Week 16: Paul's Smart home diary

Home security made simple

Week 16: Paul's Smart home diary

This post first appeared on Wareable, in June 2016...

Security is the obvious area in which smart home tech will undoubtably be successful. For years people have been paying big money to have grainy CCTV systems installed around their properties, while at the same time paying subscription fees to companies to fix alarms and monitor unauthorised entries.

Nowadays, it's super simple to get a connected smart security camera up and running and within minutes people can have HD live streaming, and motion alerts, available on a plethora of mobile devices.

I've already spoken about how I'm tapped into the Nest platform in my new home and that includes Nest Cams focused on my front and back doors (at least it will, the porch is still being built so the front one is yet to go up).

With so much connected tech tapping into my router, I was a bit concerned about the amount of bandwidth these HD devices were stealing. It turns out not a lot. For a Nest Cam streaming 720p it'll take 200Kbps of your upload bandwidth on average - about 60GB of uploading a month.

That ramps up to 450Kbps and 140GB if you go Full HD 1080p but, even then, that's not likely to cause you any great concern if you've got an unlimited fibre connection. If you haven't, you should perhaps think about upgrading before building your smart home.

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If you can't upgrade to a quicker broadband connection but still want in on the connected cam action, it's worth noting that most of the latest models have easy-to-use scheduling assistants within the companion apps, making it simple to turn your camera off in the hours when you're most likely to be home.

Back to my own setup and what I want to do now is go beyond simple security recording; I want to install my own motion detection system without paying the pros to come in and install a fixed system for me.

Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to be testing out three systems: Smanos, the miGuard G5, and Samsung's SmartThings. All of these platforms have varying levels of devices and services on offer, so I'll see what I get on well with and let you know.

Smart security cameras have a load of motion detecting and alert features, of course, but I want to take things a bit further - to see if it really is possible to get comprehensive home security without paying for an expert firm to come in.

Make sure you check back in the next couple of weeks to see how it went.

In the meantime, I want to set up some useful (not novelty) IFTTT recipes. If there are any that you use that you think I should, let me know in the comments below.

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TAGGED   smart home

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