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Home security devices explained

It's always a good idea to invest in more security for your home, not only to protect your valuable items but it also helps reduce your insurance premiums, so if you are confused by home security, here's what you need to know.

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What's in this guide?
What should I think about when getting home security?
What are wireless home security systems?
What are wired home security systems?
Where is the footage from home security systems stored?
How much do security systems cost per month?
Which models are the best for home security?

Some security devices can ward off criminals with a siren and a floodlight, others - like internal and external security cameras - often activate when they sense movement. So, if there's anything untoward happening in your home, your camera should pick it up and alert you.

It’s always a good idea to invest in more security for your home.

Some security devices can ward off criminals with a siren and a floodlight.

Others – like internal and external security cameras – often activate when they sense movement. So, if there’s anything untoward happening in your home, your camera should pick it up and alert you.

Stocking up on security can sometimes mean a reduction in home insurance premiums too. It’s reassuring for insurers to know that you’re taking steps to keep your home secure.

Here’s what you need to know about home security cameras, along with a few models that could help build your home surveillance system.

 

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What should I think about when getting home security?

First consider what you want the device to do. Do you want the inside and outside of your house monitored? Or both? Do you need a camera or would an alarm system work?

For the best surveillance, you should also make sure the device you choose has some of these features:

  • Night vision

  • High-quality video recording

  • Two-way audio recording

  • Motion detection

  • A user-friendly app

  • Plenty of storage.

 

What are wireless home security systems?

Most wireless security kits come with a control panel, cameras and motion sensors. But if this isn’t enough, you can always add other components to your security arsenal.

Wireless security systems are usually battery powered with a network of sensors that send messages to the control panel via radio frequency.

The control panel then sends an alert to you if there’s something happening in your home that shouldn’t be. It does all this ‘wirelessly’, either through your WIFI, or phone network.

Wireless systems are often straightforward to install as you don’t have to conceal any wires. It could mean a potential saving as you may not have to pay for professional installation.

This makes most wireless devices easy to uninstall too. Handy if you decide to move.

Although there are many upsides to the wireless system, the cost might start to mount up when you factor in batteries.

You’ll have to get these for the control panel, cameras and any other device on your network.

That said, certain RING security devices come with rechargeable batteries. And Amazon claims the battery in their Blink device lasts for up to two years. Both these models are featured below.

It’s worth investigating to see what’s available.

 

What are wired home security systems?

As the name suggests, wired home security devices are hardwired into your home.

If you have multiple wired security devices they’ll connect to each other through wires – rather than the radio frequency which is used by the wireless system.

The wired device will connect to the outside world – either you or your security company – through your landline.

They have to be professionally installed, as the wires have to be concealed within the walls of your home.

This makes wired systems less easy to take with you if you decide to move.

Most security systems on the market now combine the two.

You could opt for either a wireless security system that connects to a landline and phone network – or choose a wired device that use a phone network to communicate with you or your security company, rather than a landline.

 

Where is the footage from home security systems stored?

The footage for both systems is either stored on an SD card, an external drive or online in the cloud.

There are a couple of drawbacks to both.

If you store the footage on the SD card or drive, criminals could take the device, along with the footage. 

The upside of this type of storage is that it’s just a one-off payment for the card or drive.

If you’re storing footage in the cloud it could be vulnerable to hackers. But you will still have access to the footage if your camera gets stolen.

Sometimes cloud storage comes free. If not, you may have to pay a monthly fee – up to £10 a month in some cases.

One of the upsides to cloud storage though is that there are ways to at least minimise the risk of hacking. 

For example:

  • Upgrade the security system for your device

  • Make sure logins and passwords are secure and regularly changed

  • Use wireless encryption so no one can see what your camera sees via the internet.

 

How much do security systems cost per month?

You pay for most security devices up front, without having to pay a subscription fee.

However, most manufacturers will offer extra features for a monthly fee.

For example, when you buy a RING device, you have features for free, such as:

  • 1-year limited warranty
  •  Motion-activated notifications
  • Real-time video with Live View
  • Two-way talk
  • Theft protection.

They have two extra packages that you will have to pay for though, these are Protect Basic and Protect Plus.

Protect Basic is just £2.50 per month. Some of the features it includes are:

  • 30-day video history
  •  Video saving and sharing Snapshot capture.

Protect Plus is £8 per month. You get all the features of the free and basic package, plus extended warranties for all RING devices and discounts on their website. You can find the full list of features on the RING website.

The same applies for Swann security systems. You can use the product without having a subscription, but for extra security you can sign up to Swann’s secure plus plan.

This has two tiers: The ExtraSecurity Plan and CompleteSecurity Plan, which cost £4.95 and £12.95 a month respectively.

 

Which models are the best for home security?

Here's our rundown of some of the best home security models for any home.

Best wired security systems

RING Floodlight Wired Pro Full HD 1080p WiFi Security Camera

Ring wired camera

The wired system from RING lights up the exterior of your property if it senses movement.

Like the RING doorbell, you can speak to any intruders through your phone or tablet. You can activate sirens or flash the floodlight to scare intruders away too.

The RING floodlight system can also focus on specific areas.

So if you want to keep your shed or expensive garden furniture secure, this security system can help.

The bird’s eye view function can also give you an aerial map of what’s being monitored so you can see what device was triggered and when.

Check prices for RING Floodlight Wired Pro Full HD 1080p WiFi Security Camera at Currys PC world

 

 

Swann Smart Security system

Swann smart security system

Looking for Fort Knox levels of security? This system could be the answer. The 4-piece camera set uses heat detection to activate its cameras.

Infrared night-vision will keep your home covered at night, with a range of up to 30 to 40 metres in ambient light.

It’s weatherproof, so you can keep these cameras outside, but they work just as well inside too.

Swann boasts a ‘set and forget’ system. This drive records up to a year’s worth of footage with no charge. It works with Google Assistant too so you can view live footage whenever you please.

It’ll also send snapshots of the footage to your Dropbox account. Extra peace of mind in case the drive is stolen.

This is a wired system so you may need to get it professionally installed.

Check prices for SWANN four piece security systems at Currys PC world

 

 

Best individual cameras

These small cameras can help you monitor what’s going on in your home. They’re easy to install too.

Amazon Blink XT2 WiFi Security System

Amazon blink

The Amazon Blink ticks all the essential boxes. It has motion detection, it’s easy to install and it integrates with Alexa.

You can tell anyone who’s not supposed to be there to “Get lost” with the two-way audio function.

The Blink has free storage, so you won’t be hit by any surprise charges down the line. And two AA batteries last up to two years in the camera.

You can also choose where you want the camera to focus. So you can guard your high-value items or make sure your pet doesn't damage your belongings. A win-win situation.

There's also an outdoor version which is weatherproof, and just as easy to install. 

You can view your footage on your smart phone or tablet, and it records in high definition.

Check prices for Amazon Blink indoor security cameras at Currys PC world

 

 
Check prices for Amazon Blink outdoor security cameras at Currys PC world

 

   

 

Neos SmartCam WiFi Security Camera

Neos SmartCam

The Neos SmartCam has everything you need. It records in HD, has two-way audio, motion detection and night-vision for up to 9 metres.

Storage-wise you have the best of both worlds with the SmartCam.

Footage stores on the cloud free for up to two weeks. Old footage will automatically delete if you don’t use it, freeing up the storage without you having to lift a finger.

It also comes with a micro SD card which automatically overwrites if you don’t use the footage.

The SmartCam comes with its own app where you can view a live stream or clips.

If you have a firestick or Alexa display, you can ask Alexa to view the footage from your SmartCam. Perfect if you want to keep an eye on your nursery or look out for any escaped goldfish.

Check prices at Currys PC world for Neos SmartCam WiFi Security Cameras

 

 

Doorbell cameras

Doorbell cameras are a great way to monitor home security. They can be used by themselves or paired with other devices to build up a better picture of what’s going on around your home.

Ring Video Doorbell Pro

Ring doorbell pro

RING has lots of devices that can be paired to create a home security hub. But if you only want the doorbell camera, it works just as well on its own.

Using the handy app, you can hear, see and speak to visitors.

The RING video doorbell pairs with Alexa too so you can activate it with voice control.

You can choose how you want to install the RING cam. Either wire it into the mains or use batteries.

The batteries are quick release, so you don’t need to remove the system to change them. Handy if you have the perfect angle.

Check prices for RING doorbells at Currys PC world

 

Google Nest Hello video doorbell

Google nest doorbell camera

The Google Nest has all the essentials like two-way audio communication, HD video and night vision.

If someone presses the doorbell, it alerts your device with a picture of who’s ringing.

You can view the 24/7 stream on the Google Nest app. You can view stored footage here too.

It’s not as easy to install as other models and needs professional installation. But an upside of this is that you don’t need to spend money on batteries.

The Google Nest doorbell works with Alexa or Google Assistant so you can use your voice to activate the system.

Check prices at Currys PC world for the Google Nest Hello video doorbell

 

Best wireless security kits

Ring Alarm 5 Piece Security Kit

Ring security kit 

RING is among brands like Arlo, Google Nest and Hive that integrate devices.

You can either buy these devices as a set – like this one from RING – or gradually build your home security system bit by bit. 

The wire-free system comes with:

  • A doorbell camera

  • A motion detector

  • A door or window sensor

  • A keypad base station

  • A remote control.

You can set your alarms even if you’re out, using the RING app. Or you can use the keypad base station to set them.

If any of the sensors are triggered, you’ll receive a notification on your phone. 

It’ll also pair with Alexa, so you can voice activate the system as you leave. 

Check prices at Currys PC world for the Ring Alarm 5 Piece Security Kit
 

YALE IA-320 Sync Smart Home Alarm Family Kit

Yale smart security system 

Security godfathers Yale have released a comprehensive family alarm kit.

It’s wire-free, so installation is easy and it’s fully app-controlled.

The kit includes a hub, siren, two motion detectors, a keypad and a door sensor. 

You can change your security setting via the app, and it will send you alerts and reminders too. So you’ll know exactly what’s happening in your house while you’re away.

The door and window detectors will set off the siren if they’re triggered. Sending any burglars running for the hills.

There aren’t any hidden fees as the system works independently. Plus there’s a 200 metre range, so you can place some of the devices in a shed or garage if you need to. 

The Yale family kit pairs with the Amazon Echo and Philips Hue Smart lighting. Using sound, light, and voice to ward off intruders.

Check prices at Currys PC world for the YALE IA-320 Alarm Kit