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Home Security Tech, What’s Right For You?

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The holiday season is a great time to consider home security. After all, you may think you’re all set with good door locks, window alarms and motion sensors, but have you considered the chimney? It could provide easy access to an intruder (in an obnoxious red suit, no less!).

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The holiday season is the perfect time to consider a home security system

Okay, so maybe that’s not your main worry, but keeping your home and property safe is always a worthwhile concern—especially if you don’t have some of the aforementioned safeguards already in place. Tech security innovations are providing more and more options all the time, from simple DIY installs to more comprehensive offerings from full-service companies. How much security do you need? Which offerings are glorified tech toys and which ones are lockdown legit? Let’s take a look, starting with your online holiday shopping:

Foiling Porch Pirates

No matter how great the deals, many holiday shoppers choose to opt out of braving the Black Friday crowds. For them, Cyber Monday is a triumph of convenience. No wonder it’s now the biggest shopping day of the year. That’s all well and good, but now that your Cyber Monday click-fest is over, you may have another day to contend with.  What are you going to do about Boxes-Sitting-By-My-Front-Door-While-I’m-At-Work Thursday? Cyber shopping is more seamless than ever but cyber shipping is still a work in progress. But, there are some new tech-based solutions that can help you keep things safe.

A security camera at your front door is a great place to start and can capture potential culprits on video—and proving theft can help you get your refund. The camera might also be a visible deterrent. There’s no shortage of web cameras to choose from and most all work with mobile apps.

Concierge Service

Secure “smart” mailboxes (like this one) might be in our futures, but you probably don’t have one yet. For now, a better option is to find another place to accept delivery. There are several web services like Doorman or even Taskrabbit that you can try. Everybody’s favorite online giant offers shipments via Amazon Locker in limited locations, where a package can be held until you’re ready to retrieve it.  Good old USPS has always had PO Boxes available if you’re getting enough packages to make it worthwhile—but remember, many services won’t deliver to a PO Box.

There’s even a system where you can remotely let a delivery person open your front door and drop a package inside. All the while, you can watch via cloud cam to make sure that’s all they do.

Home, Smart Home

This year, one of the packages arriving on your front porch just might be a complete home security system, ready for easy installation. DIY systems have been around for a number of years, but tech advances—wireless above all—have made it easier and easier for consumers to install and manage their own systems.

Ring, makers of some of the most popular video doorbells, has expanded to full home security systems, and they’re not the only ones.  Canary provides motion-activated visual monitoring— with a membership that gives you access to more and longer captured video.  Kuna offers a home security system with the promise that their A.I. driven tech will actually be growing smarter and more discerning.

Nest launched with thermostats as their primary offering, but now the company also sells home security systems as they extend the possibilities of the internet of things. Many of these DIY systems, driven by mobile apps, allow for much more flexibility and customization than traditional home-bound systems. Even Honeywell, another tech company with its roots in thermostats, is now launching an  Alexa-enabled DIY home security system.

DIY or Professional?

As usual, all the big players will be offering home security that encourages you to stay within their ecosystem. And committing to one brand for all your devices might simplify your decisions going forward.

But what about the full-service monitoring companies? They still offer some significant advantages with 24/7 monitoring and service. Since they want to establish and nurture committed long-term customers, initial install fees are often very reasonable. At the same, they’re beginning to recognize the value of more flexible options. Even ADT, the industry leader in monitored and professionally installed systems, is now working with Samsung on a DIY system.

How Safe are You?

A majority of American homes still have no security system at all. No, a front door lock doesn’t count as a system. (Unless you’re installing a “smart” lock!) So, the moment you implement any kind of system, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Security systems now offer a wide variety of choices at modest prices, so it’s worth checking out your options, especially at this time of year. Besides, without a good home security video system set up, how would you watch your cats from the office?


This article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical or legal advice, or to indicate the availability or suitability of any product or service for your unique circumstances.

Capital One does not provide, endorse, or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendation listed above. The third parties listed are solely responsible for their products and services, and all trademarks listed are the property of their respective owners.

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