The best home security products of the year



With 2021 almost in our rearview mirror, it’s time for our annual roundup of the best home security devices, from DIY security systems and video doorbells to smart locks and security cameras. Whether you’re looking to expand your home security setup or just getting started with smart home surveillance, we’ve got you covered.

Keep in mind that not all of the products on this list were introduced this year. We’re not going to shy away from recommending a great product just because it hit the market before January 1, 2021.

Presentation of our selections:

Best DIY Home Security System: Ring Alarm Pro

Jared Newman / IDG

Ring continues to build the best do-it-yourself home security system on the market, and the Ring Alarm Pro takes things even further by incorporating the equally excellent Eero 6 mesh Wi-Fi router and Ring Smart Lighting Bridge into the system. same housing. An 8-piece kit will get you started for just $ 300, and it can be expanded with the video doorbell, security cameras, additional sensors, and whatever else you need to secure your home. The Works with Ring certification program ensures that third-party products such as smart locks will be compatible with the Ring system. Although the company has increased the price of its professional monitoring service, it is still one of the cheapest plans on the market and includes battery and LTE backup for the security system and the router.

Best Wired Video Doorbell: Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro

Jared Newman / IDG

The Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro is second to none, delivering super high resolution (1664 x 1664 pixels); a generous symmetrical field of view (180 x 180 degrees, vertically and horizontally), so you can see visitors from head to toe; package detection; and lights and sounds that grab the attention of visitors so that they instinctively present their faces to the camera. The price of the camera includes installation, although you don’t have any doorbell wiring in place yet. You’ll want to sign up for a cloud storage plan, however, to take full advantage of the camera. Vivint also offers a fabulously comprehensive smart home / home security service if you don’t want to go the DIY route.

Best battery-powered video doorbell: Nest Doorbell

Jared Newman / IDG

Despite the name, the Nest Doorbell (battery) can work with your choice of low-voltage wiring or its internal battery. We found the device to be extremely easy to set up in any case, and it provided crisp and clear video recordings. Nest’s latest doorbell can detect people as well as animals, parcels, and even vehicles moving within its line of sight, and it will alert you quickly. All video processing is done on the doorbell itself, instead of being uploaded to the cloud, which improves your privacy. As you might expect, it works well with Google’s smart speakers, which will announce when someone is at your doorstep and even name the person if they recognize previous visits.

Best outdoor security camera: Nest Cam (battery)

Jared Newman / IDG

Google’s Nest division has always made great smart security cameras, and its latest Nest Cam (battery) is the best in its class. It works on battery, of course, and can be deployed indoors or outdoors. If you don’t want to worry about charging the battery, you can attach a magnetic charging cable to power it from the mains. Like the Nest Doorbell, the Nest Cam (battery) will alert you to the presence of people, animals, and vehicles, and it will learn to recognize faces over time (provided you purchase a subscription). The camera provides excellent video quality and is extremely easy to set up and use.

Best indoor security camera: Arlo Pro 4

While Google’s Nest cameras work best with Google devices, and Amazon-owned Ring tailors its cameras to Alexa aficionados, the Arlo Pro 4 doesn’t force you to choose an ecosystem: it works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit, not to mention Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT. Along with its stellar smart home support, the Arlo Pro 4 happens to be an excellent security camera, with incredibly crisp 2K video, precise smart detection, and a sleek, intuitive app. And while previous Arlo Pro models required the Arlo SmartHub base station, it’s purely optional for the Arlo Pro 4. Overall, we can’t think of a better way to spend $ 200 on a security camera. smart.

Best security camera / projector combo: Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro

Jared Newman / IDG

Ring didn’t need to upgrade his security camera / projector combo, but we’re glad he did. This incredibly powerful security device features a camera suspended between and below a pair of adjustable spotlights. The camera offers 1080p resolution and has an 80 x 140 degree field of view (vertical x horizontal). Adjustable spotlights each produce 2,000 lumens of brightness. The movement triggers both the camera and the lights, and you can also operate the lights on a schedule. Ring’s 3D motion detection with bird’s-eye view is a game-changer. It will plot the movement on an aerial map, then display the path a person has traveled in the camera’s field of view. The Ring Floodlight Cam Pro can also interact with the wide range of Ring Smart Lighting products.

Best smart lock: Level Lock

Jared Newman / IDG

Until the advent of the level lock, even the best smart locks were bulky horrors with massive badges hanging on the inside of the door and geeky looking keyboards on the outside. Level Lock engineers have changed that by hiding all the electronics inside the lock itself. You would never know it was a smart look just by looking at it. The Level Lock communicates with the Level app on your phone via Bluetooth, and a geofencing feature automatically unlocks and locks the door as you go and leave. And just in case the battery drains while you’re away, you get a pair of conventional keys as well. The even more sophisticated Level Touch works at the touch of a finger, but costs a little more than this model.

Wait! There is more!

You won’t want to miss our pick of the best smart home products of 2021-22 and the best home entertainment products of 2021-22.

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