When it comes to designing home security, the effectiveness of the equipment we install sits right at the top of our priority list. However, we also value user experience similarly. After all, effective equipment that proves too difficult to use ends up getting ignored. At that point, of course, even the best security equipment turns ineffective. Therefore, we always strive to provide both the best security and the best user experience possible. For modern customers, a big part of this desired experience relies on the ability to use a smartphone or any other internet-connected device to control their security equipment. In this post, we share several of your remote home security options.

First, we’ll look at the overall benefits of controlling your security remotely. Understanding this information will set a helpful foundation for the material to follow. From there, we’ll explain how we can provide our customers with interactive alarm controls. This monitoring option has taken over as our most popular form of security system monitoring. Then, we’ll turn our attention to several smart security options that you can also control remotely. Now, let’s dive in and check out the benefits of remote home security.

The Benefits of Controlling Your Security Remotely

We’ve long touted the many security benefits of installing a monitored home security system. Installing one of these systems, also called a “burglar alarm” or simply an “alarm,” adds multiple layers of security. For starters, these systems create a blaring siren response upon activation. This alerts anyone onsite to the breach, and often scares the perpetrator away. Additionally, a monitored alarm also calls our central station for help when needed. In turn, this can create an emergency dispatch to help deal with the situation. As you can imagine, both of these features provide a tremendous amount of security.

A Honeywell Vista Keypad

Alarm keypads, such as this model by Honeywell, allow users to control their security systems while on site.

Traditionally, alarm users arm and disarm their security systems using a keypad, such as the one pictured, installed within the home. This setup has some limitations. For starters, homeowners who leave and forget to arm their security system do not experience any security whatsoever. Obviously, the ability to remotely check on the arming status of your alarm — and change it if needed — goes a long way in this situation. Additionally, remote home security options also allow customers to disarm their security systems without providing guests or contractors with a code. Therefore, customers on vacation, or scheduling work in second homes, no longer need to provide those individuals with their alarm codes. The ability to complete these actions — and others like it — add quite a bit of value and effectiveness to customers’ alarms. Next up, let’s see how we go about creating this security for our customers!

Interactive Alarm Controls

Generally speaking, adding remote home security involves installing a cellular dialer to monitor your security system. These dialers provide reliable, cell-tower based security monitoring. Unlike traditional, phone-line dependent alarm monitoring, cellular monitoring stays active even when phone lines fail, or when they get cut by burglars. Therefore, we highly encourage all of our customers to install these devices. As a significant extra security benefit, our cellular dialer powered by Alarm.com also offers our customers interactive monitoring services. When we refer to “interactive” monitoring, we refer to the ability to control and communicate with your alarm directly using a smartphone or any other internet-connected device. This includes the remote arming and disarming features discussed earlier.

Furthermore, interactive monitoring customers can remotely add and delete user codes from their alarm. This lets you provide, and deny, alarm access to people without using your alarm keypad. Moreover, interactive monitoring customers receive instant text notifications regarding updates to their alarms. These include alarm activations, as well as other security events such as low sensor batteries. Additionally, they can also include alerts if someone (such as a house sitter) fails to disarm the security system by an expected time. For example, if you expect someone to access your home before 3pm and your security system stays armed, you will know immediately. In addition to all of the features listed here, our interactive Alarm.com customers enjoy an added, unique remote home security benefit. In the next section, we’ll go over this feature in detail!

Smart Security Options for Your Home

Although they represent one of the newer additions to the security industry, smart devices have quickly become a prevalent part of home security. Our Alarm.com customers can install smart devices that connect to our cellular dialer’s Z-Wave smart home receiver. The term “Z-Wave” refers to a mesh network providing communication between our Alarm.com cellular dialer and smart home devices that operate on this network. As one of the most popular smart home platforms, Z-Wave technology gives you many options to add smart security devices. Our customers control these smart home appliances with the same Alarm.com app that they use to control their security systems. In this section, we’ll review many of your smart security options. Let’s get started with a look at adding exterior smart security.

Securing Your Perimeter

Smart security design involves more than just creating an alarm response after someone breaks into your home. Instead, we also want to set up measures to secure the outside of your home. Doing so can help you catch suspicious activity before a crime occurs. Furthermore, it can also help you get to the bottom of any unfortunate events that do happen on your property. We have a couple smart camera options that go a long way towards creating this security.

An Alarm.com doorbell camera showing a smartphone user an image of a visitor

Installing a video doorbell allows you to view and communicate with your visitors.

For starters, Alarm.com smart cameras allow you to check in on your property in real time on your phone. This gives you “eyes” on your yard and driveway at all times, without inetrruption. Moreover, these cameras also store a months’ worth of motion-based video clips in the cloud. These clips let you review any suspicious or illegal activity retroactively, letting you know what happened, and when.

Finally, our Alarm.com video doorbells provide a unique level of door security. These devices allow you to review both real time and recorded video, just like standard Alarm.com smart cameras. Additionally, they also allow you to have a 2-way conversation with anyone at the door. A guest ringing your doorbell will create a video call straight to your cell phone. In turn, answering this call allows you to both see and hear your guests before answering the door. Now that you’ve seen how smart video devices can help secure your perimeter, let’s look at a couple ideas for interior smart security.

Interior Smart Appliance Control

In addition to exterior smart security, we also add remote home security through the use of interior smart devices that add both security and convenience. For example, smart lights allow you to turn your lights on and off and even dim them remotely. This can add security by making your home look occupied in your absence, while also allowing you to always return to a well-lit home. Smart thermostats can help you regulate your home’s temperature remotely, and also receive alerts when your home’s environment gets too hot or cold. This can add tremendous peace of mind in addition to saving energy.

You can even use a Z-Wave plug to turn any device into a smart device! Our customers plug appliances such as hair curlers and coffee makers into these plugs. This  allows them to turn their devices off remotely in case they leave and forget on their way out the door. Obviously, this adds quite a bit of fire safety to your home. The added security and tremendous user experience provided by these products make them a valuable security addition for many of our customers.

Finding the Remote Home Security Options That Work for You

We hope that this post helps you find the remote home security options that work best for you. Additionally, we also encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about the material presented here. We will happily answer any and all security-related queries you may have. Moreover, we also invite you to take advantage of our free site survey program. We offer complimentary security audits and equipment quotes to both new and existing customers alike. While on site, we can address any security concerns you may have. Furthermore, we can also make suggestions of our own based on observations made during our visit. Together, we can create a complete security plan to keep you, your home, and your family as safe and secure as possible!