It seems that more and more we cannot live without our smartphones. When you don’t have your phone with you it almost feels like you’ve left part of your body behind. We eat, breathe, and sleep with them. We’ve come a long way from when they were simply used to make phone calls. They’ve become almost like cultural icons, if not a crutch – they are a means by which we entertain, educate, and connect each other. Once you get past the stigma there is surrounding smartphones as a source of distraction (which in fairness they can be… especially when you find yourself beating ‘just one more level’ of Candy Crush) smartphones can be extremely useful in a number of ways beyond just communication.
For example, our phones have now become powerful enough to be used to help keep our homes safe and secure. To some this might seem like a far-fetched notion but there are now hundreds of mobile apps available for home security which are easy to use, sometimes free, and most importantly, allow you to protect our home no matter where you are in the world, whether that’s the local shops or on Safari on the plains of the African Savannah.
Here at Insuremyhouse.ie, we have compiled a list of seven great security options for your home that can be used from your smartphone; whether that’s to keep an eye out on your mischievous puppy, check that your kids have made it home from school safely, or make sure there are no intruders in your home.
Features: Connects to existing security systems
What’s great about this app is that it can be easily connected to your already-existing home security system so you can monitor and control you home from your phone. By downloading this app, you get real-time alerts to your phone, or even smartwatch, if there is any movement in your home or if a security breach is registered by your alarm system. With Alarm.com, you can: manage your energy use, watch video streaming from any CCTV cameras you may have, and interact with your security system – all on your phone. The only requirement for Alarm.com is that you have a compatible security system that can be connected to it. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows phones.
Price: Device is $149 with free app
Features: Innovative system with climate sensors
Canary is a very powerful system that will replace your outdated, bulky and confusing and dumb (low tech) security system with a small, sleek and inexpensive device. The Canary system is in place, the app lets you track a number of things in your home from motion, temperature, sound, activity, and even air quality all from your phone. To use the free app, you first have to buy the Canary home security device. This powerful little device is equipped with a HD camera with night vision, a microphone, motion sensors and climate sensors. Although the price may seem a little steep when compared to other free alternatives, but the security system that comes along with it is one of the newest, most innovative and powerful systems on the market.
Features: Home computer becomes your surveillance camera
iSentry is an app that connects to your home computer’s web camera turns it into a surveillance system. You simply point your camera towards an area in your home you want to monitor and when there is motion, the app notifies you on your phone. This free app enables you to snap photos from the video stream, and also get live video feed of the selected room. The app works well with any web camera. While this system uses great technology the drawback is that it can only monitor specific sections of your home where the webcam is set up. You will need multiple camers set up in order to keep an eye on more than one area. Users have also mentioned that it may not be suitable for those who have pets such as dogs or cats as they can often set off the motion sensor giving you a false alarm on your phone. If you do not have pet or have an area of your home that needs that little bit of extra protection, it works great to prevent and warn against intruders.
4. Security Camera
Features: Security for home computer
Not all the apps in this list are for complete home protection and Security Camera is an example of this. It helps protect your home computer and you from identity theft and keeps track of everyone who has used the computer. The way Security Camera works is it takes a silent and time-stamped snapshot of everyone who is on your computer through the computers inbuilt or external webcam and stores one photo on the computer and one photo in your DropBox account. That way, if someone breaks into or steals your computer, you can have an image of that intruder. This app also works great for your children’s protection and makes sure they are not using the family computer when they are not supposed to. It’s very simple to setup and easy to use.
Price: Camera is $199 with free app
Features: Camera is linked to phone
Nest is an extremely powerful system that is easy to use and install. To work this free app, you must first buy a Nest camera and then link it to any of your devices such as your iPhone or iPad. The setup takes about 60 seconds or less. Once activated, the video stream can be sent directly to your phone, or can be recorded and saved for later viewing. One great feature of Nest is the built in two-way sound system. This lets you talk in real time to people in the room to distract or scare away burglars, welcome home your family, or calm down your barking dog. It also has digital zoom so you can focus on one part of the room. Another feature is the ability to share your video stream with your friends who also have the app, and vice-versa, so you all can look out for one another. The Nest camera system and also seamlessly link up with other nest products you may have in your home such as the Nest Thermostat or the Nest Smoke & CO alarm.
Price: Device starts at $199 with free app
Features: Sleek design for home automation
Currently the Vivint system is one of, if not the, most power systems on the market along with Nest that we just looked at. With the free Vivint app, which is available for iPhones, iPads, Androids, Blackberrys, you can monitor and control all your home security systems and more no matter where you are in the world. The app enables you to completely automate your home from locking doors, setting your thermostat, and turning your lights on or off while on holidays or at work. It only works with Vivint home security products, so it does run a bit more expensive than alternatives like Canary and Dropcam. However, as we’ve mentioned it completely automates your home, so you can control and monitor every security system in your home, including door locks, appliances, lights and even thermostat. This system has us amazed with how powerful it is. It turns your phone or iPad from a mobile device to a complete home security and monitoring station. Unfortunately, it is currently only available in North America but reports suggest that they will be rolling it out worldwide in the future.
Price: Camera is $69 with free app
Features: Stylish design with movable camera
iSmartAlarm does not just look pretty, but it also functions great. The initial set up means that first must purchase the WiFi camera (which costs $79) and then download the free app on your mobile device. Currently it is only available for iPhone or iPad, but they are working on an Android version. When the system is activated, it will send alerts with screenshots to the connected app via text, email or by a phone call. If you do get an alert that a visitor is in your home, you can either ignore the alert or notify the police. Another great function of the app is that you can control the movement of the camera by swiping your finger across the screen. This allows you to track any intruders in your home so that you can record their every movement as evidence.
With all of these apps, the control of home your security is placed right into your hands. Long gone are the days where we either risked not having home security, or had expensive, bulky and confusing low tech systems, where we simply set the alarm as we left and hoped that it was sufficient to protect your home. Interactive, DIY and inexpensive home security can be in your home today simply by downloading an app to your phone.
These home security options are all fantastic at helping prevent your home from being burgled but there is still a chance it can happen and some of the above options will only notify you once the burglary in happening. You will also need protection on your home in the form of insurance. This will help you recover some of the costs you may incur if you home is burgled and valuable items are stolen.
At Insuremyhouse.ie we can tailor your home insurance policy to suit your needs and make sure you have the right cover for you. To find out more and get a customised quote please fill in our online quote form or call a member of our specialist team on 016032999 now.