What you need to know about home security and automation devices

Here are some recommendations for tech that can help keep your house safe or make things a little easier.

We have cameras to keep an eye on your home, a system to bathe your home in Wi-Fi and a gadget that will let you know if you leave the garage door open.

— Wyze Cam

What is it? Wyze Cam is a very simple (and cheap) wireless camera you can use to keep track of what’s going on at home. The cameras are small, easy to set up and can record video clips to the cloud with no ongoing fees. Add a microSD card to enable continuous recording. You monitor the Wyze Cam through an app on your phone.

Who is it for? Anyone who wants to keep an eye on their home, office or yard.

How much does it cost? $19.99 or three for $53.97.

Where can I get it? wyzecam.com.

— Ooma Home Security

What is it? VOIP provider Ooma has introduced a home security system you can install yourself. You can put sensors on your doors, windows and garage door as well as install smoke detectors, water leak sensors and cameras.

Who is it for? Home owners or renters who want to install their own alarm systems.

How much does it cost? Kits start at $129, and monitoring is $5.99 per month (no contract).

Where can I get it? Ooma.com and Amazon.

— Ring Floodlight Cam

What is it? Ring is a leader in doorbell cameras, but its Floodlight Cam is great too. You get the security of a Ring security camera with the safety of object and person detection and two really bright flood lights. You can also remotely trigger a siren if you really want to get serious.

Who is it for? Great for the backyard or garage — anywhere you want to monitor and record video.

How much does it cost? $249, and recording plans start at $3 per month.

Where can I get it? Ring.com and Best Buy.

— Nest Hello Smart Wi-Fi Video Doorbell

What is it? Nest jumped into the video doorbell game this year. It offers 24/7 HD video recording, two-way audio and the ability to play prerecorded messages. The doorbell can even recognize faces and give you custom alerts based on the individual. You can’t stop porch thieves, but you can record wrongdoers in the act.

Who is it for? Everyone could use a little more security on their front porch.

How much does it cost? $229 ($329 with professional installation); cloud recording subscriptions start at $5 per month.

Where can I get it? Nest.com and Best Buy.

— Arlo Go LTE Wire-Free

What is it? This is a wireless camera that has an LTE radio, so you need to subscribe to a data plan for the camera itself. It works anywhere you can get a cell signal. It runs on rechargeable batteries (up to 45 days on a charge), so there’s no need for power or internet. The Arlo Glo records on motion and uploads the clips to the cloud. It has two-way audio and night vision.

Who is it for? Anyone who needs to monitor really remote locations.

How much does it cost? $349.99; AT&T data plan required.

Where can I get it? AT&T.com.

— Eero Wi-Fi System

What is it? A mesh Wi-Fi system for your whole house. It uses multiple access points to blanket your entire home and yard with fast Wi-Fi. The first Eero box connects to your broadband modem. Smaller Eero beacons are placed in other areas of your home. All three Eero boxes talk to each other and broadcast the same network.

Eero offers an optional $99-per-year internet security subscription.

Who is it for? Owners of large homes or people who have dead spots in their houses.

How much does it cost? The Eero starts at $199 for the main box, and beacons cost $149 each. You can bundle to drop the price.

Where can I get it? Eero.com and Best Buy.

— Insignia Wi-Fi Garage Door Controller

What is it? A box that connects your garage door opener to the internet (specifically Apple’s Homekit system). Use your iPhone to open and close your garage door or get notifications when the door is opened or closed. You can also control the door from anywhere on the internet if you have an Apple TV at home (it’s a HomeKit hub).

Who is it for? Anyone with a garage door opener and an iPhone. You’ll also need Wi-Fi coverage in your garage.

How much does it cost? $69.99.

Where can I get it? Best Buy.


Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at jrossman@dallasnews.com.

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