With life getting back to normal, many Canadians are ready to get back on the road and enjoy a trip of some kind very soon. But with travel comes a certain amount of responsibility at home. We want to protect our homes while we’re away, and for that there’s smart home security & access devices. Join me today for a few examples of smart home security products that can help to protect your home when you’re away having fun this summer.
Smart security cameras
One of the first things that comes to mind when I think of smart home security is smart security cameras like those from Arlo and Swann. With one or more of these cameras in your home or around your property, you’re protecting what’s yours from those that might want to trespass on it or walk off with it. And with such features as live streaming your smart camera’s feed directly to your smart phone wherever you may be in the world, today’s smart security cameras are more capable of protecting your home and property than they’ve ever been before.
Features like two-way audio also make it possible to speak to someone that your camera picks up as though you were at home and talking to them via a PA system. Trespassers and criminals these days don’t have a chance when they can’t even tell whether or not you’re at home as you confront them via your camera’s two-way audio system. Add to this features like motion activated recording and instant smart phone alerts, and a smart home security camera is just the thing you need to watch over your home while you go off on vacation.
Another smart security device that most homes should have comes from the category of smart locks. This is because smart locks can be locked and unlocked from anywhere and at any time via your smart phone and the specific lock’s dedicated app. This is generally done using a Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth connection.
These locks, which come from brands like August, Yale, and Nest, eliminate the need for physical keys, and they generally have features like key codes that you can give out to family, friends, or property caretakers to use for access when you’re away. This way someone can check on your home and make sure that everything is secure so you won’t have to worry about it.
And when you’re not away on vacation, you can set your lock up to open when you approach the door and lock again when you get further away from it—a feature that’s extremely useful when your arms are full of groceries and you don’t have a free hand available to grope for and fumble with your keys.
Smart doorbells, video doorbells, and accessories
Very closely related to smart locks are smart doorbells, video doorbells, and accessories. The major brand in this realm is Ring, whose feature-packed video doorbells have numerous ways of protecting your home—even when you’re away on vacation! For instance, did you know that Ring video doorbells provide a crystal clear 1080p view of whoever is at your door along with the ability to speak to them via two-way audio communication? That’s right, these easy-to-install doorbells allow you to see any visitor to your door, even after dark thanks to their built-in infrared night vision sensors.
Ring video doorbells also provide all day detection with smart phone alerts, optional storage and record keeping via a subscription to the Ring Protect Plan (sold separately), and compatibility with both Android and iOS based smart devices via the dedicated Ring App. In fact, Ring smart video doorbells can also communicate with a variety of other smart home devices. In particular, you can have them link up with smart displays to provide a live video feed of whatever your camera is seeing right on your smart display screen. Ring is compatible with a variety of different smart display brands and models.
Security alarms & motion sensors
Finally, there’s the category of home security systems & motion sensors. This broad category of products can protect your home in countless ways, from sensing when doors and windows are opened and warning you with a siren or smart phone alert to detecting motion in vulnerable areas and blasting them with a bright spotlight to raising the alarm when smoke or heat is detected where and when it shouldn’t be. There are even water sensors to detect water leaks early before a leak can seriously damage your home.
Top brands in this category include D-Link and Honeywell, though there are literally dozens of other brands and sensors of various kinds for you to consider.
A bonus category for you—the smart garage. As the garage is one of the main points of entry into the homes of those who have them, it’s also worth considering products for the smart garage like a smart garage door opener. A device like this doesn’t just give you control over your garage door, but it puts all the power directly in the palm of your hand via your smart phone and the door’s dedicated app.
With all the power and convenience of a standard garage door opener (including things like force optimizing technology and soft start and stop), smart garage door openers do everything you need them to do and then some. Having the ability to monitor your garage door’s opening and closing activity via your smart phone is priceless, as is the ability to do things like close it remotely if you forgot to close it as you were excitedly heading out on your trip.
More useful items
If you’re going away for a quick overnight trip and your pets are ok to stay home alone, you might want to consider some help in the form of pet wearables & tech. Items in this category of smart products include things like pet feeders, pet cameras, pet trackers, and pet toys. This way you’ll always be able to not only look in on your pets (and even audibly speak to them), but you’ll also know where they are at all times, know that they’re being well fed, and know they’re being thoroughly entertained while you’re away. Many pets do just fine on their own for a few hours or even over night, and with the types of smart pet tech that’s increasingly available, some pets may soon decide to relieve you of your duties altogether.
Another potentially useful item that’s great for those that tend to worry about things like whether or not they’ve unplugged and/or turned everything off is stove shut-offs. These handy little devices are kind of like smart plugs for your stove, only they’re even better because they offer additional advanced features like the ability to detect motion around your stove and turn off the heat if you haven’t returned in a while (as in you’ve fallen asleep while cooking something or taken off on a spontaneous vacation). The Best Buy Blog’s own Shelly Wutke wrote a review entitled Any Stove is a Smart Stove with Toch Smarturns and iGuardStove that’ll tell you everything you need to know about this type of product. It’s truly a must read if you or someone you know might not always remember to turn off the stove.
Finally, if you’re not entirely comfortable going away on vacation without at least having a friend, relative, or neighbour occasionally come by and check on your home for you, you may want to have a gift ready for that person when you get back. For this I suggest something else in the same smart realm as everything else on this list. For instance, how about a smart Display? Smart displays make great gifts as they’re small and generally unobtrusive, they offer a ton of useful features, and they’re relatively inexpensive considering all that they can do. If you think that this might be a good gift idea for the person that diligently watches over your home, here’s an article on 7 ways older adults can use a smart display to have fun.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of smart home products that can protect your home and property and give you massive peace of mind as you go on vacation this summer. And, as usual, I’ve barely been able to scratch the surface on what’s available in this brief article. So be sure to check out Best Buy Canada’s website for yourself and see what all is available before you hit the road. Bon voyage!