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How to Tech Out Your Home With DIY Security

How to Tech Out Your Home With DIY Security

One of the biggest reasons why homeowners choose not to install a home security system is cost. With monthly service fees, installation prices, and equipment rental costs, it’s not necessarily difficult to understand why some choose to go without home protection from a major security provider.

Although a professional security system might be out of reach for you because of the costs involved, the importance of protecting your home certainly makes it worth your while to look into the more cost effective option of DIY home security.

If the task of building your own home security system sounds daunting, don’t let that discourage you. Building and monitoring a DIY security system is actually fairly simple. Here are five ways you can use the most up-to-date tech in DIY home security to successfully monitor your home on your own and avoid the monthly bills involved with subscribing to a home security service.

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1. Check out DIY security kits

Arguably one of the most time consuming tasks involved in the process of building your own DIY security system is finding all of the necessary cameras, sensors, and cables to support your monitoring system. Fortunately, some security pros have realized that this is a pain point for home owners looking to take the DIY approach to home security, and have created kits that come complete with all of the monitoring necessities.

If you’re not quite sure where to start looking for the right kit to meet your needs, this guide could be helpful. It provides a list of some of the most popular and effective DIY home security kits and explains what home security goals they are intended to meet.

2. Look into doorbell security

If you’re not quite ready for a full camera system, but would like to know who’s approaching your home while you’re gone, a doorbell security system could be ideal. Doorbell security cams are relatively simple to install and should work with most homes that have an existing doorbell in place.

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Once you’ve installed a doorbell security system, you can use it to answer the door even when you’re not home using the built in camera and two-way voice features.

A popular choice for doorbell security cams is the Ring doorbell. If a security doorbell sounds like it might fit your needs, I recommend checking out this particular brand. You can find a video review here that explains how the device is installed and how it works.

3. Consider motion lighting

Sometimes, a sudden light turning on can be enough to deter potential intruders from your home. This is why some homeowners choose to install motion lighting around their homes for security purposes. You could start out slow with a light by your garage or your front door, then add a few lights to your backyard or along your driveway if you find that having motion lights gives you increased peace of mind.

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Home Depot offers up an excellent buyer’s guide to outdoor lighting if you’d like to familiarize yourself with the components you might need before you hit the store.

4. Take advantage of remote monitoring

Most DIY security camera systems provide user access through apps and online portals. Take advantage of the monitoring options your DIY security device has to offer. Call the company and discuss your options for remote monitoring on the go. If you’re confused by a certain feature or are having issues connecting the device to your phone, don’t hesitate to call in or engage with a customer service rep on social to get the problem solved.

The only way you’ll get the full benefit of your DIY security system is if you make sure to keep up on monitoring your home using the apps and tools available while you’re away.

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5. Use automated light timers

If you’re planning on heading out of town for a vacation or even if you simply work late nights, setting up an automated timed lighting system could be beneficial. This system would turn lights on and off at set points throughout the day and night to help trick potential intruders into thinking someone is home without racking up your electricity bill by leaving the lights on all day while you’re gone.

You can check out a guide to automated light timers here.

Hopefully these tips will help you set up an affordable and effective home security system on your own! As your needs and interests change in home security, it’s likely that you’ll need to change your approach, but taking the DIY route is perfect for those of you who need only basic security for your homes at the moment.

If you have any questions or perhaps a tip you’d like to share with other readers, we’re all ears! Please comment below.

Featured photo credit: iStock via istockphoto.com

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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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