At home we have valuables: the smarter they are, the more expensive they are. That’s why you have to make your smarthome safe. In this article we give an overview of products you can get in your home for this purpose. Fortunately, good security doesn’t have to be extremely expensive.
There are several ways to make and keep your smarthome safe. There are of course a number of obvious possibilities. That’s why it’s important that you also read into what’s allowed and what’s not, such as using a video doorbell in a door that borders directly on the pavement. It is also a good idea to inform your neighbors about the fact that there will be a camera somewhere from now on and that it is possible that they will be recorded. Apart from laws and regulations you also have to deal with decency.
Making your smarthome safe with alarm systems
A good, accessible way to secure your smarthome, is to immediately choose a complete alarm system. This is a package with various components, which you can often easily install yourself. In the packages you will find different products, including cameras, door and window sensors and a hard siren. The advantage of an alarm system is that you immediately get a good basis in your home, with which you can already secure many parts of your home. Usually, the possibilities are also expandable.
For example, you can often buy extra products via the website of the supplier of the system. More cameras, sensors or extra aids in the form of smoke detectors or water sensors. The basic packages are relatively cheap, but the disadvantage is that you cannot compare the packages in one-two-three. The content varies a lot, so you have to consider many more aspects. Moreover, the extra accessories can be more expensive on their own, which makes you wonder if this is such a tight plan in the long run.
We have tested a number of security systems at Smarthome Magazine. In itself, there is often little wrong with those systems, apart from some irritating things. The biggest drawback, however, is that they are often stand-alone environments that you can’t implement anywhere else. As a result, there is often no support for popular voice assistants. Of course, you can make the same argument for the opposite point: precisely because there is no such integration, it is difficult for malicious parties to break into it.
We have tested several systems, including:
Review: Home8 starter kit – accessible security system
Review: ResidentialSafe alarm system (2017)
Review: Devolo Home Control smart home system
Making your smarthome safe with smart cameras
Don’t want to invest in a (shielded) system right away, but prefer to build your own camerabewaking system step by step? Then you can start with smart security cameras. There is no shortage of such cameras. That’s why you sometimes pay relatively little for very good cameras, but here too it’s a good idea to first look at what you can and can’t do. Some cameras support micro SD cards for local, offline storage, while other cameras require a cloud subscription.
In some cases, both are even possible. You also have to choose between the image quality options: do you want to record in 720p, 1080p or 4k? The higher the resolution, the higher the quality of the images and the sharper everything is recorded. In addition, you need to take into account that you should always have a power outlet at your disposal (this applies to both indoor and outdoor cameras). However, there are also models that run on a rechargeable battery, but at the time of writing there are not many of them.
Moreover, the cameras don’t all work in the same way. For example, you can use the cameras of Google Nest to retrieve the image on your Google Nest Hub. That is not possible with other cameras. It is also useful to know that you have to think of a night vision for your camera, because it is not built in by default. So think well in advance about what you want to be able to do and what you want to see. Luckily you can compare security cameras better than complete alarm systems.
We have tested several cameras, including:
Review: Arlo Ultra camera (VMS5140) – smart video surveillance in 4K quality
Review: Foscam FI9912P – wireless and weatherproof outdoor camera
Review: Ring Stick Up Cam Battery – wireless and flexible security camera
Making your smarthome safe with smart doorbells
If we go a little further, we’ll end up with smart doorbells. These doorbells have a camera built in nine times out of ten, so you can always see who’s at the door. Handy for when you walk outside, sit on the toilet or when you’re not expecting anyone. The camera is always on the outside