If you’ve ever received a quote from an electrician to fit a CCTV system in your house, you’ll know it’s cheaper to fly return to London – business class! For a fraction of the cost, it’s easy to install a wireless smart home security system with all the vital footage you need beamed directly to your smartphone.
Camera systems come for external use with weather protection or inside the home to catch unwanted intruders, keep an eye on the kids, or, more importantly, check that your pets are OK!
A quality system will shoot footage in night vision, so anything that goes bump in the night will be caught on film.
Don’t want to invest in multiple cameras? A video doorbell is an excellent option. Not only will it guard the entrance to your palace, but it also acts as a video concierge where you can organise courier and postal drop-offs via your smartphone even if you’re not even home.
Eufy Security eufyCam 2C Pro 2K
Want to avoid subscription fees? This one has you covered with 16GB of local storage. The wireless cameras have a 180-day battery life, military-grade encryption and capture the footage day and night in crystal clear 2K resolution.
Arlo Essential Wire-Free Video Doorbell
With this video doorbell, you’ve got the option to hardwire it into the mains or power it from a rechargeable battery. Video is captured in 1080P with a 180-degree viewing angle, so you’ll never miss a parcel again!
For centuries, door access has been gained with a key, but this is 2021, and keys were so last season. Smart locks are the ultimate convenience. Leave your bulky keys behind; all you need here is a code. Virtual key codes can be distributed via an app to the house cleaner or dog walker. The lock can even be geofenced, so when you struggle to the door with shopping in one hand and a baby in the other, the lock will automatically open. And if you leave in a rush and can’t remember whether you locked the door, just jump on the app and check – if it is unlocked, lock it with a simple touch. Some smart locks have been designed so they can be retrofitted to an existing standard lock.
Eufy Security Smart Lock Touch
This is the all-rounder smart lock that offers complete versatility. It can be opened with a fingertip reading, a code, via Bluetooth, or the traditional way with a key.
Yale Unity Entrance Lock
The Unity can be used either with the app, a key card, or directly with the Yale Smart Keypad. It features digital deadlocking and will automatically unlock when you’re in the vicinity.
Whenever you’re buying a camera kit, first ensure that it’s compatible with your ecosystem. For example, the excellent Eve range of cameras has been designed to work only with Apple HomeKit. Now let’s talk about the ‘subscription’ word. While most cameras will allow you to live stream from the device, often footage recorded to the cloud is locked behind a monthly subscription fee. These aren’t exorbitant costs, but if you don’t want to sign up for a locked-in fee, look for a brand with internal storage in a hub.
Safe tips for the smart home
- One of the questions we’re often asked is how secure is a smart home from hackers? The truth is that if it’s connected online, then nothing is 100 per cent safe. However, manufacturers are constantly updating and improving security.
- If you follow the steps below, you’re helping in that fight, and most of the points are common sense that we already employ in the cyber world.
- If you can’t remember all of your passwords off the top of your head, consider a password management system. Always keep all your login details secure.
- Don’t use your dog’s name, date of birth, or your favourite football team as a password. Pick a strong password with a minimum of 12 characters.
- Set a strong password for your Wi-Fi, too, and avoid calling the network by your name. You don’t need to give any potential hackers a head start.
- Install system updates as soon as you receive the prompts.
- Never access your smart home network through open or public Wi-Fi.
- Look after your smartphone. This is your universal remote, so you don’t want it falling into the wrong hands. Protect it with a passcode and face recognition security and ensure ‘find my phone’ is activated.