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Ask Slashdot: State of the Art In DIY Security Systems? 248

An anonymous reader writes "For geeks that want to secure their home, it seems that the choice of Do It Yourself solutions are limited. And in case you prefer to use a company, most of them require to subscribe to a contract for 3 years that costs at least $20 a month. In case you want to make a DIY security system without a monthly fee, few options are available. Some products (such as ismartalarm, Lowe's Iris system or also the fortress security) let you install your own system but seem not to be very mature (for some the alarm is not loud, for others they do not use the internet and only a land line, etc.). Is there any recommendation for a basic DIY home security system for monitoring the house and just have notification by e-mail or through a mobile application? Is there any open standard for home automation and security devices? Any suggestion about how to build something simple, affordable and efficient?" How to top the big-name subscription-based security companies is a recurring question, but one worth exploring every once in a while, as sensors and software both advance, and especially as more and more people are carrying around phones well-suited as remote monitors for in-house cameras. (And here's a preemptive link to ZoneMinder.)
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Ask Slashdot: State of the Art In DIY Security Systems?

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  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @01:08AM (#45863473)

    What do insurance companies say about guard dogs, by the way?

    "Here is your more expensive policy."

  • Re:Great advice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @01:26AM (#45863565) Journal
    It's also worth remembering (since the objective is to be more secure by the time you've finished) that the firmware of IP cameras is largely crap. Maybe I'm doing some Chinese OEM slave factory whose owner's savant cousin actually cares about the firmware a disservice; but you can't afford to assume that any networked camera, wireless or wired, is anything other than a nasty infection waiting to happen. We are talking 'firmware builds even worse than the ones on $20 routers, except much more enthusiastic about sending video of your house to the internet' here.

    You probably will find that (unless you really love running coax), IP devices, some of them wireless, will end up being what you go with; but whatever you do, segregate that crap on its own network with no direct access to the wider world. Any offsite storage/monitoring/messaging goes through a properly configured computer only, not the devices directly.
  • Re:Umm no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @01:50AM (#45863647)

    You can cut the monitoring if you don't want it to alert the police, but then what is the point?

    In many jurisdictions, including where I live (San Jose, CA) the police DO NOT RESPOND to triggered alarms. 99% of the time they are false alarms, triggered by the cat, or a relative who doesn't know the disarm code. The police have better things to do.

  • Re:Insurance? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @02:26AM (#45863765)
    It doesn't matter if they say it is OK on a call. It matters if they say it is OK on a claim.
  • Re:Umm no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BLKMGK ( 34057 ) <morejunk4meNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Saturday January 04, 2014 @02:50AM (#45863809) Homepage Journal

    Police? There in minutes when seconds count - if you're lucky. What thieves don't want is attention. People looking, people noting license tags, people calling the cops. If an alarm sounds in my home the very last thing I'm thinking is going to save me is the police but I will have been warned of trouble. Screw monitoring, I want NOISE and I want LIGHT! If you were a thief would you be robbing the home with the motion sensed lights and alarm warnings or the dark home with no signs or intrusion detection? Low hanging fruit is what scum look for.

  • Re:Insurance? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 04, 2014 @04:34AM (#45864001)

    And keep in mind: They do not want to pay you. They really not want, no matter what they claim. They will be looking not only for reasons not to pay you, they will look for excuses!
    You better make sure what you do is sufficient that they cannot come up with an excuse or they will let you hang for drying, outside, without any payments.

Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat. -- Christopher Morley