CNET: DIY home security systems


Smart-home appliances are developing all kinds of skills and talents to make our lives better, and one of the most valuable of these is home security. Here are four gadgets you can add to your home yourself that will help keep it safe and secure.

———

Icontrol Networks Piper NV

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/icontrol-networks-piper-nv/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: From setup to shutdown, Icontrol Networks’ $269 Piper NV all-in-one security device was an absolute delight to use.

The bad: You’ll spend more upfront than some other standalone security options. It doesn’t have an, if this than that, IFTTT channel or offer partnerships with third-party brands beyond its basic Z-Wave integrations.

The cost: $279.99 to $280.49

The bottom line: For easy, seamless DIY home security and automation integration, look no further than the Piper NV.

———

Nest Cam Indoor

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/nest-cam/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding) The good: Nest Cam’s high-resolution video (1080p), magnetic base, pivoting stand and updated app make this DIY device an improvement over Dropcam Pro — and many other DIY cameras.

The bad: Like Dropcam Pro, Nest Cam is still just a webcam at heart. While it does offer security features like opt-in motion and sound alerts, they aren’t especially useful since you can only receive one notification every 30 minutes.

The cost: $179.99 to $217.80

The bottom line: Given that Nest Cam and Dropcam Pro are pretty similar, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for existing users to replace their Pro. But, budding DIYers searching for a high-res live streaming camera really can’t beat Nest Cam.

———

Kuna Toucan

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/kuna-toucan/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The Toucan outdoor camera connects to the included Smart Socket light bulb adapter via USB so you don’t have to bother with batteries or a power cord. It has a very discreet design and a built-in 100-decibel siren for an extra dose of deterrence.

The bad: Its Smart Socket adapter made the light bulb extend past the bottom of my wall light. The Toucan relies on the light fixture for illumination rather than infrared LEDs, it doesn’t work with smart home products from other manufacturers and its motion sensor was too sensitive.

The cost: $149.99 to $179.99

The bottom line: If you’re looking to add a low-maintenance outdoor camera to your home security setup, Toucan could easily fit the bill.

———

Kuna Light Fixture

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/kuna-light-fixture-review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The Kuna Light Fixture elegantly merges home security with outdoor lighting in a way that looks nice, is easy to manage, and helps you keep a closer eye on any unexpected visitors.

The bad: There’s no dedicated night vision setting and a single light bulb really can’t capture low-light conditions that well. Kuna lacks an IFTTT channel and doesn’t work with any smart-home hubs or otherwise play well with products from other manufacturers. You have to pay a fee for cloud storage and other advanced features.

The cost: $179.00 to $180.00

The bottom line: Despite some notable caveats, the Kuna Light Fixture is a discreet and stylish security camera for your home.

———

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Associate Editor Megan Wollerton and Senior Editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit www.cnet.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Technology

Hiring surge, especially at schools, drops Austin unemployment rate
Hiring surge, especially at schools, drops Austin unemployment rate

Austin-area workers streamed back into the labor force and, for most of them, directly into jobs during September, pushing the metro-area unemployment rate back down below 3 percent, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The number of employed Central Texans surged almost four times faster than the typical...
Texas to receive $7.35 million in multi-state GM settlement

Texas will receive $7.35 million of a $120 million multi-state settlement with General Motors over allegations that the company hid safety issues stemming from defective ignition switches in some of its vehicles, Attorney General Ken Paxton said Thursday. The settlement with attorneys general in 49 states and the District of Columbia is the latest...
House hunters, here are 5 secrets to getting the best home loan
House hunters, here are 5 secrets to getting the best home loan

Getting a home mortgage loan is one of the most important financial commitments most people will ever make, since the terms of your loan can affect your finances in a big way for years to come. Start shopping for a loan before you actually begin looking at homes, since this lets you know where you stand and gives you greater negotiating power with...
5 key things you should know about car insurance
5 key things you should know about car insurance

Car insurance isn't something you probably think about often, but it's an important tool in protecting your assets. It pays to learn about your policy before you need it so you can take advantage of its benefits and avoid any unpleasant surprises. Whether you're shopping for a new policy or are wondering about the specifics of your current coverage...
Business digest: Austin gas prices drop 6 cents, AAA reports

TRAVEL Austin gas prices drop 6 cents, AAA reports Central Texas gas prices continue to fall from their Hurricane Harvey-induced spike. AAA Texas reports a gallon of unleaded fuel costs $2.30 this week in the Austin area, down six cents compared to a week ago. The statewide average is $2.26, also down six cents. Texarkana has the cheapest fuel in Texas...
More Stories