We were out of country for three weeks earlier this year. One of the biggest worries we had for going away for so long is break-ins. As we have found out a number of break-ins around our home due to recently (see my other post about use the crime map to monitor your neighborhood). We started looking into home security products a month before our trip. Specifically we looked into a few products recommended by our friends and also a few that had great reviews online. In the end we purchased three products that had reasonable prices and were very easy to install.
We are glad to report that our home has been safe while we are away. We were able to install a number of products that made our home appear to be occupied so the thieves would not target us.
As the time of writing, this product is on sale at amazon for 50% off. We do not know how long the sale will last.
We found this product tremendously useful and super easy to use. it costs less than $30 each. Plug into any power plug and plug our table lamp into it. Then use the smart phone app to schedule the Smart Plug to automatically power the light on and off as needed, like setting lights to come on at dusk or turn off at sunrise.
We really liked this smart plug and actually bought 3 of these and set it up in different rooms. We also turned on the Away Mode, which randomly turns our lights on and off at different times to give the appearance that someone is home. As a bonus, it also works with Amazon Alexa or Google Home if you happen to have one.
We have tried a few other similar products in the market but found that TP-Link smart plug is most easy to config and use. It has close to 1000 reviews and over 200 answered questions on Amazon and it is currently on sale.
This is a little inexpensive camera that allow us to view the room on our smart phone while we are away. It is also super small that can be hidden anywhere. We had it facing our rear windows. This camera also have a very wide angle. We have a second one and used as a baby room monitor.
- 1080p full HD live stream direct to your smartphone
- Night vision up to 30 feet away – even in total darkness
- Motion and sound detection with free rolling 14-day cloud storage.Motion Tagging technology detects and outlines motion in both live stream and replay modes
- Magnetic base and included adhesive metal plate let you mount your WyzeCam anywhere – no screws required
Amazon reviews are very favorable and earns its Amazon’s Choice in the security camera category.
We saw this product at a number of our friends’ house, so we are able to see this in action before we make the purchase. Before the criminals break into your home, they will certainly ring the door bell to see if anyone is at home. If there are people at home, they will most likely move onto their next target. You want to answer the door bell even you are not at home to pretend you are at home.
The logic is quite sound. With this video bell, we can see, hear and speak to people at our door from your smartphone or tablet, whether we are in the house or out of home. Even we missed the door bell, we are able to view the recording online to check who were actually ringing the bell.
It has a number of cool features.
- Alerts and live videos are triggered by motion detection or when someone rings the doorbell.
- Built-in night vision, so you can see even at night
- Quick and easy setup – mount and sync to your personal Wi-Fi network in minutes.
- Dual powered: Use built-in rechargeable battery or existing doorbell wiring.
- It’s got a lifetime purchase protection, even if your doorbell is stolen, the company will replace it for FREE!
It also doubles as a video camera. We are able to see the front of our house anytime anywhere while we were on the trip. That provided us a peace of mind while we were away.
We bought the First Generation Ring Door Bell because it was on sale at Amazon for $125. Ring has released a Second Generation Ring Door Bell with a few improvements such as the improved battery but double the price. In my opinion the first generation serves the purpose already. It has more than 700 reviews and over 100 answered questions on Amazon.
Installation video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gc85lVPH-E