residential security systems
If you live in a small apartment and want to keep tabs on things when you're not home
, a security camera can get the job done for a lot less money than what you'll pay for a full security system. Nearly all standalone security cameras connect to your home's Wi Fi so you can see what's going on from your phone or tablet, and most have built in sensors that detect motion and sound and will send push
and email notifications when those sensors are triggered. You can usually tweak the camera's motion sensitivity to prevent false alarms due to pet activity or passing cars if the camera is near a window, and you can create a schedule that turns the sensors on and off during certain hours of the day. A smart lock is typically part of a robust smart home security setup, but you don't have to invest in a full blown system to use one. If you're using a home automation hub to control things like lighting and thermostats, you can add a Z Wave or Zigbee smart lock to the system without much effort. Alternately, if you don't have a home automation hub, look for a Wi Fi or Bluetooth lock that comes with its own mobile app. Smart locks use standard pre drilled holes and are fairly easy to install. Some models use your existing keyed cylinder and deadbolt hardware and attach to the inside of your door, while others require that you remove your existing interior and exterior escutcheons and replace the deadbolt and strike hardware. Smart locks can be opened and closed using a mobile app and will send a notification when someone locks or unlocks a door, and most allow you to create permanent and temporary access schedules for family members and friends based on specific hours of the day and days of the week. Features to look for include geofencing, which uses your phone's location services to lock and unlock the door, voice activation using Siri HomeKit, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa voice commands, support for IFTTT, and integration with other smart home devices such as video doorbells, outdoor cameras, thermostats, smoke alarms, and connected lighting. Best Smart Home Security Systems Featured in This Roundup:ADT Pulse ReviewMSRP: $28.