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