If you’re someone who can’t seem to put their smartphone down, here’s a great way to justify it: you’re keeping an eye on your home. With advances in home security and wireless technology, your mobile device can now be a vital part of your home’s defensive network, offering everything from remote camera access to the ability to speak to people at your door, even if you happen to be in the next state.
Some home security system apps can easily sync with an existing system to provide you extra control and freedom. If you hear something at night, you no longer have to sneak down to the control box — instead you can just grab your phone and check out an external camera. If you’re on a budget, you also can inexpensively create some of the services of an alarm system – check out your backyard cam to see why the dog is barking or your porch cam to see if the newspaper has arrived.
The FBI reports crime continues to drop nationally, including 30-year lows for murder. But burglaries haven’t gone away, so it’s smart to take the opportunity to give tools for greater peace of mind. Equipping your mobile device is as easy as looking for “home security” on your device’s app menu. Here are other options to point you in the right direction.
- My Visonic: If you have a Visonic PowerMax/PowerLink2 security system and an iPhone, you’re good to go. The MyVisonic App allows phone owners to activate and disarm their home system, view the status of system devices, view and control any security cams, and even control certain home appliances. Owners can program their system to call them or send texts if security or safety problems occur.
- Domus: If you’ve already set up close-caption TV cameras on your property, or have ever wanted to, this app will sync them and let you view them remotely. You can set them up to start recording when motion is detected, and alert you if something is taking place. You can also zoom in and zoom out. The service costs about $5 a month.
- Dropcam: This is a similar concept to Domus, but it includes an HD camera which securely connects with your home Wi-Fi so you can tune in via your desktop or mobile device. Dropcam stores images and camera footage for up to 30 days and sends you alerts. The camera includes a microphone and speaker so you can either hear or speak to people in range of it, even if you’re physically elsewhere. Prices vary from $10 a month/$99 a year for seven-day storage to $29 a month/$299 a year for 30-day storage.
- Presence requires at least two iOS devices, one designated as a camera one as a receiver. You can pick up real-time audio and video signals and hold two-way conversations. It may not have the monitoring of a larger system, but can be handy to see a certain area of the property.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Danny Oosterveer