November 7, 2015
Home security systems used to be really complicated. If you wanted the peace of mind that went along with motion sensors, a lawn sign and quick access to police, you had to be willing to pay a premium and often an accompanying monthly subscription. It took a lot of effort and money to protect your items — and sometimes a few headaches, too.
As connected device technology has evolved, so has the outlook for home security systems. Homeowners and renters alike can now choose the best home security options based on exactly what they want to monitor and at a price point they can afford. Most of these systems are connected to cloud-based apps, making it possible for their owners to check in on things from any place that has an internet connection. It seems that home security is finally making its way to the masses in the form of smart technology and cloud storage.
Benefits of Smart Home Security Systems
If you haven’t looked into home security for a few years, you’ve missed a lot. There have been so many advancements making these systems more user-friendly and accessible than ever before. Let’s take a closer look at these new trends in mobile home security technology and what consumers should look for when buying.
Simplicity Is Key
Today’s smart home security systems are so easy to install and use that any consumer can do it. Most smart home security systems can be setup and functioning in under a half hour. There is no need to hire a technician, make an appointment, or call someone to come help when a home security system in malfunctioning. Users can generally figure out what they need to do, or call customer service for an answer.
More Than Security
The name may be a little misleading because these intuitive devices go well beyond the traditional functions of home security systems. The compact Canary device includes predictable features like a video camera but also includes carbon monoxide detection, humidity monitors and air quality sensors. These “security systems” keep you informed on a wide variety of things happening in your house. The data you receive back can help you run a safer, more efficient home — and keep it more comfortable too.
Really Smart Security
You can program smart security systems to perform tasks at certain times — but most also come with intuitive systems that adjust based on your behaviors. So an alert that normally sounds when the front door opens may stop going off after a few days of the door opening at the same time (the system assumes it is you returning home from work, or coming/going in the typical course of your day). Smart home security systems don’t just do automatic tasks; they predict what you may want to know, deciphering what is unusual for your home and what is typical.
Forget the boxy, plastic security system hardware of the past. Today’s smart systems are sleek, sophisticated and incredibly unassuming. Most fit right on a kitchen counter or desk. The installation is sometimes as easy as setting the device on an end table or adhere it to a wall. You never have to worry that it won’t go with your design aesthetic.
Some contemporary home security systems are not just about business; they are fun too. The Control4 OS 2.8, for example, has built-in music streaming capabilities. You can listen to music all throughout your home and control it from your tablet or phone. These home security systems integrate the best of safety features but tap into the other popular functions of smart devices.
Play It Again Options
Having cloud storage means that you can look over the history surrounding your home security system to look for patterns, or just as a refresher. Whether you want to review suspicious activity or just look over day-to-day actions, it’s easy with smart home security systems. Some models even offer searchable interfaces which make it easier to find what you are looking for based on time, date or area of the incident.
What Kind of Smart Home Security System Should I Buy?
All of the options for smart home devices can feel overwhelming but there are some questions you can ask yourself before heading online or to the store to shop.
What Do I Want to Spend?
This is always the hardest question to answer. No one wants to spend more than they need to — but if you are going to spend the money at all on a smart home security system, you should get one with the features you need and want. Remember that if you are replacing a traditional home security system with a smart one, you will likely save money long term. Most smart home security devices have an upfront cost that can be as low as $99, and some have an app download fee. Still, if you are used to paying for a subscription home security system the upfront cost of a smart program will seem very low.
Do I Want More Than Just Home Security Features?
Don’t let the name fool you. These smart “home security” systems can do so much more. Some models allow for streaming music, others can communicate with your thermostat to adjust the temperature of your home based on family routines. There are options that come with video surveillance, and others that remind you when it’s time for home maintenance tasks, like replacing the air conditioning filter. Take the time to shop around a bit — you may be surprised at some of the intuitive options that come with these smart systems.
Do I Want Mobile Features?
Many smart home security systems have the option to observe what is happening at your home, either through video or just plain analytics, from anywhere with an internet connection. Not every smart system features this so if it is something you really want, be sure to check on that capability before buying.
If the commitment and expense of traditional home security systems have kept you from installing one, you should look into smart options. They will save you money upfront over more traditional home security routes and could potentially save you much more in the protection of your valuable belongings.
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