DIY Home Security

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By: , CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service company.

Video Transcript


Ryan: There’s a creepy guy sitting at my door. What’s he doing?

Presenter: You don’t want him…

Ryan: I don’t want him, no no no. Go away, you’re crazy. 

Ryan. He’s selling bowties. He’s selling bowties.

Cody: Candygram, candygram.

Ryan: Come on in, Cody, come on in.

Cody: Land shark. Land shark.

Cody: I love these new things.

Ryan: So this is the ring, this is a great home-video doorbell that you can use. You set it up on your door, it’s very easy to install, you get video, you get two-way communication, and you don’t have to tell anybody whether you’re home or not.

Cody: So you could be somewhere else and they think you’re inside talking to them.

Ryan: Exactly, so you could be in a completely different place, be at work, and if somebody’s delivering a package you can talk to them. Or you get some creeper walking up to your door, you can be like, “Hey! Get away from there! You don’t belong here!” or whatever. But it’s also great for like if your kids are home. [crosstalk] And the inventor says that when he talked to his wife about it, she said, “It’s like caller ID for my front door.”

Cody: Yes, that’s exactly what it’s like.

Ryan: Because when those creepy neighbors come by with the brownies that you’re just not sure what’s in ’em, you can just go, “You know what? Just leave them on the doorstep, we’re not home, the dog will get to them later.” It has a couple other little accessories. This is just the chime, this way if you…you heard the sounds as it’s going off. But you can put the chime someplace else, like in your bedroom or whatever, so you can kinda hear when it’s going off. And it works really, really great, I mean for $200, you can see what’s going on at your front door.

Cody: I love that.

Ryan: But overall, with DIY home security, we’re gonna get into the Piper next, but when it comes to installing your own security things, one thing you gotta know is you’re gonna be the one in charge of making sure that everything’s secure. You’re gonna monitor your own system.

Cody: Oh, okay.

Ryan: So when you go buy an alarm from a professional, right, they’re gonna monitor it, they’re gonna call the cops if something’s gone wrong or if you don’t answer your phone or whatever. But see, I got an alert on my phone that told me, “Hey, Cody’s at the front door, take a look.” But if I ignore my phone, I get too Codyy Facebook, too Codyy Tweets, too Codyy other things, and I start ignoring that stuff, then forget it.

Cody : It doesn’t work.

Ryan: Yeah, it’s not gonna work, you’re gonna ignore all that stuff. So this one here, this one’s called the Piper. Piper’s $280, it’s an expandable system. So their main thing here is this little camera. It’s got night vision, which I think is super cool, it’s got motion-activated and it’s also got a two-way speaker on it as well, and it’s a super loud alarm. So what it does it takes a picture of the room and if anything changes in that room it’ll send you an alert. And you can set the sensitivity to different levels that you want. So if you want it to check the temperature, for example, it’ll tell you, “Hey, the temperature’s rising really fast, there’s probably a fire going on.” Or if there’s a loud noise like a break or a crash or something, it’ll alert you. But again, you’re gonna be monitoring on your own phone. You can set it up so it’ll also contact certain contacts on your contacts list, so if you really wanna annoy your mother-in-law, throw her on there and walk across the room and it’ll just keep going off over and over and over again. 
So here’s one of the expandable things you can get. There’s a little sensor, this is for doors or windows, so if the door opens up it’s gonna set off an alarm. And this here is just a plug so you can have Smart Plugs, so that way if you wanna turn off your lights remotely or you wanna turn off your television remotely or your coffeemaker, you can just get one of these and you can use the system to turn it off, kinda like a Smart Phone. 

Cody : Oh, okay. So this is $280, expandable, this is $200, not expandable…

Ryan: Yes. Well, this one will work with some Smart Systems, but for the most part, it’s really just kind of a stand-alone thing and you just watch it on your phone. For the fact that you’re…most alarm companies, you’re gonna spend like $30 for them to monitor, and you don’t have to do any of that stuff. You just have to spend $280, expand it as you want to, customize it as you want to, you’re done. You don’t have to spend $30 every month for someone to monitor.

Cody: Brilliant!

Cody: Kinda cool.

Cody: All right! Gonna stick around another hour with us?

Ryan: Yeah, we got…we’re doing…I don’t remember what we’re doing. We’re doing something about apps, though. We’ll figure it out.

Cody: Something about apps. That’s a tease, people, that’s a tease right there. Something about apps, something about apps.

Cody: We’re gonna talk tech, something about computers and apps.

From user-installed alarm systems to motion-sensor video cameras, is a do-it-yourself alarm system right for you? Let’s talk about the pros and cons, as well as some of the newest home security gadgets that could help keep your home safer.

DIY means that you will be buying the equipment and installing it yourself. Also for most systems you’ll be monitoring it yourself too. But don’t worry, we are here to help!

You’ll be notified on your phone when an alarm is triggered, such as a knock on the door or any unexpected activity. Some systems auto-call contacts that you designate with a pre-recorded message.

Here are two great products we recommend you look into:

  1. Piper


    For the inside of your home, Piper is a motion sensor video camera that recognizes when you’re home or away. It has a siren and alerts when it senses unexpected activity. It comes equipped as a night vision camera.

    Alerts you via text if loud noise or motion. What happens when motion is sensed is customizable, a temperature sensor will warn you of fire or freezing conditions. The siren on camera has battery backup, so it will work even when your power goes out. The siren is loud & difficult to stop without the app. It integrates with Z-Wave home security products like door sensors & light switches for an expandable home security solution.

    There is no monthly monitoring fee. All recordings are stored in the cloud.

    Piper is available at getpiper.com for $280.

  2. Ring


    For the outside of your home, Ring is a video doorbell that sends an alert to your phone when someone approaches your door. See who’s at your door without opening it or letting on that you’re not home.

    Be alerted to suspicious visitors before they have the chance to “case” your home. 2-way audio lets you communicate with visitors when you can’t come to the door. The app for your smartphone is packed full of functionality.

    Relatively easy installation and long battery life make this a really hot product.

    A word of advice, this product relies on a strong Wi-Fi connection, do make sure you have a quality router.

    Ring is available at ring.com for $199.