Six of the best home security gadgets
Before you head off on holiday, invest in one of these great devices to keep your home safe.
Motorola Focus 85 Connect HD Wi-Fi(R), £70, from www.diy.com
This is a great bit of kit, really straightforward to set up and the corresponding Hubble app is easy to navigate. The device itself is small and discreet - the ball-shaped camera sits on top of a cup-like base and it's just a case of plugging it in, turning it on and off you go.
You'll receive notifications to your Smartphone when the camera detects movement or sound and, as soon as it does, it will record to the cloud. In fact, because it's constantly recording clips it will be able to "go back" to the initial disturbance. From the app you can pan, zoom and tilt the camera - so you can follow action from wherever you are. It also comes with infrared night vision, two-way communication and monitors temperature.
Panasonic Smart Home Monitoring Control Kit, KX-HN6012EW, £229.99, from www.panasonic.com
Very new to the market, this all in one system reassuringly connects via DECT ULE technology, so it won't pop up on WiFi networks and can't be seen by others. In addition to the hub, you'll receive an indoor camera, two window and door sensors and a smart plug - all of which can be monitored via the app.
If you insert an SD card into the hub you can record disturbances in your home. Where this system excels is in the 'rule-builder' section of the corresponding app. You can construct your own specifications for both home and away profiles - so, for example, if you're on holiday you can put a timer on lighting. You can also buy further accessories to add to the system, including a camera for use outdoors.
Netatmo - Welcome, Home Camera with Face Recognition, £199, from www.amazon.co.uk
One of the more innovative cameras out there, the Welcome from Netamo is a nifty little device that focuses on facial recognition. It will 'learn' who to expect though your door and will alert you when people arrive, so if you're out at work but your teenage children return from school you'll know when they're safely home.
In terms of security ability, it will also notify you when a stranger (an unknown face) comes into your home so if an unwelcome visitor makes their way in you can alert authorities before any problems arise. It's easy to set up and the sleek design will suit most interiors.
Y-cam HomeMonitor(TM), from £129.99, from www.homemonitor.me
This camera has already been featured on the BBC series Caught Red Handed, when it alerted a business owner to a break in at his premises (the burglar was promptly arrested). There are several options to choose from, two for indoor use (one films in HD) and the all singing, all dancing Y-Cam HomeMonitor HD Pro version (which we love).
The latter comes with a weatherproof security camera with FarFocus Lens Technology so you can easily monitor your garden and driveway. What's particularly good about the entire HomeMonitor range is the cost of the device includes cloud storage for your footage (with no monthly charges). Once set up, you can head on holiday, confident that you can check in on your house when required.
Netgear Arlo, from £179.99, from www.maplin.co.uk
For flexibility, it's hard to beat the Arlo. The cameras themselves are powered by batteries which makes them wire-free and, to add to the versatility, are waterproof so can be used indoors or out. It comes with night vision, free cloud storage and the cameras film in HD quality.
There are several options depending on how many cameras you want (you can buy between one and three), they are small in size too, so nice and discreet. One of the easiest and satisfying camera systems to operate.
Sound the alarm
MyFox Security Camera, £169, MyFox Home Alarm, £249, from www.getmyfox.com
Appearances aren't everything, but this system sure is pretty. While you can just buy one or the other, to get the most out of both sets, you're best off buying the two together. The majority of the products are disc-like - from the camera to the hub and even the fob key that comes with it.
This system comes with a Smart alarm system, created to stop would-be burglars in their tracks before they've had a chance to cause damage - that is, of course, if they haven't already been put off by the 'Alarm' window stickers that come with it. In addition to protecting your home, the camera has a shutter, so when you don't want the inside to be monitored, you can simply cover up the lens and enjoy your privacy.
App of the week
CM Security Antivirus AppLock, free from Google Play
It's not just your home you want to keep free from nasty visitors - you want to keep your Smartphone free from intruders too, whether they're viruses or thieves. This is one of the better security apps out there. You can set it up so if an intruder gets on your phone it takes a photo of them and there's even a vault so you can hide your precious photos away.
Top 10 bestselling apps
1. Minecraft - Pocket Edition by Mojang
2. The Chase by Barnstorm Games
3. Eggheads by Barnstorm Games
4. Tipping Point by Barnstorm Games
5. Lifeline by 3 Minute Games
6. Monopoly by Electronic Arts
7. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas by Rockstar Games
8. Plague Inc by Miniclip
9. Terraria by 505 Games
10. Horrid Henry's Big Box of Pranks
(Chart courtesy of Amazon Appstore)