Smart home security systems are getting increasingly popular with more people adopting them daily. In this article, we review the best smart home security systems of 2017. These systems will keep your home safer and alert you should something go wrong.
It is now easier than ever to set up a smart home security system. These systems have sophisticated sensors with advanced alarm systems that can be triggered by the slightest movement or obstruction. All these systems make use of the Internet of Things (IoT) whereby your smartphone can be used in tandem with them. These make it easy and cheap for your home to be monitored anywhere. These home security systems vary and they can be simple DIY kits or large kits that need to be installed by professionals.
You could also choose to monitor the system yourself or have it monitored by a team of professionals. These professionals will contact the authorities anytime the alarms are set off. The more sophisticated your system is, the higher you pay.
The eight security systems that will be featured in this article are:
• Frontpoint Home Security System
• Protect America Home Security
• SkylinkNet Alarm System Starter Kit (SK-200)
• iSmartAlarm Premium Package
• Smanos W020i Wi-Fi Alarm System
• Vivint Smart Home
• LiveWatch Plug & Protect IQ 2.O Review
• SimpliSafe Home Security System
Components of smart home security systems
Smart home security systems connect to the Wi-Fi network in your home. This enables you to control and monitor the security devices in your home using an app installed on your smartphone. The simplest home security systems come with a motion detector, a few window and door sensors and a hub that communicates with the components via wireless protocols like Zigbee, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave etc. You could add window, door and motion sensors for more coverage for your home. You could also add garage door openers, lights, sirens, smoke detectors, door locks, outdoor and indoor surveillance cameras, water sensors etc.
Mobile App and Integration
All the home security systems in this article have mobile apps that serve as control and notification points for the systems. You can use the mobile app to arm and disarm the system, delete and add components, create rules and receive notifications when the alarms are set off. With the smartphone apps, you can change the settings of the thermostat, unlock and lock doors, watch live and recorded videos and turn off alarms. There are even some apps that use the location features of your phone to disarm or arm the system based on your location. Some expensive systems come with wall mounted panels that serve as communication hubs. These have touch displays that allow you to do whatever the mobile app can do. The hubs can also notify professional monitoring services anytime an alarm is triggered.
The components of the smart home security system must all work together seamlessly. You should also be able to manipulate them using predefined rules set by you. You can have the doors unlock automatically when motion is detected or have the lights go on when any sensor is triggered. You could also have the camera start recording when any sensor is triggered. These videos could be stored locally on hard drives or SD cards. You could also choose to store them in the cloud. Locally stored videos need to be overwritten to accommodate more videos but they are quite cheaper. Cloud storage could be more expensive but it offers easier access and storage for videos.
Professional Installation or DIY?
Some of the setups featured in this article are DIY. That is, you can install them yourself. You won’t incur extra installation costs with them. These include systems like the SkylinkNet Alarm System, the iSmartAlarm and the SimpliSafe Home Security. These DIY systems are sold in kits that you can configure depending on your needs. You can also add extra components anytime you desire.
The SkylinkNet Alarm System can be installed in minutes and it is quite affordable. It is basic and uses its own M-code wireless protocol. This means it does not work with third party wireless protocols like Zigbee, Wi-Fi and Z-Wave. The iSmartAlarm system is easy to configure and install but it doesn’t have a monitoring system. So, if someone tries to break into your house, you have to call the local authorities yourself. It has various components but doesn’t support thermostats, door locks and smoke alarms. The SimpliSafe system does not support third party devices and doesn’t have a great mobile app but you can pay for a monitoring system and it is very easy to install.
If you don’t want to install the system yourself, you could go for the Vivint Smart Home System. This system has smoke/CO alarms, light switches, window and door sensors, glass break detectors, video doorbell, water and motion detectors, thermostats etc. The system can use multiple wireless protocols so it can communicate with Wi-Fi, Z-Wave and RF. It also offers round-the-clock monitoring with alerts to fire and local police departments. It has a 7-inch control panel that allows you to communicate with a representative live when any alarm is triggered. You could also use the panel to watch live video from the doorbell camera before opening the door. The mobile app is also great. The system doesn’t come cheap and it requires professional installation but it is an all-inclusive system that also serves as a home automation system.
Can a Security Camera be Used Instead?
Yes, you can use a security camera if you live in a small apartment and you need to secure your home. You have good options like the Nest Cam Outdoor and the iControl Networks Piper nv.
The cameras have sensors that can track motion and they will send you notifications when any movement is detected. The Piper nv will even send you notifications if temperature and humidity thresholds are exceeded. Both systems are good alternatives that will save you money.
We shall examine the eight security systems briefly below.
Protect America Home Security
Protect America is a DIY security and automation system that gives you professional monitoring round-the-clock. Almost all the hardware is free but you have to pay a costly monthly subscription fee. You also have to sign up for a three-year contract.
The SimpliSafe Home Security System
The SimpliSafe Home Security System is a DIY, easy to use system that is quite comprehensive. It is a quite affordable system.
Frontpoint Home Security System
Frontpoint Home Security System is a DIY system that is easy to install. It gives you a wide array of compatible accessories. It is more expensive than competing systems and it requires a monitoring contract but it is effective.
Smanos W020i Wi-Fi Alarm System
This is a DIY security system that is expandable and easy to install. But the camera isn’t that good and it can’t be integrated with other smart home devices.
iSmartAlarm Home Security System
The iSmartAlarm is a home security system that can be controlled with a smartphone. It doesn’t require any monthly fee and it is easy to install. The camera only saves snapshots and the system can’t be controlled by a desktop PC.
SkylinkNet Alarm System Starter Kit (SK-200)
The SkylinkNet Alarm System Starter Kit (SK-200) is an affordable way of securing your home. But it lacks some features.
LiveWatch Plug & Protect IQ 2.0
The LiveWatch Plug & Protect IQ 2.0 is a DIY system that offers professional monitoring and home automation capabilities. The camera installation isn’t straightforward and you need to pay for a subscription to enjoy it.
The Vivint Smart Home
The Vivint Smart Home offers you round-the-clock monitoring system with remote control of cameras, door locks and heating system. The video doorbell is arguably the best available.