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Best Technology for Home Security

 

There are Plenty of Ways to Protect Your Most Valuable Investment. It All Starts with Choosing the Right Technology.

The security of your home is a top priority. Even in areas where the threat of crime is low, knowing what's going on in and around your house provides considerable peace of mind.

Thanks in large part to advancing technology, finding the right combination of protection has never been easier. From home monitoring services and DIY set-ups to a combination of both, there's plenty of options from which to choose. 

You can start small—a few cameras here or there to cover blind spots around your home. Or you can piece together a system that rivals a casino—cameras hanging from every soffit, sensors on every door and window, and remote monitoring both via a third party and from your smartphone.

Of course, each comes with varying levels of commitment, know-how, and cost. And each home has different needs and requirements to ensure its maximum security.

So, wondering where to start? It first helps to know what's out there, the services available, where the current tech stands, and where it might be going. Let's take a look at the best technologies for home security.

The DIY Basics

Before we get into full-blown home security systems and third-party monitoring, we will start with some of the basic everyday tech geared towards the DIY crowds.

Many of these products and solutions won't necessarily provide full 360 security coverage for your home. Still, they are a great place to start building your home security system. 

Video doorbells, smart locks, and cameras are popular. They're relatively inexpensive and easy to install. In addition, for less tech-savvy homeowners, they're a fantastic first step between simple security and more advanced solutions. In other words, if you're a bit wary of home automation and security, this is a great place to start.

Video Doorbells

Credit: Cnet
 
Video doorbells are the in-vogue gadgets in home security at the moment, and for a good reason. They are one of the easiest home security items to install and reasonably cheap when measured against cameras and smart locks. They can quickly plug you into the comings and goings in front of your home (or wherever a doorbell may be positioned).

Amazon-owned Ring is the current gold standard for video doorbell options. The brand sells eight different versions of doorbell, including hardwired, battery, and solar-powered options. Their top of the line Video Doorbell Elite costs $349.99 and would look at home on any luxury residence.

Other options in the video doorbell market include Google's Nest Hello. The Hello is about as simple and straightforward as a video doorbell gets and provides HD video, night vision, and 24/7 streaming. You can grab one for $299. Alternatives to the big names of Amazon and Google include the Arlo Video Doorbell for $149.99. Wyze also has an inexpensive option at $29.99.

Smart Locks

Similar to the video doorbell, smart locks are a great starter gadget for both home automation and security. They prove immensely helpful for those forgetful types who are unsure if they locked the front or back door before leaving the house.

The most popular brand of smart locks comes from August Smart Lock, with their top of line Wifi Smart Lock available for $249.99. Additional devices are available from both Yale and Schlage. Yale offers keypad solutions from $149 to $329, and Schlage offers four different styles starting at $119. Again, for those wanting a deal, Wyze has a lock for $99.99 and a keypad for $19.99.

Cameras

Although video doorbells and smart locks are great solutions, for many homeowners, security means seeing what's happening in and around their house. That's where DIY cameras come in.

The best, most reliable cameras will be weatherproof, feature high definition video, and have a range of features, including night vision and storage, with the capability to work seamlessly with any home automation.

Top options include Arlo's $499.99 Pro 4 (for a set of two) or the 4K capable Ultra, which retails for $599.99 (set of two). Ring and Nest also feature in the camera market. Ring offers three outdoor options, including spotlight or floodlight options, that range up to $249.99. Nest's single outdoor camera costs $399.99.

Wyze
comes in with affordable camera options, too—in addition to their smart lock and video doorbell. Far from a cheap knock-off, Wyze's affordability—cameras range from $19.99 to $49.99—allows security-conscious, DIY homeowners to test the waters of automation and home security without a significant time or financial commitment.

Home Security Systems

Now we're getting into the heavy hitters of home security. The following providers all offer security systems that allow customization, automation, and self or third-party monitoring.

You can opt for connected cameras with smartphone access and window and motion sensors, smart assistant integration, and third-party monitoring. You get to create the security system of your dreams.

As we review the list, keep in mind that modern home security is very much an a la carte proposition. You can't put a price on your home's security, but several systems will get pricey fast when coupled with monitoring. You may want to weigh what you need now versus add-ons to consider later.

ADT

Credit: ADT

There are few home security systems more widely known or used than those from ADT. Drive around any neighborhood, and you're certain to find a small placard showing the home is secured with ADT.

ADT offers three levels of home security, Secure, Smart, and Complete, with the Complete option being their most comprehensive. It includes a digital security panel, sensors and intrusion detection, smart home automation, video surveillance, fire, CO, and flood monitoring, and wireless remotes.

The service also includes professional installation and 24/7 monitoring. You can contact ADT to get a free quote, either online or over the phone.

Frontpoint

Frontpoint is the first of several of our home monitoring picks that offer zero cost DIY installation. Their basic equipment package, a 7-piece safe home starter kit, comes with a hub and keypad, two doors and two window sensors, a motion sensor, and a free doorbell camera.

Frontpoint monitoring fees are high—monthly monitoring starts at $44.99 per month—but the threshold to get started is low, with the basic security package, including the equipment noted above, for $319.95.

The service possesses more in-depth customization, including an array of cameras, a range of sensors, including those that keep tabs on smoke, heat, water, and CO levels, home automation features, and notifications to your smartphone. For a customized package, or information on their 9-piece, 12-piece, or 14-piece prepackaged kits, you can contact Frontpoint for a free quote.

Ring

For the ultimate experience in customization, we circle back to Amazon-owned Ring. In addition to its individual solutions, Ring sells 5-piece, 8-piece, 10-piece, or 14-piece security kits that feature hubs, keypads, multiple sensors, and motion detectors. The kit prices start at $199.99 and range up to $329.99. A video recording subscription runs $3 per month.

Ring's professional 24/7 monitoring subscription service is one of the cheapest available. It costs $10 per month or $100 per year if you pick an annual plan. Alongside its physical technology, Ring is also behind the Neighbor's app, connecting you with other users in your neighborhood.

Ring's real benefit is the sheer number of devices they offer, which you can then connect to your home security network. Alarms, indoor cameras, smoke, CO, flood and freeze sensors, panic buttons, smart lighting, and the above-mentioned doorbells and outdoor cameras—ultimately, whatever your security needs, chances are Ring has a component for it.

SimpliSafe

Credit: Cnet

Though it may not yet have the full name recognition of ADT, the elegant DIY set-up and relatively inexpensive 24/7 monitoring from SimpliSafe is fast becoming the preferred security technology for homeowners across the country.

Consistent with other DIY options, SimpliSafe features kits of varying sizes, including a 4-piece version for apartments or condos and 6-piece, 13-piece, and 14-piece options for single-family houses. Initial pricing ranges from $229 to $489. There's also a build-your-own set-up option, which allows you full customization from SimpliSafe's range of cameras, sensors, and monitors. The no-contract home monitoring starts at $14.99 per month.

Vivint

Finally, for homeowners who prefer the order and forget it approach, there's Vivint. There's no DIY option here, and it's not cheap—starter equipment begins at $599.99 and can easily eclipse more than $1,000—but if you're looking for professional, white-glove service, and high-end security tech, installation, and monitoring, Vivint is the place to call.

Vivint's 24/7 monitoring runs $29.99 per month, and you avoid a monthly contract if you opt to purchase your equipment outright. The commitment to service also includes free equipment replacement. You can contact the company directly for a custom quote and security options.  

Are you considering making Rancho Santa Fe, La Jolla, or Del Mar your home away from home? Or perhaps you're aiming for a permanent address in Mission Hills or Downtown San Diego? Contact Zach Weinger today and allow his expert market insight and love for Southern California to be your guide to discovering the best of San Diego luxury real estate.

*Header Image: SafeWise



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