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How Home Security Systems Have Changed Over 20 Years

Posted: October 16, 2018

Home security systems have come a long way over the last 20 years. Even the concept of “home security” itself has changed. In years past, a conversation about home security would mean comparing types of alarm systems. But we’re not just looking at the evolution and history of alarm systems, because today “home security” means so much more. Home security still involves keeping your home protected from intruders, but it also includes fire and carbon monoxide detection. It covers smart locks, how you enter your home, and even how you share access to your home with others. It incorporates smart home technology. Today, home security doesn’t mean just keeping a burglar out. It means knowing when your window is open, or knowing that your child arrived home from school.

The best part? Home security is more user-focused and user-friendly than ever. Smart homes are now attainable for everyone. At the end of the last century, installing a home security system would have involved lots of wiring and significant changes to the interior of your home. Now, with the evolution of wireless technology and some serious innovation, homeowners can integrate a cutting-edge home security system for less money and fewer holes in their walls.

From wired to wireless security systems

From wired to wireless security systems

Home security systems have made the jump from mostly wired to predominantly wireless. Twenty years ago, home security systems were wired into most homes. Today, we see wireless security systems as the leading trend. For a wired system to function, each piece of equipment has to have a wire connecting it to the brain or control center. If a wire were severed or disconnected for any reason, that device would no longer work. These systems were bulky, expensive, and required a professional electrician to run wiring.

Now, most home security systems are wireless. The use of wireless technology has allowed for easy integration into the home. Rather than cutting holes to install wires, home security systems can be put in without making significant physical changes.

Keyless entry

Although keyless entry may seem like old technology to us now, it wasn’t so long ago that every person would need a key to get in to their home. Missing or lost keys created a special kind of headache for homeowners. Thanks to the rise of technology, we now have various devices which have made the physical key nearly obsolete. Smart locks allow entry with passcodes, key fobs, and mobile apps for greater remote control, making keys nearly obsolete.

Additional smart home devices

When it comes to help protecting what’s inside their homes, homeowners are no longer limited to door and window sensors. Now, we have a variety of ways to safeguard homes. You can now help protect your home with these smart home devices:

  • Smart door locks: Many manufacturers make door locks that require a passcode rather than a key for entry.
  • Security cameras: With security cameras, we can now see more of what is happening inside our homes at any time.
  • Video doorbells: Video doorbells such as the Ring make it simple to view and communicate with who is at your door, all while keeping the physical barrier intact.
  • Motion detectors: These devices sense motion and alert you to a foreign presence within seconds.
  • Smart lighting: Lighting is often cited as a deterrent for break-ins. With smart lighting, you can turn your lights on and off without even being in your home, giving you an extra tool in your security arsenal.
  • Mobile apps: Mobile apps such as ADT's Mobile App allow you to take full control of your home security system from virtually anywhere.
  • Flood sensors: Floods can cause costly damage to your home. Flood sensors can notify you when water is present so that you can save yourself from expensive repairs.
  • Smart smoke and smart carbon monoxide detectors: The next in the wave of home automation, smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can tie in to a mobile app and alert you to dangerous conditions immediately, protecting your most important investment. In addition, these devices will let you know when batteries need replacing.
Mobile security access

Mobile security access

Wireless technology allows us to take greater control over our home security. Many devices made to help protect the home can now be tied to mobile apps for greater ease of use. Technology such as smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, garage door openers, smart lighting, and your home security system can all be controlled with the use of smartphones such as an iPhone or Android.

Integration of safety and security devices

Currently, we are seeing the emergence of IoT (Internet of Things). IoT refers to the connectivity and integration possibilities of devices. For example, using a voice-controlled assistant such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa to control your monitoring system—connecting smart thermostats, smart lighting, smart smoke detectors, or smart plugs—shows the possibilities of IoT in action. In the past, many devices would come with a dedicated app—one app for a garage door, another for the smart thermostat. However, we are now seeing apps such as the ADT Mobile App, which allows you to tie devices together and control everything in one easy-to-use place, making life easier.

The definition of home security is constantly evolving. Not so long ago, choosing a home security system for your family meant comparing types of alarms. Today, a lot of us live in smart homes and we manage our home monitoring systems from our smartphones. It will be interesting to see how our families and homes, our lives and our needs, help shape the future of home security. As we continue to advance, find out where we are headed with the future of home security.