Smart home security guide

by | Nov 2, 2022

Smart home security guide
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According to the 2022 State of Safety report, 62% of Americans use some kind of security measure to protect their home, such as a security camera or alarm. When it comes to worrying about home security, package theft is at the top of most Americans’ lists, with nearly half of all respondents afraid it will happen to them. Protecting your home—and the people and pets who live there—is a top priority for most people. Luckily, state-of-the-art technology is here to offer you peace of mind. Thanks to smart home security systems and their accompanying devices, you can protect your space whether you’re at home, across the country, or even across the world.

What is a smart home security system?

What makes a home security system “smart?” Your security system will pair with your other smart devices and work with them seamlessly to provide a user-friendly experience. Most “smart” systems qualify as such because they can be controlled remotely by an app on your phone.

Many smart home security systems go a step further. Some can be armed by voice commands through Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri. Some can also be added to smart device routines. For example, you could set up a routine where your security system automatically arms when the smart lights on your porch turn on in the evening.

Do you need a smart home security system?

Person using a smart home security system

In general, yes, everyone should invest in a smart security system if it falls within their budget. Here are some reasons why even people living in extremely safe neighborhoods may still want a smart security system:

  • Many insurance providers offer discounts on home policies if you have a security system.
  • Smart cameras can do more than keep the outside of your home safe. You can put a camera in your kid’s play area and watch them through the app while you’re in the other room. You can also keep an eye on your pet when you’re not at home, and even talk to them through the app!
  • With smart cameras, it’s possible for seniors to live at home longer and stay out of care facilities. Medical alert accessories make calling for help easy. Smart cameras can even be used to check on grandparents when you aren’t at home—but be sure to get their permission first.

Types of smart home security systems

Man monitoring his home security system on vacation

There are four different types of smart security systems. It’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages of each one to get the most out of yours. You might think that buying more tech will increase security, but that’s not necessarily true. It might be helpful to write a list of priorities and select the features that align with your goals.

Wired home security

A wired home security system connects an alarm panel to sensors and cameras. Each entry point in your home will have a sensor connected to the central control panel and will be equipped with motion sensors. Most newer homes are already equipped with the proper wiring, but older homes may need to be retrofitted for a wired system.

Wireless home security

Unlike a wired system, wireless systems don’t have wires. This type of system is complex for burglars to compromise because there are no wires to snip. However, this system does require you to keep batteries on hand. These systems are great if you want to take your security system with you when you move. The equipment can easily be removed and boxed up to go to your next home.

Self-monitored system

As the name suggests, this security system is one you monitor yourself. When the system is triggered, the only person who receives an alert is you. Most systems like this require you to download an app to receive notifications. Once you’ve been alerted, you have the option to call emergency services depending on the severity of the event. When the system triggers an alarm, you’ll have to deal with it as soon as possible.

Monitored system

A monitored system is overseen by a third-party company. When something happens with a monitored system, the monitoring company is alerted before anyone else. They’ll contact you to make sure the alert was not an accident. From there, they’ll alert the proper authorities of a break-in or disturbance in your home. If you don’t answer their call immediately, they’ll call the authorities. Some companies charge an extra fee for false alarms.

High-end systems can automatically detect when no one is home and turn themselves on, but basic systems require you to set the alarm yourself. If the alarm isn’t set, the system won’t be active.

Smart home security equipment you’ll want to invest in

Woman using tablet for smart home security

  • Sensors: With these, you can tell what’s going on in every area of your home. Glass break sensors detect someone breaking a window. Tilt sensors notify you when the door is opened, and window/door sensors detect disturbances in their respective areas. Flood sensors detect water on floors, alerting you to a leaky faucet or overflowing washer.
  • Cameras: Security cameras can do more than just video your home and yard. Two-way talk features allow you to communicate via the system’s app so there’s no need to get close to potential threats. You’ll receive an alert when the camera senses movement, and you can investigate the threat from the safety of your phone.
  • Smart accessories: Most security system brands offer more than just sensors and cameras. Increase your security by investing in smart door locks, smart bulbs, doorbell cameras, smart thermostats, and even smart garage door openers.

Security 101

While home security is definitely a top priority, there are other aspects of your life that you also want to keep safe. By following cybersecurity best practices, you can avoid online threats and keep your computer and phone secure. You can also up your security game with Google Authenticator and other 2FA tools.

To learn more about all the ways you can enhance your home security and smart devices, be sure to follow the Quantum Fiber blog.

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