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Linking Your iPhone to Home Security

You probably have your iPhone with you most of the time, so what better way is there to keep an eye on what's going on at home when you're away? We looked into some of the apps and accessories available to set up everything from simple to complex home security systems.

Many home security services offer an iPhone app, but start with Evander's Beat the Burglar, as shown in the following figure. This free app asks a series of questions about your home security and evaluates your neighborhood based on reported break-ins. The app then rates your current home security and gives you suggestions for improving it. You can then request an appointment with an Evander representative if you want to go a step further and consider installing a professional home security system.

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After completing the survey, you can consider two types of home security: do-it-yourself or professional. Here are a few apps that work with both types. They will help you on your way to feeling safe and secure at home:

  • AtHome Camera lets you try their remote video app for free and then you can upgrade to the professional app for $7.99. This app uses your old smartphones and computers as video surveillance cameras. You then watch what's going on remotely from your iPhone (or an iPad or computer with the app installed). Not only can you make sure no one is breaking in, but you can also keep an eye on pets, teenagers, or elders with special needs. Settings let you receive motion-activated messages or scheduled check-ins.

  • Nexia Home Intelligence works with other companies like Schlage Locks and Trane. Install and set up various monitoring devices such as video cameras, motion sensors, thermostats, and lights, and then control the system from your iPhone (see the following figure).

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The following companies offer iPhone apps that work with their fee-based services — the apps are free. After the company installs and activates a security system at your home or business, you can control and monitor it from your iPhone and receive alerts about suspect activity.

  • Alarm.com: In addition to controlling locks remotely and watching live and recorded video from strategically positioned video cameras, this app (see the figure below) controls thermostats and lights too.

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  • Cox Home Security: Control a full-service alarm, monitoring, and environment system from your iPhone. Depending on the equipment you install in your home, you can remotely activate and deactivate the alarm system, turn on lights and thermostats, and view live video from different zones of your home or business.

  • XFINITY Home: The folks who bring you television, Internet, and phone service also offer a home security system that you can control and monitor from your iPhone. Plans let you choose and combine the services you need.

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