No More Monthly Fees: How to Build Your Own Home Security System – PCMag

Smart home security systems are ideal for keeping tabs on what’s happening inside and outside of your home, but not everyone has the need or the budget for a full-blown professionally monitored system from ADT or Vivint. DIY systems like Ring Alarm Pro and SimpliSafe are compelling money-saving alternatives, but they limit you to using only those components that the platform supports. A third option is to build an Ă  la carte-style home security system with the best components on the market. Here we’re highlighting top-rated devices for each part of your DIY home security system to help you get started.

Wyze Cam V3

Start With a Security Camera

Any DIY home security system worth its salt includes one or more security cameras to monitor activity both inside and outside of your home. You can find a good indoor camera for less than $100, depending on features such as motion and sound alerts, local storage capabilities, and face recognition.

Look for a camera that has a resolution of at least 1080p and can interact with third-party smart home devices such as door locks, lights, and plugs. If you use Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands to control your smart devices, pick a camera that supports voice control and/or streams to a compatible smart display. One of our favorite low-cost models, the Eufy Indoor Cam 2K Pan & Tilt P24, offers 2K video, local and cloud video storage options, motion tracking, and mechanical pan and tilt controls. It also supports Apple HomeKit.

Outdoor cameras tend to vary more in price. Our Editors’ Choice winner for affordable outdoor cameras, the 1080p Wyze Cam V3, offers lots of features including color night vision, intelligent motion detection, voice control, a built-in siren, and local video storage. It also integrates with many third-party smart devices and can trigger door locks, lighting, and external sirens. On the other end of the price spectrum, the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight offers stunning 2K video, color night vision, a bright light that activates when it detects motion, and a rechargeable battery that enables a completely wireless design.

Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Cam

Shine a Light on Outdoor Motion With a Floodlight Camera

Floodlight cameras are useful all-in-one devices for monitoring outdoor activity and lighting up the night. Most floodlight cams feature two powerful wide-beam LED lamps to illuminate large areas such as driveways and backyards, and use motion detection sensors to trigger the lights and camera.

The setup process for these devices typically requires working with electrical wiring, but some battery-powered models exist. For example, the completely wireless Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera offers 2K video, color night vision, and interoperability with lots of other devices.

If you’re replacing an existing wired fixture, the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro is an excellent choice that works with other Ring cameras as well as many third-party devices; it also offers 3D motion tracking, HDR video, color night vision, and voice controls. For a more affordable wired solution, the Wyze Cam Floodlight gets you 1080p video, sound and motion detection, a pair of bright LED lamps, and a built-in siren.

Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Wi-Fi Smart Lock

Smart Locks: A Convenient Way to Control Access

A smart door lock is an essential component of any connected home security system, and should ideally support interaction with your other home security devices. Some smart locks such as …….



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