Smart security devices that let you watch your home while you're away
A lot of the smart home devices we discussed in the previous article are cool gadgets that let you control lights and appliances, and automate and integrate a lot of processes with the use of your smartphone or even just your voice command.
Yet there’s one other category of smart home devices that help you watch and keep your home and its inhabitants safe—even when you’re away. So even if you’re not yet ready to embrace the world of smart home appliances, the safety and convenience these smart security devices provide are hard to ignore.
Here’s a basic list of smart security devices from tech reviews website Tom’s Guide, and start checking your local appliance or tech store for brands and versions that are available. The good news is, a lot of these are readily available and are not supposed to cost you too much to purchase and install. You might even already be using them!
1. SECURITY CAMERA
The “smart version” of security cameras allows you watch your home and see who's coming and going from your smartphone, table, or laptop—wherever you are. A lot of people are already using this to watch their babies from a different room or their pets when they’re not home. Get one with night vision, motion detection, and which can be scheduled and linked to other smart home devices, so you have the option to only make it record when you leave and stop when you return home.
The basic feature of smart locks is to let you lock/unlock your door using your smartphone. It can also alert you when your door is left ajar. Some versions also allow you to view who’s using your door and to issue temporary access to visitors. If you’re able to link the lock to other smart home devices, your lights could be made to turn on automatically the moment you unlock your door upon returning home at night.
3. GARAGE DOOR OPENER
Meanwhile, a smart garage door opener will let you open and close it from your smartphone—without having to get out of your car—and alert you if it gets opened while you're not home. Like smart locks, you can connect it with smart lights and security cameras that activate when the door opens.
4. VIDEO DOORBELL
If you don’t already have a security camera that does this, you might want to get a video doorbell, which sends a live feed of who’s at the front door to your smartphone or tablet the moment the doorbell rings. It can also act as an intercom, so you can talk to whoever’s at the door in case you can’t get there immediately. Some brands can even give you a feed as soon as it detects motion by the door, as well as a light for when you have visitors at night.
5. SMOKE DETECTOR
The “smart” version of a smoke detector will alert your smartphone—wherever you are—the moment it detects smoke or fire in your home. Some can even be linked to smart home devices so it automatically turns on smart lights when the alarm goes off to help you or whoever’s in your home get out easily. Some “smarter” brands can detect both smoke and carbon monoxide and tell you what room has smoke or fire.