You may be considering about a Home automation system with many features or you may just want to have an alarm or notification system for certain situations. For example, you may be looking for a system that can send you an alert (i.e. text message) by using a door sensor or a camera to monitor an older adult or a child at home. However, you may not want any lease commitment and pay a monthly service fee. Then you might consider using a Do-it-yourself security system.
There are many monitory systems (i.e. security camera) on the market. Most companies charge a monthly or yearly service fee, but some equipment can be bought up front and require no fee or aftermarket contract if you install and configure the notification system by yourself. The consumers’ reviews vary depending upon their experiences. So instead of selecting one because a new product is on the market or it is reasonably priced compared to other products, it is recommended that you research other users’ experiences and compare the features before you purchase a system. Security Resources for Home & Online (www.asecurelife.com) provides you with the product pros and cons information. Amazon (www.amazon.com), where many manufactures sell their products, post users’ experiences. These are helpful resources because you get the product information as well as users’ experiences and opinions after using the product for a while.
One should consider the following: The quality of any security cameras depends upon the light, the reflections of the windows, the resolution of the cameras, the availability of both night and day vision, video and audio availability, and how you can angle the camera or how wide of an area you can capture. Some users have experienced not being able to capture because of the limitations of the camera angle, a poor quality image, or poor audio. False alarms are something you want to be aware of. Some users are getting too many false alarms because of their house pets or not getting any alarm because of their wireless network unavailability. One user noted that the delay of the notification resulted in not being able to act upon immediately. If you need to store the information, you can store the information in your local drive (i.e. SD card/computer drive, etc.) or in the cloud with fee after a 30-day trial on some systems. A few users stated that the customer/technical service is important because you may experience problems during the installations or configurations. Other challenges are the product may only work with the apps or software from the manufacture which may not be compatible with other apps for iOS/Android. In fact, Apple stopped posting some products under their Home Automation kit list. A few reported problems and concerns about network security issues.
The following links include a few no-fee security system reviews, but most companies charge for additional features such as saving the video streaming in the cloud.
The following are a few security systems with no fees or fees on additional features (i.e. recording).
Top 5 Home Security Inventions you must have (by Tech HD)
A guide on your old, smartphone’s camera for monitoring purpose:
If you are planning to expand the home automation (i.e. door/window sensors, lights, and temperature controls), it is recommended that you check with the total cost as well as the compatibility such as you can pair with the existing system. Some products may already have the additional built-in features you need.