Are smart home alarms worth your money?

Smart home security is one of the hottest trends in tech. Systems range from $50 to $80,000, with features to match. But are smart home alarms worth your money? Here’s a look at the market and the alarms we like best.

Are smart home alarms worth your money?
  • What are the advantages of smart home alarms? These systems are cheaper than traditional alarms, and they offer features such as smartphone alerts and automation.
  • Do smart home alarms make your home safer? They can do, although security experts say that the cheapest systems can be too basic to keep your home secure.
  • What are the best smart home alarms in 2019? Good question. We searched high and low for the most impressive options.

If you’re going to spend money on anything, home security is a good place to invest your capital. Although crime is generally decreasing, there are still good reasons to protect your property. Quite apart from anything else, home invasion can be pretty devastating.

Smart home alarm systems claim to offer an affordable solution. Many provide coverage for under $200. But how effective are they really? We decided to find out.

The state of home security

Are smart home alarms worth your money

Home security is a big tech trend

Until recently, home security was a fairly closed market. A few large companies supplied the vast majority of security systems, and they set their prices high.

The introduction of smart home alarms has completely transformed the marketplace. Instead of paying thousands for installation and personal service, homeowners can set up and manage home security themselves. It means that anyone can now afford the luxury of protection.

Are smart home alarms worth your money

Smart alarms offer great features at affordable prices

In addition, smart home alarms provide a range of useful features. For instance, you can be alerted to suspicious activity or a build-up of smoke via your smartphone. You can also watch a livestream from anywhere in the world.

Are smart home alarms really that effective?

The only problem is, few of us are home security experts. As a result, cameras and sensors are often placed where they won’t be very helpful.

Are smart home alarms worth your money

You need to install sensors in the right place

In addition, the more traditional systems were much more visible from the outside of your house. This made a lot of sense — deterring thieves is the best way to keep your home safe. With this in mind, consider purchasing outdoor CCTV cameras and window sensors to provide a visible deterrent.

Are smart home alarms worth your money

Deterrance is the best defence

Of course, not all smart home alarms are focused on security. Many products now provide home monitoring, giving you early warning of fire and flood. Again, the placement of these devices, and any companion sensors, is vital.

How much should you pay for a smart home alarm?

The price of smart home alarms varies significantly. You generally get what you pay for, although there are some variations in this trend.

The amount you should be paying depends on your real estate. For a two-bedroom apartment, a basic $200 kit might be sufficient. To cover a family home, you will probably need to spend significantly more. The extra money will go on sensors for every window and door.

It’s also worth noting that these prices do not include service. Many smart home alarms have cloud-based features that demand a monthly subscription.

The best smart home alarms

Now you know what to look for, here are some of the best smart home alarms currently available:

Honeywell Smart Home Security Base Station

Honeywell’s system isn’t cheap, but it is easy to install and packed with good features. The Base Station has a built-in camera with Alexa intelligence and cloud recording. You can hook up various sensors and cameras, along with third-party lights.

Price: $299 USD


Ring Alarm Smart Home Security Kit

In contrast with some products in this list, the Ring Alarm Security Kit is very easy to set up. Priced at under $200, the base kit is also very affordable. There are few smart home integrations, but the hardware is excellent.

Price: $199 USD


Abode Smart Security Kit

You might not have heard of Abode, but this startup is a well-respected veteran of smart home security. The current system offers great value and features, with three levels of service available — including a free tier.

Price: $189 USD

Home8 Wireless Home Security System

If you want to capture criminals on camera, Home8 might be the system for you. This kit includes several sensors and an HD camera. The latter is used to verify potential break-ins and record the action. It’s simple but effective.

Price: $226.37 USD


Notion Home Awareness Kit

Not all alarms need to be audible. Notion uses sensors around your home in order to deliver detailed notifications to your phone. These alerts cover opened doors and windows, smoke alarms, water leaks, indoor temperature, and more.

Price: $149 USD


SimpliSafe Compact Home Security System

Every reviewer that has tried SimpliSafe seems to have good things to say about this system. The reasonably-priced kit includes all the basics, and there is no monthly fee if you only need a local alarm. If you want to upgrade, there is professional monitoring available at a reasonable cost, covering security, flood and fire.

Price: $229 USD

Nest Secure Smart Alarm System

Although the entire Nest ecosystem is gradually being migrated to Google Assistant, this smart alarm remains a good buy. Nest Secure integrates beautifully with your other smart home devices, and keychain tags allow you to disarm the lock with a tap.

Price: $299 USD


Smart security

Are you considering buying a smart security system? Tell us in the comments!

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Meet Mark Myerson

Mark is best known for writing about apps, but he also loves the tactile, hardware side of technology. Being a professional photographer, he's pretty handy with a camera, and he's a self-confessed tweetaholic.
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