When it comes to keeping your home secure, it pays to be smart. After all, we’re living in a digital world where everything from the temperature of your home to the feeding of your pet dog can be attended to from the swipe of a screen. While these features are all nice to have, if smart security for the home can keep your belongings and your loved ones safe, there’s no question of what provides the greatest value for money.
When you’re away from home, smart security can keep an eye on what’s going on, no matter where you are in the world. But is smart security really all it’s cracked up to be? And, if so, what are the top gadgets worth your investment?
Which gadgets are for you?
Surveillance cameras are one of the most popular pieces of smart home security tech on the market. This includes indoor, outdoor and wireless cameras that can be easily placed in hard-to-power areas.
Smart locks can also offer peace of mind by providing secure, keyless entry. This enables home owners to provide access to family, friends and housekeepers without worrying about lost or copied keys – with a smartphone, you can control and monitor your door from anywhere.
Intruder alarms may have been around for many years but now they too have got smart, allowing users to activate and deactivate systems remotely as well as receive a range of notifications when an alarm is triggered.
Finally, for those who aren’t just concerned about break-ins, smart smoke alarms like those from Nest Protect, can send alerts to your phone, letting you know where the problem has been detected in your house. Then, you can simply call the fire service or a neighbour to check on your property.
Smart security – what to look for
If you’re considering kitting out your home with security tech, you’ll want to have a good shop around. If you’re going to fork out cash on purchasing a snazzy piece of smart tech, you want to know that it does the job right.
It goes without saying that, when shopping for a home security camera, you want one with a high-quality lens and digital sensor so they can clearly sense an intruder. But some cameras have the ability to recognise and zoom in on a person, following them as they move.
The best cameras will come with 1080p video monitoring, night vision, push notification alerts, microphones so you provide voice commands and a substantial amount of cloud storage to enable you to record your footage. You might also want to consider a camera with audio capability, so that you can listen out for suspicious noises in other areas of the house that may not be monitored.
Most smart home security cameras will link to an app, so that you can stay connected through your mobile phone and receive alerts or even a phone call if anything untoward is detected. Taking it to the next level, some smart home security systems will pair top quality surveillance with an intruder-deterrent system that can be programmed to sound an alarm at full volume, create flashing lights throughout the house and even lift the blinds to expose anyone in your home that shouldn’t be there to the outside world.
The pros and cons of smart security
Of course, the main win is the obvious pro of being able to monitor and control your home while you are off on holiday or stuck in the office. This peace of mind for homeowners is one of the great benefits of living in the age of technology.
However, there are some cons to be aware of. Firstly, the best tech doesn’t come cheap. There are plenty of companies in the UK offering an almost dizzying range of smart security products, but not all can profess to be security experts. Don’t just go for the cheaper option without researching the company in question.
Secondly, installation can be tricky and time-consuming – this can be especially true with outdoors surveillance cameras. If you’re not particularly tech savvy, you may have to hire a contractor to help install it properly, adding additional cost.
And thirdly, there is always the possibility of smart devices falling victim to hackers. Independent consumer body Which? suggests the best ways to avoid this would be to update your software regularly; always change the default passwords to something specific to you; and think about where you position your devices, especially if they’re voice activated (i.e. don’t place them near doors or windows where other people’s voices could be picked up).
As much as technology can make life easier, it can’t always be relied upon to save the day. That’s why the truly smart thing is to make sure your home insurance is up to scratch. Computerquote can certainly help you there.