What Are the Best Affordable Home Security Systems?
For home security, the low-hanging fruit may be in your smartphone
If you have wireless internet in your home and a smartphone in your pocket, you have a wide assortment of low-cost home-security options, from a traditional alarm system to the more affordable home-surveillance kits–the security camera for the digital age.
Security Cameras: One of the most popular an effective deterrents to theft and vandalism are security cameras. Today, these come with easy indoor and outdoor installation, and can provide either recording or simply live surveillance. You can record video using a built-in motion detector so you don’t record hours of inactivity.
Internet-accessible security cameras include wide-angle lenses adjustable for an ideal viewing angle and infrared sensitivity for night viewing. Some have motors that allow you to pan the camera remotely.
Both Comcast and Time Warner offer home-surveillance packages, as well as full-blown security systems. My Home Control system with Comcast includes one wide-angle camera with night vision, and a door sensor. I travel frequently. Whenever the front door opens, I receive a text message–such as when my neighbor comes to water the plants. I can see activity in my house from any internet connection for a small add-on monthly fee to my cable bill of $8.00. A complete security system with Comcast costs about $29.95 per month.
You can also purchase off-the-shelf security cameras with internet access at Best Buy, Radio Shack, and other electronics stores. I recommend the D-Link – Wireless Network Surveillance Camera for $119.99, a low-cost option that includes many high-end features, including infrared night vision up to 26.2′; sound and motion detection; and remote pan and tilt capability, which allows you to pan the camera from your tablet or iPhone®, iPad® and select Android devices.
Sturdy Doors and Locks: Of course, the first and least costly security system is a sturdy wood door and a high quality deadbolt. But even here, technology offers new convenience with KEVO by Kwikset, a Bluetooth enabled deadbolt-so you can unlock and lock your home with… what else? Your iPhone! Sold at Apple stores, Best Buy and Home Depot for $219.99, the touch-sensitive lock sends access notifications, flashes a fashionable blue light when operated, and allows you to set and control e-key access. O yea, it also works with a traditional key.
Motion Sensors: Thieves and vandals are less likely to target your home if well lit. To light the dark spots at side yards, or where bushes and trees provide easy cover, you can purchase motion sensor lights. Today’s motion sensors are much more reliable, and many lighting options exist including solar powered LED lights and long lasting, battery powered, peel-and-stick type LED lights. Check out the Nature Power Solar Powered Outdoor 60 LED security light with motion sensor for $48.61 at Home Depot. It comes with a detached, amorphous solar cell. This means you can place the solar cell where the sun shines most, rather than where the light is located, and “amorphous” cell simply means it charges even on cloudy days.
I recommend the D-Link - Wireless Network Surveillance Camera for $119.99, a low cost option that includes many high end features, including infrared night vision up to 26.2'; sound and motion detection; remote pan and tilt capability, which allows you to pan the camera from your tablet or iPhone®, iPad® and select Android devices.
KEVO by Kwikset, is a Bluetooth enabled deadbolt sold at Apple stores, Best Buy, and Home Depot for $219.99.
The Nature Power Solar Powered Outdoor 60 LED security light with motion sensor, avaialble for $48.61 at Home Depot, comes with a detached, amorphous solar cell.