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How to tech hack your home security

By Emma Smith

Article written by Carla Danaher from published 23rd August 2017 Accessed 23rd August 2017
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When it comes to home security, the average home owner in the past only had a few options – basics like window locks, lights on timers and a guard dog, and if you were a little more serious, a security alarm.

But the advent of new technology has changed all that.

There are a number of home security products on the market that open up a new world of options for the average home owner.

Technology commentator for, Trevor Long, says that for a long time, security cameras were not a mainstream product, but a few years ago they became more popular, with easy-to-install, wireless options available.

While smart home technology is still in its infancy in Australia, Long says the next big move in the tech home security space will be the ability for individual products to work together.

Long offers his advice on some affordable and easy-to-intall tech hacks to make your home more secure.

1. The video doorbell
A video doorbell is a way to have a two-way conversation with someone at your front door.

“Critically, it’s a deterrent,” Long says. “If you’re not home and someone is scoping out your joint, they’re going to press the doorbell. If someone’s home, they don’t want to disturb them.”

The Ring doorbell allows you to speak to whoever is at the front door, whether you’re inside the house, or on the other side of the world.

“If you miss the door or you’re worried about security, the Ring doorbell records it all and saves it in the cloud,” Long says.

2. A (better) home security camera
While the home security camera has been around for quite a while, new innovations in technology have allowed for significant improvement.

Long says the Arlo home security camera system allows for cameras to be put all around your home.

“I have five cameras, that are constantly looking for motion,” he says.

Geo location allows you to turn off the camera if you are home.

“Whenever motion is detected, it records that motion and sends it to the cloud. It’s a simple, smart technology that is really helpful.”

3. Smart security lighting
Ten years ago, if you were going on holidays and wanted to deter thieves, you would just set a timer on a couple of lamps inside your house to give the impression you were home.

Thieves today are much smarter than that, Long says.

“The Wemo by Belkin can be set to ‘away’ mode – it knows when sunset and sunrise are, so it will turn off and on in random lengths between 7am and 10pm,” he says.

“There’s now no way anyone could tell whether I was home or not.”

Another smart home lighting feature that you can install is a Phillips Hue system, which is powered by Siri.

“I can use Siri to say ‘Hey Siri, turn on the playroom light’, for example,” Long says.

What’s next?
According to Long, the next great innovation will be to see all of these tech applications work together.

“As wonderful as they are, they don’t really work together – if someone rings my doorbell it would be great to guarantee that the cameras were recording,” he says.

“We’re already starting to see some products working together in the home environment.”

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