home security devices
There are benefits you gain with these products, such as:
- Convenience: You can access door activity logs, lock doors, and view camera feeds from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Installation is simple, especially for wire-free cameras, and if you need help, your provider may offer installation services or handy tools to help you.
- Cheaper: Your insurer could reward you for installing home security equipment. You get up to 15% discount on your home insurance policy, with preference given to multiple security features and 24/7 monitoring.
- Deterrent: Homes without smart security features are three times more likely to have a burglary attempt.
Disadvantages of smart home security devices
Using these devices also presents some challenges:
- Lack of compatibility: If you buy security devices from more than one company, they may not be compatible. This means you might need multiple apps instead of one to control all of your gadgets.
- Price: Security equipment can be expensive, and smart versions can be more expensive than their conventional counterparts. Factor in installation costs, the average cost being $1,327, and monitoring fees, which can range from $20 to $50 per month, and it’s an expensive undertaking.
- Device issues: If you have a corded device and your home loses power, you may lose access to these security features unless you have a backup battery. And if you have a Wi-Fi enabled device, the same is true if you experience an internet service outage.
Final Word on Smart Home Security Systems
Smart home security devices have many tools to keep your home safe. You can get a great discount from your insurer and keep thieves at bay by installing them. While they offer a litany of benefits, be aware of the costs associated with equipment, installation, and monitoring. Also, to avoid needing an avalanche of new apps, try pairing compatible devices. This way you can control the system via a central hub or via a voice assistant.