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Consumer Reports chimes in on video doorbells

Consumer Reports makes recommendations on popular smart home products

SAN ANTONIO – From video doorbells to door locks, smart products focused on home security are hot holiday tech trends. To help shoppers make smart choices, Consumer Reports compiled a list of recommended smart home products for the holiday season and beyond.

Package-stealing porch pirates have become an unpleasant holiday tradition. A video doorbell may offer some peace of mind.

Consumer Reports says you’ll want a doorbell with more than excellent video quality.

“It’s really important to consider your storage options,” said Dan Wroclawski, home editor for Consumer Reports. “If someone stole something off your front porch, most companies require you to pay for a monthly plan to download and view that footage. Without a plan, you can only view footage that’s live.”

Consumer Reports recommends the Nest Hello for $230. It offers several paid video storage options with 24/7 continuous recording and alerts.

To monitor more than just your door, Consumer Reports suggests a security camera. Its top-rated Arlo Pro 2 for $220 offers several video storage plans, including a free one, plus packages that come with additional cameras.

For someone who is often misplacing his or her keys, a smart door lock can be a smart solution.

“Smart door locks are super convenient because they allow you to lock and unlock your door from anywhere. So if you have guests coming for the holidays and you’re not home, you can let them in with just a tap of a button on your smartphone,” Wroclawski said.

Consumer Reports recommends the Schlage Sense Smart for $230.

If all of these products sound like a great addition to your home, you may want to consider a do-it-yourself home security system.

“DIY home security systems are a great option because most of them don’t require you to sign up for a long multi-year contract," Wroclawski said.

Consumer Reports recommends the $200 Ring Alarm Kit Five Piece Home Security System. It’s easy to set up and comes with what you need to start your home security system.

You can also create a whole house system from different products and tie them all together using a smart speaker as a central hub. The second-generation Amazon Echo Plus for $150 is compatible with the recommended products and works with many other smart home products, too.


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