Thanks to mobile apps designed specifically for home security, many homeowners have found that being on the go doesn’t have to mean being out of touch. The continuing improvement of wireless communication networks has added a new dimension to home security — namely, you don’t have to be at home to interact with your alarm system. The apps provide an electronic bridge between your home security hardware and your Internet-enabled device of choice (smartphone, tablet, etc.).
It’s like being able to touch the controls on your alarm system’s keypad from miles away. It can also be a lot more.
Providing Security Control and Home Control
Electronic security has long been a reliable source of safety, so much so that many home insurance providers offer discounts to homeowners who install alarm systems. The introduction of apps and interactive systems adds more control and convenience to the mix.
What kind of features do home security mobile apps offer? Although specific functions can vary by product and provider, standard capabilities for most apps include:
- Remote management — Arming and disarming the security system and adjusting settings using your mobile device.
- Security video access —Allowing you to view footage and still images from your security camera remotely on your mobile device.
- Security notifications — Sending you a text or email alert if, for example, an alarm is triggered at your home.
Mobile app technology also has the ability to combine home automation controls with home security. In addition to interacting with your alarm systems, many “home control” apps let you program your thermostat, lights, small appliances and other devices.
With a dual-purpose security and automation system supported by a mobile app, you can pull into your driveway after work with the security system already disarmed, the porch light on and the thermostat adjusting the temperature inside.
Mobile apps play a key role in the ongoing development of smart home security, in ways both big and small. An app that lets you close your garage door remotely using your phone doesn’t just offer convenience — it also offers safety.
What Are Some of the Different Home Security Apps?
Most security apps are significantly more complex than the game-and-gadget applications that you might casually download to your mobile device. If you’re interested in home security mobile apps, bear in mind that they fall into different categories.
Some mobile applications, such as the SimpliSafe Home Security App and the Hub app from Insteon, are associated with a particular home security/automation hardware system designed for the user to install. They work in tandem with their companies’ respective technologies and services, with examples including motion detection and automated thermostat control. The only major difference is that SimpliSafe offers professional alarm monitoring while Insteon users monitor their systems themselves.
Professionally Installed System
Some companies provide home security and automation services, including mobile apps, through a network of authorized service providers. Examples include Alarm.com and Control4, developer of the Control4 MyHome app. Both Alarm.com and Control4 offer home security and smart-home features including video monitoring and energy management. Unlike Alarm.com, which offers professional monitoring, Control4 systems are self-monitored.
Do-It-Yourself Motion Cameras
Another type of home security app is tailored specifically to DIY users. Examples include the Presence app, which lets you repurpose Apple and Android mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets into Wi-Fi security cameras that detect motion. Similar mobile apps that add security capabilities such as motion detection to your existing devices include AtHome Camera.
Quicker, Easier and Safer
It may seem hard to believe that just a decade ago, forgetting to activate your security system before leaving for work could create quite the hassle. Nowadays, you can solve the problem with a few taps on your smartphone instead of turning around and heading back home to arm the system manually. In addition to providing a quick and easy resolution, remote arming can also help cut your home’s window of vulnerability in this scenario from minutes to seconds.
With the help of mobile apps, security system users are discovering that better connected can also mean better protected.