Lauded as the next step for home security systems, smart home security is fast becoming the must-have for those serious about protecting their homes and families. Not only can it help deter would-be burglars, but it can catch them in the act.
Here we take you through the different components of smart security, how to buy it and how to make sure the system itself is secure.
What is Smart Home Security?
Smart home security is a set of internet-connected devices designed to help you monitor the security of your home. Paired with a smartphone app, you can arm, disarm, and control your complete system, wherever you are, so you’re always in control.
When it comes to smart burglar alarms, you can often only buy them as a full security system, usually including a smart hub with extras such as cameras, a siren, door sensors and a control panel.
Offering complete control, you can arm and disarm from the app on your phone. Components are usually very easy to install too, often boasting wireless capabilities.
Recommended Product: Yale Sync Smart Home Alarms
Yale’s Sync Smart Home Alarms offer complete control of your home’s security via your smartphone. Not only is Yale one of the most highly trusted security brands, so you know you’re in safe hands, but this range also syncs with Amazon Alexa and Philips Hue, giving you even more control over your smart home.
Smart CCTV kits allow you to monitor your home remotely from your smartphone, regardless of where you are in the world.
Choose a motion detecting CCTV kit and you’ll get a notification to your phone that the camera has been activated, allowing you to see what’s happening right then and there.
Whether you use them indoors or out, they give you extra peace of mind because you can check up on your home whenever you want.
Recommended Product: Swann DVR-4980 – 4 Camera True Detect CCTV Kit
This CCTV kit from Swann boasts excellent picture quality, easy set up and lots of hard drive space. With remote viewing via a smartphone app, you can set it to record continuously, or only when motion or heat is detected to save on hard drive space, and to make viewing much easier.
A smart door lock is beneficial both in terms of security and general convenience.
You don’t have to worry about misplacing your keys, for example, and you have more control over the access. Smart door locks allow you to check whether your doors are locked or not, so you don’t have that heart-stopping moment of realising that you’ve forgotten to lock the door behind you.
They also allow you to restrict access. For instance, you may be able to give a particular “key” to your cleaner, your carer, or your kids, so you know who’s used the door – you can even get notifications of who it is.
Recommended Product: Yale Conexis L1 Smart Door Lock
This Yale smart lock is British Kitemarked approved to TS621:2018, suitable for existing multi-point “lift to lock” mechanisms, and is accessed via smartphone, key fobs and cards, making it perfect for the modern household.
Most burglars gain entry through the front door. Whether it’s left unlocked, they jimmy the lock, or they use it to see if anyone is home, a video doorbell is one of best ways that you can keep your home safe from intruders.
They’re generally easy to use, convenient and fun. A video doorbell has a built-in camera allowing you to see who’s rung your doorbell, or just approached the house (depending on the product) from your smartphone, wherever you are. Many doorbells also include two-way communication, so you can tell the delivery person where to leave your parcel, for example.
It’s great for deterring burglars, as once you get a notification alerting you to someone approaching your property, you can assess whether they’re wanted and then even talk to them if you so wish. This news story perfectly encapsulates how a video doorbell can help prevent burglary.
Recommended Product: Ring Video Doorbell 2
One of the most popular brands on the market, Ring’s video doorbell has infrared LED night vision of up to 4m, a wide 160 degree viewing angle and it’s weather resistant. It also has an interchangeable fascia, so you can choose between satin nickel & venetian.
With no keys and no combinations to remember, a smart padlock means you only ever have to remember your smartphone. You can give people access to your lock, either all time access or at particular times, and get notifications if someone tampered with your lock.
Use them just the same as any other padlock – perfect for securing sheds, back gates or lockers.
Recommended Product: Master Lock 4401 Weather Resistant Smart Padlock
A weather resistant smart padlock, it has excellent physical security features such as a pry resistant body and a boron carbide shackle to resist bolt cutters, but also boasts all the features of a smart padlock, including an audit trail feature that logs who’s opened the lock, when and for how long.
How to Buy a Smart Home Security System
Now you’ve got to grips with the types of products on the market, it’s time to consider which ones are bests suited for you.
If you’re a first-time smart security shopper, then the range of products available can get a little overwhelming. However, we’ve put together a series of questions to make shopping, purchasing and installing your perfect home security system easy.
1. What do you want from a security system?
Consider what your security worries are and how a smart security system would help solve them. Think about which features you want and how interconnected you want your home to be. These considerations should help you figure out what your priorities are and allow you to pick the features that complement them.
One of the most important things to consider is your budget. Buying smart home security products is an investment in the safety and security of your home, whatever you choose to buy. Try to come to a decision before you start shopping around and get enticed by exciting technological features.
3. Shop Around
Browse the products in your budget range and consider which ones will work best for you. If you’re having trouble deciding, ring one of our security experts on 0800 432 0722, who can help you narrow down which products might be best for your needs.
Before you purchase your smart home security products, make sure you know how you’re going to install them. It can vary depending on the system, so it’s important to understand how it works before you purchase, just in case it doesn’t work for your home.
Once you’ve got your devices installed, it pays to test them regularly, so you know that they are working. You should also check for any updates to make sure that they’re working to their best capacity.
When it comes to smart home security systems, we’re often thinking of the physical security of our homes. However, with smart devices, whether it’s a smart lightbulb or a smart CCTV surveillance kit, there comes the risk of hacking as well.
You wouldn’t leave your front door open, so shouldn’t leave doors open on devices on your network either.
There are several things you can do however to protect your network (which will include any device that’s connected to the internet) from attack.
- Protect your wireless network with at least the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) protocol (as opposed to WEP) and strong, complex password.
- Give your wi-fi an obscure name. if you name it something like “The Fisher’s House” then you’re giving away personal information that potential hackers can use.
- Disable guest network access completely, and be discerning about letting people use your Wi-Fi.
- Manage your passwords effectively. All the devices that connect to the internet, including routers, as well as things like smart TVs, should have their passwords changed from the factory settings.
- Use a firewall to restrict access to the ports that your devices are using. This will cut down on opportunistic probing by outsiders.
Protecting your home the right way is simple when you know how. Shop our range of smart home security products here.