Do-It-Yourself Home Security

Guard your castle with networked cameras. We review four systems that let you do the installation on your own.

Its the do-it-yourself approach to home security: Why pay a company when you can install cameras yourself? The ones reviewed here let you view your home while youre away, to check in and get a little peace of mind.

Networked home-security cameras arent new, but with more families running wireless networks, adding a camera or two has suddenly become easy enough for even nontechnical folks to handle. What was once a complex operation is now often as simple as plugging a camera into your wireless router.

While researching this story, we discovered that theres no widespread agreement on what a security camera should come with or even what it should do. For instance, Smarthomes starter kit offers home automation possibilities, and Motorolas system lets you add things such as door and window sensors and temperature detectors.

D-Link and Panasonic both deliver excellent cameras but stop short of creating full-scale home-monitoring packages. All but the Panasonic offering can be set to give you e-mail alerts when they detect motion.

Each of these security systems needs an always-on broadband connection for Web viewing. A good security system offers cameras that can be controlled via an online connection, has motion- sensitive recording software and is expandable, letting you add more cameras or other types of monitoring modules.


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