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When it comes to keeping your home safe, smart home security devices can work wonders — especially if you have a strong at-home WiFi connection. Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, there are several easy things you can do to ensure your family’s safety.
Residential and commercial security consultant Leo Sabado tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the best home security products are as current as possible, while value, ease-of-use and robust features are great add-ons.
“The more current the better,” Sabado recommended. “Security systems tend to get updated very frequently nowadays so make sure the devices offered are new. And what features are optional, either two-way radio and app-enabled capabilities for remote use. I found that the easier it is to use the more our clients use it.”
Keep scrolling for some of Sabado’s picks.
“Get a basic alarm system, even if it’s the very inexpensive system,” explained Sabado. “A non-monitored system, but could be connected to your WIFI so you can receive alerts on your phone. The reason why, an audible system works better than a camera because it will attract unwanted attention to the situation in this case your property. An audible alarm has a higher chance of notifying near by individuals, neighbors and even random passers by which could help save your property from a robbery.”
The entry-level SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security System (five-piece model) fits the bill. It’s a basic smart home security system that doesn’t require a video feed, but includes a loud alarm with optional round-the-clock professional home monitoring. It even sends push notifications to your smartphone via the SimpliSafe app.
Shop it: SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security System, $250, amazon.com
If you’re a senior citizen who lives alone, opting for a security system with a two-way communicator is one of the best ways to stay in touch with emergency responders for just about any situation, like a break-in or a nasty fall.
“The best options for seniors are systems with two-way voice options, the reason is that they could actually speak with a live person if needed. For example, from a fall, a stranger on their property or in case of much serious scenario. Second best is to get a video doorbell, they are very easy to use and set up. This will add another layer of protection,” explains Sabado.
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the gold standard, namely for its ease-of-use and superb customer rating.
Shop it: Ring Video Doorbell 2, $199, amazon.com
Sabado suggests limiting your security app use to as few as possible, so they’re less of a hassle to keep checking. Same goes for voice assistants — stick with either Alexa, Google Assistant, or whatever you prefer.
“The main advantage is you will minimize the number of apps to one or two and that will make it more convenient and less of a hassle to run,” Sabado says. “For example my ADT alarm is connected to my garage door, lighting, alarm system and thermostat, but I have a separate EZVIZ camera system, so in this case, I have the ADT Command and EZVIZ apps, which can also be synced with the Alexa app that I use to protect my property.”
Shop it: EZVIZ Outdoor Security Camera, $54 with clip-in coupon, amazon.com
One of the most important aspects of smart home security is picking up devices that work with each other as a daisy chain throughout your home WiFi network. If one device is triggered, then the others would kick into gear too — including snapping photos, recording videos and sharing information via smartphones and tablets all at the same time.
“The best example that I can give you is from one of my clients,” explains Mr. Sabado. “There was an unwanted visitor at their home in the middle of the night, around 3 a.m. They were approaching the door, so the porch light came on from the motion sensors and the doorbell also chimed alerting the home owners of a presence in their immediate property. So by the time this individual realized what was going on, his picture was taken and also a quick video was recorded. Both were then immediately shared by the homeowners in real-time, while alerting other neighbors of what had happened.”
Shop it: LifeShield DIY Smart Home Security System, $376, amazon.com
However, if you don’t have a good WiFi network in your home, there are more traditional things you can do to keep your home safe and secure.
“I also highly recommend things that you can also do yourself, such as change your locks to a more robust deadbolt and adding a single plate door reinforcer so it would be harder to kick in,” Sabado continued. “Adding window security bars and making sure that if you have bushes around your property that they are the same height as your windows so nobody could just hide behind them and potentially take their time working on your windows.”
These simple home security products can be a very good alternative to sophisticated smart home devices. Just investing in a very good deadbolt, single-plate door reinforcer and security bars for your windows can go a long way to keeping you and your family safe.
Shop it: Honeywell Deadbolt, $199, amazon.com
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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