Make your home a smart home

Recent innovations in home security systems have made it easier than ever to set up a smart home in which you can remotely control your door locks, lights, thermostats, vacuums, lawnmowers and even pet feeders, using your smartphone and a downloaded app. It is also possible, simple and affordable to monitor your home from anywhere you find yourself. Smart security systems are extremely customisable and available as kits that you can set up yourself or as complete systems that include professional installation and ongoing monitoring giving you peace of mind.

Depending on your needs and your budget you can go with a system that you monitor yourself or pay a small subscription fee to have your home monitored twenty-four hours a day by professionals who will contact your local fire and police stations when alarms are triggered. You can even take advantage of on-demand monitoring services for when you are away from the home or on holiday.

If you feel that a dedicated security system is not for you there are plenty of individual devices available that let you monitor your home from anywhere using your phone or tablet, including indoor and outdoor security cameras, video doorbells, motion sensors, and smart locks.

A smart home security system connects to your home Wi-Fi network so you can monitor and control your security devices using your smartphone and an app. Basic systems usually include door and window sensors, a motion detector, and a hub that communicates with these devices. You can add extra door, motion, and window sensors to provide coverage for your entire house and build a bespoke system that includes door locks, garage door openers, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, lights and alarms.

Any smart security system worth having offers components that work together in an environment and can be manipulated using customised rules. For example, you can create rules to have the lights turn on when motion is detected, have your doors unlock when a smoke alarm goes off, and have a camera begin recording when a sensor is triggered. Some systems store recorded video locally on an SD card or a hard drive, while others offer cloud storage. Video footage stored locally is a good choice for those on a budget but take care not to overwrite video you may wish to view later. Cloud storage makes it easy to store and access recorded video, but it can be expensive depending on the subscription.

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