With 2021 almost in our rearview mirror, it’s time for our annual roundup of the best home security devices, from DIY security systems and video doorbells to smart locks and security cameras. Whether you are looking to expand your home security setup or are taking your first steps in smart home monitoring, we have what you need.
Note that not all products on this list were introduced this year. We won’t shy away from recommending a great product just because it hit the market before January 1, 2021.
Presenting our choices:
The best DIY home security system: Ring Alarm Pro
Ring continues to build the best DIY home security system on the market, and Ring Alarm Pro makes things even simpler by incorporating the equally great Eero 6 mesh Wi-Fi router and Ring Smart Lighting Bridge within the same enclosure. An 8-piece kit will get you started for just $ 300 and can be expanded with Ring’s video doorbell, security cameras, additional sensors, and everything else you need to protect your home. The Works with Ring certification program ensures that third-party products such as smart locks will be compatible with the Ring system. Although the company has raised the price for its professional monitoring service, it is still one of the least expensive plans on the market and includes LTE battery and backup for both the security system and the router.
The best wired video intercom: Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro
The Vivint Doorbell Pro Camera it has no equal, offering very high resolution (1664 x 1664 pixels); a generous symmetrical field of view (180 x 180 degrees, vertically and horizontally), so that visitors can be seen from head to toe; package detection; and lights and sounds that attract the attention of visitors so that they instinctively present their face to the camera. The price of the camera includes installation, even if you have not already installed the doorbell wiring. However, we recommend that you sign up for a cloud storage plan to get the most out of your camera. Vivint also offers a smart and fabulously comprehensive home security service if you don’t want to go the DIY route.
Best battery-powered video doorbell: Nest Doorbell
Despite the name, the Nest Doorbell (Battery) it can work with your choice of low voltage wiring or its internal battery. We found the device to be extremely easy to set up either way and provided crisp, clear video recordings. Nest’s latest doorbell can detect people, animals, packages and even moving vehicles in its field of view and will promptly notify you accordingly. All video processing is done on the doorbell itself, rather than being uploaded to the cloud, which improves your privacy. As you’d expect, it works well with Google’s smart speakers, which will announce when someone is at your door and even name the person if they recognize from previous visits.
Best outdoor security camera: Nest Cam (battery)
Google’s Nest division has always made great smart security cameras, and its latest Nest Cam (battery) is the best in its class. It runs on battery, of course, and can be used indoors or out. If you don’t want to worry about charging the battery, you can connect a magnetic charging cable to make it run on AC power. Like the Nest Doorbell, the Nest Cam (battery) will alert you to the presence of people, animals and vehicles and learn to recognize faces over time (provided you have a subscription). The camera offers excellent video quality and is extremely easy to set up and use.
Best indoor security camera: Arlo Pro 4
While Google’s Nest cameras work best with Google devices and Amazon-owned Ring customizes its cameras for Alexa enthusiasts, the Arlo Pro 4 doesn’t force you to choose an ecosystem – it works with Alexa, the Google Assistant, Other Apple HomeKit, not to mention Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT. In addition to its exceptional smart home support, the Arlo Pro 4 is a great security camera, with razor-sharp 2K video, accurate smart detection and a sleek, intuitive app – and while previous Arlo Pro models required the Arlo SmartHub base station It is purely optional for the Arlo Pro 4. All in all, we can’t think of a better way to spend $ 200 on a smart security camera.
Best Security Camera / Projector Combo: Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro
Ring didn’t need to improve its security camera / projector combination, but we’re glad it did. This incredibly powerful security device includes a camera suspended between and under a pair of adjustable reflectors. The camera offers a resolution of 1080p and boasts a field of view of 80 x 140 degrees (vertical x horizontal). The adjustable projectors produce 2,000 lumens of brightness each. The movement activates both the camera and the lights and you can also operate the lights according to a schedule. Ring’s 3D motion detection with a bird’s eye view is a game changer. It will track movement on a map from above, then display the path a person traveled while in the camera view. Ring Floodlight Cam Pro can also interact with the wide range of Ring Smart Lighting products.
Best smart block: level block
Until the level lock appeared, even the best smart locks were bulky ugly eyes with huge badges hanging on the inside of the door and ingenious-looking keyboards on the outside. Level Lock engineers changed the game by hiding all the electronic bits inside the lock itself. You would never say it looked smart just looking at it. The Level Lock communicates with the Level app on your phone via Bluetooth and a geofencing feature will automatically unlock and lock the door when you enter and exit. And in case the battery runs out while you’re out, you get a couple of conventional keys too. The even more sophisticated Touch of level it works with a touch of your finger, but costs a little more than this model.
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