Smart-home appliances are developing all kinds of skills and talents to make our lives better, and one of the most valuable of these is home security. Here are four gadgets recommended by CNET.com you can add to your home yourself that will help keep it safe and secure. CNET reviews of personal technology products.
Icontrol Networks Piper NV
CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)
The good: From setup to shutdown, Icontrol Networks’ $269 Piper NV all-in-one security device was an absolute delight to use.
The bad: You’ll spend more upfront than some other standalone security options. It doesn’t have an, if this than that, IFTTT channel or offer partnerships with third-party brands beyond its basic Z-Wave integrations.
The cost: $279.99 to $280.49
The bottom line: For easy, seamless DIY home security and automation integration, look no further than the Piper NV.
Nest Cam Indoor
CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding) The good: Nest Cam’s high-resolution video (1080p), magnetic base, pivoting stand and updated app make this DIY device an improvement over Dropcam Pro – and many other DIY cameras.
The bad: Like Dropcam Pro, Nest Cam is still just a webcam at heart. While it does offer security features like opt-in motion and sound alerts, they aren’t especially useful since you can only receive one notification every 30 minutes.
The cost: $179.99 to $217.80
The bottom line: Given that Nest Cam and Dropcam Pro are pretty similar, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for existing users to replace their Pro. But, budding DIYers searching for a high-res live streaming camera really can’t beat Nest Cam.
CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)
The good: The Toucan outdoor camera connects to the included Smart Socket light bulb adapter via USB so you don’t have to bother with batteries or a power cord. It has a very discreet design and a built-in 100-decibel siren for an extra dose of deterrence.
The bad: Its Smart Socket adapter made the light bulb extend past the bottom of my wall light. The Toucan relies on the light fixture for illumination rather than infrared LEDs, it doesn’t work with smart home products from other manufacturers and its motion sensor was too sensitive.
The cost: $149.99 to $179.99
The bottom line: If you’re looking to add a low-maintenance outdoor camera to your home security setup, Toucan could easily fit the bill.
Kuna Light Fixture
CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)
The good: The Kuna Light Fixture elegantly merges home security with outdoor lighting in a way that looks nice, is easy to manage, and helps you keep a closer eye on any unexpected visitors.
The bad: There’s no dedicated night vision setting and a single light bulb really can’t capture low-light conditions that well. Kuna lacks an IFTTT channel and doesn’t work with any smart-home hubs or otherwise play well with products from other manufacturers. You have to pay a fee for cloud storage and other advanced features.
The cost: $179.00 to $180.00
The bottom line: Despite some notable caveats, the Kuna Light Fixture is a discreet and stylish security camera for your home.
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