Save on home services in your area. Call now! 1.844.426.8290

Controlling your Home Alarm with your Smartphone

BY Allconnect Inc | Sat Dec 28, 2013

With so many home security systems out there, it’s difficult to choose the right one for you and your family. There is one feature that—in my opinion—can make or break the deal: remote control from a computer, smartphone, or tablet. This incredibly convenient feature lets you take your home security into your own hands. Here, I discuss some of the things you can do if you have a system equipped with remote controlling.

Arming / Disarming

By downloading the app to your respective home alarm system, you can begin to control your system from anywhere in the world—as long as you have an internet connection. I’m sure we’ve all been in a hurry in the morning when leaving home, right? Sometimes we forget paperwork, coffee mugs, etc.; but, the biggest—and most costly—thing we can forget to do is arm our home security system.

Now, we have the ability to turn a—potentially—serious situation around with just a cell phone (assuming you don’t forget your phone). A simple swipe of your index finger and your home is secure.

If you’re at work, and don’t have time to run home and disarm the system to let the contractor in, you can simply disarm the system in just a few seconds. When the contractor or serviceman is done, simply turn the system back on. This feature alone is enough to make me choose one system over another.

Remote Viewing

Another great feature is viewing everything your cameras see, remotely, with your smartphone. Most models that have remote viewing even send push notifications directly to your phone when motion is detected. For example, if you have a camera set up near your front door and a delivery person walks up, the camera will be triggered by the motion detectors; immediately sending you a push notification. These notifications pop up as any text message alert would and it even gives you details on what camera was triggered. If you’re fast, you can see the surveillance and ask the delivery person to leave the package at the door using two-way audio (more about this later).

Tilt, Pan, and Zoom

While you are viewing your video, some systems even let you tilt and pan the camera to get a complete view of the area; some even allow you to zoom into specific areas to see the smallest of details.  Once they leave that package at your doorstep, you can check to see who it’s from.

Two-way Audio

So you were wondering what that two-way audio thing was, right? Well, I’m not making it up. You can actually see people on your smartphone and talk to them as if it were Skype or FaceTime. You can have a conversation with anyone near the system; even say hi to your pets when they’re home alone. This would come in handy when, say, your kids come home from school; not only can you see them walking through the door but you can ask them about their day while you’re still at your desk.

Smart scheduling

So now you know that you can arm and disarm your system, view surveillance footage from your device, move the camera remotely, and speak to the subject in view. What if I told you, though, that you wouldn’t have to look at your phone every hour to make changes? That’s right; most systems allow you to program a schedule. The alarm can be set at the same time every day of the week, the cameras will point to a specific direction at a certain time of the day, and if you time it well, the system disarms the doors as your kids are walking up the driveway.

APPS to Consider

Here are some of the many home alarm systems that you can control with your smartphone by just downloading the app.

  • Dropcam: All you need for this is a tiny camera, available for only $149 on its website.
  • LifeShield: To use this app, you’ll need to have purchased one of LifeShield’s alarm system packages. The most popular choice costs only $34.99/month and includes a free Kindle Fire; perfect for remote monitoring.
  • SimpliSafe: This option requires you to have the SimpliSafe system installed in your home. There are several packages to choose from ranging from $200 to $400.

It’s amazing how many things we can do with a device as small as your smartphone. It’s not a concept from a science fiction book anymore, this is our reality. We can now take our home security to a whole new level, and we can do it all through our smartphone.

About the Author: Lukas Nicholson is a home security specialist and reviewer. He works hard to provide honest alarm company reviews for and inform others about what they can do to better protect themselves, their family, and their homes.

Allconnect is a free online resource to review and compare the costs and choices for essential home services, including home utilities, high speed Internet, phone, cable TV, satellite TV, and home security systems.

Find home security providers

Stay in touch.

Subscribe to the Allconnect Resource Center for industry news, expert shopping tips, home technology guides, reports and more.