The Future of Home Security: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe
With between 60% and 65% of American adults owning smartphones and more than 40% of adults owning tablet computers, most people in the United States are becoming accustomed to having most things accessible in their pockets, from internet access and games, to bank accounts, to calorie counters and pedometers, and now home security.
Many well established companies like ADT and Honeywell that have a long history of installing and operating home security systems are moving into the automated security industry, and many companies that you may have never heard of have come into their own making individual security products or full service security systems which can all be accessed and controlled from the phone in your pocket.
If you are interested in automated home security, there are a wide range of products to meet your needs, from the most basic solutions, which include
- Door Locks
- Door Cameras
- Home Cameras
- Home Sensors
and go all the way to a complete, fully automated home security system.
Basic Door Security
For people who are hoping to have an easy transition into automated home security, there is a whole range of options for easy to install, simple door monitoring devices. Perhaps the most basic are automated locks, which can be controlled from your mobile devices, meaning that you will always be secure knowing when your doors are locked, when someone enters or leaves your home, and in some cases, be able to see and know who those people are.
Both Lockitron and Switchmate offer easy to install door lock devices that can be controlled directly from smartphone applications, while the DoorBot and SkyBell claim to notify you whenever anyone is at your door, showing you who is there and giving you the ability to speak to them, even if you are not at home.
Basic door security devices tend to be priced as low as $149 and up to $199, depending on the types of features they offer.
Another simple option apart from the basic door security systems are home cameras. Home cameras became popular years ago when people were interested in "nanny-cams" to watch the people they entrusted to care for their children, or often to monitor pets when they were left alone.
Today's home camera monitoring systems often watch the home in real time and the stream can be accessed from your mobile device. Most of these cameras also come with upgraded home monitoring, like the DropCam which has both sound and motion monitors and the Simplicam which has face detection, all of which will alert you if they have been triggered.
Basic home camera and accompanying sensor devices start around $149 for the basic options, and can be upgraded for additional fees if you choose to do so.
Sensor Based Monitoring Systems
For people who are not comfortable with having a video camera in their home, or having video footage of their home, pets, or children being transmitted over the internet, there is another option. Some companies specialize in providing homeowners with basic home monitoring sensors, which capture no video, but detect sounds, smoke, leaks, and "particles" and will alert you when something is happening in your home.
Companies that provide these types of sensors include SimpliSafe, CenturyLink, Point Home Security, and more, and the costs of these types of home security sensors generally start around $199 and go upward, depending on the types of features you personally choose.
Full Scale Home Security Options
Once you move into full scale home security, you will find a wide range of choices to decide between. As mentioned earlier, ADT and Honeywell are currently offering traditional home security systems which can be monitored via your mobile devices, and other companies are specializing entirely in home automation security devices.
Full scale home security systems often include a whole range of products to help promote the safety of your home. Generally speaking, these companies will offer you some combination of video services with other home automation devices that will control your lighting, your home's temperature, window, door, and perimeter sensors, all with a series of alerts that may include cell phone notifications, home sirens, and the ability to contact professional law enforcement.
Companies that offer these types of services include:
- LifeShield Security
- Protect America
- Vera Smarter Home Control
- ZWave, and more.
Some companies actually create a large selection of security devices which can be purchased individually and tailored to your specific needs, and devices of some companies - particularly those created and sold by ZWave - can be combined and incorporated into other automated security systems, like Vera Smarter Home Control and Piper. In this way, these companies are truly giving homeowners all they need to feel protected, even when they are away from home.
Obviously, there will be a wide range of possible costs and fees for these larger scale security plans, especially because most of them require a monthly service fee in order for homeowners to take advantage of all available security and monitoring services.