What exactly is smart home security? Here’s everything you need to know

Wave goodbye to the burglar alarm of old, smart home security allows you to keep an eye on your home 24-7, wherever you may be in the world
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  • You can’t move these days without having some sort of smart tech waved in your face, like smart lighting. But if you’re thinking of trying some out, you can’t go wrong starting with smart home security.

    This branch of smart home tech features products that allow you to monitor your home inside and out. It’ll also alert you (or the emergency services) should anything untoward happen.

    ‘With smartphone functionality,’ explains Kevin Spencer, Product Manager at Yale UK, ‘smart security gadgets offer complete freedom to monitor, control and capture live footage of inside and outside of your home wherever, whenever. In short, smart security products have all the benefits of traditional security systems, alongside the benefit of convenience and peace of mind.’

    What devices make up a smart security system?

    person unlocking a smart door lock using a smart fob

    Image credit: Yale

    In the world of smart security for your home, there’s a wide range of gadgets and gizmos to choose from. The most popular include the best video doorbells and cameras. And there are even personal delivery lockers that you install at your front door to keep your deliveries safe. There’s also the option to choose between wired or wireless devices. Wireless devices are great as you won’t don’t need to worry about recharging a battery. While battery powered versions are an ideal choice for renters who might wish to take their tech with them when they move on.

    ‘Although “smart” by nature,’ explains Kevin from Yale UK, ‘smart security gadgets work simply through a Wi-Fi or wireless connection via a smartphone or tablet. This ensures complete flexibility over how to secure or monitor your home. This smart technology allows for the ultimate control, through instant notifications directly through to a smartphone.’

    ‘This flexibility,’ continues Kevin, ‘allows homeowners to remotely monitor their property whatever the time, wherever the location. This also means homeowners can rely on their own diligence to protect their home. And not relying on neighbours or passers-by to notify you of any unusual activity in or around your home.’

    children running ttrhough a house with a indoor security camera sitting on a marbled kitchen countertop

    Image credit: Ring

    What smart security device should I choose?

    If you’re not sure which device to start your smart security set up with, probably the easiest and most practical is a video doorbell. Having the freedom to answer your door and see and speak to callers via your smartphone is a huge bonus when you’re not home. As for your home’s exterior, the best security cameras bulk up the security around your home and give you eyes on your property and boundaries. Some cameras have built-in security floodlights that switch on when the motion sensors are activated, deterring intruders.

    The more expansive systems can trigger a loud siren if they detect someone trying to break in. Others can even call the police on your behalf. Indoor cameras give you the ability to monitor rooms in your home, your pets’ behaviour and even troublesome teens. They give you a bird’s eye view of your home’s interior, so you can keep tabs on your family’s comings and goings. Many of the latest models now come with lens covers, too. This affords you added privacy, so you can block the camera without having to turn it off completely.

    Invest in a whole home smart security system

    man walking outdide of a property at night lit via a security light on the house's exterior

    Image credit: Netatmo

    ‘With smartphones and their associated apps seamlessly blending into our day to day lives,’ says Kevin, ‘it’s become an essential part of the smart security market that these gadgets work together as part of a wider ecosystem to make it even more convenient for homeowners.’

    So if it’s convenience you’re after, look for security packages that offer a selection of products together. Bulk buying like this is usually rewarded with discounts too, compared to buying devices separately. Bundles vary in size from a simple entry level-worthy two cameras to the semi-professional. These could include the best home security system, cameras, entry and motion sensors and even a panic button.

    Control everything centrally

    hand outstretched pressing the button on a video doorbell installed at a front door

    Image credit: Google Nest

    Linking your security devices up to a smart home network means you can then control them all via your smart speaker. Google Nest and the Amazon-owned Ring products are obvious choices, but most devices will have the capability to connect to Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant.

    ‘Yale’s Sync Smart Home Alarm range has been developed to work conveniently with other smart security products in the Yale range,’ explains Kevin, ‘but also to work with brand partners in the smart space. This includes leading voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Not only does this allow controlling your smart alarm much easier, but this functionality also offers the ultimate convenience to control your smart security products using just your voice.

    Staying loyal to smart security brands pays off

    panelled exterior of a house with a security camera installed

    Image credit: Simplisafe

    For ease of use, aim to buy all of your security devices from one company. Being able to access everything via one app will make your life so much easier. It’ll also be lot less confusing than having to toggle between multiple apps all the time. Do your research before you buy if you know the kind of devices you’re interested in, ideally choosing the brand that offers everything you’re looking for.

    Bear in mind that most smart security companies save the best features for those that sign up to a subscription service, with the most useful being video playback. Expect to pay from around £2.50 per month. Trusted brands include the aforementioned Yale, Google Nest, and Ring, as well as Arlo, Simplisafe, Swann, Hive, Netatmo, Ezviz, Somfy and TP-Link, to name a few.

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