Smart Home Security Guide

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If there’s one area of the home that’s benefited the most from smart technology, it’s in security.

Smart security devices have come a long way in the past few years to become incredibly sophisticated pieces of kit.

From smart locks to security cameras to video doorbells to fully integrated security systems, there are a huge number of products in the smart security market.

Here, we’ve rounded up the very best products that are proven to keep your home safe and give you peace of mind — whether you’re home or away.

Let’s take it away…

Full Security Systems

What constitutes a full security system?

Well, obviously, the exact components will vary from product to product, but generally you can expect a kit that contains at least one smart security camera and an alarm.

Arlo Pro Security System

best smart alarm
The Arlo Pro Security System is probably the number one security system for smart homes in America right now.

It’s very reasonably priced while also being reliable and easy to use — any home will benefit from it.

Its popularity lies in its simplicity: a top notch, smart camera combined with a siren.

Here are the features you can expect in an Arlo Pro:

  • Can be controlled by Amazon Alexa — great news for Echo users!
  • 100% wire free — super easy to install wherever you want in your home
  • HD camera equipped with 2-way audio and night vision
  • It’s weatherproof so can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Comes with a rechargeable battery
  • You can store footage for free for up to 7 days on the Cloud
  • Available in kits with 1 camera, up to 6
  • 100+ decibel siren
  • Camera has 130° wide angle lens
  • You can watch a live stream of footage, or earlier recorded footage

smart security camera

Canary All-In-One Home Security Device

best smart security camera
If you’re looking for an all-in-one smart security device on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the brilliant Canary.

Just like the Arlo Pro above, the Canary is simple: just a HD camera with a siren.

The difference is that the Canary really takes advantage of integrative smart technology: it also boasts HomeHealth Technology to monitor your home environment.

Why it’s cheaper than the Arlo Pro is that it’s an in-house device and won’t be recording all the time: it’s motion activated.

Here’s what it’s got on offer:

  • 1080p HD Camera with a 147° wide lens
  • Camera also has 2-way audio and automatic night vision
  • 90+ decibel siren
  • Video recording is motion activated with automatic arm/disarm
  • Provides instant access to local authorities in event of a break-in
  • HomeHealth Technology monitors air quality, temperature and humidity in the home
  • Sends you instant alerts on your smart phone
  • Just plug it in and connect to the internet — easy installation!
  • You can view the live stream or recorded video from anywhere on the app
  • Can store videos for up to 24 hours on the Cloud for free

smart security camera

Samsung SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit

samsung smarttings review
The home monitoring kit from SmartThings doesn’t come with a camera like the other products we’ve included, but there’s certainly nothing stopping you buying a compatible one and linking it up to the Samsung SmartThings hub.

This kit includes the following:

  1. Samsung SmartThings hub
  2. 2 x Samsung SmartThings multipurpose sensors
  3. Samsung SmartThings motion sensor
  4. Samsung SmartThings outlet

If you’re keen to kit out your home with the Samsung SmartThings system, this could well be the best security solution for you.

The motion and multipurpose sensors, together with the integrated app, will allow you to create secure areas within your home and put you in line for instant alerts whenever there’s unexpected entry or motion.

One of the best things about SmartThings is how integrative it is: many smart home devices are compatible and you can easily use this kit (and the hub in particular) to set up the rest of your smart home.

smart security camera

SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security Command Bravo

best smart home security
The SimpliSafe doesn’t come cheap, but we’re sure that this is one of the most sophisticated and advanced smart home security systems on the market right now.

It truly is a total solution to home security.

There are 4 different kits available, all of which come with a base station, keypad, motion sensor that detects motion within 30 feet in a 90° field of vision, and entry sensor.

  • Command Alpha also comes with a keychain remote
  • Command Bravo also comes with a keychain remote and a total of 4 entry sensors
  • Command Delta also comes with an auxiliary siren, 2 keychain remotes, 2 motion sensors and a total of 6 entry sensors
  • Command Echo has everything that Command Delta has, in addition to a glassbreak sensor, smoke alarm and panic button

Installation is easy thanks to the wireless set-up and also on offer is 24/7 professional monitoring with police dispatch. There is no long-term contract for the latter, but instead a $14.99 month-to-month payment.

You can also monitor your home safety on your smart phone live, and with text/email alerts.

smart security camera

OXA Smart Wifi Home and Business Security Alarm System

cheap smart security
At the low cost end of smart security, the OXA wireless sensor alarm system is growing fast in popularity.

It may not have the bells and whistles of some of these products, but it’s a great item to buy for people on a budget or who are looking to upgrade their traditional security systems.

Essentially, it’s a smart doorbell kit that’s equipped with a unique sensor integration feature that can detect motion in all directions. As soon as the sensor detects motion, the included smart hub will immediately start recording and will notify you, the owner, on the integrated app.

Also included is a security siren of 80 decibels.

It’s a plug-and-play, easy to install device that can even be controlled with Amazon Alexa.

Here’s what comes in the box:

  • Smart WiFi hub
  • Door/window contact sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • Remote controller
  • Waterproof doorbell button/panic button
  • User manual

smart security camera

Smart Security cameras

Security cameras are the mainstay of a good smart home security solution.

As we’ve found out, there are literally hundreds of them on the market — it can be tough to work out which is best for you and your home.

We’ve chosen 6 of the best smart security cameras that we think will work well in most homes, across a range of budgets. Remember to let us know in the comments if we’ve missed a good one out!

Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera

nest outdoor security camera review
Nest are well known in the smart home device market for creating high quality, easy to use, smart products.

This outdoor security camera is no different — there’s no surprise why it’s so damn popular. Plus, it can be integrated with Amazon Alexa!

Let’s take a look at its best features:

  • 1080p HD camera with 130° wide angle, all glass lens
  • 24/7 live video
  • Can send phone alert with photo if it detects outdoor activity
  • Camera, cable and adapter are weatherproof
  • Built-in speaker and microphone makes for 2-way audio
  • Either plug into outdoor outlet or stick to magnetic surface
  • Available in 1 or 2 pack
  • You can review activity photos for free for 3 hours
  • Nest Aware subscription comes with additional benefits, including 24/7 continuous Cloud recording, person alerts, activity zones, and Cloud storage.

smart security camera

Netatmo Welcome Security Camera

best smart security camera
The Netatmo Welcome is one of our favorite security cameras thanks to its brilliant face recognition software.

The camera will send the names of the faces it recognizes as an alert to your smartphone, and you can even disable video recording and notifications for individuals that it recognizes.

Live streaming and recorded videos can be watched on all your devices for free, and videos are stored privately on a local, micro SD card. Bank-level encryption is in place for utmost home protection.

Here are the details for the camera itself:

  • 1080p HD camera
  • Extra large 2 micron pixel resolution
  • 130° field of vision
  • High-powered infrared LED for superior night vision

smart security camera

Zmodo Smart Wireless Security Camera System

zmododo security camera system review

Competing with the Nest above for most popular smart security camera system is Zmodo. As a bonus, it’s also relatively cheap.

This 4-pack of cameras really has everything you need when it comes down to home security:

  • 720p HD camera
  • Equipped with IR night vision
  • Weatherproof so can be installed indoors and outdoors
  • Video can be streamed remotely on the Zmodo pp
  • It will send you alerts when motion is detected inside motion detection zones
  • You can playback motion videos on the Cloud for free for 36 hours
  • Paid cloud recording plans are available too

smart security camera

Funlux Smart Home WiFi IP Security Camera System

best home security camera

The Funlux 3-pack wireless smart home cameras are another low cost product to consider if you’re on a budget.

Again, while they don’t have the jazzy bells and whistles of the more premium products available, they certainly get the job done and are the ideal choice for people on a budget.

Please note that these babies aren’t weatherproof, however, and are only really for use indoors. At this price, that might be a compromise worth making.

Here’s what’s on offer:

  • 720p HD camera with 115° wide angle lens
  • Camera has 2-way audio and motion detection
  • Push alerts to your smart phone let you know when motion is detected
  • Easy installation, plug-and-play configuration
  • Infrared night vision
  • Can record continuously 24/7, with live video streaming
  • You can watch playbacks on the Cloud – storage plans are available
  • Equipped with bank-level encryption for the best security
  • Indoor use only

smart security camera

Blink Home Security camera System

blink home security camera
If you’re looking for a smart camera system that can fully integrate into your smart home, it’s well worth considering this camera from Blink Home Security.

You can control the camera either through the app or using Amazon Alexa — Echo users, take note!

Again, this is an indoors-only security camera, although you can buy it in multiple packs to set up a system that fully covers all entryways. A number of buyers actually use it to keep an eye on young children and pets.

Here’s what it has to offer:

  • 720p HS camera with motion detector
  • Live view streaming mode
  • Free cloud storage with no monthly fees or contract
  • Can be controlled via the app or with Alexa
  • 2-year battery life
  • Push notification alerts with video when motion is detected
  • Available in 1-5 camera kits

smart security camera

TENVIS HD IP Camera

best cheap security cameras
If you’re really on a budget and are looking for a high performance indoor security camera — perhaps to monitor a baby or pets — then the TENVIS wireless camera should be on your radar.

It’s one of the most popular indoor surveillance equipment products you can find and it’s no wonder — check out these features:

  • 720p HD camera
  • 2-way audio
  • Night vision up to 32 feet
  • Micro SD card slot
  • You can receive messages and notifications from the camera direct to your phone
  • One-click configuration for WiFi — easy installation
  • Small footprint
  • 24/7 recording available
  • Can save video locally for up to 60 days

smart security camera

Video Doorbells

Video doorbells are a particularly useful piece of kit for both homes and businesses.

They allow you to both see in real time and communicate with people who ring your doorbell — whether you’re inside the house or somewhere else entirely.

Not only do they reduce risk of answering the door to undesirable people but it will allow you to manage deliveries while you’re away and just generally keep an eye on the comings and goings to your home.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

video doorbell
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is one of the most popular video doorbell kits — although please bear in mind that you will need a doorbell already in place to install it.

It works as both a good way to manage visitors, as well as a proper security camera with features like advanced motion detection and customizable alert zones.

Here’s what else it can offer you:

  • 1080p HD camera with wide angle lens
  • Has night vision and advanced motion detection
  • 2-way audio
  • Weather resistant
  • Enables both live streaming and video on demand
  • Comes with lifetime purchase protection
  • You can customize and designate motion detection zones ahead of time and get alerted when someone enters that space
  • Receive app alerts on your smartphone, tablet and computer — and communicate via all 3 of them
  • Slim profile that connects to existing doorbell wiring

smart security camera

DoorBird Video Door Station

best video doorbell
If you’re looking for a top of the range, state of the art video door bell, then this product from DoorBird should be on your list of considerations.

Yes, it’s pricey — but it’s got enough to justify the price tag, in our opinion.

We’ll get to the features in a second, but it might be beneficial to just take a minute to appreciate the actual aesthetics of this door bell. Made from full stainless steel with a bronze finish, it’s quite a beauty.

Here’s what else it has on offer:

  • 720p HD camera
  • You can answer the door from anywhere in the world using the phone or tablet app
  • Integrates with smart locks from August, LiftMaster, Lockstate, Kevo, Chamberlain and more
  • Built-in motion sensor
  • 2-way audio
  • Automatic firmware updates for tiptop security
  • Infrared night vision

smart security camera

Wireless Wifi Video Doorbell

cheap video doorbell
Much cheaper and arguably just as impressive is this wireless WiFi video doorbell from NETVUE.

Just like the Ring doorbell above, it seems to double up as both a welcome product and a serious security device.

It doesn’t require batteries, but will need to be wired into your existing doorbell hardware — something to bear in mind if you’re uneasy with installs.

Take a look at its features for starters:

  • 185° horizontal and 120° vertical wide angle lens on 720p HD camera
  • Infrared night vision up to 10 meters
  • 2 way audio
  • Remote streaming on phone and tablet devices via the app
  • PIR motion detection within 3 meters

smart security camera

SkyBell HD Silver Wifi Video Doorbell

best smart doorbell
The SkyBell is another impressive product for people looking for a sophisticated video doorbell, and is probably the major competitor to the Ring bell above.

It prides itself on the excellent video quality and level of security that it offers — it alerts you to a visitor even before they touch the bell.

Available in black and silver, you can choose the configuration that suits your home best.

Check out these features before you buy:

  • 1080p HD camera with 5x zoom
  • Can monitor your front door at any time by starting a video in the app
  • Full color night vision
  • Motion sensor with live alerts
  • Records video to your Cloud account as soon as button is pressed or motion is detected
  • Motion detector sensitivity can be adjusted in the app

smart security camera

Smart Locks

Those particularly concerned about household security will likely be interested in the emerging market that is smart locks.

Smart locks are the best way to control who has access to your home — and at what times. This is a particularly ideal solution for individuals and family who have household help coming and going from the house.

Of course, they’re also super useful for businesses as well.

Let’s take a look at the best 5 on the market.

August Smart Lock HomeKit

august smart lock review
When you think of smart locks (if you ever think of smart locks…), the first product to come to mind will likely be the August Smart Lock HomeKit.

This is probably the premier product in this market, and certainly one of the most recognizable brand names.

The HomeKit is the latest product from August and it goes much further than their previous iterations of the product, actually converting your smartphone into a smart key.

This particular product also comes with the August Smart Keypad.

Let’s take a look at the features to really get a feel for the product:

  • Control who has access and at what times using just your smartphone and the August ap
  • Keep your existing door hardware with this easy installation
  • Works with Apple HomeKit
  • Auto unlocks your door as you approach and locks as you leave
  • Can also buy the August Connect which gives you remote access to the door
  • Smart Keypad means that you never need to leave keys under the mat again

smart security camera

Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt

best smart lock
Schlage is another big name in the world of smart locks, and the Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt is a very popular product indeed.

It’s certainly one of our favorite smart locks available — it will work with Amazon Alexa for ultimate smart home integration — and the sophisticated Z-wave technology allows you to lock or unlock your door remotely via web or smartphone app.

Let’s take a look at what else it has to offer:

  • Can store up to 30 personalized user codes
  • Z-wave technology allows you to connect to home integration system and control locking and unlocking remotely
  • Built-in alarm with 3 alert settings
  • Touchscreen keypad is durable resistive with matte finish
  • Can be voice controlled with Amazon Alexa
  • Will fit a standard door and is battery operated
  • BHMA/ANSI Grade 1 certified — highest residential security rating

smart security camera

Kwikset 916 Z-Wave SmartCode Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolt

best smart lock
Not quite as popular as August or Schlage but still worthy of consideration is this Kwikset SmartCode electronic deadbolt.

Just like the Schlage, it benefits from Z-Wave technology and can be voice controlled via Amazon Alexa.

Here’s what’s on offer:

  • Z-wave technology allows you to remotely key into home automation system
  • Customized automatic door locking after 30 seconds
  • SmartKey re-key technology allows you to re-key the lock yourself
  • ANSI/BHMA grade 2 certified
  • Patented bump proof and pick resistant bar technology
  • Illuminated touchscreen
  • Installs in minutes with a screwdriver (no hard wiring required!)
  • One touch locking
  • Up to 30 customizable user codes

smart security camera

Samsung Ezon Keyless Digital Door Lock

samsung ezon digital door lock review
Samsung are waking waves all over the smart home industry and the Ezon Keyless Smart Universal Deadbolt is one of their best contributions to the smart security niche.

Like the other best smart locks, it sports a touchpad screen and allows you to forget about keys with up to 70 different user registrations (plus one master password for additional security).

One reason why you might look to the Samsung Ezon lock over the others on this list is the fact that it also comes with a burglar alarm and fire detection sensor — yet more additional layers of home security.

smart security camera

Ultraloq Bluetooth Enabled Keyless Smart Door Lock

ultraloq door lock
Our final top pick in the round-up of best smart locks is this one from Ultraloq — Bluetooth enabled, keyless, and with a touchscreen, it’s up there with the best of them.

It also boasts advanced fingerprint identification, anti-peep touch keypad technology and the ability to view access logs via the Ultraloq app.

It offers 5 ways of gaining access:

  1. Fingerprint identification
  2. Code
  3. Using the Ultraloq app on your smartphone
  4. Knock on your phone 4 times, or shake the phone, even if it’s in your pocket
  5. Using a key (boring!)

smart security camera

Window & Door Sensors

Sensative Z-Wave Strips

Our final product in this round-up of the best smart security devices of 2017 is something a little out of left field — window and door sensors with Z-wave technology.

These invisible window and door strips contain a magnetic attraction that can automatically tell if that window or door is open or not. If you have them at every entry point around your house, very quickly you’ll be working with technology that monitors your entire perimeter.

Thanks to the Z-wave technology, you’ll be able to wirelessly check on your smarthome the open/shut status of all your windows and doors using the strips.

Take a look at the strips in action:


They are able to be used both inside and outside and have an impressive battery life of up to 10 years!

We think this could be the next frontier in smart home technology — just make sure that you have a Z-wave gateway to allow the strips to key into your home network.


That’s our round-up of the best smart security devices on the market right now — what have we missed out?

 

Editor

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