3 home security tools that will give travelers peace of mind

May 11, 2016 Mark Dauner

 

Whether you live alone or you have a house full of children, staying connected to what’s going on at home while you’re hundreds or thousands of miles away can be a challenge. Everybody has a handle on the tools like Skype and Facetime that help you communicate with friends and family while traveling, but what about managing the security of your home – or just knowing what’s going on while you’re away? How do you make sure that deliveries are put in the right spot when you aren’t there to bring them inside?

Things like weigh on everyone’s minds when they’re away from home. New technology tools can help us keep an eye on what’s going on when we leave the house each day. Here are a few of them:

Ring Video Doorbell

RIng-Video-DoorbellRing is a doorbell that connects to your home internet connection and let’s you know via your smartphone when somebody’s at the door – wherever you’re at in the world. Its built-in camera and motion detectors will detect any activity around your door, and you’re even able to communicate with the person at the door. It’s great for telling delivery people where to put your package, or for making it seem like you’re at home to someone who may have intentions of breaking in – even if you’re on the other side of the world. Video of activity caught by Ring’s wide angle camera is saved to the cloud so that you can review it and save it when needed. People have used Ring to identify burglars. Others have used it to make sure their teenagers aren’t coming home too late. However you think you’ll use it, Ring is a pretty interesting home automation tool that can really help people when they aren’t at home. It costs between $199 and $249 depending on the model you choose and installation is pretty simple.

Phillips Hue lights

Phillips-Hue-LED-LightsEverybody’s got one of those timers that will turn a light on and off a a specific time. Travelers have used them for years to present the illusion that someone’s at home. The problem is they typically will only turn on and off a couple of times a day or night.  If you happen to forget to plug it in before you leave, you’re out of luck.

There are a number of different “smart” light bulbs out there that solve this issue. By connecting to your internet, these bulbs will allow you to turn your lights on and off via your smartphone or tablet. I have Phillips Hue lights in my home, which allow me to set on and off times for lights or to have them come on and off at random intervals – more like they would if someone was home. Phillips Hue bulbs will also change to virtually any color or brightness you can imagine. You can have a lot of fun with that and there are numerous 3rd party apps that let you do all kinds of things with your lights. They’ll even connect to Apple’s homekit and Amazon’s Echo, which will let you control the lights with your voice if you want to pretend you’re Tony Stark.

The Phillips Hue 3-light starter kit will set you back about $170. That’s a lot for light bulbs, but the LED bulbs are very energy efficient and should last you in excess of 10 years if you don’t leave them on 24/7. There are also a number of competing products on the market you might want to look into at varying price ranges.

Canary

Canary-securityThere are lots of expensive and hard to manage security systems on the market. Canary is a little different. It’s a cylindrical device with a camera on it that sits in your house and keeps an eye on things. It automatically activates when you (or others in your home) leave the house and will turn off when you get home. When Canary detects activity, it will alert you via your smartphone. You’ll be able to see video of what was detected and then you can choose to alert authorities and/or sound a 90 dB alarm. That’s pretty loud and should scare an intruder off in a hurry.

Canary also lets you randomly check in on what’s going on in your house while you’re away. You can activate the camera to check on kids, pets, contractors or whatever you’ve got going on in your home. It will also monitor things like air quality, temperature and humidity.

Canary costs $199 for a single device. You can add additional devices that will work together if you’ve got a larger home. The basic plan is free, but you can add more video storage and additional monthly downloads for between $5 and $30 a month.

Home automation tools like Ring, Phillips Hue and Canary can really be of help to you in managing what’s going on in your home while you’re not there. Do you use any of these tools? What do you think of them? Let us know on Twitter!

Look for other technologies that will help travelers manage their homes while they’re not in them in future posts, including smart locks, thermostats and more.

 

The post 3 home security tools that will give travelers peace of mind appeared first on Travel and Transport.

 

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