Today Internet has made things simple and now you can remotely control your lawnmowers, door locks, vacuums, thermostats, lights and even some pet feeders, using your cell phone and an app. This has also made it relatively easy and affordable to monitor your house from just about anywhere with a best home security system. They are highly customizable and available as DIY kits or as full-blown setups requiring professional installation.
Depending upon your specific needs you can use a system that is easy-to-install and you can monitor yourself, or pay some subscription fee to have it monitored 24/7 by professionals who can contact fire dept or local police when an alarm is triggered. Of course, higher the coverage, the more you’re expected to pay. Let’s have a close look at features you need consider when deciding to install a security system in your house. We’re also listing some systems we’ve tested.
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A best home security system can connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network so you can easily control and monitor all your security devices using a smart phone and app. Entry-level home security systems consist of few window and door sensors, a hub, and a motion detector that communicates with these devices using wireless protocol, such as Z-wave, Wi-Fi, mesh network or Zigbee. It’s possible to add extra door, window, and motion sensors to provide coverage for your entire house to help build a robust system that includes locks, door, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, door openers, smoke/Co detectors, lights, water sensors and so on.
Integration and App
Best home security system offers mechanisms that work seamlessly and allow you to manipulate them according to customized rules. For instance, you can set your system turn on lights when motion is detected, have doors unlocked when smoke alarm activates, or have camera recording when any sensor is triggered. Some security systems can store recorded video on SD cards or solid state drives, whereas others use cloud storage. Locally stored videos are best, but you should avoid overwriting videos that are important and may be used later on. Cloud storage means you can store and access your recorded videos, but they are expensive.
All these systems feature mobile app that allows you to convert it into a command center to create rules, arm and disarm it, delete or add components, and receive push notifications when any alarm is triggered. Using most app, you can view live and recorded video, unlock and lock doors, silence alarms, change thermostat settings. Many apps use smartphones GPS facility to perform. More expensive systems come with a special wall-mounted panel which acts like a communication hub. It may have a touch screen display that allows you to do all that’s possible with an app.
DIY or Professionally Installed Security System?
DIY setups are now easily available on Amazon. You can consider the SimpliSafe Security System, iSmartAlarm, or the SkylinkNet Alarm Mechanism that are budget friendly and smart. You can also save a bundle on installation. You get most of these systems as kits, so you can configure them as per your needs.
The iSmartAlarm system can be installed and configured easily but there’s no monitoring mechanism. It offers you a wide range of components but lacks smoke alarm, door locks and thermostats. The SkylinkNet Alarm system is an affordable DIY kit and installs in minutes, but its basic and uses M-code wireless mechanism, so it won’t work with third-party Wi-Fi, Zigbee or Z-Wave components. The innovative SimpliSafe security system lacks support for any third party devices, and you can use its mobile app and paid monitoring service, and it is super easy to install.
If you want professional installation, then Vivint Sky system is the best alternative. It has window and door sensors, glass break detectors, door locks, outdoor and indoor cameras, motion and water detectors, light switches, a video doorbell, and more. It’s a multi-protocol mechanism that can communicate with Wi-Fi, RF, and Z-wave wireless components, and offers you 24/7 monitoring facility with direct alerts to local fire and police departments. You also get a mobile app and a large control panel that lets you communicate with a representative when alarm is triggered. It can also be used to view live video from doorbell camera before you open the door. It needs professional installation and isn’t cheap. It’s a comprehensive system that also doubles up as home automation system.
If you reside in a small apartment and want to monitor the place in absence, you can use surveillance camera such as Canary All-In-One system or iControl Networks Piper for the purpose, definitely one of the best home security system. They feature camera with built-in sensor that can track motion along with temperature and humidity control. You will receive push notifications when any motion is detected and when temperature and humidity thresholds are exceeded. Using Canary system, you can also monitor air quality while Piper NV comes with Z-wave circuitry that helps you use it as a home automation hub for controlling things like water sensors, smart plugs.