The home is becoming more and more connected, and there are a ton of devices out there aimed specifically at¬†making it more convenient to control lighting and appliances. But connected devices can do more than simply make things a little more convenient — they can also help keep you and your home safe and sound.
There are a ton of smart security products out there, all aimed at tracking and recording your home, specifically at night and when you're not at the home. There are cameras, window and door monitors, alarms, and more — and all can be used in conjunction with a smartphone app and sometimes with other smart home devices.
If you're in the market for some smart home security products, there are a few things you should consider. For starters, you should think about the smart home ecosystems that the device works with. If you're an Apple user, you may want a HomeKit-compatible device. If you have an Amazon Echo, you may want something that works with Alexa.
No matter what you're looking for from a smart security system, we think there's something for you on this list.
Smart home support:¬†August, Nest, Amazon Alexa
Why it's great:¬†SimpliSafe has long been one of the most-loved home security systems out there, and for good reason. The system is available in a range of different configurations, starting at $229 for “The Foundation” system, which comes with a hub, door sensor, keypad, and motion sensor. Prices then range up, all the way up to the $489 “The Haven” system, which comes with everything you'll need to secure a medium-sized home, including smoke detectors, motion sensors, window and door sensors, a key fob, and more. You can even customize your own system, meaning you can get the exact number of window and door sensors you need.
The main downside to SimpliSafe is that it currently doesn't support a huge range of smart home ecosystems, though the company says that will change at some point. Currently, it only allows users to integrate an August lock, Nest thermostat, and you can control it with Amazon's Alexa.
Smart home support:¬†Nest, Google Assistant
Why it's great:¬†Nest's smart home products have long been considered among the best one the market, and Nest Secure is a great way to keep your home safe and sound. The base package of Nest Secure comes with a base station, with a keypad, along with two key fobs and two window/door sensors. You can, however, buy extra sensors for use with the system, and it obviously works with other Nest products like the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Cam IQ.
Nest also integrates with Google Assistant — which you would expect considering the fact that Google owns Nest. The other side of that, however, is that it doesn't really integrate with any of Google's competitors — there's no HomeKit or Alexa integration here, despite the fact that some other Nest products support Alexa.
Smart home support:¬†Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Nest
Why it's great:¬†Abode has built one of the better-designed smart security products out there, and it's available in a range of different packages. The Abode Essentials Starter Kit comes with a hub, window/door sensor, key fob, and motion sensor — though the more expensive packages come with more sensors and devices for larger homes and more comprehensive security.
One of the best things about Abode's system is that you can add devices individually — so you don't have to buy a package with dozens of devices that you might not end up using. We found that it was also relatively easy to use, and works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which is always helpful.
Smart home support:¬†Google Assistant (Alexa coming soon)
Why it's great:¬†Ring has been building great video doorbells and security cameras for some time now, and now it has finally jumped into full-on security systems too. The Ring Alarm security system is well-designed and easy to use, plus it's relatively inexpensive, coming in at $199 — though you might want to subscribe to Ring's Protect Plus service, which costs $10 per month. The kit comes with a base station, keypad, contact sensors, and range extender — though you can purchase additional components for use with the system.
The system is a little limited in the number of smart home ecosystems that it supports, but considering it's new, it's likely we'll see more support as time goes on.
Smart home support:¬†Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings
Why it's great:¬†Perhaps you don't want to both with a comprehensive security system — you just want a few smart security cameras that you can place around the home and control from your mobile devices. If that's you, then the Netgear Arlo Pro 2 is the way to go. The base kit comes with a base station and two cameras, but you can add additional cameras to the system too.
The cameras themselves are relatively high quality. They record video in 1,080p, plus they're rechargeable — though if you don't want to have to recharge them you can simply keep them plugged in all the time.
Of course, perhaps the main advantage to Netgear Arlo Pro 2's system is that it can integrate with a huge range of smart home ecosystems. In fact, the only missing integrations are Apple's HomeKit and Wink, so if you don't use them then it may not be much of an issue.