Home safety has always been important.
What used to be a piece of wood or a measly metal clasp to keep a door locked and dangers out, has now become more durable doors and stronger locks. We’ve improved with better glass, windows with locks, and doors with more than one lock to keep out experienced burglars.
The point is, we don’t stop adapting and growing with the society around us.
If we did, we’d be in trouble. As much trouble as we’d be in if we still relied on a hook and clasp to keep out the storm—so to speak. As we develop into a very technical world, we need more tech to keep up and keep safe.
And it’s easier than ever to keep safe.
Smart homes are becoming the norm. And it’s now affordable for most people to set up their own smart home. Safety isn’t just for the wealthy after all.
Depending on your personal needs, you can either set up a home-security system that is independent and connected directly with you, or you can have a system that has professional home monitoring.
Independent systems could me as small as having a nanny-cam in your living room or nursery connected to your personal device. Even this small home-security can make it easy to check on babysitters, your kids, and your home. Independent systems can also be much more complex, with several cameras—even one’s that are specifically designed to recognize your families faces and will alert you if something it doesn’t recognize is in your home.
Of course costs fluctuate depending on what you need and what you want your budget to be.
But a little bit of smart-tech is better than nothing at all.
Homeowners can also go for professional home-monitoring where experts keyed in on your security system will notify police or the fire-department if any alarms go off.
Luckily there are many different options, equipment, and cost-levels to fit your specific family-security and budget needs.
Smart home security starts with your Wi-Fi home network, so make sure you have a good connection. It’s easy to monitor your security with your iPhone and an app with this type of system. This smart-home security usually involves a central hub that everything is connected to. It communicates with all your smart home devices using a protocol such as Z-Wave or Wi-Fi.
This ability to interconnect devices lets you add things as budget allows, from door and window sensors to cameras around and outside the house. You can add smoke detectors, water leakage sensors, smart locks, alarms, and many more. Because not all home security has to do with intruders, additional alarms and sensors are an integral and important part of home security systems.
Good home-security systems will let you customize what you need and want. So if you want lights, you can add them. If you hate the lights, then you can take them away. You should be able to customize when doors unlock, when lights come on, whether porch lights are motion activated, and how your house responds when certain alarms go off.
Many systems feature a mobile app which allows you to use your phone to watch live video feed, trigger or disarm alarms, lock/unlock doors, change the temperature of your home, and other custom modifications. Many homeowners enjoy this feature because it allows easy viewing and immediate action when they are gone from home.
Some systems even come with a home panel which lets you do everything your phone does and even allows you to communicate with a monitoring company if an alarm goes off.
As far as storage for camera footage goes, there are a few options. Most people either store it locally on an SD or solid state drive, or they store it on Cloud storage.
While local storage is more budget-friendly, it may have less storage room and homeowners have to be more meticulous about what feed they are overwriting.
Cloud storage is nice to store recorded footage, but it usually comes with a hefty subscription fee depending on how much you need.
There are a lot of systems to choose from, which can be good, but also time consuming to investigate. There are some basic systems you might want to know about. But it all depends on your needs.
If you want to go the self-installation way, then SimpliSafe and iSmartAlarm are well known for budget smart homes. Though they don’t always have all the cameras and perks that come with more expensive system—such as being able to monitor smoke alarms and the temperature of your home.
Wi-Fi driven cameras are often used, however, they have come under a lot of scrutiny lately.
Wi-Fi gives benefits such as streaming video, and real-time security on your phone of all your cameras at home. It also tends to be an affordable option in smart home security.
Unfortunately, they are also prone to hackers who can steal your photos, replace them with theirs, and even spy using your very own cameras. Most of the time these problems come from systems that don’t have you set up a password or if the homeowner sets up a very weak password.
So don’t let this scare you away from experimenting and finding out what works for you. It just takes research to set up a secure smart home yourself.
Of course the most secure way is most likely going to be in a higher price range and with professional home-security teams monitoring your home.
But it’s not necessary to go that way if you don’t want to spend that money. There are so many secure options for your smart home.
Many homeowners like to get mid-range cost systems that have hubs and certain protocols that they can connect devices to over time.
Homeowners typically pick from four main protocols: X10, Z-Wave, UPB, and EnOcean.
X10 uses power lines mainly for its communication to devices, and it is efficient and reliable. It’s a well-established protocol (since 1975), and it has a wide variety of home automation tech available. It’s also established itself as a more affordable protocol with the availability of inexpensive smart tech compared to some others.
Z-Wave is a popular choice because it takes up less band (908 MHz vs. 2.4 GHz), and it isn’t really affected by interference or other activities. Additionally, Z-Wave is great for its interoperability. So it’s going to work with Z-Wave devices that are a decade old as well as a new product with very few limits. All Z-Wave devices work together regardless of the version or brand. And there really are a wide range of home automation devices to choose from for Z-Wave.
UPB (Universal Powerline Bus) is a power-line communication between all the smart tech in home automation. UPB communicates over power lines which makes it very reliable, and it’s very easy to put together as for as DIY home automation goes. It is more efficient than X10, yet there aren’t many products on the market in comparison, making it a little less easy to fit into budgets and style.
EnOcean has made its mark as being an energy harvesting wireless technology. Being self-powered means less installation and cost for you. Energy management and efficiency seems to be their goal with battery-less and wireless solutions for home automation.
Smart home security is more than just a fad. It’s an investment in the future. Not just the future of society, but the future of your family and their safety.
With smart tech alarms and sensors, homeowners can know immediately if there is a fire while they’re away on vacation and get help there much faster, possibly saving lives and valuables. Homeowners can also keep an eye on babysitters and kids coming home from school while the parents are still at work. Families are warned with smart tech when there are rising carbon monoxide levels at night or if there are potential disastrous leaks in the pipes.
Whatever the issue, smart tech and smart home security is the way to keep your family safe and your home a haven.