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A guide to the most popular home security devices

Headshot of Sharon Wu
Researched by
Sharon WuContributing Writer
Headshot of Eric Paulsen
Reviewed by
Eric PaulsenContent Manager
Updated 3/23/23

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Looking to tailor a new home security system or add on to your existing one? This comprehensive guide covers some of the most popular devices based on consumer reviews so that you can make an informed decision about what will work best for you.

Indoor and outdoor cameras

While we're all pretty aware of the importance of home security, we don't always think about how we can protect our homes both inside and out. Installing indoor and outdoor cameras is an important step in protecting your home.

Indoor cameras help you keep track of what’s going on inside your house, especially if you have children or pets. They’ll also let you know if someone somehow got in and is hanging out (or worse) inside. Meanwhile, outdoor cameras are useful for keeping tabs on what’s happening outside. For example, if someone steals packages from your doorstep while you’re at work, you’ll be able to see that caught on camera. If a break-in or other crime occurs, the evidence captured by your indoor and outdoor cameras will be invaluable in helping law enforcement catch the perpetrator.

Travel a lot? You’ve probably found yourself wondering what’s happening at home. Or if you’re a pet parent, you may be curious about what your fur babies are up to while you’re at work. A smart indoor camera can keep you in the loop at all times.

Our research found that thousands of consumers enjoy the Google Nest Cam Wired. This indoor camera gets a lot right:

  • Full HD video with high dynamic range
  • Smart artificial intelligence
  • Crisp video quality
  • Plenty of extra features to choose from depending on your home security needs

Google Nest also has a popular outdoor security camera offering plenty of great features:

  • Sleek design
  • Sharp video quality day and night
  • Three hours of complimentary video storage
  • Weatherproof magnetic base, so you can mount it anywhere your Wi-Fi will reach

Doorbell cameras

Illustration of person viewing a visitor via doorbell camera.

The importance of doorbell cameras for home security can’t be overstated. Doorbell cameras aren’t good only for security—people also use them to see who’s at the door and what they’re doing while they’re there. Many have two-way audio so you can talk to whoever is outside your home. These cameras are especially useful if you commonly have packages delivered or if someone suspiciously approaches your house. You can see who it is and decide whether or not to open the door for them.

Our research revealed three doorbell cameras that stand out based on customer reviews:

Google Nest Doorbell

  • Video Resolution: 960 x 1280 / 30 frames per second
  • Field of View: 145 degrees
  • Size: 6.3 x 1.8 x 0.95 inches
  • Compatible with: Google Assistant and Alexa
  • Package Detection: Yes
  • Wired/Battery: Yes/Yes
  • Base Storage Fee: $6/month or $60/year for 30 days with video

  • Sleek design
  • Impeccable video quality
  • Option to hardwire or battery operate
  • Three hours of free video storage
  • Animal, package, vehicle, and people detection

  • Limited accessories
  • No optional chime

Wyze Doorbell Pro

  • Video Resolution: 1440p
  • Field of View: 150 x 150 degrees
  • Size: 5.5 x 1.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Package Detection: Yes, with paid subscription
  • Wired/Battery: Yes/Yes
  • Base Storage Fee: $1.99/month

  • Option to battery power or hardwire
  • People and package detection
  • High video quality
  • Included chime

  • Subscription to use all features
  • No local storage
  • Removal of whole assembly required to recharge

Eufy Doorbell Dual

  • Video Resolution: 2K front camera (2560 x 1920), 1080p package camera (1600 x 1200)
  • Field of View: 160 degrees for the front camera, 97 degrees for the package camera
  • Size: 6.5 x 2.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Compatible with: Google Home and Alexa
  • Package Detection: Yes
  • Wired/Battery: Yes/Yes
  • Base Storage Fee: Free

  • Simple installation
  • Local video storage
  • No monthly monitoring costs
  • People and package detection

  • Non-removable battery
  • No support for Apple HomeKit

Automated indoor and outdoor lights

Illustration of person standing next to automated indoor and outdoor lights.

Another type of popular home security device is automated indoor and outdoor lights. You can set these lights to turn on when there is movement around the home, and they're perfect for deterring would-be burglars. Having lights go on and off at certain times gives the illusion that your house is occupied, and you can set them up to turn on when it gets dark outside or at specific times throughout the day.

Shopping for automated indoor and outdoor lights? Here are a couple that hundreds of customers rave about:

Philips Hue Smart Bulb Starter Kit


  • Compatibility with Alexa, HomeKit, and Google Assistant
  • Intuitive app and easy setup
  • Plenty of third-party integrations
  • 800 lumens brightness
  • 25,000 hour lifetime

  • Relatively high price
  • Philips Hue bridge required

Cree Lighting Connected Max PAR38


  • Affordable price
  • Special features like tunable white tones, scene control, local Bluetooth control, and vacation mode
  • Color options
  • Very bright whites
  • Ideal for lighting up your driveway and yard
  • Weatherproof outdoor flood light
  • Voice control compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • No hub needed

  • Significant brightness reduction with color options

Smart thermostats

Illustration of smart thermostat controlling living room temperature.

These days, many homeowners have a smart thermostat in their homes—and many of those integrate seamlessly with their home security systems. You can control these devices remotely and turn on your heating or cooling before returning home. You can also set them up to adjust the temperature based on when everyone leaves for work and gets back home. Smart thermostats help save money on energy bills by only heating or cooling when necessary.

Here are three widely used smart thermostats that consumers love:

Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium

  • Compatibility: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings
  • Remote sensors: Yes
  • DIY installation: Yes
  • Offline capability: Yes
  • Motion sensor: Yes

  • Attractive design with a large display
  • Incredible remote sensors
  • Compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Siri
  • Built-in air quality monitor

  • Underwhelming built-in speaker

Google Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)

  • Compatibility: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings
  • Remote sensors: Yes
  • DIY installation: Yes
  • Offline capability: Yes
  • Motion sensor: Yes

  • Large and sharp display
  • Compatible with many smart home systems
  • Easy installation
  • User-friendly interface

  • No Apple HomeKit compatibility
  • Inability to monitor the temperature in multiple rooms

Amazon Smart Thermostat

  • Compatibility: Amazon Alexa
  • Remote sensors: No
  • DIY installation: Yes
  • Offline capability: Yes
  • Motion sensor: No

  • Minimalistic design
  • More affordable than other options
  • Automatic adjustments with Alexa Hunches
  • Faceplate included

  • Compatibility exclusive to Alexa
  • No support for remote sensors
  • No built-in speaker

Smart smoke detectors

Illustration of person standing next to fire and activated smoke detectors.

Smart smoke detectors can save lives. By having these as part of your home security system, you can detect any changes in your home’s air quality. This is imperative because it will let you know if there is a fire in your home before it gets out of control. Smart smoke detectors also provide peace of mind. You can count on them to notify you if there’s carbon monoxide present (which can be deadly).

Compared to other smart home devices, there aren’t as many smart smoke detectors. But the Nest Protect receives a lot of praise—and for good reason. It detects smoke and carbon monoxide and tells you where in the home it’s located. It's also compatible with several smart home systems including Nest, Philips Hue, Wink, Lutron, IFTTT, and Google Home. If you have existing Nest Protects already, you can easily link them together.

Window break sensors

Illustration of burglar looking into house through window.

You may think that your windows are secure. But a burglar can break them in seconds with a hammer or crowbar. A window break sensor will alert you if this happens, so you can call the police right away. You'll also be able to tell them exactly where the burglar entered your home, which makes it easier for police to catch them in the act (and avoid putting yourself in harm’s way).

Here are two popular window break sensors worth considering:

Qolsys IQ Glass Break Sensor perks:

  • 25-foot range working radius
  • 360-degree omnidirectional coverage
  • Reliable radio frequency signal
  • 4–6 year battery life
  • Low battery indicator
  • Ideal for 2GIG panels

Honeywell Ademco Wireless Shock Sensor perks:

  • Compatible with wireless systems
  • Works with Honeywell and 2GIG
  • Communicates via encrypted radio signals

Door sensors

Illustration of person opening door and activating door sensor.

Door sensors detect when a door opens or closes. Use them to protect your home from intruders and keep track of your doors’ statuses. Door sensors are especially practical if you have a large property with multiple entrances. Many models come with separate magnetic reed switches you can place on windows or other entry points. These switches let you know when your doors have been opened or closed. The best door sensors also have tamper detection, which will alert you if someone tries to break into them.

Now that you’re familiar with how important door sensors are for home security, let’s explore three reputable options:

Ring Alarm Contact Sensor


  • Compatibility with smart home devices
  • Limited one-year warranty
  • Integration with the Ring Alarm app to let you know when doors are open

  • No alarm with the door sensor itself
  • Ring Alarm home security system required to use it

Noopel Magnetic Door Alarm


  • No need for extensive home security system
  • Very loud alarm ideal for large homes
  • Low battery warning
  • Thin and minimalistic design
  • Easy wireless installation
  • Perfect for renters and travelers

  • Lacking notification options
  • No pet settings

Secrui Wireless Door Open Chime


  • Many chime and volume options
  • Movement detection from over 400 feet, making it ideal for large rooms
  • Easy peel-and-stick installation
  • Ideal for families with children (softer alarm)

  • Lacking notification options
  • No option to remotely disarm system

Smart garage door openers

Illustration of smart phone app controlling garage door remotely.

Have you ever left the house in a hurry, only to wonder whether you shut your garage door? There's a nifty solution for you! Smart garage door systems help you keep tabs on your home's security and safety. They let you know if your garage door has been opened or closed and are especially useful for remote properties. Smart garage door openers often come with a built-in camera, so you can keep an eye on what's happening inside your garage. The best smart garage systems also let you control your doors from a smartphone or tablet.

Here are two popular smart garage controllers:

Overall, Chamberlain's MyQ Smart Garage Hub and Controller stands out for several reasons. Not only is it very affordable, but it’s also a breeze to install. MyQ works well with most leading garage door openers made after 1993.

People willing to spend a bit more tend to opt for the iSmartGate Pro. This is an upgrade pick that packs a ton of innovative features and options. For example, it includes geofencing, direct camera integration, local control, and HomeKit compatibility. Owners of this system can do cool things like share access, automatically open and close garage doors using voice and geolocation, and check the garage’s temperature.


Illustration of open safe with money inside.

People use safes to store jewelry, cash, documents, and other important valuables. Rest easy knowing that if someone breaks in and tries to steal something, your prized possessions will be locked up and remain inaccessible.

Not only do safes provide an extra layer of security from thieves, but they can also be good for keeping things hidden from guests. Most of us don’t want to share our most prized possessions with others. Safes help us keep those things tucked away so we can focus on hosting, socializing, and creating memories with our loved ones.

We sifted through the top-rated safes, comparing their prices and features. Depending on your needs, one or more of these may be ideal:

The SentrySafe SFW123GDC is especially attractive because it’s both water and fire resistant, includes a keypad and backup keys, and is stationary. The AmazonBasics Keypad Safe also includes a keypad and backup keys but is not fire or water-resistant. If you are on a tight budget, this one may do the trick. Finally, if you are an avid traveler, you may like SentrySafe 1200. This is a portable fire-resistant safe that you can easily bring with you on trips. It includes a backup key for optimal security.

Configuring your home security system with smart home devices

The most popular smart home devices can be configured to work with your home security system. You can use smart lights, locks, thermostats, and more to make your home feel safer than ever before. For example:

  • Set up your lights to turn on when they detect motion.
  • Have your doors automatically lock when you leave the house.
  • Control your temperature at home remotely from anywhere in the world.

All of this automation takes place with just one click of a button on a smartphone app—no more fumbling around for keys or remotes!

Level up your home security: various packages with popular devices

Have a Ring Doorbell? A few additional devices can make it even more useful. If you have an Amazon Echo smart speaker or another Alexa-enabled device, then consider adding one of these bundles:

  • Ring + Nest: Use your Ring doorbell with Nest Cameras to get alerts sent straight to your phone when there's activity in front of your house. You can also control your Nest Cam from the Ring app and vice versa—meaning that if someone rings the doorbell, you'll get an alert on your phone. Take advantage of two-way communication and answer the door without having to get up from the couch.
  • Ring + Amazon Alexa: With this bundle, all of the features above will work via voice commands using an Amazon Echo device instead of manually opening up an app on a smartphone or tablet. It also includes person alerts. If someone rings the doorbell while you’re at home (or vice versa), you’ll get an alert on your smartphone if somebody enters or exits your property.

Protect your home with a robust home security system

Now that you have a taste of the most popular home security devices on the market, you can protect your home and family in ways you never imagined possible. The most important thing is to choose a device that suits your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to ask questions at the store or online—you want to make sure that the devices and system you buy will keep everyone safe! And remember, you don't have to spend a fortune on home security. As we've covered, there are plenty of affordable options to fit all budgets.

Need more ideas? Check out our article about the best home security systems of 2023!

The people behind our research
We believe the best information comes from first-hand customer experience and methodical research by subject-matter experts. We never source information from "content farms," and we don’t generate content using artificial intelligence (AI). You can trust that our recommendations are fact-checked meticulously and sourced appropriately by authentic, industry-recognized people.
Contributing researcher
Headshot of Sharon Wu
Researched by
Sharon WuContributing Writer

Sharon Wu is a Contributing Writer for Switchful with 8 years of experience covering home security and technology. With a background in research and content marketing, she helps people find the best products and services, tailored to their needs. Sharon is committed to providing accurate, resourceful, and digestible content to her readers. When not sharing her expertise, she enjoys spending time with her pugs and attending European car shows.

Contributing reviewer
Headshot of Eric Paulsen
Reviewed by
Eric PaulsenContent Manager

Eric Paulsen is a writer, editor, and strategist who has been creating content in the B2B, healthcare, FinTech, home security, and government sectors for more than five years. He holds an MFA in creative writing and lets everyone in his life hang that over his head. When he doesn’t have his hands deep in some piece of content, he’s either watching baseball or praying for the offseason to end quickly.

Endnotes and sources

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