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Some Things to Consider When Building a Home Security System

Updated on January 23, 2020
Doc Andersen profile image

I am a long-time Futurist, and technologist. In my career, I have spanned the birth of personal computers, to the rise of Cloud Computing.

reducing Porch Pirates!

I saw you honestly as you entered my yard.

I saw you when you came to the door.

I apologize for not realizing you were delivering a package, and forgive me for turning on the sprinklers that soaked you. If you are interested my box was ok.

I like to think about and consider things in many different ways. Humor is one that I use from time to time, and this is an interesting way to look at the technology that is home security, both from what I can do perspectivie today but also from a humorous what could go wrong today.

Home security is an interesting technology area. Where should we start? There are a growing number of players and technologies in the home security space. The first is the growing area of video cameras. There are three types of video cameras to consider for home security. The first is the hard-wired traditional home security camera. The next is the internet-connected home security camera, and finally, there is the newer wireless security camera.

All three have strengths, and all three have a weakness. You can also use a camera that is a hybrid in the sense that is connected via ethernet, but the ethernet is running through your home's electrical system (Called POE). The things to consider are what you intend to do with the security system. The first consideration is reducing stolen packages from your house (or in the US sometimes called Porch Pirates). If that is a goal, then you will probably start with a video doorbell. There is a number on the market, and I won’t go into the names. You are looking for one of two things, seeing the person on your porch, and sometimes speaking with that person directly before they steal your package.

Use Case 1: reduce porch pirates

Home security is more than your porch

The thing to worry about with security cameras is FOV or field of view. Field of View is how wide the camera can see. It is measured in degrees, but it is relevant to home security in feet. How many feet in the front and back of your home, can you see. One of the largest security holes in many home security networks is the overall forgetting of the backyard. The rule of thumb to follow in considering an outdoor security system is doors, and cameras should be one to one.

The other thing to consider is indoor cameras. There are a number of those on the market, and many of the indoor cameras offer two-way talk. Once someone you don’t know is in your house, you can turn on the alarm, contact the authorities, and also let the person know they have been caught on tape. Most fat indoor cameras also offer cloud backup. So even if an angry thief smashes your camera, you still have their picture in the cloud storage of the camera.

Use case 2: Catching people that break into your house.

The last set of sensors tends to belong to traditional home security systems. Those include motion detectors, window open detectors, door opening detectors, and glass shatter detectors are the purview of the home security market. There are two options, the professional installation and the do it yourself installation. There are two types of these systems. The first of them is panel driven. Panel driven systems have a panel that is normally somewhere in your home that controls the security system. The other type of system is run on your tablet or smartphone. Some of the systems are aware of your smartphone's location, so when you leave, the system automatically arms itself.

The other option you can consider with these home security systems is the concept of monitored or unmonitored. Monitored systems engage with the system remotely, and if an alarm goes off, the company notifies you that something is wrong monitored systems also directly notify the police or fire departments of an issue in your home. Unmonitored systems still off and still notify you, but they don’t automatically notify the police or fire.

The value of a security based on the two use cases I have shared today is that your home is secure. Your packages are waiting for you on the porch when you get home. Your children can come safely home from school, and you don’t have to worry. But security for you is also peace of mind — one less thing to worry about in this hectic modern world.

Now please excuse me, I have to get a towel for the package person I just well sprinkl

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 DocAndersen


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    • Doc Andersen profile imageAUTHOR


      12 months ago from US

      good points - changing your security system password often is critical!

      i did see that on the news. it was hacking the Ring camera system.

    • DreamerMeg profile image


      12 months ago from Northern Ireland

      LOL, I don't think my postman would come back too often, if I sprinkled him each time! You make some good points. One further to think about is to make sure that you have checked the security of the connections, so hackers can't use your own cameras and security system to check up on YOU. There was a recent case, where a hacker got into someone's home system and was talking to the child in her bedroom via the home security system!


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