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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.

Smart cloud security solutions for your home

Security starts with your front door

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. 

Set up your free consultation now.

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 or are interested in getting started setting up your smart security system, set up a free consultation with our security experts. 

CES 2015 – what we learned from over 40 camera manufacturers

 

ces

CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is one of the world’s biggest gathering of consumer technology innovators. And when I say one of the biggest, I mean it’s really, really huge!

More than 160,000 people flew to Las Vegas this year to get some serious business done. Angelcam was there too, and I personally talked to over 40 camera manufacturers. I also spent some time talking to home automation platforms, because I was very curious to get to know how they will use cameras in 2015, but let’s leave this topic for another blog post;)

As CES is very focused on consumers, big players like Axis, Dahua, Hikvision or Tyco skipped the show completely, and others like Foscam, D-Link & ICRealtech/ICRealtime were just introducing home cameras and having private meetings.

To be honest, nothing interesting happened at CES in terms of hardware. But I found these 3 highlights you might find interesting as well.

CES WIFI/IP CAMERA HIGHLIGHTS

1) Sengled – now releasing smart lighting with IP camera including smartphone surveillance app with face recognition.

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2) Giroptic – 360° wifi camera with sd card for outdoor fun as well as home security when you replace your light bulb with it.

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3) Skybell – quite a few of such doorbells made their appearance at CES, this one was the most interesting piece. Pretty handy for the delivery and for just checking up on your home or your office frontdoor.

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THE BIGGEST LEARNING FROM CES 2015: P2P is getting very articulated within Asian manufacturers 

I was quite surprised when I entered the Asian Pavilion and started talking to Shenzhen manufacturers.

Almost half of them said they had just launched their P2P (peer-to-peer) with their own servers in US, Europe & China! Yet they hadn’t connected all of their camera types.

They have started with cameras that are intended to be used for homes, so we will see if they can scale it. None of these manufacturers have their own cloud storage yet, but some of them said it was going to change in the next 1 – 3 years.

This movement may also be caused by the fact that Chinese manufacturers are “not just camera cases & chips assemblers” any more, they started founding their own development departments.

The way I see it, this is one big step towards cloud becoming the new standard in the near future.

Just to name a few Asian exhibitors with P2P: Foscam & Fostar (btw. they are the same company), Tenvis, WansviewZ-ben, Sopooda, CSST DIT & 10 others.

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Well, that’s pretty much it! Looking forward to bringing you more news from other upcoming events like ISC WestIFSEC and others.

Stay tuned!

PS: If you want to hear more about CES or just want to learn about angelcam partnerships, reach me at: kate@angelcam.com or add me on Skype: kate_pljaskovova

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