Your home is supposed to be like your own little paradise. A safe haven where you can lay your head, relax, and retreat from all the stresses and dangers of the outside world. Sadly, sometimes those dangers can encroach upon your property, and the only thing you can do is prepare beforehand.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to secure your home – inside and out – from potential dangers. There are so many gadgets, devices, and tools out there to help you do that. The real issue is deciding what you should be using. The last thing you need is to run into a problem and realize when it’s too late that you should have gone with a better, more efficient security system.
For example, there are hundreds – if not thousands – of different home surveillance systems, but they are not all made equal. Some are designed for outdoor use while others are only ideal for indoor use. Some can record and stream continuous video while others only work for short bursts of time. There are wireless systems that run on batteries, and then there are wired systems that take a great deal more work to install.
It’s possible to have any one of those systems installed and running in your home, yet still not catch important information – like what the intruders looked like – when something happens.
Those principles can be applied to a lot of different systems out there, not just surveillance equipment.
We’re going to take a look at five home security gadgets that will help you keep your home safe. All of these are modern, readily available, and fall into the “smart” spectrum of the market – which we feel offers more bang for your buck.
1. Brinno Digital PeepHole Viewer
While not technically a home security device in the traditional sense, the Brinno Digital PeepHole Viewer can still keep you safe. Depending on which model you choose, there’s a 3.5- to 5-inch LCD panel that shows you who’s on the other side of your door. All you have to do is press the button below the viewfinder and you’ll get a quick glimpse outside.
Why is this relevant? Because there’s no need to open your door wide for strangers to see who it is on the other side. For example, if someone knocks on your door late at night, you can quickly see who it is.
There’s a zoom function that will allow you to zoom in a bit if the person is standing some distance away, and it works just fine in low light conditions too, which again, is important if you need it during the night.
It runs on batteries, and there’s a low battery indicator when you need to swap them out. If you like the idea of a digital peephole, it will cost you about $90.
2. Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Multi-Sensor 6
If you already have a home automation system in place, then the Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Multi-Sensor 6 might be the security gadget for you. As is noted in the name, the Aeotec sensor includes support for Z-Wave standards which means you can use it with any compatible device like the Wink Hub, Nest smart thermostat, and more.
Instead of dealing with a live video feed, audible alarms, and more advanced stuff, the Aeotec sensor keeps things pretty simple. There is a total of 6 sensors inside, including one to detect motion, temperature, light, humidity, vibrations, and UV levels.
It can be used both indoors and outdoors and will measure all the appropriate data from wherever you install it. With it, you can watch for a variety of environment changes inside your home and get alerts right on your connected smartphone.
It will cost about $50 for one sensor.
3. Oplink Connected Alarm Shield
If you want the whole caboodle, you might want to go with the Oplink Connected Alarm Shield. It comes with just about everything you need to set up a complete home security system including motion sensors, door and window sensors, remote controls, and an emergency alert siren.
Once it’s all setup you can arm and disarm the system via your smartphone, and monitor incoming alerts too. If you just want the security system to alert you or your family about an intruder, you can use it without any subscription fees. If you’d rather upgrade to a premium monitoring service, with emergency services dialing automated, then you can do that too.
The whole system will set you back about $150 – or more depending on the bundle you choose – and it’s not difficult to setup and install.
4. Home-monitoring system like Piper or Canary
Because they all differ when it comes to extra functionality, we’re just going to talk about the basics here. Most of them include an HD camera that can be used to stream video feeds to your smartphone or home computer. They’re equipped with a bevy of sensors to detect when something isn’t right and can even send you notifications if they detect a stranger in your home.
The Netatmo Welcome, for example, uses facial recognition software to detect members of your family and regular house visitors thanks to face tagging. When someone it doesn’t recognize enters the home and its area of view, it will alert the homeowner immediately via their smartphone.
Many of them can even be paired with door and motion sensors for added security.
If you have Nest or another connected home device, you may be able to sync up your security system with it too.
Again, because there are multiple platforms discussed, prices will vary. Some alternatives to the Piper and Canary include:
- Netatmo Welcome
- Google Nest Cam
- Netgear Arlo Smart Home
5. The iSmartAlarm Kit
As the name suggests, the iSmartAlarm kit is a home security system that you can control via your smartphone. What makes it so appealing is that it’s comprehensive in terms of what you can do with it, and fully customizable. You can purchase compatible cameras, motion and contact sensors, smart switches, door alarms, and more. Essentially, you just purchase the equipment you want to have available in your home, sync it all up and go.
There are no monthly fees or service charges like you’d see through companies such as ADT, and you’re not obligated to buy all the available equipment.
Of course, what you can do with the system is largely going to depend on what gear you install so your mileage may vary. If you wanted, you could configure the system to let you know any time members of your family enter the home – or leave – thanks to smart tags, like key fobs.
The system is designed to work with both iOS and Android handsets and comes with a central hub called the CubeOne which is what you’ll connect everything to.
The deluxe package with everything is $249.95, but you can also get cheaper bundles if you have a smaller home. Or, you can mix and match and purchase the equipment separately to make your own custom system.