7 Smart Gadgets to Keep Your Property Safe
Keeping your home safe has never been easier with the rise of smartphones, smart speakers, and other connected devices. With doorbells that alert you who’s at the door to motion sensors alerting you of activity while you are anywhere in the world, new technology has made it easier than ever to ensure that your home is safe.
You can use your smart gadgets to keep your home safe, provided you’re working with compatible devices that can communicate with your smartphone. To help you get started on smart security and keep your home safe in the 21st century, check out these seven smart gadgets to help you get started.
You can use your smart gadgets to keep your home safe, provided you're working with compatible devices that can communicate with your smartphone.
Our first product pick might look more like a toy than a security device to the naked eye, but make no mistake–this camera from YI packs in a host of great features at a relatively low price.
The YI Dome Camera uses a singular 720p HD camera that can rotate vertically and horizontally to provide a full 360 degrees of coverage in a given room. The Dome Camera is able to tilt, pan, and rotate to detect motion, and it can also record a short snippet of footage and send it to their own cloud-based service.
Also included in this camera is two-way audio communication, which can allow you to speak to whoever is in the room from just about anywhere in the world. Alongside night vision recording and real-time activity alerts pushed to any phone you need, we’re hard-pressed to find a better option for single-room security cameras at this price point.
- Works with most smartphones
- Night vision recording
- Two-way audio
- No alarms
- Some privacy concerns
- Can be strenuous on Wi-Fi routers
While we tend to focus on home security, sometimes keeping your property safe means knowing exactly where your car is at all times. Finding a cheap and easy way to monitor your car, though, can be difficult. Luckily, this option from MasTrack comes with a few tricks up its sleeve to keep recording and tracking your car’s location even if it gets unplugged.
The MasTrack GPS Tracker plugs into your car’s OBD port and transmits live GPS data up to once per minute, alongside information on speed, harsh braking, check engine alerts, and more. This information can be accessed either online or through phone texts and requires a small monthly subscription.
One of the best aspects of MasTrack that sets it apart from other GPS trackers is the internal battery feature. If the car is turned off or the tracker is unplugged completely, the unit will still transmit its location for a considerable amount of time. In short: the MasTrack GPS tracker is one of the best overall options out there.
- Easy installation
- Internal battery keeps unit on even when the car is off
- Access car information 24/7
- Monthly subscription required
- No dedicated application
If you’ve been looking for a more affordable smart gadget with a built-in siren or alarm, you may like this next option from Wink. The Wink Lookout Smart Security System comes with both a motion sensor and an alarm. These sensors send notifications when they are triggered so that homeowners can quickly monitor their homes using a proprietary application.
We appreciate the included alarm sound, which many smart gadgets lack, but the real selling point for the Wink system is the inclusivity. Wink works with many smart home systems like Nest, Arlo, ZigBee, and many others. If you’ve already installed one of these smart systems, integrating a few Wink sensors should be a cinch. While those who wanted video feedback will be disappointed by the lack of options offered by the Wink system, those who need a cheap, integral smart gadget should be pleased with this option.
- Integrates well with other systems
- Alarm/siren included
- No video monitoring
- Few advanced features
If you need a more robust option for monitoring weak points outdoors like a backyard or shed, Zmodo’s wireless security camera system may appeal to you. Zmodo’s security cameras are weatherproof, record in high-definition, and can see in great detail in both day and night settings. Zmodo’s cloud-based service is more pricey than others and comes with a shorter trial, but the 24/7 alerts and monitoring offered can more than make up for the cost if you’re trying to protect something especially valuable.
Alexa integration is included, and various applications will allow you to monitor each of the included four cameras at all times. Some reports have come in stating that Zmodo’s cloud-based service can be a little finicky. If you need a smart security system with a great camera, though, Zmodo’s option is certainly worth considering.
- High-definition video
- 24/7 monitoring and alerts
- Highly durable
- Finicky cloud-based system
- Monthly fees can be costly
Moving away from smart cameras for a moment, this keyless lock option from TurboLock is perfect for sheds and guest homes. TurboLock allows for a standard code, master code, as well as up to eight user codes to enable different members of a family to gain access easily. TurboLock also uses a unique code camouflage option that means you can enter several fake digits in between the true digits of your code to prevent prying eyes from learning your code.
While we don’t recommend securing your home entirely with smart locks due to the hackability of the technology, we do recommend this smart lock for sheds and other simple locking solutions.
- Highly programmable
- Auto-locking functionality
- Perfect for sheds and guest homes
- Technology is hackable
- No security monitoring
If you’re already utilizing the Philips Hue hub, or just need a motion sensor for security and other purposes, the Philips Hue Motion Sensor is a great, highly customizable option that can allow you to illuminate nearly any space in or around your home.
All you’ll need to do is connect the motion sensor to the Hue system and compatible lights. This sensor is simplistic by design, but pairs well with other smart devices, such as video recorders or alarms and sirens, to shed light on bad activity on your property. We highly recommend investing in a motion sensor like this one from Philips if you’re already on the Hue system. While it may take more work to pair this with other Hue-compatible options, the simplicity of the design may be its best aspect.
- Pairs with the Hue system
- Easy installation
- Long-lasting and discreet
- Needs other gadgets to secure a home
- Will require programming
Our final smart gadget pick comes with everything you need to secure your home with or without a smart home system in place already. The Arlo Pro system includes three cameras and a siren that can blast noise in excess of 100 decibels. Likewise, the Arlo Pro feature includes two-way audio as well as HD video to allow you to easily communicate with whomever may be at the front or back door.
Arlo also offers free online storage of security camera feeds for up to seven days, which can really cut down on the overall cost. While the Arlo system is one of the most expensive on the market, it is Alexa-compatible and doesn’t come with recurring fees. If you need a total outdoor security solution that comes with an alarm, the Arlo system is certainly worth considering.
- Includes siren/alarm
- 2-way audio and HD video
- No cloud storage fees
- Somewhat expensive
- Somewhat weak smart system integration
Still not sure which product is right for you? Consider which smart systems, if any, are already in your home. Smart systems or smart hubs allow for a grouping of technologies that talk to each other to make home life easier and keep your property safe. For example, the Philips Hue system uses motion sensors, light bulbs, and hubs to turn lights on and off without you ever needing to go to the switch. Philips Hue products can almost always only talk to other Philips Hue products, though, so you need to make sure the smart gadget you buy is compatible with what you already have in your home.
Other smart gadgets, like the Arlo system, are compatible with these smart hubs but don’t necessarily need them to run. Generally speaking, we recommend looking for smart security devices that work with your home’s current smart home system. If you don’t have a system in place, it may be best to stick with a smart gadget that can work independently.
One of the best ways to secure your home is to utilize both traditional analog security options as well as smart devices that will keep you in the loop at all times. Integrating both into your security plan will help you offset the issues present both in smart devices as well as traditional locks as keys.
Ultimately, only you can know which of these seven smart options best compliments your current setup. We’re confident though that any one of these seven products can work to keep your property, and family, safe and sound.
One of the best ways to secure your home is to utilize both traditional analog security options as well as smart devices that will keep you in the loop at all times.