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If you live in a small apartment and want to keep tabs on things when you're not home, a security camera can get the job done for a lot less money than what you'll pay for a full security system. Nearly all standalone security cameras connect to your home's Wi Fi so you can see what's going on from your phone or tablet, and most have built in sensors that detect motion and sound and will send push and email notifications when those sensors are triggered. You can usually tweak the camera's motion sensitivity to prevent false alarms due to pet activity or passing cars if the camera is near a window, and you can create a schedule that turns the sensors on and off during certain hours of the day. A smart lock is typically part of a robust smart home security setup, but you don't have to invest in a full blown system to use one. If you're using a home automation hub to control things like lighting and thermostats, you can add a Z Wave or Zigbee smart lock to the system without much effort. Alternately, if you don't have a home automation hub, look for a Wi Fi or Bluetooth lock that comes with its own mobile app.

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Plus, you get 14 days of rolling cloud storage for free — a real bargain. Read our full Wyze Cam Pan review. 99/month $59. 99/year for seven days' footageReasons to BuyBargain priceGood daylight videoExcellent audioFlexible schedulingReasons to AvoidWeb portal works only in Internet Explorer or SafariOptions very limited if you don't subscribe to cloud planTimeline view difficult to navigateWhen it comes to securing your home, everyone naturally wants quality and reliability, but good value is an important factor too, especially because the cost of these systems can add up over time. But nowadays, peace of mind comes a lot cheaper and easier than it used to. Not to mention, most home security companies now have embraced the latest home automation technologies and are incorporating numerous features that weren’t available to the average consumer just 5 years ago.