What is a Smart Alarm?

Hive Outdoor Camera attached to an outside white painted wall with evergreen trees to the right

These days pretty much everyone knows what a smartphone is and most of us are familiar with things like smart thermostats or smart TVs. But lots of us are less in the know about smart alarms. In this article we’ll explain a bit more about exactly what they are and take a look at some of the benefits they have over a traditional burglar alarm.

What is a smart alarm?

Put simply, a smart alarm system is an alarm that you can control through a dedicated security app on your smartphone, tablet or Apple Watch. It’s typically wireless and includes a keypad, siren alarm and smart motion sensors.

Some smart alarms, like Hive HomeShield, allow you to build your own system so that it’s just right for your home. This means you can add really helpful burglary deterrents like smart cameras and lights. All of which work together to offer you greater protection and control of your home.

What are the benefits of a smart alarm?

  1. Protect your home from your phone, wherever you are

  2. Instant alerts so you can take action

  3. Check on your home in real-time

  4. Keeps everyone in the family safer

Let’s take a look at each one in turn.

1. Convenient control from anywhere

A smart home alarm helps you deter intruders, monitor your property and control your home security – all from your smartphone.

Late for work and forgot to turn on your alarm? Set it via the Hive app on your smartphone or Apple Watch. And, in the unlikely event it gets set off by a moving pet, the remote-control alarm siren can be reset from wherever you are.

2. Proactive not reactive

Old-school alarms react once a house burglary is underway by setting off an outdoor alarm siren. A smart house alarm is proactive. Using equipment like smart motion sensors and smart cameras to alert you to a potential intruder before they break in.

It means you can take action straight away to try and prevent someone getting into your home. For instance, if your smart alarm includes an outdoor security cam you’ll get an alert the moment someone walks towards your house. You can then use the app to speak to whoever’s there and scare them off. Or to call the police.

If they carry on getting closer to your house, sensors will then trigger a loud siren alarm. Hive’s alarm siren is an ear-splitting 110db (as loud as a police car) so it also acts as a really powerful deterrent.

3. Monitor more than just your home

A smart alarm system isn’t just a way to protect your property, it’s also a really great way to keep everyone in the family safer too.

Most smart alarms allow you to give everyone in your family their own pin to disarm it. If your kids are old enough to let themselves in from school, give them a unique pin and you’ll get a notification the moment they’re home.

And with Hive HomeShield it’s also really easy to set different monitoring zones for your alarm. This means whether your home is occupied or empty, you can protect your children and the people you love.

To give you an idea of how this works, when you’re at home, use ‘home mode’ and it will turn off all your smart security kit inside. But keep everything outside, like sensors and cameras, on. If you’re all off out for the day, tap ‘away mode’ to arm everything. And at night, switch it to ‘sleep mode’ and the bedrooms will remain off, but all your security devices downstairs and outside will switch on.

4. Reassurance at a glance

Smart alarm systems are also great for peace of mind. Wherever you are, you can use the app on your phone to check everything is ok back home.

Most smart alarms come with a dedicated security app that makes it really easy to keep a check on all your different security devices from one place. So you can open the app and quickly check all the cameras with a quick glance then get back to doing whatever you were doing.

How secure are smart alarms?

Tech companies take security incredibly seriously. So the reality is, if you’re buying a smart alarm from a mainstream provider they will have lots of measures in place to protect against a security breach. Even so, there are a few things you can do at home yourself to make sure your smart alarm system is doubly protected.

  • Keep your network secure: don’t stick with the standard issue username and password that comes with your router - it can make it really easy for a hacker to identify the make and model. Change it to something unusual that’s not associated with you or your address.

  • Use different passwords for everything: Having one password for everything is so much easier. The problem is it makes hackers’ lives easier too. So it’s really important to up your security game and give everything in your home a different password.

  • Enable two-factor authentication: Some smart tech, like our Hive cameras, come with two-factor authentication. It’s quick to set up and means that every time you log in, we’ll send you a six-digit verification code via SMS to make sure it’s really you. Great for extra peace of mind.

  • Keep all your software up to date: Another way you can help keep your alarm secure is by regularly downloading any updates for your smart home products. This protects your smart tech against any new security bugs and helps keep them safe from outside interference.

Find out more about our new smart alarm service Hive HomeShield

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