Recently, I’ve been looking at setting up home security systems that require no contracts.
I ended up using 2 systems:
A DIY home security system (using z-wave compatible devices with HomeGenie) – pretty much an Internet of Things system that does not require a cloud service. Also, it does not require that your devices be exposed to the Internet.
- you can get the texts notifications for free, however if your computer turns off for whatever reason, nothing will work (which is why I decided to also get a more reliable system)
- HomeGenie also shows images from your IP Cameras (if you have a URL for it. Usually it’s something like: http://[ipAddr]/snapshot.cgi)
- you can set it up so that it is only accessible in your internal home network – You can use TeamViewer (free for personal use) to remotely control your HomeGenie computer from the Internet.
- Another advantage to using TeamViewer to access your computer on your home network is that you don’t have to expose your IP cameras to the Internet.
- [todo: figure out how to make a heartbeat system to tell whether the computer is on].
- [todo: figure out how to use a cell phone to send SMS instead of having the computer email it (in case of power failure)].
In case of a power outage, I also got Simplisafe – which is more well known.
which have optional plans of:
- $15 (call your phone, police dispatch)
- $25 (remote monitoring on cell phone)
- $0 – you still get the siren sound.
|Arm/disarm system||Web page/phone – can do so remotely||Keypad w/PIN / keychain (no PIN)|
|Sensors||Many vendors (check if they support Zwave)||Simplisafe sensors only|
|Connectivity||Requires Internet to be up. Computer needs to be powered on.||Uses cell towers.|
|Notifications||Free Email notification||Must pay for monthly interactive plan for email notifications/remote control.|
After watching the video, be sure to check out the addendums at the bottom of the shownotes. One thing I forgot to mention is that you have to set up an email account to send the email from. Also, I remember that installing the drivers for the z-wave controller on Win10 wasn’t straightforward. If you run into an issue, let me know and I’ll post a video showing how to install the driver.
I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d use the affiliate links (just need to click one of them – you can add more items to cart directly from amazon.com)
Note: Other Z-Wave controllers cost 90-150
I used Ecolink, but you can use other z-wave compatible sensors as well.
Other Z-Wave Gadgets
Low powered computers
Click the Configure > Go down to the Messaging and Social section > Expand “E-Mail Account”
From here, you’ll have to Google the smtp settings for your service provider.
Here are the SMTP servers for the common providers:
Gmail – smtp.gmail.com
Yahoo! – smtp.mail.yahoo.com
Hotmail – smtp.live.com
SMTP username – Put your full email address
For SMTP Port: Use 587 or 465
Set a password for your HomeGenie dashboard
Go to Configure > Maintenance > Expand “HTTP Settings” > Click the ‘Set’ button on the right
I don’t recommend buying zwave locks in case the protocol is hacked. Here is a YouTube link of a security researcher unlocking a z-wave lock without knowing the key combo.
On your wireless router, make sure you are using WPA-2 and have a secure password.
Use 2FA on your TeamViewer account.