Magid: A virtual security guard for your home

There are many home security systems on the market, including some standalone cameras that will alert you if there is movement, all the way up to fully monitored

Larry Magid (Gary Reyes / Mercury News)

systems like Deep Sentinel that’s only one-step away from having a security guard posted in front of your house.

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Some, like the Canary, start at under $60 and come with an app that lets you see whatever the camera sees. Canary offers both indoor and outdoor cameras.

A popular outdoor camera is the Ring doorbell, starting at $100, that replaces your doorbell with a combination doorbell/camera that lets you see visitors on your phone and speak with them either through your phone or an Alexa device like the Amazon Echo.

Any of these cameras let you check your home (or vacation home) at any time via an app. But, for the most part, they’re “DYI” devices that you install, and you monitor yourself.

Monitored systems

If you’re willing to spend a monthly fee, you can get a fully managed system from ADT, Vivint, Comcast and other companies that include the cameras, installation and monitoring. I have a Vivint system in my home which includes a doorbell camera, a driveway camera and a couple of inside cameras. Vivint recently upgraded our driveway camera with the new Outdoor Camera Pro, that features a Smart Sentry AI tool “that not only identifies true threats, but also helps prevent break-ins by warning lurkers on your property they’ve been spotted.” according to their website. I know it works because someone was hanging out in our driveway for a while and, sure enough, I got a warning, though the person didn’t pose any real threat.

One thing I like about this new camera is that it’s less likely to record random events that don’t need your attention. The previous generation camera recorded every car that drove by my house, recording so many “events,” that I was likely to miss any real threats. The new one seems to be able to better

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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