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From smart doorbells to your Nest thermostat, here are the best smart devices you can use to keep your home secure.
Smart Home Security Systems
Most people prefer to buy individual smart security devices. That way, you can buy exactly what you need. It’s also cheaper.
But for large homes, it’s more convenient to invest in a complete home security system rather than individual gadgets bought separately.
It also ensures that you buy devices that work seamlessly together to protect your home.
There are several companies that offer packaged home security systems. Some popular ones include ADT Pulse, Nest Secure and Abode.
The packages include devices like smart security cameras, motion detectors, smart locks and alarms. In most cases you’ll be given the option of picking out which devices you want to include in your package.
Many smart home security systems will often require a subscription which may include cellular backup services, cloud video backup and professional security monitoring. Subscription prices start at around $10 a month to around $50 monthly for packages with multiple smart gadgets and extra professional services.
Others like Nest Secure are subscription-free but you won’t enjoy ongoing support and monitoring (they are now offering that as a paid upgrade).
A smart video doorbell is one of the most basic home security devices. It allows you to see who’s at the door without having to open the door or use a peephole.
Smart doorbells start recording when the doorbell is pressed or when they detect motion near the doorway. You can view the video on your smartphone.
Some video doorbells will connect to your existing doorbell wiring, which makes installation super quick and easy. Some also come with battery backups.
One of the most popular smart doorbells is Ring. Other good options include Nest Hello and SkyBell.
Smart Door Locks
If you are going to get a video doorbell, you might as well pair it with a smart door lock. That way, you can see who’s at the door and let them in from wherever you are.
With a smart door lock, you can check whether the door is locked and remotely lock or unlock it from your phone.
You can also give temporary access to guests or the housekeeper.
Some smart door locks can use your existing door hardware while others require completely replacing the existing lock system.
Many smart door locks can be opened normally using a key (handy if there is no power/internet) while others provide physical access via a touchpad or a screen. Some can also be controlled via voice commands.
Some popular smart door locks include August Smart lock, Schlange Connect and Yale Assure.
Whatever your budget or security needs, a smart camera is a must-have for home security. It allows you to monitor your home wherever you are whether it’s the office or vacation.
If you live in an apartment, one indoor camera is enough. If you live in a large home, get one for the indoors and one or two for the exterior.
Smart cameras not only let you view a live feed of your home from anywhere, most are also equipped with image recognition software, motion and sound detectors, night vision and instant notifications.
Before buying a security camera, check whether it offers cloud video backup and whether it’s free (it’s most likely not). You can also opt for a smart camera that saves video to a local SD card which you can then view later (but you should still be able to see a live feed whenever you want).
Some of the best smart cameras include Canary Flex (outdoor), Logitech Circle 2 (outdoor) and Nest Cam Indoor.
Smart Smoke Detectors & Fire Alarms
Protecting your home is not just about keeping burglars away; you also need to watch out for other hazards like fires.
Smart smoke detectors will immediately notify you when they detect smoke, fire or carbon monoxide.
Others have an integrated camera or can connect to a smart camera to show you a live feed of what’s happening at home.
Others come with added features such as emergency calls, remote alarm switch off, room identification (tells you exactly where there is smoke) and phone notifications for battery replacement.
If you don’t want to replace your current smoke detectors, there are other alarms that detect when your smoke alarm goes off. They then alert you on your phone.
Some good smart smoke detectors and alarms include Nest Protect, First Alert and Leeo Smart Alert. See our smart smoke alarms buying guide for other recommendations.
Smart Outdoor Security Lights
Instead of the traditional flood light, get smart outdoor lights with motion detection, phone alerts and remote control.
Some smart security lights can even work with other home security systems for added security and convenience. E.g. they switch on when the doorbell is pressed or when the security camera starts recording.
Yes, the Nest thermostat is a smart WiFi thermostat, not a security device. But you can still use it to monitor your home using IFTTT.
This applet lets you set up automatic phone notifications when Nest’s motion sensors detect motion when the thermostat is in Away mode.
You can also use this applet to get a notification when the thermostat temperature goes above a certain point (which could indicate a fire).