When you’re looking for the best home security features, the options can get very overwhelming, very quickly. Do you need a wireless system or is wired OK? Do you really need all that new technology or is it just a flash in the pan?
Features to look for
If you’re trying to suss out the best home security options in a home security system, here are some cutting-edge home security features that can help make your life a little easier.
Wireless seems to be the way of the future and it can certainly cut down on the amount of work it takes to install your new home security system as there are no wires to hide or to run through walls and ceilings.
Wireless also means your system does not depend on an old-fashioned telephone line, which could be sliced by an intruder. Not to mention, these days plenty of homeowners would rather drop having a landline all together in order to cut their phone costs. Instead of relying on those hard wired lines, a wireless system uses WiFi or cell phone signal.
Check out the differences in wired vs wireless systems
Mobile app control
Many home security systems will monitor your home alarms 24/7, but there’s nothing like the added security of being able to check in on things from work or the beach. Before hiring an installer or adding a system yourself, check to see if there is app integration that can be used to monitor the system remotely.
Some apps allow you to check specific cameras around the home — so you can check in on pets for instance — or some will allow you to set up alerts so that you’re notified on your cellphone if someone enters your home.
Home automation/smart home
Do you tend to worry that you forgot to lock your front door? Ever come home to realize that you didn’t turn down the thermostat and your home is sweltering on an unexpectedly hot spring day?
If you opt for a security system with smart home integration, you can manage locks, alarms, thermostats and sometimes even specific outlets and lights with your home security app.
Home emergency warnings
Home security isn’t just about would-be intruders. Fires, floods and carbon monoxide leaks can also be tracked via some systems, with monitoring set up so the local emergency services can be called immediately if your system detects something is awry. Look for a system that offers extra smart home features such as automatically turning off the home’s air conditioning if smoke or CO is detected to lessen the spread of the gas or smoke.
This sort of technology may make you feel more secure at home, but there’s another bonus too: It could qualify you for extra savings on your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Updated camera technology
From high definition, high resolution, full color video to live feeds, camera technology has come a long way in recent years. Be on the lookout for cameras that offer special bells and whistles including night vision, the option to pan and zoom, or to move the camera around with a few swipes of the app so that you can look all around a room or your yard.
New camera technology now also offers audio capture in addition to standard vision, offering homeowners the ability to have conversations with the person at their front door without ever leaving the comfort of their couch or to have a quick check in with their kids after school by utilizing the camera’s two-way chatting feature.
High-tech motion sensors
Many cameras can be set to record all day long, but that’s a quick way to run down your batteries. Instead advances in motion sensor technology have made it possible for motion sensors to do things like signal for a camera to flip on only when something (or more likely someone) wanders into the field of view.
For homeowners who have pets at home, many systems allow for geofencing settings, so motion detection can be set to “on” in one area of the home and off in others where Fido is bound to be running around.
Read more tips on keeping your pet from triggering a false alarm.
Video files are large, and they have to be stored somewhere. Before zeroing in on a home security system, check to see if the manufacturer offers cloud storage so you don’t have to change out memory cards.
Some manufacturers offer several days worth of cloud storage for free, while others want you to pay for all storage, so make sure you factor that into your monthly budget.
Figure out which high-tech features matter to you
If you’re investing in a new home security system, you’ll want it to work for a long time into the future, so keep an eye out for the latest technology. You don’t have to splurge on it all, but a few fancy features can go a long way towards improving your peace of mind and upping your convenience.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.