Do you need a peace regime but don’t know where to start? We have tested all the ultimate DIY security packages and professionally installed them to help you evaluate the best smart home security system for you.
The Internet of Things has made it easy to create smart homes where you can control door locks, lights, thermostats, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers and even pet feeders remotely using your smartphone and your software. This also makes it easy (and relatively affordable) to monitor our home from anywhere. The smartest security system is best for compatibility and comes as a do-it-yourself kit or as a comprehensive setup that includes professional installation and supervision.
Depending on your needs, you can use a self-monitoring system, or pay a subscription fee to monitor your home 24/7 by all the professionals who will contact the local fire department and police when the alarm goes off. You can even take advantage of monitoring services on demand when you go on vacation. Of course, the more coverage we provide, the more money you can expect to receive.
If you are not ready for a custom security system, there are plenty of personal devices available that allow you to monitor your home from anywhere with your phone or tablet, including indoor and outdoor security cameras, video doorbells, motion sensors, and smart locks.
Here’s what you need to know when deciding how to secure and monitor your home during your absence.
Simplify security and home automation
The smart home security system connects to your Wi-Fi network so you can monitor and control your security devices using your smartphone and software. Entry level systems typically include a number of door and window sensors, motion detectors, and hubs that connect to this device using one or more wireless protocols such as Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, Zigbee, or a private network. You can add additional door, motion, and window sensors to provide coverage for your entire residence and build a comprehensive system that includes door locks, garage door fronts, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, lights, sirens, smoke / carbon monoxide detectors, and water sensors … and nothing more.
A word on wireless protocols: In an ideal world, all home security components would use the same wireless standards to communicate with the main hub, but factors such as power requirements, signal coverage, price, and size make it nearly impossible to complete just one.
For example, smaller components such as door / window sensors often use Z-Wave or Zigbee technology because they do not require much power and can be powered by a smaller battery. It also operates in a network architecture and can help extend the range of network devices. However, none of the protocol consumes the bandwidth we get with Wi-Fi, which is why it is often used in security cameras to provide smooth video streaming, and in other equipment that requires large tubes. Additionally, Z-Wave and Zigbee equipment are connected and controlled using a hub, while Wi-Fi equipment can be connected directly to your home network and controlled using an app. Finally, Z-Wave and Zigbee equipment use AES 128 encryption, and because they operate in a closed system with a dedicated hub, they provide more security than Wi-Fi equipment.
Any smart security system is suitable for displaying components working together in a seamless environment and can be manipulated using special rules. For example, we can create rules for turning on lights when motion is detected, opening doors when a smoke alarm goes off, and having the camera start recording when the sensor is triggered. Some systems store the recorded videos locally on an SD card or solid state drive, while others provide cloud storage. Locally saved videos are a good option for working on your own with limited discretion, but you must be careful not to overwrite the videos you may need later. Cloud storage makes it easy to store and access recorded videos, but it can cost hundreds of dollars each year depending on your subscription. Some systems offer cloud storage and local storage,
All of the systems we tested are featured programs that allow you to use your smartphone as a command center to arm and disarm systems, create bases, upgrade and remove components, and receive push announcements when alarms are triggered. Most programs also allow you to do things like watch live and recorded videos, lock and unlock doors, work on thermostat settings, and mute alarms. Some software will also use cell phone carrier service to automatically arm and disarm the system according to your physical location. Often the more expensive systems come with wall-mounted panels that act as call centers, with a touch screen that lets you do whatever the app does. The screen allows us to communicate with professional monitoring services when the alarm is triggered and watch the video from the attached security camera.
DIY home security system
A “do-it-yourself” security setup is ideal for a relative buyer as it can save a lot of installation costs and subscription fees. Most DIY systems are easy to install and are marketed as kits that you can configure to suit your specific needs. As your needs grow, you can order additional sensors and other components at your convenience and attach to your system in minutes.
DIY platforms for beginners may support only one or two wireless protocols and often offer limited plug-in options, while more expensive DIY systems support a number of wireless protocols and are compatible with dozens of plug-ins. Some DIY systems are self-aware, which means you will receive a warning when operating the equipment, but it is up to you to contact local authorities in the event of a break-in or fire. However, DIY sellers are increasingly providing professional monitoring services.
Check out our picks for the best DIY smart home security system to learn more about DIY hubs, components, and monitoring options.
Professional home security system
While many systems use double-sided tape-attached wireless components, a number of loft classroom systems use components that require professional installation. These soup-to-bean systems often cost much more than DIY systems and provide 24/7 professional supervision, but you’ll likely have to sign a multi-year contract and pay a hefty downtime fee if you do. They often use touch screen hubs that contain RF, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and Z-Wave radios, enabling them to communicate and control many components including door and window sensors, door locks, broken glass detectors, indoor and outdoor cameras, and light switches. , Motion and water detectors, smoke / carbon monoxide alarms, thermostats, video doorbells, and a host of other home automation installations.
With a professionally monitored system, when a smoke or intrusion alarm is triggered, the agent will first try to reach you via a two-way control panel before calling our listed phone number. If you are unsuccessful, the agent will call 911 to send a compulsory respondent to your place of residence. The great thing about the professionally installed system is that you do not need to lift your finger; After placing your order, a technician will come to your home, arrange everything for you, and show you how the system works. It is important to ignore that in some areas you may have to provide permission to install a safety system at your place of residence.
Almost all modern DIY and overhead home peace systems offer voice control support that goes beyond Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and in some cases Apple Siri, which allows you to open doors and work through thermostat settings, open garage, and arm or disarm the system. Using spoken commands for connected devices such as smart speakers. Many also offer support for IFTTT (If This Then That) applets, which use triggers from web services and IFTTT-compliant tools to create actions. For example, we can create an applet that shows if a garage door has lights on.
How much does the security system cost per month?
Whether you decide to DIY or choose a professionally installed one, you’ll have to pay a monthly or yearly fee if you need to monitor, and in some cases, you’ll incur a monthly fee to pay it off. Cost of hardware components. With most DIY systems, like SimpliSafe Home Security Kit and Ring Alarm Security Kit, you can make hardware purchases in person and you can avoid the monthly fees if you decide to take care of yourself. If we add monitoring, the costs will vary: SimpliSafe charges $ 14.99 a month for a contractless monitoring service, for example.
Monitor professionally installed systems can be more expensive. We detail these prices in all of our reviews.
Can we use surveillance cameras?
If you live in a small apartment and want to monitor things when you are not at home, security camera can get the job done for far less than what we pay for a complete security system. Most independent security cameras are connected to the Wi-Fi network in your home so you can see what is happening from your phone or tablet, and most have built-in sensors that detect movement and sound and will send push and email notifications when the sensor is turned on. You can often set the camera’s motion sensitivity to ward off false alarms due to pet or vehicle traffic activity if the camera is around a window, and you can create a schedule that turns the sensors on and off at certain hours of the day.
Some of the more expensive cameras are equipped with humidity and temperature sensors and will interact with other connected home devices such as thermostats and smart lighting systems. If you’re looking to save money, look for an SD card slot camera that lets you record video when motion or sound is detected, but remember to save your footage as much as possible before overwriting it. Instead, find a camera that offers a cloud storage plan.
The outdoor camera is ideal for monitoring what is happening outside your home. These devices are weatherproof and often require a nearby GFCI port (ground fault circuit breaker) to supply power, although there are a number of battery-powered models. Like the indoor cameras, the outdoor cameras connect to our Wi-Fi network and allow us to watch live video from your phone. They are fairly easy to install, but if you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with electrical wiring, we may want to ask a professional electrician to do the job.
Most outdoor cameras provide motion detection with push and email ads, night vision and cloud storage for event-spotting videos, and some cameras double as spotlights or patio lights. Some models can even separate cars, animals, and people passing by. Look for outdoor cameras that integrate with other smart home devices like garage door fronts, outside sirens, and smart switches.
How about a video doorbell?
Video doorbells provide an easy technology to find out who is standing at your door without having to open or even approach the door. This device connects to our Wi-Fi network and sends you an alert when someone approaches your door. They will record video when the doorbell is pressed or when motion is detected, and they often provide two-way audio communication that allows you to speak to visitors from anywhere via your cell phone.
Most video doorbells use the enclosed doorbell wire (two low-voltage cables) that are fairly easy to install, but there are battery-powered models that can install in minutes. Some work with other smart equipment like door locks and sirens and support IFTTT and Alexa voice commands.
Look for a model that offers HD (1080p), wide angle lens (140 to 180 °), night vision coverage up to 25 feet, and achievable cloud storage for video recording. Sometimes it helps to be able to see what happens before or after a visitor approaches your door. Therefore, you need a doorbell that uses a pre-stand to record actions occurring before motion is detected or the doorbell is pressed.
What is the best smart lock?
A smart lock is usually an element of a solid smart home security setup, but you don’t have to invest in a complete system to use it. If you use a home automation hub to control things like lighting and thermostats, you can add a smart Z-Wave or Zigbee switch to your system without much effort. Alternatively, if you don’t have a home automation center, look for the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth switch that came with the cellular software itself. The smart lock uses a standard hole drilled and is easy to install. Some models use a pre-installed cylinder and strong locking devices attached to the inside of your door, while other models require you to remove the existing inner and outer protective cover and replace the strong lock and blow components.
Smart locks can be started and blocked using mobile phone software and will send notifications when someone closes or unlocks the door, and the majority allow you to create permanent and temporary access schedules for family members and colleagues according to certain hours of the day and day. Sunday. Features worth exploring include geo-positioning, which uses a phone holder service to lock and unlock doors, voice activation using Siri (HomeKit) voice commands, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa, IFTTT support, and integration with other smart home equipment such as bells. Video doors, outdoor cameras, thermostats, smoke alarms, and connected lighting.
There are many smart lock models to choose from, including a touchless lock without lock, touch screen lock, combination lock and touchpad lock, and a lock that you can unlock with a biometric fingerprint reader.
Can the home security system be hacked?
Like any product that connects to the Internet and uses wireless technology, smart home security systems are vulnerable to hacking, especially systems without encryption. Hackers can sit outside your home and use laptops and software to block the wireless signal coming from your system, enabling them to reduce alarms and deactivate the sensors. Other devices allow hackers to generate wireless noise that can interfere with communication between the sensor and the hub.
Additionally, Wi-Fi related equipment, such as security cameras and smart door locks, can be hacked to gain access to your home network. A skilled hacker can then use Wi-Fi devices and other network resources to operate a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against a larger network. Perhaps most disturbing is the idea of video surveillance of strangers from indoor and outdoor security cameras.
There are a number of steps you can take to make sure your home security system is safe from cyber intruders. For starters, replace the system default password with an attractive password that contains a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols. If possible, change your password from time to time. Additionally, make sure your home network is secure. Check the security settings on your wireless router, and consider a model that adds an extra layer of software protection, like Bitdefender Box 2.
Some security system vendors use frequency hopping technology to counteract signal interference, while others use built-in encryption, but there is no standard feature, so check with your manufacturer if you need an extra layer of security.
Plus, take a look at our camera logs to see when they were accessed. If we see camera activity at odd hours or when you know that no one is at home, this could be an indication that your system has been compromised. Finally, make sure that the system software and all connected devices are up to date. Firmware updates often solve security issues and can help protect your system from intrusion.