Quick Tips

Quick Tip: Keeping Your Family Safe with Tech

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Earlier this month, our Windstream team gave you some ideas on how to save money using smart technology and some apps to keep your family safe. But did you know there are gadgets that can help improve family safety?

Whether you’re having a kid-free dinner date or are all out on summer vacation, here are some tools that can help protect your home. (Keep in mind that some of these tools will require high-speed internet.)

1. Wireless Security Systems

You’ve seen the yard signs that tout whether a home has a security system. In a 2009 study by Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice found during a five-year period that as home security systems proliferated in Newark, N.J., the number of burglaries decreased. Alarm systems aren’t a complete deterrent for burglars, but they could help lower your homeowner’s insurance and force thieves to leave your home earlier. The Electronic Security Association said that the average loss on a home with a security system is about $2,000 less than the loss at homes without a system, The New York Times reported.

2. Video Doorbells

See who’s at your front door. Video doorbells can be fairly simple — like the Security Man Outdoor Doorbell, which is weather-resistant and runs on AAA batteries  — to more advanced, like smart doorbells. Nest Hello, a smart doorbell, runs constantly and uses your home’s Windstream Wi-Fi. The Nest product also has motion and sound alerts to detect people and show them to you in HD video. It also includes HD talk and listen and can be paired with your in-home devices, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home.

3. Indoor and Outdoor Security Cameras

Waiting for a package to be delivered at your home? See when the carrier comes — and if anyone is trying to steal it! A bigger version of the videos, indoor and outdoor security cameras will show you who’s inside or outside your home. These cameras typically have similar features to video doorbells, such as night vision, motion detectors and audio capabilities. Some allow you to adjust the camera’s sight using your smartphone or tablet. Indoor and outdoor camera products will also differ on power source, storage and video playback.

4. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

How many times have you let your smoke alarm battery lapse — only to hear chirping as a constant reminder? Well, no more! With smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarms — either wired or battery-operated — you can silence certain alarms from your phone, where you can also receive alerts. Smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will also give you early warnings and tell you where the threat is.

5. Smart Thermometers and Weather Radio and Emergency Monitors

Energy-Star certified, Nest Learning thermostats is weather-aware, learning what temperature you prefer at what times and automatically adjusting to fit your schedule. It can also tell you the forecast outside, along with the time. But did you know that they can pair with Nest Protect, a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm? Your heating systems could be leaking carbon monoxide or start a fire. If Nest Protect detects a carbon monoxide leak, it can turn off the heat on the Nest thermostat.

And with summer coming up, don’t forget to have in hand a weather radio and emergency monitor. That way you can keep up with severe weather around your home with or without an internet connection.

Remember that some products — especially those using smart technology —  will be running on your wireless Kinetic internet. And the more connected devices you have, the more strained your internet bandwidth may be. Visit our bandwidth breakdown page to learn more about Windstream’s internet speed options and getting the speed you need.

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