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How you can secure your home smartly: the options and costs

How can you secure your smart home smartly, what are the options, who are the providers and what are the costs? We put it together for you.

A few months ago we started on Smarthome Magazine with various cases in which we show how you can make your home smarter. After including the lighting of the multi-room audio systems we consider in this article to the security of your home. How can you secure your smart home smartly, what are the options and what are the costs?

How can you secure your home smartly?

More and more houses are being secured, but nowadays an alarm system no longer has to cost so much. In addition to various individual solutions such as cameras and sensors that you will find in the shops, there are a small number of large companies active in the Netherlands that can secure your entire home in a smart way. This is about complete security; from sensors on doors and motion detectors to leak detectors and smoke detectors. Of course, security is only really smart when the sensors and devices can communicate with each other, act automatically and make the right decisions via various protocols and standards (WiFi,  zWave, Zigbee, Dect, 434, 868, Bluetooth, etc.) and can therefore also be operated with an associated application. So you also want to be able to secure your home remotely; enable or disable the alarm and view the status of various sensors.

Closed systems

Before we start with the possibilities and options, it must be said that most smart all-in-one security systems are closed systems. This means that only products from the relevant company can be placed within the system and that no communication with other devices can take place in your smart home. You have one specific app for the security system and through that app you have access to the sensors, devices, plugs, etc. The companies that offer the systems do try to develop their own accessories for the smart home. Think of thermostat buttons and smart plugs, for example. However, integration with, for example, Philips Hue or Nest is not yet available at most providers.

The options for smart home security

Before we dive into the possibilities and options of WoonVeilig, the company from our case, we look at the general possibilities, the options that most companies offer. The largest parties offer a range of sensors, detectors, plugs and remote controls to completely secure your smart home and make it as easy as possible for you. A selection of these devices;

  • Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Motion detectors
  • Door and window sensors
  • Glass break detectors
  • Leak detectors
  • Cameras
  • Smart plugs
  • Smart radiator controls
  • Remote controls for the key ring
  • Control panels for the home
  • Various sirens (big for outside, small for inside)
  • Communication devices for communication with the control panel

The above devices must always be purchased separately (or come in a starter package) and are therefore not supplied with a subscription as standard. So you can always expand your system yourself or use the sensors and detectors without a subscription. Prices per product vary per provider.

Subscriptions

All these products, from the different providers, can of course be used separately. You can hang up a detector and set off an alarm if something is detected. However, we are talking about smart and complete security systems and that is what the providers are committed to. This means that you have to take out a subscription. This subscription, for which you pay a certain amount each month, determines to what extent the security is used. For example, you can have alarm messages sent to your smartphone for a small amount per month and control your alarm via an application. For a few euros extra, you can add video security that automatically stores video recordings in the cloud and allows you to view them directly on your smartphone. For a few extra euros you can even have a security guard engaged who, if desired, come to your house in the event of an alarm and, if necessary, call the emergency services. With the latter option you also get access to a manned emergency center. Please note; in many cases there are additional costs associated with calling a security guard. On average you pay a few tens per call.

These options and costs vary per provider, but in the end, with the most expensive subscriptions, they offer many of the same services and possibilities. In most cases you only get the most out of your alarm system when you take the most expensive subscriptions. Then you really have someone who will work for you when you are not around yourself. If you are often in the area (or do you rely on family or your neighbors), the cheaper subscriptions are sufficient. Looking at the larger providers, the prices are on average between 5 and 15 euros for a basic subscription (fully functioning and smart alarm system) and between 15 and 35 euros for an advanced alarm system (with control room, video recordings and security guard at home). Please note; some parties offer subscriptions that you can keep for years.

How do you secure your home?

The installation can be done by yourself at a number of parties, but there are companies that want to guarantee the quality and therefore require a professional installation. Of course you pay more for this, even if it is in the form of a more expensive starter package. Our experience, with the WoonVeilig system, is that the installation is easy to do yourself. You have to be able to drill / screw / glue a bit, but otherwise reading the manual is sufficient to get your own system fully working. All smart alarm systems are equipped with a hub, the central unit that is located in the house and provides communication between all detectors and sensors. This control center also ensures that you receive messages on your smartphone, that the internet connection is active and that, if necessary, the emergency center is contacted. All sensors, plugs,

Once the system is installed, it is a matter of testing and then monitoring. Most parties offer remote controls, key rings and control panels with which the alarm system (or part of it) can be activated or deactivated. This way you can switch off the alarm immediately upon arrival. However, everything can also be done via the app. The options of the app differ per provider, but you can view or adjust the contact details, switch the alarm on or off, switch smart plugs on or off and view images from the optional camera. All settings can be changed via your (online) account, both for the alarm in general and the settings for each sensor or detector.

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