Using Technology to Secure your Home: NERDS ON CALL

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California. (July, 2011)—Our homes are definitely where our hearts are. As we build our houses into a home, one tile and shingle at a time, we are more and more inclined to protect our investments of sweat and, sometimes, tears. Home and personal security is definitely an area where technology has advanced in leaps and bounds. This week, Nerds On Call explores some ways to use technology to protect your home, and what you keep in it.

Keep an Eye on your Home: Do you ever wonder what happens in your house when you’re not around? Does your dog really stay off the furniture? Do the neighbors swing by to take a dip in your pool? Now you can find out, while also protecting your home from burglary. The X10 PlanetCam is a wireless, weather-resistant video surveillance system that can be set up indoors or out. The basic package is $129.99 and comes with one instant-on camera, a motion sensor, and a video receiver that can receive images up to 100 feet away from the camera. Video is stored on your computer, so you can review or save for later, and you can access your system remotely to see what’s happening at home from anywhere you can get online. Images can be sent to your email or cell phone if motion is detected while you’re away. The site promises easy set up, and you can expand it to meet your home security needs. Now you really can be sure that Billy won’t be throwing any parties while you’re gone. (http://www.x10.com/promotions/xx16a_planetcam_hmp.html?TWENTY11)

Keep Up Appearances: There’s a high tech upgrade to the old-school method of setting timers on your lights to make it seem like someone’s home when you’re away. The ActiveHome Automation system also from X10, allows you to control your home’s interior and exterior lights, appliances, and wall switches from your computer. Once you install the software on your computer and the wireless controllers on your lights, appliances, or outlets, you can program individually timed events so you never have to come home to a dark house or worry that you left the lights on all day. There is a dawn/dusk feature that will adjust for sunrise and sunset times throughout the year, saving you the hassle of constantly reprogramming your outdoor lights. You can set the system to turn on lights for a random number of minutes when you’re not at home to make it look like someone’s there. The basic system starts at $49.99, but only comes with one “lamp module”, so you’ll need to expand with additional controllers. Upgrade to the $99.99 package and you’ll be able to remotely control and change your settings from any internet connected device. (http://www.x10.com/products/x10_ck11a.htm)

Keep Documents and Data Safe: There was a time when protecting your valuables, records and photos from theft or loss from fire or disaster meant buying a strong fire-proof safe. Now that your priceless family photos and years of painstakingly collected files and data are more likely stored on your home computer, it’s important to keep a secure backup that automatically keeps itself up to date. If you have more than one computer in your home, this is best achieved with a network attached storage device. The D-Link Systems ShareCenter 2-Bay Network Storage Unit (http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-ShareCenter-External-Enclosure-DNS-320/dp/B004SUO450/ref=dp_cp_ob_e_title_2) retails for $99.99. You purchase hard drives separately, so the system can be customized to accommodate the amount of data you need to protect. In addition to backing up all your files, videos, and photos in one place, you can share files over your network, stream media to your PCs, gaming unit, or internet-capable TV, and share with friends and family over the internet. Now you’ll only lose photos you want to be rid of, like that one Jane snuck of you at her last pool party.

When it comes to home security, technology has your back. Looking for more ways to protect your home and family? Drop us a note on Facebook (facebook.com/nerdsoncall) or chat LIVE with a NERD at www.callnerds.com.
About Nerds On Call

About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.

About Nerds On Call: Established in a spare room in Redding, Calif., in March 2004, Nerds On Call offers on-site computer and laptop repair services to consumers and businesses. Nerds On Call provides trouble-shooting for PCs and Macs, home and office networks, printers, iPods® and MP3 players, handheld devices and cell phones, home theaters and game systems, and virtually every other form of digital entertainment. In 2009, 2010, & 2011 the company was named to Inc. magazine’s list of 5000 fastest growing private companies. With 7 locations across California and Oregon, Nerds On Call serves more than 40,000 satisfied customers per year. For more information, visit callnerds.com or call 1-800-919-NERD.