Home security: Best device to get for physical home security. Alarm? Ring? Camera?

VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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Hi all,
I'm wanting to secure my home a bit better and new to home security. I lock my doors of course. 
Do I get a Ring doorbell? Alarm system? Cameras? Where do I start and what do I start with?
I guess I'd be protecting myself from intruders/burglars etc. and wanting better visibility over my home. 
Let me know any of your best recommendations/devices/device types for getting started!
Thanks a lot. 

Community Manager at Fing

VioletChepilHronos

Best Answers

  • RomulusRomulus Member, Beta Tester Posts: 35
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    Accepted Answer
    I think the choice depends on quite a few things:
    • Budget
    • The real or perceived threats you are guarding against
    • Your own technical competence
    • Availability of someone to help with setting up (and maintaining) if you aren't technically savvy
    • Privacy concerns (Particularly cloud connected cameras)
    • Your level of tolerance for maintenance (Devices going offline, batteries that need replacing)
    I have a comprehensive camera system and an alarm system. They both have downsides and additional benefits you may not have thought of. For example I have cameras inside the house (non cloud connected) and have been able to help track down items we have "lost" in the house (see when they were last visible on camera and who moved them). Having a camera on the outside is great for keeping an eye on the dogs in the yard or watching out for a delivery you are expecting.

    Cameras if visible may be a deterrent, but alarm systems may give you more peace of mind if you are concerned about reacting to break in or fire as a system connected to the police/fire dept can summon help automatically.

    Hronos
  • HronosHronos Member, Beta Tester Posts: 289
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    edited September 2019 Accepted Answer
    @VioletChepil I think CCTVs (via IoT or not) get information about the neighborhood, I wish mine have had cameras for my "event" xD, So police could investigate better who robed me...
    A Security alarms is more for the time you are not there (CCTVs too, but they have the benefit of been always "on"), and if you have a pet, your alarm have to be intelligent enough to not be triggered by them.
    Keep looking up!
  • RomulusRomulus Member, Beta Tester Posts: 35
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    @VioletChepil Take this example, I was away on travel on one occasion and whilst my wife was at work one of the kids went out and left the house entirely unlocked. When she arrived home late after dark and found it unlocked she was nervous in case anyone had entered the house. I was able to remotely check the cameras and see when the kid left, check log of the door sensor activation and assure her that nobody else had entered the house whilst it was unlocked.
    Hronos

Answers

  • HronosHronos Member, Beta Tester Posts: 289
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    edited September 2019

    I'm going to subscribe to this thread, because I'm in the same place as @VioletChepil

    I want to know what all you have to say about this and what you recommend. (With some limitation, because some devices can't be buy here so far)

    Keep looking up!
    VioletChepil
  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    I'm going to ask my elected device/network experts too :)
    @Pooh @TheCustomCave @Lee_Bo @kltaylor @Ang @Romulus
    Anything to add!? 

    Community Manager at Fing

  • kltaylorkltaylor Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 1,231
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    I'm going to ask my elected device/network experts too :)
    @Pooh @TheCustomCave @Lee_Bo @kltaylor @Ang @Romulus
    Anything to add!? 
    Simply: yes to all.
    The neighborhood that I live in is on the rim of an Air Force base.  To say that we have a quiet neighborhood (sans the occasional fighter jet overhead) is an understatement.
    Regardless though, I am slowly working towards making my home a Smart Home.  I've included a Ring doorbell (which has a built-in camera), a few security cameras and a home security suite.
    My home security is through Ooma, the same company that provides near free VOIP service after you purchase their device.  Easy to set up and maintain.  The home security is monitored by our family members, we do not pay anyone to monitor is 24/7.  I know when doors are opened, I know when there's motion detected; information is sent to me through my mobile device which allows me to elect to call 911 if I need to.
    So with that being said; I think all of those options are good in the event of home security.  While I don't worry about too many negative things in my community, I simply want peace of mind when it comes to my family and my investment.
    Hope that helps with your decision-making.
    "There's a fine line between audacity and idiocy."
    -Warden Anastasia Luccio, Captain
  • adamadam Member, Beta Tester Posts: 63
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    edited September 2019
    Some important points; there is a huge difference between some of these devices in terms of if they work as a deterrent or if they just may be useful after the event of a crime committed.

    So weigh up each device you are thinking of and how it functions,  which of these two things is it ?    Maybe its both if the device is visible from outside (like CCTV cameras).

    The other thing is fairly obvious but it needs stating;  adding this kind of stuff to your house can just mean that you set yourself up for more computer problems, more annoying technical issues and more time in front of a smartphone.    So I would really evaluate and research each product, see how easy it is, how much people complain about it and how complex it is and if it's going to be worth it.   

    Also research and evaluate in the context of security; both what the track record of the company and product is and also in terms of your home network, occupants and the effect it may have on them.

    I have a network of cctv cameras and an nvr for example and that took a lot of work to set up.   I am capable of doing this and was up for learning about it so it's fine really... i wanted something much more flexible than one of these closed camera systems from the likes of Nest/Ring/Arlo etc.      In fact its still an ongoing project as I need to replace the nvr server I use with a more powerful one.  And so it goes on....
    HronosMDavideVioletChepil
  • kltaylorkltaylor Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 1,231
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    adam said:
    Some important points; there is a huge difference between some of these devices in terms of if they work as a deterrent or if they just may be useful after the event of a crime committed.

    So weigh up each device you are thinking of and how it functions,  which of these two things is it ?    Maybe its both if the device is visible from outside (like CCTV cameras).

    The other thing is fairly obvious but it needs stating;  adding this kind of stuff to your house can just mean that you set yourself up for more computer problems, more annoying technical issues and more time in front of a smartphone.    So I would really evaluate and research each product, see how easy it is, how much people complain about it and how complex it is.    I have a network of cctv cameras and an nvr for example and that took a lot of work to set up.  In fact its still an ongoing project as I need to replace the nvr server I use with a more powerful one.  And so it goes on....
    @Adam brings up a very good point; only submit yourself to the technology that you can either do yourself or hire someone that can do it for you.
    Home security companies have recently added cameras into their packages, and can also show you how to access them on a computer or on a mobile device. 
    "There's a fine line between audacity and idiocy."
    -Warden Anastasia Luccio, Captain
    MDavide
  • MDavideMDavide Member Posts: 51
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    edited September 2019

    For home security I use a professional system by UTC Fire&Security. I can manage all what I need from remote via SMS messages, it is connected via GSM gateway. In case of alarm I am alerted with the information of where the alarm is, in parallel a private surveillance company is also alerted and if I want they can send a patrol in few minutes with or without police (I can decide). The reason why it is based on SMS is that my system is about 10 yrs old, but I would not change it with anything else at the moment, it works really flawlessly.

    What I missed from this system installation was to see what happens in case of alarm, so I installed four dlink cameras, with few bucks the are 24/24 connected and register movies with event based triggers that I can define.

    For fire security I installed three Nest Protect in three different areas (fireplace area, garage and living room).

    Cheers,

    Davide
    Hronos
  • HronosHronos Member, Beta Tester Posts: 289
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    MDavide said:

    ... The reason why it is based on SMS is that my system is about 10 yrs old, but I would not change it with anything else at the moment, it works really flawlessly.

    That's a good option to have in a more modern implementation too.  You know, in case of a "disaster" it's much probably data and calls will be lost (down or saturated) for a while, you can rely on the SMS to communicate (as synchronous or asynchronous option).
    Keep looking up!
    MDavideVioletChepilkltaylor
  • HronosHronos Member, Beta Tester Posts: 289
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    I got a little mad and buy for my home one of each device Wyze offers (all but the plugs, they seems not to be available).  I have now to wait arrival (a cousin is helping me with that xD), and then get them installed... I think after I play a bit with them I will set them up for "internal" security, I still need something to the external perimeter (cameras and or smart locks...)
    I was robbed at my front door early this year, when I was reaching to close the garage door, they took my car and all it has in it (phone, laptop, etc).  I never thought that could happen in my neighborhood, and now that I think about it, I wish I was more aware of the security issues my neighborhood has, like the lack of cameras around (not even one in sight).
    People say it doesn't happen twice for the same person, but I prefer to be prepare to help any other who may pass for the same problem (or my self if I have that bad luck  :p ).
    BTW, police recover my car 5 days after with little to no damage, so the lost was minimum.
    Keep looking up!
    VioletChepilkltaylor
  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    adam said:
    Some important points; there is a huge difference between some of these devices in terms of if they work as a deterrent or if they just may be useful after the event of a crime committed.

    So weigh up each device you are thinking of and how it functions,  which of these two things is it ?    Maybe its both if the device is visible from outside (like CCTV cameras).

    The other thing is fairly obvious but it needs stating;  adding this kind of stuff to your house can just mean that you set yourself up for more computer problems, more annoying technical issues and more time in front of a smartphone.    So I would really evaluate and research each product, see how easy it is, how much people complain about it and how complex it is and if it's going to be worth it.   

    Also research and evaluate in the context of security; both what the track record of the company and product is and also in terms of your home network, occupants and the effect it may have on them.

    I have a network of cctv cameras and an nvr for example and that took a lot of work to set up.   I am capable of doing this and was up for learning about it so it's fine really... i wanted something much more flexible than one of these closed camera systems from the likes of Nest/Ring/Arlo etc.      In fact its still an ongoing project as I need to replace the nvr server I use with a more powerful one.  And so it goes on....
    Thanks for this. I live in a development and there are loads of CCTV everywhere, I'd never guess that someone would catch a burglar from footage. I guess this would be useful to identify if the burglar is someone known to you. 
    i'm skeptical of both cameras and alarm system companies and what would actually be done in the event of an emergency! I guess it would be helpful in the case of a fire but living in a townhouse my neighbors would surely alert me if there was a fire. 

    Community Manager at Fing

    kltaylor
  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    @Romulus TBH I'm not even sure what I'm protecting myself against. I guess I'm pretty skeptical about what would actually be solved in the event something did happen. What do others fine useful and reassuring about their systems? Maybe I'll start up another thread on the actual benefits/prevention and incidents solved with alarm/camera systems perhaps. 

    Community Manager at Fing

    kltaylor
  • Stratt3000Stratt3000 NB, CanadaMember Posts: 21
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    One very crucial point to add to this thread (I don't think I saw it mentioned above) consider needs of being able to hardwire any network cams, DVR, etc..  If it doesn't have a cable running and you are relying on wifi, you're sacrificing a lot of security.  Now, consider your end goal of course and the average user just looking for piece of mind can get away with wifi - but then again - I can also get away with a mitm type attack and render your cam virtually useless.  My best advice to add for optimum hardening - multiple cams & physical connected (and secured) devices.
    Rev. Stratton Phillips | FOSN, D. Div. (h.c.) | InfoTech @ Cloud5

    HronosVioletChepilkltaylor
  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    Thanks @Romulus and @Hronos for the great feedback on why they would be beneficial. That is definitely helpful. I do see this being of value in certain situations!

    Community Manager at Fing

  • satmansatman Member Posts: 9
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    edited September 2019

    Security/Protection .. I'm a security professional so my views are not that of most. I do have an NVR with 8 PoE cameras. I also have Nest doorbell and 2 other Nest cameras.

    My yard Nest camera just caught a raccoon vandalizing a bird bath/water fountain. Without it I'd assume it was an animal but not sure in how to prevent it from happening again.

    My Nest doorbell also recorded the sound of gun shots from two streets away from me. This helped the local PD with exact time of the shooting and I'm not in a high crime area!

    Most of all cameras and burglar alarms systems give peace of mind but YOU MUST USE THEM. Many people only Arm their system while they're away. We arm our system during sleep time hours. Possessions can be replaced, life and limb can't. Cameras are a deterrent to some and a challenge to others.

    Sufficient lighting in and around your property is generally more of a deterrent.

    In some states you have to post a notice that you're recording video. In some states you also have to post that you're also recording audio and video. Expectations of privacy and the violation thereof can be a crime.

    If you're not sure, seek the advice of your local PD.

    HronosVioletChepil
  • HronosHronos Member, Beta Tester Posts: 289
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    @satman good inside!
    What you have said have to be considere when implementing security for you and your family (including pets xD)
    Keep looking up!
    VioletChepil
  • satmansatman Member Posts: 9
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    I have a camera just for keeping an eye on my Yorkies. They are usually on our couch and the link to that camera WAS on my website, and not password protected! We have to be aware of how we're dressed or undressed when in the view of that camera. Just something else to remember when installing cameras inside your house.

    VioletChepil
  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    Thanks @satman that definitely makes sense about actually using them. And this is the major behavioral change I guess for those adopting the new technology. I'm leaning towards cameras in the first instance as my first investment. 

    Community Manager at Fing

  • satmansatman Member Posts: 9
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    Violet, I'd rethink that. A monitored security system would be my choice but NOT one like SimpleSafe or those others from Nest etc. I have to believe that there are local ALARM COMPANIES in your area that will give you a reasonably priced system. Make sure it's monitored and they use CELL technology to communicate to the monitoring facility. Internet or traditional telephone lines are too easy to compromise

    Cameras can be added at the same time or at a future date. The alarm company may even run CAT5 for you so you can add PoE cameras and an NVR then or at a future date.

    Protecting you and your loved ones while you're at home is more important than protecting any possessions. Cameras only help identify problems after the fact. JMHO so do what's best for you.

  • Lee_BoLee_Bo Member Posts: 273
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    Sorry for the delay, but since this community moved to web only, I only check when I'm in the office and have my laptop open, which hasn't been often lately with workload.

    I have the Ring system and really like it.  4 cameras, alarm panel, 2 door sensors, and a water a CO detector, all for $10/month.  They may be better options out there, but I also have 2 very large dogs in the house.  Not too worried about anyone breaking in.
    VioletChepil
  • VioletChepilVioletChepil London, UKMember Posts: 2,471
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    Thanks for the feedback @Lee_Bo :) We hope to get more mobile options soon...

    Community Manager at Fing

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