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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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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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