With modern technology, security systems can do even more than help protect your home. Nowadays, many home security systems allow you to use your smartphone or other web-enabled device to remotely monitor your home, no matter if you’re at work or on vacation. You can even remotely control your home’s locks, lights, appliances, and temperature from anywhere. Here are some details on the futuristic mobile access features available and the companies that offer them:

Security System Access

With certain monitoring packages, many security companies will give you the option of mobile access to your security system. This means that you can remotely arm or disarm your system, check history, and receive text or email alerts from your smartphone or other web-enabled device. Some systems even allow you to set custom notifications, such as letting you know when your child arrives home from school.

Benefits:

· Remotely arm or disarm your system from anywhere

· Get email or text alerts

· Check your security system history anytime

· Never second guess whether you armed your system

Offered by: Vivint, FrontPoint, Protect America, LifeShield, SimpliSafe, XFINITY, Protection 1, Pinnacle

tablet

Video

Some mobile phone apps allow for remote video access through a smartphone or other web-enabled device. With mobile video access, you can usually access your home’s security cameras anytime, 24/7. You can check up on the babysitter, see who’s at your front door, or know what is going on when you’re not home. Some video cameras will automatically record when they detect motion and send you a text or email alert, so you know the moment something may be amiss at home.

Benefits:

· Watch live video stream from a phone, tablet, or desktop

· Record at the first sign of motion

· Get alerts via text or email

Offered by: Vivint, FrontPoint, LifeShield, Protect America, XFINITY, Protection 1

Image Sensor

An image sensor takes still image photos when it detects motion, and many times the device comes with a night vision feature, so it will still take crisp images in the dark. Many security companies will send you a text or email alert when the sensor is tripped, and you can view photos in real-time from your smartphone or other web-enabled device. The best part is that an image sensor is typically quite a bit cheaper than a video camera.

Benefits:

· Image capturing in real time

· Night vision to capture images in the dark

· Text and email alerts

Offered by: Pinnacle

Home Automation

Set the temperature, control your lights and small appliances, and lock or unlock your doors from anywhere. These are the futuristic benefits of home automation. The best part is this can all be done from your smartphone or other web-enabled device, so you don’t even need to plan ahead when it’s time to head to work or when you’re gone for an extended vacation.

thermostat

Benefits:

· Remotely control lights, small appliances, and thermostat

· Lock or unlock doors from anywhere

· Reduce electricity waste and save money

· Protect your home while you are away

Offered by: Vivint, FrontPoint

Energy Management

Energy management features and home automation features are closely related. Some companies conflate the two, while others separate them. The main difference is that home automation may include features such as electronic locks that you can access remotely, and energy management focuses on conserving utilities in your home.

Benefits:

· Reduce energy use and save money

· Control thermostat, lights, and small appliances

· Receive alerts if settings are changed

Offered by: Vivint, FrontPoint, Protect America, XFINITY

Mobile access features take your home security to the next level with customized convenience. These features are designed to make your life easier and worry-free, giving you access to your home at any time. For more information on mobile access, read our resource page, Mobile Apps for Home Security Systems. If you have questions about mobile access, or if you have personal experiences to share about the features, please share in the comments!

Photo courtesy of Yutaka Tsutano, aj batac and Kompas Tekno, Flickr.com.

Written by Hillary Johnston

A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more

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