Home Security Cheat Sheet: Our Best Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe | Jobs Reply


This story is part of it Home TipsCNET’s collection of practical advice for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

It has never been easier to home security system setup: Even for beginners, DIY home security tools good home security cameras, video doorbells and sensors often simple to install and use. And big brands including ArloBlink Amazon and A ring, Google, SimpleSafe, TP-Link, Wyze while others offer affordable high-tech home security devices to monitor and protect your home inside and out.

Even with a lower barrier to entry than in years past, you’re sure to run into questions about creating your ideal home security setup. This guide will help answer those questions and point you in the right direction for more in-depth information on how to keep your home safe, no matter where you live. (You can also check our Cheat sheet on the Internet at home and our Solar panel cheat sheet.)

Is it better to DIY or a professional home security system?

Each home security option has its pros and cons. DIY home security setups are often more affordable, customizable and compatible with others smart home devices, but you will probably have to install, set up and monitor it yourself. A professional home security service, although usually a little more expensive and may require a monthly subscription, can save you the trouble of installing and setting up your equipment, and often benefits plus 24/7 professional monitoring. Here are some resources to help you decide which system will work best for your home.

What is the best home security system?

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If you are going with a professional home security provider, you will need to consider different package options which may include a range of devices including cameras, alarms, window sensors and motion detectors. (And if you prefer to do your own custom setup, almost any home security device can be purchased separately.) We’ve done test reviews of all the big players in the security system space:

What is the best video doorbell?

If you’re looking for a video doorbell to monitor your front door (and deter porch pirates from stealing packages), there are many options available under $200. They all function largely the same, so design, brand options and compatibility with any smart home devices or hubs you already have may be the best for your home. You may also want to compare additional features including free cloud storage, customizable doorbells or color options when choosing the best smart doorbell for your home. Here are our reviews of some of the video doorbells you might be considering:

Arlo doorbell video

The Arlo video doorbell is one of many strong options on the market.

Chris Monroe/CNET

What is the best home security camera?

Like video doorbells, the best home security camera may come down to price and brand preferences, but you’ll also want to consider where the camera will be and the field of view you need. Some cameras have the ability to pan and tilt and can track movement. Others are built to withstand the extremes of rain, wind and temperature associated with being outdoors. If you are placing a camera outside, keep that in mind Some cameras have a wired power sourceso you may need to run an extension cord to plug it in. Here are our tested reviews of home security cameras for your consideration:

Where should I put a home security camera?

While you will of course want to place your home security camera in a location that provides the view you need, there is more to it than that. Corners are often the best location for indoor cameras as they give you a wider view of the room, but if your camera has 360-degree panning, it might be a central location. For outdoor cameras, try to install it 10 feet or so above the ground and in a place where there will not be consistent exposure to direct sunlight or rain. In addition, avoid installing any camera in a location that may compromise your neighbor’s privacy.

A crooked nest kept near a planter

Home security cameras can help you keep an eye on things while you’re away.

Molly Price/CNET

How can I give the impression that someone is home when I’m away?

You can use it smart plugs and lights to make potential intruders think twice about whether or not your home is unoccupied. Schedule individual light fixtures, such as a lamp, or a whole group of lights to turn on or off at different times while you’re away. Plugs and lights won’t keep an eye on your home like a camera or motion sensor, but they can prevent an intruder from targeting your home in the first place. Also, they are a very convenient way to turn off the lights at night.

Can I get a home security system without a monthly subscription?

Most DIY home security systems do not require a monthly subscription and come with live feed viewing, push notifications and alerts, local storage options and more at no extra cost. If you want advanced features, such as cloud storage, smart alerts or emergency calls, they will likely come at the cost of a subscription. Fortunately, most service subscriptions are only a few bucks a month. However, if you don’t need one at all, the home security brands and products listed below, and many others not mentioned here, do not require a subscription.

Can my home security system be hacked?

He can. Unfortunately, basically nothing related to your Wi-Fi at home it can be hacked, including smart cameras, doorbells, plugs and lighting. Most major manufacturers equip their products with home security devices end-to-end encryption and two-step authentication to prevent someone from accessing your account and viewing the live feed or stored recordings, but some are better than others when it comes to privacy and security. If privacy is a concern, review the privacy and security terms before purchasing a home security device and always keep your Wi-Fi connection password protected and secured. Here are some additional resources to help keep your system safe:

For more information about home security products and tips for creating and maintaining the best home security setup for your home, check out CNET’s Home Security page.



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