When we bought our house, we suddenly started getting tons of offers for home security.
Growing up, we had home security for one year. My dad had one a free year of monitoring somehow. Beyond that? We just hoped no one broke in (and, they didn’t.)
However, I am a bit more paranoid than I was used to be, and we have had a few situations where we’ve had packages stolen. So I started listening to some of these pitches and trying to decide if we should sign up for a monthly contract with one of these companies.
In the end, I just couldn’t bring myself to sign away our life to a home monitoring company. While we could get a small discount on our home insurance for having our home professionally monitored, it just didn’t seem worth it to me.
Still, I wanted to see if there were any other options.
And fortunately, we live in a very tech-savvy world. I found that there are a lot of high-quality products designed to help secure your home but allows you to keep yourself free of contracts and expensive fees.
I thought I’d share six smart home security products I’ve found that I think are worth investing in. They are designed to help monitor your home and alert you straight to your smartphone if something fishy is going on.
So if you are like me and hesitant to sign up for a monthly monitoring package, I highly recommend you look into these products and company.
August Smart Lock and Keypad
I saw a commercial for this when we were flying to California, and I thought it was pretty cool. We wanted to have keyless entry in our home, and this took it above and beyond!
The lock allows you to remotely unlock and lock it using your phone. Not only that, but you can create temporary keys or access for people straight from your app. It monitors who is leaving and going. You use it using the August Smart Key Pad which is helpful if your phone is dead.
As I’m someone who often forgets their keys, this is an awesome option. We also love not having to take the keys out of the car if one of us has to run back inside and grab something quickly.
The ability to create temporary keys for others is awesome. It’s great for if you are hosting out of town guests, having someone feed your pets while you are away, or if you run an Airbnb. You can make the keys last for minutes or months – whatever you want! You can either have them download the app and get access that way, or send them a key code that can be used on the smart keypad.
It actually integrates with the Airbnb site so you can make check-in a seamless process. August also has integrations available with ADT, Apple, Comcast, Honeywell, Logitech, and Nest!
If you have teenagers, you can even see if they snuck in after curfew (or out!) Temporarily disable their key if you really want to punish them (just kidding.)
You can install the Smart Lock easily over your existing deadbolt. The app is easy to download and use. All August products have two factors of authentication so you can KNOW they are secure.
This is another product offered by August, and truthfully, I think I want it more than the Lock (even though I love it.) We get a lot of packages delivered to our home, and we are not always home. There have been a few times where some of our packages never showed up, and we are suspicious that they were stolen. I love the idea of having a doorbell that also acts as a camera.
There are a few products like this on the market, but I think the August Doorbell is the best. Not only would it work with the app we already have for the lock, but it has great reviews. Some of the key features are:
- Answer the doorbell from anywhere! This is great if you have people show up that you weren’t expecting and you aren’t home, if you need to give instructions for leaving a package, or to scare off an intruder. I like the idea of being able to see when packages arrive, especially when we are out of town so we can ask someone to go pick it up.
- Records interactions – this is what I love. If we had a package that was missing, we could replay the footage to see if it had arrived.
- Bluetooth enabled
- You just install it right over your doorbell
Some people might think this is a little much, but honestly, I think it’s one of the coolest products out there. It’s definitely on my wish list!
iSmart Alarm Security System
We wanted to have a whole home security system that we could easily monitor ourselves. I looked around at different options, and I was pretty impressed with iSmart Alarm. They have contact sensors, motion sensors, video monitoring (you can use the iCamera Keep HD Video camera or one of the spot cameras) and a smart switch.
They have different packages you can buy, as well as a la carte options to build your own system. We have been using the preferred packaged, as well as the iCamera Keep HD Video camera. This is probably the most basic package they offer, but it’s worked really well so far for our home. I would like to get some more tags for windows, but right now, we have our main floor totally protected.
The app is compatible with iOS and Android devices, and it’s very easy to use. It alerts you when people come and go, when motion is detected, and you can watch a stream of the video. I love that I can open the device and check and see that activity that has gone on in our home.
When the alarm is triggered, it beeps for a few seconds to give you a chance to deactivate it. If it’s not deactivated within a few seconds, a very loud alarm goes off. You get alerts to your email and your phone to let you know.
We also have two key fobs so we can activate and deactivate the system without using our phones if needed. I think this is great, because, you know, sometimes you don’t have your phone or its dead.
I like that you can start small and build up from there if you feel like the system needs to be expanded. There are other packages available that come with more products, which is probably a good place to start if you have a bigger home.
There are other self-monitored home security products (some will auto dial numbers if a break in occurs), but I really like this one, and I think it’s a great option for self-monitoring devices.
Intruders aren’t the only thing you need to be concerned about. There are other dangers that can put your family and home in danger – big ones being fires and carbon monoxide.
Everybody knows you are supposed to have a carbon monoxide detector and a smoke detector…but what if you aren’t home when it goes off? I recently heard about the Nest Protect, and it’s something I want to order ASAP.
It’s pretty cool. It actually says out loud where smoke is coming from. For instance, if something is burning in the kitchen (if you are like me and tend to produce way too much smoke when cooking), it will say something like, “Heads Up, Smoke in the Kitchen.” And instead of having to figure out how to turn it off, you can simply turn it off with your phone!
It alerts your smartphone if something is going on so you can know if you aren’t home. It checks the batteries 400x a day so you don’t have to worry about that. I think it’s pretty cool, and I plan to buy one of these soon.
We talked about Lightify a few months ago. While some of the features are just kind of fun, there are actually some security benefits as well.
Lightify has a variety of different lights – from regular lightbulbs, to garden lights, to strips of light (which we hope to use under our cabinets!) You can use any combination of them as long as you have the Wireless Gateway. You control the lights from your smartphone.
There is a feature on the smartphone app where you can select “vacation mode.” In that mode, it will turn the lights on and off at different times throughout the day and night so it appears that you are at home.
When we used to go on vacation when I was a child, we would usually keep one or two lights on. I think robbers might think this was a sign we weren’t actually home, because, really, who keeps lights on all night long? By using the Lightify vacation mode, you can choose to have them go on and off at different times!
Ryobi Garage Door Opener
When i attended SNAP Conference in Salt Lake City earlier this year, Ryobi was a sponsor. I’m a big fan of their products to begin with, so when I heard about their Garage Door Opener, I really wanted to get one.
The Garage door opener can be controlled with the mobile app. So, if you forgot to close it and you are too far away to go back, you can close it with your app. While this may not necessarily be designed as a home security product, I think it can definitely help protect your home from intruders. They have different modules you can add to it, such as a fan, laser parking assist, or a Bluetooth speaker.
If you are wanting to make sure no one can get into your home without your permission, a fingerprint lock might be a good option. You use your fingerprint to unlock the door – and unless you are a really savvy hacker person, you probably won’t be able to replicate that fingerprint!
I haven’t done enough research on these, but there are a lot on Amazon that seem to be really high quality!
Have you used a home security product that you really like? Be sure to let me know in the comments. I’m always looking for new recommendations to tell people about!
Some of these products were sent to me to review. I would not recommend them if I hadn’t had a good experience! All opinions are 100% my own and not influenced or dictated by the company.