Smart home technology seems to be on the rise. According to a survey by the National Council for Home Safety and Security, more than 3 in 5 Americans cite security as a top benefit of smart home products. If you’re considering purchasing a smart home security system, you may be wondering which product is best. We’ve gathered some of the most popular products available to give you an objective look into the pros, cons and pricing of each.
Ring is known for being the original smart doorbell. Some of their first products included video doorbells that could be answered from your smartphone. The idea was that the doorbell would work similar to caller ID, but for your house. You can use two-way talk to answer your doorbell even when you’re not home. Ring now offers other smart home security products including home alarms and security cameras.
Unlike other companies, Ring provides the hardware necessary to completely install your smart home security products yourself. You won’t need a professional to install the product and you’re not required to pay for a monthly security monitoring system. One of the most interesting features is the camera’s ability to share video footage with other Ring owners in your neighborhood. This provides a level of neighborhood watch as criminals may be likely to target multiple homes in one neighborhood.
Although you don’t have to purchase a monthly monitoring system with Ring devices, they do offer two plans that give your home added security benefits. Both paid options allow you to automatically alert 911 if you suspect an issue. The Protect Basic plan lets you store videos for up to 60 days, even if you miss the alert. You’ll also be able to share videos with other devices. The subscription covers one device. The Protect Plus plan provides coverage for unlimited Ring devices. It comes with the features of the Basic plan as well as extended warranties for your Ring products.
• Established company
• No required contract or monthly service fee
• Monitoring service is affordable
• Video sharing
• No advanced security features
• Lack of home automation products
• Expensive to buy upfront
Nest is Google’s home security and automation device. It sets itself apart by working seamlessly with other Google Home devices, all of which can share information to “learn” from one another. In addition to the basic Google Home device, the Nest brand offers a control panel for security devices, smart locks, security and doorbell cameras, smart thermostats and smoke alarms.
The security system cameras from Nest are well known for being some of the most advanced camera options available. They offer indoor and outdoor camera options for securing your home. Using the innovative Nest Aware feature, you can receive 24/7 live stream videos of the cameras around your home.
The affordable Nest Secure security system included a doorbell camera, motion sensors, and keypad. One interesting feature of the Nest system is that it can learn who lives in your home. That is, the doorbell or camera will begin to recognize you or your children and won’t send a false alarm to your phone when you come home. A monthly monitoring system isn’t required, but you can add one for the highest level of security.
• Lots of devices from security to thermostats
• No contracts
• Subscription services are affordable
• Easy to install
• Centralized control with one smartphone app
• Each individual piece is expensive
• Tied to using other Nest products in your home
• Subscription service priced per camera
One of the most affordable options for smart home security, SimpliSafe has been around for over a decade. It works by allowing you to purchase your own SimpliSafe devices and buy a monitoring subscription on a month-to-month basis. Instead of long-term yearly contracts like older home security systems, SimpliSafe can be deactivated at the end of the month without a penalty. The idea behind SimpliSafe was to give renters an option to protect their belongings just like homeowners but without permanent equipment or expensive contracts. Although great for renters, many homeowners enjoy the flexibility of SimpliSafe as well.
The devices offered by SimpliSafe are focused exclusively on home security and safety. There are no add-on home automation devices made only for convenience. Their security offering, however, includes an indoor camera, motion detectors, door sensors, and panic buttons. The products feature backup batteries to continue protecting your home even if the power goes out. SimpliSafe devices tend to cost less than other smart security systems available, and the nature of their subscription model allows you to create a completely customized monitoring service.
• Low monthly rates
• Easy to install
• Award-winning monitoring
• Environmental disaster protection
• No home automation devices
• Devices only work with SimpliSafe products
• Must buy equipment up front
Securing Your Home with Smart Technology
Many homeowners are choosing to use smart home technologies for home automation as well as security. Choosing to secure your home with one of these popular devices might even make your home eligible for a discount on homeowners insurance. Consider the pros and cons, as well as the price and subscription requirements, of any smart home security system you buy.