Getting started with smart home security

With over 3 million home burglaries every year in the US alone, homeowners are driven to find a viable, preventative home security solution. With modern technology, they can look beyond the old, passive solutions and discover an opportunity to enhance their security, installing a system that is truly proactive and reactive. A means of not only more effectively preventing break-ins, but also enabling fast, reliable emergency assistance, gaining deeper knowledge of all triggered events at their home, providing better ease-of-use for family and friends, and much more.

While these smart security solutions provide a multitude of advanced features and functionality, making for a powerful, user-friendly security system, they also present homeowners with a difficult, time-consuming process of identifying where to start. That’s where we come in! We want to help get you familiar with some of these cutting-edge options by outlining some practical ways you can upgrade your home security, along with some recommended products and services.

It All Starts at your Front Door

As the main entryway into your home, the front door is an ideal place to begin when assessing your security needs and there are few other places in your home that present as many choices. One of the best all-around solutions though is a smart intercom, which goes way beyond what a standard intercom provides and introduces a host of integrated features from video recording to external light control to remote, keyless access.

One of the most well-known, all-in-one intercoms comes from 2N Intercoms, which offer devices that have an integrated camera (for video recording & presence detection), relays (for controlling lights & locks), and app functionality. While not the cheapest option (i.e. 2N IP BASE model is currently $850), the ability to monitor and control various functions at the front of your home, is a perfect combination of strength and convenience.

Another option, similar to smart intercoms, are video doorbells, like those from the company, Ring. Their line of Ring Video Doorbells have similar functionality to smart intercoms, including video, audio, and motion tracking, but lack the ability to remotely unlock the door. Their models range from the basic, battery-powered model ($99) to the fully-featured PoE (Power over Ethernet) model ($499).

Take your Access to the Next Level

While on the topic of front doors, many savvy homeowners are moving beyond the deadbolt and integrating smart locks that not only work in unison with both smart intercoms and doorbells, but are truly smart, working just as well without those devices.

Allowing for controlled access to your home, these locks work via remote access, many times via a mobile device. One such example comes from Nuki, which provides keyless access, activity logs, the ability to give access to individual users, and more.

Best of all, installation is simple and can be done without professional help.

Windows that Keep you Informed

Picture this, someone is trying to break into your window but is thwarted by either a lock, a neighbor, or some other factor. While it’s great that burglar couldn’t get into your home, wouldn’t you have liked to know they were trying to break in when it was happening? Shock sensors give you that peace of mind, giving you or third-party agents the ability to react when movement or a potential break-in is detected.

There are quite a lot of Wireless motion/shock sensors on the market and some of them require a device called a HUB/Base Unit that connects the sensors in your home to the internet and transmits their signals via. Other, more modern models don’t require a HUB and work connected directly to Sigfox, NB-IOT, LORA or other modern networks.

Some of our recommended window sensors are:

Securing your Yard the Smart Way

With high-resolution image quality, wireless connectivity, and more, today’s modern security cameras open up a new world of utility, giving you more clarity and oversight than ever before. But with those advancements comes a trade-off – how do you choose which one is best for your specific needs?

When selecting a new camera, the most important aspects to consider are the resolution, the sensor, and, to a lesser extent, the additional built-in features. One thing many people mistakenly believe is that the more megapixels the better. While this may be the case for those selfies on your iPhone, this isn’t necessarily the case for that new camera on your garage.

Smart home security: Have your property secured by a team of remote security professionals

What’s important to consider is not just the image quality, but the type and size of the image sensor. Every camera has some kind of sensor, these days the industry-standard is a CMOS sensor, but older models may have a CCD sensor. With that, the bigger the sensor is, the more light that can be used for each and every pixel, delivering much better light sensitivity during low-light conditions, which is vital for outdoor cameras.

For instance, a 4K camera has 4 times more pixels than a Full HD model, which means that 4x as much light will be required for each pixel. With an inadequate sensor, you will experience a low-light scenario, producing undesirable results like lots of image noise or the blurring of moving objects, both of which would destroy forensic details meaning you wouldn’t be able to identify individuals on the video.

Beyond image quality and sensors, you should consider some of the extra built-in capabilities such as embedded video analytics called, Video Motion Detection, which can detect if there is a movement in the area of interest.

With all of that said, Axis cameras are a great all-around option, combining good image quality and sensors, with one of the best Video Motion Detection embedded (for free) with the possibility to upgrade to their Axis Guard Suite analytics (additional $50) which offers better detection results. Axis cameras vary from $200 to even $800 and more depending on requested features. A good, all-around camera for monitoring your yard, with integrated infrared-lights (night-vision), is the AXIS M3105-LVE ($300).

If you need more help selecting, installing, or connecting your security camera(s), our security professionals are more than happy to help. Consulting with them is free and getting started is easy. 

Remote Monitoring is your Reliable Security Partner

Imagine you have your smart security system designed and installed perfectly. You have the right combination of sensors and cameras, smart devices at your front door, and controlled entry into your home. Now what do you do if something is triggered and you can’t or are unable to react? What if a camera becomes blocked or there’s a false alarm?

In these cases, you need a virtual partner in operating and administering your security system and that’s where services such as Remote Monitoring comes in. With Angelcam’s Video Verification service, your entire system is connected to the cloud and accessed by a team of security professionals who can verify alerts, perform camera health checks, and notify you and the authorities, when necessary, of expected (e.g. parcel deliveries) and unexpected activity (e.g. break-in attempts).

If you have any questions on anything mentioned above feel free to comment in the section below.