Your Guide to Smart Home Security Systems: 5 Questions You Need to Ask
Not sure if your home is protected enough from intruders? Your security and peace of mind may lie in the right security devices. Smart home security systems comprise devices like cameras, doorbells and locks that you can control remotely in order to keep your home and family as safe as possible.
There are now 15 million smart homes in Britain, and they’re becoming ever more popular as the benefits become more widely known. Security is one major benefit; according to security.org, the presence of an outdoor camera reduces crime by 50%.
Each smart security system offers different advantages, so in order to protect your home to the highest standard it’s important to get as much information as possible when purchasing smart home tech. In this guide we’ve detailed everything you need to know to help you find the best smart home security system for you.
5 Questions you need to ask when buying smart home security systems
Before investing in smart tech, you need to be sure of how exactly it will protect your home to determine which type of devices suit your needs. Will your chosen tech adequately cover the areas you want to be protected? Why would you choose one device over another?
We’ve answered five key questions below to help you work out what different smart devices can offer you and how they can help protect your home.
1. Can a smart home security system really protect my home?
Smart home security systems are designed to give you more control over, and information about, the safety of your home. They can cover all areas of your property from your front door to your living room, providing whole home protection. You can access live streams at any time to check what’s going on, as well as receive instant alerts when anything out of the ordinary happens on your property. You can even buy devices that’ll alert the emergency services when a burglar is detected.
Tech Radar actually interviewed a former burglar to ask whether smart security cameras really deter crime - and the answer was a firm yes. After all, who’d want to risk their face being recorded and passed on to the police?
2. Which smart home security products should I buy first?
Smart cameras are a must when it comes to security, and should play a key part in any home security system. The EZVIZ C6CN Full HD Wi-Fi Indoor Smart Home Security Camera with Pan/Tilt is one of our best smart security cameras for beginners. With the 340-degree horizontal, 105-degree vertical rotation pan and tilt feature, you can see everything in the room. If it notices something moving, the camera will track the movement automatically across the room, providing the best footage possible. This can also be manually moved around via your EZVIZ smartphone app.
For a higher level of security, opt for a whole home system like the Arlo Home Security Starter Kit. Providing premium smart security without the wires, this impressive system offers full home coverage and a simple, easy-to-use app.
3. How do smart doorbells work?
Smart doorbells let you see who’s at your door without opening it. They send you a notification when anyone steps foot onto your property, so if someone’s at your door, you’ll know about it straight away with an alert to your phone. That way, you can see and speak to whoever’s at your door to find out who they are, giving you an extra level of home security.
Ring, for example, are supported by CrimeStoppers due to their shared goal of making neighbourhoods safer. Their latest model is the Ring Video Doorbell 4 - an updated version of their hugely popular original model and a great option to consider.
Read our Smart Doorbells Guide to find out more and discover which model may be right for you.
4. What is a smart lock and how do they work?
Smart locks are designed for easy and safe keyless access to your property, controlled via your phone. According to internet industry magazine, dotmagazine, they are expected to be one of the most promising offerings among all smart devices in the near future.
No more lost keys - you simply use your phone to get in. Some smart locks also let you create virtual keys for friends and family, which is ideal for homes that are rented out too, such as on Airbnb.
But what if you lose your phone?
Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean your home can be accessed. Simply enable Two Factor Authentication as a way of checking that you’re really who you claim to be. This makes it much harder for criminals to access your accounts, even if they know your password.
Many smart locks undergo rigorous levels of testing to ensure their safety, and therefore have very high levels of security, such as the Bold Smart Lock Cylinder SX-33 UK. It has an SKG three-star rating which is the highest possible burglary resistance classification.
5. Is a smart security camera essential for a smart home security system?
As we mentioned earlier, the presence of an outdoor camera has been reported to reduce crime by 50%. They give you a 360 view of your property, both indoors and out (if you have both an indoor and outdoor camera), and allow you to see exactly what’s going on at home. You can watch a live stream whenever you want to check in while you’re out, ask your virtual assistant what’s happening in real time in your home, get an alert the moment a stranger is detected, and have the police alerted instantly too. With all these features, it’s hard not to see the benefits.
Some smart cameras, like the Netatmo Presence Outdoor Security Camera with Siren, sound in-built alarms and flood outdoor areas with light when movement is detected, literally shining a spotlight on would-be burglars - a great deterrent. The Netatmo Indoor Security Camera even comes with the option of an additional smart indoor siren, which comes with pre-recorded sounds such as dog barks and other home noises to make it sound like someone’s at home while you’re away.
Ring, a leader in smart security, also offers popular whole-home systems with excellent security features.
Browse the full range of smart home security cameras and systems on our site and enjoy peace of mind around the clock.