We live in a dangerous world, so a little precaution is never a bad thing.
There are many ways to protect your home, family and belongings—some more controversial than others. Home security systems handle the basics like alerting the police if there’s a break in, but they don’t detect everything. Fortunately, there are devices that can supplement your home’s defenses and keep you safe. Here are five worth considering:
Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock ( BUY HERE )
It’s not unusual to give a key to a neighbor, boyfriend, or girlfriend. But if that relationship goes bad, things can get awkward—and sometimes worrisome. The $229 Kevo works in conjunction with smartphones, letting you grant (and revoke) access to your door locks. People who are approved for entry can easily walk in if they have their smartphone.. Homeowners can also remove people from their approved lists. Kevo will provide alerts when someone goes in or out of the house. Want even more control? The $229 Kwikset Premis, a different lock, lets you monitor who has come and gone—and lets you lock or unlock your door remotely, via your iPhone.
Nest Cam Outdoor ( BUY HERE )
While doorbell cameras are increasingly popular, they limit what the homeowner can see to a narrow area. If you’re looking to keep a closer eye on all of your yard, a series of outdoor cameras may be a better option. The $199 Nest Cam Outdoor has excellent 1080p video quality and is activated by both sound and motion. It boasts a crisp night vision camera and will send alerts to you via email when it’s activated. One thing to be aware of: You’ll need to sign up for Nest’s paid subscription service for essential features like those activity alerts and storing video in the cloud.
LG Smart Security Wireless Camera ( BUY HERE )
It’s hard to go wrong with a Nest or DropCam camera for monitoring inside your home, but LG’s $200 entry is an intriguing alternative. With a 130 degree lens, it captures almost everything that happens in a room—and video can be stored to the cloud or paired with ADT professional monitoring (for a monthly fee for both). A big part of the appeal, though, is this camera’s small size. If you place it in the right spot of your living room, potential intruders may not even notice that they’re being filmed.
Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm ( BUY HERE )
Nest got some unwanted publicity when it was forced to recall the first version of these dual-purpose alarms because of a glitch that could stop them from sounding. But the updated devices are widely praised. The $99 system does everything you’d expect. It initially warns you about smoke or carbon monoxide by flashing a yellow light and by sounding an audio alert of a recorded human voice. The warning doesn’t generate the panic induced by many other traditional alarms, which instantly blare when they sense smoke or carbon monoxide. (Nest sounds a louder alarm if the situation gets worse.) Nest also silently self-tests its internal component every 200 seconds to ensure that it’s working well. And it is compatible with Nest’s other home devices in case of emergency (i.e. if an alarm sounds, it triggers the Nest Cam to start filming)
Roost Smart Battery ( BUY HERE )
Don’t want to shell out $99 for a smoke detector? This $35 battery will make your dumb smoke or carbon monoxide detector smarter by sending an alert to your smartphone when the alarm goes off. That way you can quickly call 911 even if you’re away from home.