A few caveats before we start:
- This is DIY home security at its simplest. It’s not a replacement for a professionally installed home security system but it might help and it might act as a deterrent if you advertise the fact that you have some sort of home security present.
- I’ll accept zero liability for anything you do with this information. You do it at your own risk.
- You will need to be comfortable installing an app on your phone and following some instructions but I don’t think you need to be hugely technical to do this
Why am I writing this?
I have a holiday home in Spain which is unoccupied for periods between visits. I wanted something that would allow me to check in and have a look at the house when I wanted, something to act as a deterrent and something that would allow me to take action if the worst happened.
The cameras I’d recommend:
These are great little cameras. Good resolution day and night. They’re often on offer for around £25 or €25. They have the benefit of being PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) cameras which means that you can rotate them almost 360 degrees on the horizontal plane and 114 degrees up and down so that you can see almost every angle of the room they’re placed in. They’re very easy to set up. You download the app, click a button to add the camera and follow the on-screen instructions. It’s 5 minute job.
For security, you have 3 tools in your toolbox:
- Motion sensing. Anything moves in the field of vision and the camera will pick it up and notify you on your phone
- 2 way communication. So, let’s say you’re at home and you get notification that motion is detected. You open the app and it’ll show you what it thinks is motion. You can then click the button to open communications and talk to whoever’s in the room and shout abuse, have a chat, tell them you’ve called the police, or anything else you fancy doing
- A siren then you can either set off automatically or manually through the app.
This is during the day and shows me just moving the camera around a bit
This is a still from the camera when it’s night
Obviously, this relies on having an internet connection for you to be able to do anything. You could just save the videos to an SD card in the camera. The risk is that the camera will get stolen along with your video evidence. An internet connection will allow you to upload and store videos online. There is a monthly cost to that at £3.49 for the first camera, £6.49 for 2, £9.49 for 3 and then £10.99 for 4+ cameras. And you save a little by paying annually. If you can place the cameras out of sight then you may think that just using the SD card is worth the risk.
So, what do you do if you don’t have an internet connection? You could get something like this:
This is a little box that you put a sim card into and it acts as a router for internet access. If you put in a simple pay as you go sim with a small amount of data allowance then it should cover you.
Note… I haven’t tried this. We’re out in Spain in just over a month so I might get one of these and give it a go as they’re about 40 euros
In conclusion, for probably less than 100 euros you can get yourself kitted out with a couple of cameras and a router with a sim slot if you don’t have an internet connection. Add in some of these stickers to put somewhere visible and you have a simple little system that will deter people, allow you to monitor your house remotely and if the worst happens then you’ll have some evidence of what happened to give to the police. Or, like we do, we check in most days just to remind ourselves what our little holiday place looks like.