Protect Your Home

The seven things you need

By The Editors
April 16, 2015 9:00 am

We’ve discussed how to keep your computer and personal info safe.

Now, it’s time to protect something even more important.

Your home.

Be it an apartment, house or hotel room, the seven gadgets we list here all share a mission: keeping track of your dwelling in the easiest way possible, all from your smartphone.

Whether it’s motion sensors, alarms or video feeds (or all of the above), these home security devices are both inconspicuous and ready to protect and serve straight outta the box.

And, with one exception, portable.

Because you need to feel safe wherever you are.

Stay safe,


For renters

Approximately the size of a coffee grinder, Canary is equipped with a 1080HD, wide-angle lens, night vision, high-quality audio, a 90+ dB alarm and motion-activated recording. When it senses something amiss, it pings your smartphone with video updates and instructions on how best to proceed. With no installation or monthly fees, it’s best for renters and other temporary dwellers.

See also: The similarly-minded Piper, which features additional home automation features

For real world dangers

Some threats come from within the house. Nest, the people behind the smart thermostat, now have Protect, a CO2 and fire alarm that belts out exactly what’s wrong (“There’s smoke in the living room”) in a clear, human voice, then gives instructions on how to proceed. When you’re away, Protect will also ping your smartphone with alarms.

For security without WiFi

About the size of a pocket dictionary, the waterproof Nubo camera runs on a 4G plan instead of WiFi, making it easier to install in places where network connections can be difficult (garages, hotel rooms, outdoors). Includes human motion detection, 1080 HD video, two-way audio and night vision. Preorders start this month.

For customized security

Instead of one device, Scout is a series of several small motion sensors, door/window panels,  and cameras you can place throughout your house to suit your needs — in whatever configuration you want. You can also tailor your alerts with a variety of location- and context-based commands.

Melanie Riccardi

For remote door access

Sesame substitutes your keys with your phone. It’s a digital locking system, like Lockitron, with one major upside: you don’t need to fiddle with the deadbolt. No screws, wiring or technicians required. You just download an app, stick Sesame on top of your normal lock with a strip of super-strong tape (included) and pair it with your home WiFi.

See also: Smart locks from August and the smart intercom/buzzer Ringo


For tracking everything

Mother’s tiny stick-on motion sensors analyze movements, temperature and the presence of other people. You pick both what you’re on the watch for (doors opening, people coming or going) and how you want to receive the info (push notifications, email, text, phone calls, even lights and sound alerts on Mother’s “hub” system). Easily hackable to use as an activity/sleep tracker, too.

Mat Rick

For the domestic spy

A WiFi-enabled camera/alarm/intercom built into an inauspicious outdoor light. Not great if your intruder’s stealthy, but works well as an impromptu video ‘com (you can yell “Halt!” menacingly through a smartphone app). Plus, the company notes that many burglars ring the doorbell or knock before attempting a break-in. Now you know.

See also: Sengled Snap, a video camera hiding within a lightbulb