Category Archives: Security

Stop fiddling with keys! Get a smart home automation door lock

We stayed in a cozy, canary yellow beach home in Emerald Isle last year with my side of the family and geeked out whenever we got to use its keyless, smart home automation door lock.

When heading out to the beach, just press your hand lightly on the door lock and listen to it’s sturdy, mechanical gears grind to a halting lock. Tap in the personalized code when you return.

We felt freed.

No keys. No phones. Just throw towels over our shoulders and grab a good book or two.

This is why, even though there’s plenty of flashy smart home automation door locks out there, we went for a more traditional, reliable and still smart, Yale Real Living Touchscreen Z-Wave Deadbolt.

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If you want to free yourself from keys or a fob or take a break from your phone, then this lock is for you. All you need is to remember a code.

While operating with a code is problem-free, we have an issue with controlling from our Wink Hub app, which we suspect could be due to the distance between the lock to the hub. Once we test out a Z-Wave repeater, we’ll let you know if the problem is fixed.

Even though we prefer to be keys-free, the manual key override gives us peace of mind. As for installation, it was a cinch with less than 10 steps and voice-enabled programming.

Want to learn more? Continue reading Stop fiddling with keys! Get a smart home automation door lock

Install a home security camera system at your front door

Want to know when a package is dropped off or when visitors stop at your front door by, even if you’re not at home?

While a doorbell helps when you’re home, a home security camera system can notify you when you’re away.

Read on to learn what’s involved in installing a home security camera at your front door.

hikvision Continue reading Install a home security camera system at your front door

Master of your domain with home surveillance camera systems

When we started our search for our home, one of Dan’s top requirements was a house that backed to the woods, which seemed like an impossible dream for a house within the city limits. Lucky for us, we came across our house which backs to a 287-acre city park.

The woods meander down into a steep ravine so it’s unlikely we’ll get intruders from there, but we do have a basement walkout door we want to keep an eye on (and also try to catch some wildlife visitors).

Our solution was to set up a home surveillance camera to enhance our security alarm system: Hikvision DS-2CD2332-I Original 1/3″ CMOS 3MP 2.8mm Lens POE Network CCTV Dome IP Camera. Continue reading Master of your domain with home surveillance camera systems

Free alternative to wireless intercom system for home

Sure, you could always keep up the regular shouting matches required to gather the family around the dinner table.

Or you could give your vocal chords a rest with an intercom system. (Or do as my mom always did, and ring a dinner bell to summon the troops.)

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But a traditional wired intercom system is a pain to install and smart, interconnected systems are pre-order only.

A quick-solve solution is installing Zello, a free walkie-talkie app, onto smart devices you already have to establish a wireless intercom system. Continue reading Free alternative to wireless intercom system for home

Top 4 security camera locations for smart home protection

A home burglary occurs every 13 seconds in the United States. Most happen in the daytime when occupants are away at school or work with the master bedroom usually the first stop.

A well-placed security camera can help to identify the criminal’s face so police can track them down.

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The top 4 security camera locations for smart home protection are where most burglars enter. Continue reading Top 4 security camera locations for smart home protection

How our in home camera system complements our alarm system

While we were each out doing last-minute Christmas shopping, Dan got a call from Vivint, our home security system, because our kitchen door triggered the alarm. He called me up to decide what to do — should we have Vivint send the police?

Then, Dan had a Eureka! moment — we have the kitty cam in the kitchen!

Continue reading How our in home camera system complements our alarm system