Not so long ago, a home security system would involve bulky cameras, complex alarm systems and almost always high costs.
Technology has come a long way in a short time, and keeping your home safe is now easier than ever.
Steve Roberts, Marketing Manager at security company Yale, says that with the advent of smart home technology, today's security systems are not only easy to install but also easily scalable, so you can add as few or as many components as you like.
“Smart security products are super simple to install, with easy set up and pre-linked components," Roberts says.
"The beauty of smart security though is the ability to add to your security system, from alarm to smart locks, outdoor and indoor cameras you can make sure your home is fully secure.”
In this guide, we’ll show you how easy it is to give your home a smart security upgrade.
Set up your security system in minutes, not hours
Over a decade ago, setting up a home security system would be a costly and time-intensive process requiring professional installations.
Instead indoor and outdoor security cameras like Ring or Canary can be installed by simply buying a single camera, plugging it in and then downloading an app on your smartphone.
Not only are these security cameras easy to install but they’re smart and secure. Ring, Canary and BT’s own Smart Home Cam use advanced encryption technologies so you, and only you, can see what’s going on inside and outside your home.
In addition to stand-alone cameras, smart home systems like Nest and Hive can take advantage of products like BT’s Complete WiFi to offer you smart heating, lights, cameras and motion sensors in one complete package.
See your home from anywhere in the world
The greatest benefit of having a smart home security system is that it’s all connected to the internet through your home wi-fi, so you can control your home from anywhere in the house and even anywhere in the world.
You could, for example, be on a beach in the Caribbean, when you get a notification from one of your motion sensors and are able to instantly see a live feed of your home through the smartphone app.
With some camera systems you can log into your account using a browser like Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari and see the live feed right there on your laptop’s screen.
Alternatively you can even create burglar deterrents with smart lighting systems. Both Hive and Philips Hue’s smart lighting apps allow you to create ‘holiday’ profiles which activate the lights at set times when you’re away, making it appear as though someone’s home.
An even easier option is to buy a smart plug, connect it to a lamp and set it to turn on and off from your smartphone when you’re not home.
Cameras that know the difference between you and a burglar
Unlike conventional CCTV cameras which just record everything, smart cameras will only alert you when something’s amiss.
Smart cameras like the Nest Cam IQ and Canary can use facial recognition software to determine whether they're looking at a member of the family or a stranger.
They’re also able to tell the difference between pets and humans so if you have a dog or cat you won't get an alert every time it walks past.
Answer the front door from your kitchen
You’re in the middle of cooking and the doorbell goes. Now rather than putting everything on hold just to find out it wasn’t important, using a smart display you can see a live feed of who’s at the door and can even talk to them.
Almost all smart home security systems are designed to work with the other smart home gadgets in your house. If you have a Nest Hello Doorbell or Ring Doorbell you can see who’s at the front door using your Amazon Echo Show or Amazon Echo Spot smart displays. Simply say: “Alexa, show me who’s at the front door”.
Turn Fort Knox into home sweet home
Imagine getting home and, without lifting a finger, the lights and the heating are automatically turned on. What about simply walking into a room and having the lights automatically come on and then turn off when you leave?
This is all possible because most smart home security cameras and sensors are capable of more than just keeping your home safe.
Working in conjunction with other smart home systems such as Nest or Hive, you can create ‘Routines’ that let you utilise the full power of the smart home to automate many of the things you do around the house.
Never scramble for your keys every time you get home
Rather than fumbling around for the house keys, imagine being able to unlock your home simply by tapping your phone on the door handle.
Smart locks, such as the Connexis L1 from Yale, combine a traditional lock with smart home technology to give you keyless entry through a smartphone app and the ability to temporarily share ‘virtual keys’ with guests or family members.