We’ve previously blogged about the pros and cons of the smart home revolution and the technological advancements that are enabling homeowners to manage and secure their properties from afar… as well as opening the door for unwanted visitors and hackers.

Smart technology is just one of the latest trends in home security so how do you choose the right security system for your home and has the traditional burglar alarm really had its day?

Smart home security systems incorporate many of the same features as classic burglar alarms with the added capability of being controlled remotely via a smartphone or tablet. A typical smart home system will include a number of wireless security gadgets that run from a central hub, which is connected online, that can be controlled and communicated to through an app. Some of these systems provide even more than just security such as cameras that double up as baby monitors and sensors that can detect and alert you if there is an escape of water, or monitor the whereabouts of vulnerable people in the home.

The cost of these smart systems varies enormously depending on factors such as the size of your home and the number of wireless components you choose to install. The options are (almost) endless so what are the features you should look out for when choosing a security system for your home?

The old saying ‘prevention is better than a cure’ is never more true than when it comes to home security. A security system that will deter intruders before they even try to gain entry to your home is a good bet. Look for systems that include either an outdoor warning alarm or an imitation one. Make sure this is installed so it is clearly visible from the outside and that it is kept well maintained and clean, otherwise you may be sending a sign that your home is not well cared for.

Connectivity is a key consideration. Make the sure the range of your hub can communicate with the wireless elements of your security system. If you have Wi-Fi black spots in parts of your home this may affect the operation of your smart system. Compatibility is also something to think about. It may be the case that only gadgets made by the same brand will work together – and they will claim this is for added security. Some companies use open systems so that different component brands will work together. Always check first before putting your hand in your wallet otherwise you could end up making a costly mistake. And always have a power continuity plan, such as battery back-ups, for peace of mind in the event of a power outage.

Will a smart home security system actually make your home safer? There’s no doubt that smart systems can certainly play a part in your home security, but the basic packages may be too simple to provide good enough security measures on their own. You should also consider additional motions sensors for doors and windows to cover every access point – but remember this will push up the price of the overall smart system. Although self-installation is a key selling point of smart systems if you’re not a security expert it can be easy to make a mistake. When a professional installer checked smart systems fitted by Which? researchers, most had installed gadgets in the wrong places.

A traditional security system, like a burglar alarm, can also help keep your home protected. They are made to very precise security industry standards and installation by a qualified professional means they are likely to work when you need them to. However, you will need to factor in how they will be monitored if you’re away from the home for an extended period of time.

This is a guest post from the team at SafeSite Security Solutions who provide security solutions for homes and businesses.