Feeling secure and protected in the home can be a great comfort.
It’s important to feel safe in your own home, since without that piece of mind, life can be anxious and miserable. There’s an enormous range of home security products out there and it can be overwhelming to try to select the right one for your circumstances.
Generally, there are two ways of purchasing home security products; first, as single items to protect vulnerable points of entry such as doors or windows, or as a kit that includes several different units designed to do different things and contribute to a wider security solution.
If you decide to purchase single items, be aware that you may need to also purchase a hub or central control unit. These are usually wireless and run via domestic wifi. Some will have a backup system to ensure protection in the event that your wifi signal is lost.
There are security product manufacturers who will also provide a call centre style service that will make phone calls and even in some cases, dispatch security guards if alarms are triggered, though this will be on a monthly fee, plus callout charge.
A package or kit might cost less per item but perhaps will simply cover areas that are not likely to prove vulnerable – though many would point out that with home security, it’s difficult to be too careful.
Here are a few of our best picks for home security products…
Video Doorbell 4 and Chime
Video Doorbell 4 features smart but easy to use innovations that keep you feeling safe and secure. With enhanced dual-band wifi and colour video previews, you’ll always know what’s going on around your home. (Four extra seconds of video are collected to show what happens in the moments before motion was detected.)
The ‘quick replies’ function enables users to respond with a choice of six preset messages. This is particularly useful for people that don’t want to open the door or who struggle to get there in good time.
Installing the doorbell is also straightforward: insert the rechargeable quick release battery pack, connect to the Ring app and customise settings before attaching to the wall.
Real time notifications are sent to your phone/device when the doorbell is pressed, or motion is detected – or you can look at live views. (A chime unit amplifies notifications indoors, when you aren’t near your phone/device and simply plugs into a wall socket.)
Ring devices connect to eachother via the app.
Floodlight Cam Wired
This 1080HD video security camera enables you to see, hear and speak with anyone on your property from your phone/device.
A wide-angle camera lens and built-in microphone and speakers are activated via advanced customisable motion sensors to get the ideal setting for your home (including zones and scheduling) triggering instant motion-activated alerts.
Spotlights are also motion-activated or controlled with the app, so you’ll get quality video coverage 24 hours a day and feature infrared night vision sensors and security siren alarm, all powered from your standard power outlets.
Set up in minutes, you’ll get live view on-demand video and audio and it’s iOS, Android, Mac and Windows 10 compatible.
ERA HomeGuard Smart Alarm Pro – Premium Kit
The premium HomeGuard kit is the middle version of five available security packages featuring a range of items.
The premium outfit includes a wifi and GPRS enabled smart hub that provides wireless connections to the other items – and includes a built in SIM card reader that can store up to five phone numbers that can be contacted should the alarm be triggered.
Two door sensors will detect open doors once the alarm is enabled and show an LED indicator to deter intruders, as does the exterior wall mounted box – which packs a loud 110dB siren that works from solar powered rechargeable batteries. The two motion detectors are a useful addition and are designed to be pet friendly, assuming your companion is under 25kg, and the keyfobs also act as panic buttons.
In all, setting up the kit through a smartphone is pretty straightforward (and includes settings for multiple locations – such as home and workplace, for example). It’ll work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and enable the creation of two separate zones – such as upstairs and downstairs – that can be individually enabled.
Simplisafe – The Bamburgh
The Bamburgh is a comprehensive security kit that includes devices for a range of scenarios, including a wireless siren, panic button, three entry sensors, two motion sensors, glassbreak sensor and an indoor camera.
The kit is designed to work straight out of the box, without the need for drills or other tools. As soon as the base station is plugged in and sensors placed, your home is protected. Because it’s wireless, the keypad doesn’t need to be plugged in, so you can place it anywhere within the home (probably by the front door). In the event of an attempted break in, the base station will alert a monitoring centre, then sounds a loud 95dB siren.
The indoor camera detects the unique heat signature of humans, is equipped with night vision and a 120° field of view. Meanwhile, other key features include a keypad that even if smashed, will alert the police.
The system operates over built-in wifi and has cellular coverage too, so that if one goes down the other continues to protect. Similarly, Simplisafe has two monitoring centres, for the same reason. (Battery back-up switches on during any domestic power outages.)
The monitoring centre services cost 67p per day but there is no contract.
Price: £285.38 – incl VAT plus 67p per day for monitoring centre services.