Inexpensive Wireless Security Systems, a Run-Down
If you’ve ever shopped around for home security systems in the past, then you know that they can be costly. Not to mention the expensive monthly monitoring fees. But that’s starting to change. Now there are far less expensive options available – wireless options that can save you a lot of cash. And unlike traditional security systems, these newer systems have some surprisingly advanced features. You can receive real- time alerts on your mobile device, view interior and perimeter cameras, have a camera record when the dog walker shows up and get alerts if carbon monoxide levels are too high. Some even offer the peace of mind of 24-hour professional monitoring. Mike’s Locksmith will soon be offering wireless security systems.
But which of these security systems is right for you?
The Piper NV is a camera-based security system that connects to your Android or iOS smartphone. If the device detects sound or motion, you’ll receive your choice of email, text message, phone call or push notification. You can then check in on what’s happening – the night-vision camera has a 180-degree view with pan, tilt and zoom, capturing events in enhanced HD (3.4 MP). There’s two- way audio, and if the threat is a burglar, you can activate a blistering 105 dB siren. It can connect to your smart home via the Z-Wave standard, and it has temperature and humidity sensors to boot. The Piper NV even has battery back up in case of power outage (3 AA), though if your home router isn’t working, you won’t be able to get motion/sound alerts until after the fact. There’s no service plan to buy with Piper NV, so the only cost is the camera itself.
Like the Piper NV, a motion-detecting night-vision camera lies at the heart of the Canary system. The quality of the camera is slightly lower – you only get 147- degree field of view and 1080p HD resolution (2.1 MP). And there’s no two-way audio. Canary does feature temperature, humidity and air quality monitors. Events detected by Canary are recorded and sent to the cloud for viewing; you can set off a 90dB siren if the situation calls for it. There’s no battery backup, however.
The basic level of Canary service is free and includes the ability to store 5 clips and offers 12 hours of cloud video storage. You can upgrade this to 50 clips and 7 days of video storage for $9.99 per month or to 100 clips and 30 days of video storage for $19.99 per month.
The iSmartAlarm system goes a bit beyond simple camera monitoring – it’s a build-able whole house solution that includes door and window sensors, a motion sensor, remote key-chain disarming tags and a Wi-Fi hub with a 110dB siren. There’s a night-vision camera with 110-degree vertical and 350-degree horizontal pan and tilt, though it only captures video in 640×480 resolution. Another big drawback: iSmartAlarm lacks battery backup.
There’s no service plan or monthly fees for the iSmartAlarm, so the only costs you’ll have to pay are for the individual system components
Scout Like iSmartAlarm, Scout is a customizable home security system. The basic Scout setup includes a hub (with 106dB siren), a high-definition night- vision camera, motion sensors and door/window sensors. You can monitor Scout yourself through email, SMS and push notifications, or you can pay a monthly fee for 24/7 professional monitoring. One of Scout’s best features is its 3G data backup – even if your home network is down, Scout can still give you real-time alerts if someone breaks into your house.
Simplisafe is the closest thing on this list to a traditional home security system. Rather than being based around a camera, the base Simplisafe package is built around a keypad, Wi-Fi hub, entry sensors and motion sensors. If you’d like a more advanced system, you can add on a 105dB siren, a smoke sensor, flood sensor, temperature sensor and CO sensor. All Simplisafe systems are backed up by a 5-year Lithium battery so your family will stay safe through outages. You don’t need a service plan with Simplisafe, though in that case you’ll be limited to local alarms only. A plan with 24/7 professional monitoring will cost $14.99 per month; you can add on email, SMS and text alerts for $19.99 per month.