/ Home & Energy, Technology

Would you trust a smart home security system to protect your home?

smart home

A recent Which? Trusted Traders survey found that 70% of us worry about home security in the darker days of winter.

Traditional burglar alarms are one way of protecting your property, but they’ve got a contemporary competitor – smart home security systems.

These claim to provide many of the features of traditional systems, but enable you to control, monitor and interact with your home from an app on your smartphone or tablet.

As long as your phone or tablet has an internet connection, you should be able to use a smart home security system to check in on what’s happening at home.

Smart home tech

And smart home systems don’t have to be all about security either – a wireless camera at home could also be a way to keep an eye on children in another room.

Depending on which brand you buy, you can also add in other smart tech, such as smart light bulbs, heating controls and smoke detectors, or voice controls via a device such as the Amazon Echo.

What’s more, you don’t even have to go through the hassle of searching for a tradesman to fit one, as you can usually set them up yourself.

Would you install a smart home security system in your home?

No (44%, 344 Votes)

Not sure (36%, 280 Votes)

Yes, I'm planning on getting one (13%, 101 Votes)

Yes, I already use one (6%, 49 Votes)

Total Voters: 774

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Self set-up

But while self-installation sounds great in theory, in practice it isn’t quite that simple – as our team of researchers discovered when they tried to set up the systems at home.

One of our researchers was left scratching their head about why they couldn’t log on to the smart hub’s website, only to discover that you can’t be logged in on both your phone and computer at the same time.

Another couldn’t understand why footage from their security camera wouldn’t stream to her phone, only to discover a screed of negative reviews in the App store suggesting that the problem wasn’t unique to her.

Installing a system yourself also leaves a bit of room for error – perhaps the best example of this was a motion sensor in one of our researcher’s homes that could easily have been evaded by intruders by accident, simply because it was placed too low.

Our verdict

You can find out more about the individual smart home security systems we tested in our First Look reviews, but our overall impression was that smart systems can help play a part in improved home security.

However, our expert felt that the basic packages offered by most brands are too simple to provide decent security on their own.

What do you think about smart home security systems? Would you feel happier knowing you can check on your property when you’re away from it using your phone or tablet?

Comments
Member

Its amazing the power of advertising . I installed a WIRED alarm system myself when it wasnt the fashion to do so . No problems with it , door sensors/window sensors /movement sensors but what you are getting now is Internet connected control -IE- IoT,s ushering in the era of the VERY “Happy Hacker ” rubbing their hands with glee , easy to hack ,easy to overcome, control , all those devices should come with a warning – this item is sold to you without any guarantee of its ability to stop Hackers . What you are doing is making your life LESS safe by the advertised -control it from your office , shout out to those burglars remotely , watch your house-yes but so are the Hackers AND they can block you , how much of your life do you want as an open book to the world ? just get more IoT,s into your home, they wont fail (the hackers wont ) but Hey-ho ! ,millions will ignore every warning and go out and buy the latest gadget because the TV advert told them to , and look their neighbours on the advert are getting one and we dont want to be left out, called an “old fuddy duddy ” do we ? of coarse not so buy-buy-buy you only live once etc etc .

Member

Surely, if one’s home network is secure enough for home banking, it’s secure enough for home security. If it’s not secure enough one shouldn’t be using it at all.

Member

You would think that Rob but the “authorities” dont want the public believing it isnt safe as that would affect business , show me the authority that will state in open print that wi-fi/ the Internet / cell-net /is safe ? why do you think the CIA etc use satellite phones connected in highly scrambled data transmissions , as a matter of fact the Chinese are working on a new system that is nearly impossible to snoop on and the West is not happy. Public confidence Rob thats what it is down to. HMG are looking to employ hackers , they have even advertised it , so has the FBI , why ? because the hackers are only minutes behind each new security measure . There were 17 more vulnerabilities in the Windows system that had to be patched as well as a large number in Flash Player, nobody should now be using it ,it is so vulnerable to hacking.

Member
Hightownlady says:
16 December 2016

BT home security cameras are useful inside the house in as much as you can have recorded images of any intruders in your home, if you site the cameras in positions where they will have recorded to the cloud before intruders can get to them to unplug them, and providing you are happy to pay the monthly fees to allow recordings to be on the cloud for 30 days. Otherwise all you get is a live view on the occasions you look on your phone and this is expensive to live stream from another country. I think the home hub is secure and protected against hackers. Hopefully it’s early days and the systems will be improved and be able to be more linked in to the house alarm system and external cameras in future.

Member

The Metropolitan Police have stated they will NOT respond to normal house alarm systems (type B ) , only type A which requires a special standard and supplied with a code that the Police have accepted which BB normally have installed in business premises . To get the police to call to a premises /home under type B requires a witness who is at the house to phone the police to say that a bugler is in the premises.

Member

And you are having a laugh when saying that the BT home hub is secure. Either that or you don’t know a lot about internet security.
They are slightly more difficult to hack, but don’t take much longer than any other router.

Member
Paul Jarvis says:
16 December 2016

Not perhaps the right place to comment, but in the article “How to make your home more secure” there is a picture of a ‘shed door’ with a plate lock on it securely fastened with a padlock. Isn.t the use of ordinary phillips screws to attach it to the door just asking for the burglar to bring his philips screwdriver with him
to gain entry in two minutes by undoing the 4 screws?

Special screws can be used that once done up are difficult to unscrew!!!!!

Member

You know what Paul ,you are right , but forget the screws , as someone who grew up in a tough working class area and spent time working in very tough areas , screws are useless , even the police say so. The answer is dome headed BOLTS and inside the shed door the screwed section hammered over to stop any chance of slackening off.