Home security systems have come light years since 1966, when a nurse, Marie Van Brittan Brown of Queens, in New York, invented what is thought to be the first home security system video with the ability to remotely open a door.
In the following decades, home security became more sophisticated, adding features such as infrared sensors, optical fibers and others that today identify themselves as "smart-home" technologies.
But with the proliferation of home security systems in the 1990s and early 2000s, consumers had to pay for professional installation, a monthly subscription fee for monitoring and long-term contracts.
This started to change at the beginning of the century and took a big step forward in 2007, when the first generation iPhone was released, allowing technology startups like SimpliSafe to apply digital technology to the industry.
In subsequent years, thanks to the universal acceptance of mobile phones, smart-home technology and gadgets that talk to each other, now there is a dizzying series of home security systems that consumers can buy from the shelf, install and monitor anywhere and in any time.
That's why do-it-yourself home security is expected to be a $ 1.5 billion market by 2020, according to a forecast by NextMarket.
With so many options, it can become confusing. But covering the basics is quite simple, said Mike Prospero, senior editor of Tom's Guide, an online technology news site (Tomsguide.com) that covers smart home products.
"They're all pretty easy to install at this point," he said, "and they've become much easier to understand and use."
A basic do-it-yourself solution should include sensors for doors and windows, a base station that controls the system, a noisy alarm, a backup battery for power outages, and cellular backup that occurs when the Wi-Fi home does not work or the power is out, he said.
Most systems are also modular, allowing you to add or remove devices and features as you see fit. The more flexible the system, the more likely it will be that it will meet your evolving needs, Prospero said.
Tom & # 39; s Guide recommends the Abode, which includes all the basics and some extras, such as a remote control to activate or deactivate the system and optional professional monitoring.
"They are less than $ 300 and have many good features," said Prospero.
Professional monitoring features can give people an added sense of security with companies that provide staff who receive alerts from their system and can ask for help. Prospero said that professional monitoring costs cover a wide range, from $ 10 to $ 100 a month.
Another thing to think about is how your house is already integrated. If you have a smart speaker, like Google Home or Amazon Alexa, some systems can be connected to these devices to allow voice and remote control.
Prospero also recommended other additional components, such as water sensors. He advises to collect some and put them near water heaters, dishwashers or refrigerators. Sensors can alert you to a leak while lying on the beach, and in some cases they can even work with smart valves to turn off the water in your home to minimize damage.
If video quality is a priority, Prospero recommends a camera separate from the alarm system. His first choice is Netgear Arlo.
"We found that standalone cameras often offer better features and quality than kits," he said. "Arlo is constantly our favorite camera, you can attach them virtually anywhere, set motion zones and are of excellent quality."
All do-it-yourself systems, whether you are buying a kit or a set, are based on batteries, so it is essential to check the components once a year to make sure that they work and replace the batteries as needed.