Technology is advancing more and more rapidly every day. But is it always advancing in a way that is beneficial? One of the defining traits of our hyper-consumerist society is that marketing can invent any problem it wants in order to try and sell you the solution.
That leads people to wonder: Are smart homes really the next step in home security? Or are they an innovation no one needs, and no one asked for? It is a tough question to answer, as not many people can clearly draw the line between where normal security systems end and smart homes begin. So, let’s go over a few basics and talk about what is helpful and what is not.
What is a Smart Home?
A smart home is a home where multiple devices are connected through a Bluetooth or wireless network that allows you to control them through a phone app, or through a voice assistant like Amazon’s Alexa or Microsoft’s Cortana. And indeed, this does include security devices.
But that definition gives the impression that a smart home can only be one thing: A highly integrated web of complex and expensive technology. But that is not the case. You can have a smart home where the only thing that is smart is the air conditioning or doorbell camera.
A smart home has the potential to link tons of things together, but not the obligation.
Are Smart Homes Safer?
As it happens, yes. There are several ways that smart homes are safer than normal homes. Let’s start with the obvious: Imagine you want to get Smith Thompson Security in Melissa. A smart home is going to be able to link your security system to your wireless network easily.
This means that you can access your security system from anywhere using a phone app. If an alarm goes off, you can respond to it. If it was one of your kids coming home without turning the alarm off, then you can turn it off remotely.
As a result of this connectivity, you can even integrate your antivirus software into your security system. If you need to leave your computer running all day for some reason, this will help you.
The Less Well-Known Security Features
But one of the most commonly overlooked security features is gas leak and fire detection. Smart homes are usually far better equipped (or can at least be made to be better equipped) to deal with gas leaks and fires. Their detection systems are more sophisticated, as are their alerts.
They can also tell you if lights, motion detectors, or cameras are being triggered, and at what times. These are not the red alerts that it will send out if there is a broken window, but they are important to pay attention to all the same to see if your house is being watched.
What are the Security Downsides of Smart Homes?
At the same time that smart homes can integrate lots of security systems into them, they can also open a variety of security breaches as well. But just what kind of security breaches?
Well, while at the same time a smart home is better for integrating different kinds of alarms, the method by which it integrates them can compromise them. Remember how we said that smart homes use Bluetooth and wireless internet networks? Well, Bluetooth in particular is a problem.
Bluetooth has a long history of leaving a huge, exploitable gap in your security. There are reports of Bluetooth doorbell cameras being hacked, which then lead to the rest of the network being compromised. But this is pretty advanced. How often does it happen?
The answer is not often, but often enough that it is something to consider. There are ways to safeguard against this eventuality, but they are not as safe as disabling the features completely.
How Advanced are Smart Home Alarm Systems Really?
The big question you have to ask yourself is whether or not the level of nuance introduced by smart homes is worth the time and energy investment. Simply put, home alarms have been capable of warding off intruders and calling the police for years. Why complicate things?
There is an argument to be made for all of the different features that smart home alarm systems bring. Being able to connect through the internet to remotely disable an alarm is a big plus.
But if your network gets compromised, it is possible for an intruder to use the same tool to do the same thing. Fortunately, you will be able to see that happen. But if you miss the notification, it is easy for you to not catch that whole situation until it is too late.
What is the Final Verdict?
Smart homes have their place in the world of home security. Particularly if you have security cameras and want to secure your property against gas leaks, they can be a boon. But they can also be a hinderance, especially if they are not secured properly.
The truth is that they are best employed alongside your standard alarm systems, rather than separately from them. That means you might have security cameras controlled by a smart home security system, but an alarm system that operates off of the network entirely.
This will do a good job of not only making the most important elements of your security more secure but throwing off potential intruders. Just like most consumers, thieves that are savvy with technology tend to assume that security networks are always all-inclusive.
That means they will hack your network, disable cameras, and then make no effort to avoid alarms. This false sense of security can mean that once they hear an alarm, they immediately run. This is the case with most thieves, and the main reason alarms do not have to be complex.
However you plan to implement home security, Smith Thompson has your back. Stay safe out there, and call us if you need anything installed or analyzed for security.