5 Tips for Setting up Smart Home Security
Smart Home security can be such a wise investment for your property and home. Don’t miss these tips for choosing and installing smart home security easily and effectively!
This post is sponsored by the Home Depot.
I shared last week 15 tips for keeping your home safe when you’re away, and as you might expect, several of those were related to smart home security. As promised, I want to follow that up with some tips for setting up smart home security for your property or home!
To be clear, I’m not a home security expert. I’m just a homeowner – with a family I love fiercely – who wants to feel safe in her home and have peace of mind when I’m away. After a scary experience almost 15 years ago (more on that later), I am convinced that a home security system is a worthwhile investment. Having set up several of my own, I thought it would be helpful for me to pass on the things I’ve learned along the way.
5 Tips for Installing Smart Home Security
- Check your bandwidth and power
- Optimize your interior system
- Consider exterior security cameras
- Determine your monitoring plan
- Secure all your accounts
Check your bandwidth and power
I may be the least tech-y blogger on the planet, so I’m not even sure the technical requirements for this. But most of the smart home security devices are going to run on wi fi or via ethernet cable to your modem. You’ll need a reliable hi-speed internet connection to ensure that your smart home devices can stay connected and keep you informed.
Additionally, you’ll need to consider your power sources as you choose your smart home products. As I partnered with Home Depot on this project, I purposefully chose battery-operated options so that we wouldn’t have to wire for the sensors and cameras. And thankfully, battery-operated systems are amazing these days. For our exterior cameras, Eufy 1080p Security Camera System, we only have to charge them once a year!
And inside, with our Ring Alarm Home Security Kit, battery-operated door sensors and motion detectors allowed for easy install with the provided adhesive strips.
Optimize your Interior
No need to use contact sensors on every window or put HD cameras in every room (though if you want to do that, go for it!). Cost can be kept down while still establishing security by optimizing the location of the security devices.
For example, with the Ring Alarm Home Security Kit that I recently installed, a single well-placed motion sensor covered our entire downstairs living area (including the stairs). Depending on your particular space, that and a contact sensor on every exterior door could likely cover 99% of any potential break-ins.
Consider exterior cameras
While I’m not really a fan of interior home security cameras (except for baby monitors), I love exterior security cameras. I think you might be surprised just how useful they can be.
You’ll want to check the angle of the cameras, but the Eufy exterior cameras that we recently installed can show up to 130°. That means that one camera installed in the corner of the porch reveals the entire front and side of the building!
Outdoor security cameras can also serve as a deterrent (no need to hide them!), allow you to monitor packages, and even let you remotely check on your home for other potential concerns, like weather-related issues.
My favorite feature of the ones we have is the ability to set up a notification on my phone any time the motion detection is triggered. All I have to do is tap the mobile app notification, and I can see in HD video what the camera sees instantly on my phone. The other day, I saw a beautiful deer eating acorns on our driveway. I’m ok with false alarms like that. 😉
Determine the level of monitoring you need
This is a personal decision, of course, but today’s smart home security systems offer so much flexibility when it comes to monitoring services. Most companies have levels of month to month or long term security packages and paid or free cloud storage options.
You can choose not to get any kind of professional monitoring and simply to access the devices from your mobile phone. Or you can subscribe to the security monitoring and recording at various levels. I love that the options of professional monitoring are there if you want them, but the monthly fees are required if you’d rather keep cost down.
Secure your accounts
As always, account security is so very important. There’s not much point in going to great lengths to secure your home and then leaving your smart home security systems with the door wide open, so to speak.
There are three things you’ll want to do to secure your smart home products:
- Set strong, unique password for each device
- Enable two-factor authentication, if available
- Secure your wireless router with a password encryption
You can never be too careful!
Why we protect our home
My kids asked the other day why we needed the alarm, so I told them about the time before they were born that my husband and I were robbed. Twice. It wasn’t so much the things that were stolen (though that was frustrating and difficult to recover from), but the feeling of violation that was the worst.
We didn’t have any security system in place at the time, and they simply broke in while we were at work. Then, before we could even get it together to get a security system (this was back when they all had to be professionally installed), they did it again.
Even after we had an alarm installed, I remember struggling to sleep, especially when my husband traveled for work. It was so unnerving to imagine someone coming into our home like that. Like I said, it wasn’t so much the stuff that was stolen as the loss of peace that really hurt.
In short, I believe in protecting my home for the sake of the safety of those I love and the peace of mind we can have here. The fact that installing alarm systems has basically become a simple DIY job is just a huge bonus.
Other tips for Setting up smart home security
This is definitely just a high-level overview of the things you’ll want to consider when shopping for and setting up smart home security. There are so many other options, like smart locks and motion detector lights and doorbell cameras… I hope that this gives you a little taste of the options, though, and helps it all feel a bit more manageable.
Be sure to pin it for later!