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A flock of geese may be an unusual method of home security, but they can be effective without any special training. A smart home security system connects to your Wi Fi network so you can monitor and control your security devices using your smartphone and an app. Entry level systems usually include some door and window sensors, a motion detector, and a hub that communicates with these devices using one or more wireless protocols such as Wi Fi, Z Wave, Zigbee, or a proprietary mesh network. You can add extra door, motion, and window sensors to provide coverage for your entire house and build a comprehensive system that includes door locks, garage door openers, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, lights, sirens, smoke/CO detectors, water sensors, and more. A word about wireless protocols: In a perfect world, all home security components would use the same wireless standard to communicate with the main hub, but factors such as power requirements, signal range, price, and size make it virtually impossible to settle on just one. For example, smaller components such as door/window sensors typically use Z Wave or Zigbee technology because they don't require a lot of power and can be powered by smaller batteries. They also operate in a mesh topology and can help extend the range of networked devices. However, neither protocol provides the bandwidth that you get with Wi Fi, which is why it is usually used in security cameras to provide smooth video streaming, and in other devices that require a fat pipe. Moreover, Z Wave and Zigbee devices are connected and controlled using a hub, while Wi Fi devices can be connected directly to your home network and controlled with an app. Finally, Z Wave and Zigbee devices use AES 128 encryption, and since they operate in a closed system with a dedicated hub, they offer more security than Wi Fi devices. Any smart security system worth its salt offers components that work together in a seamless environment and can be manipulated using customized rules.

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Of course, you know you can use the voice option with Alexa and other home automation systems to control your equipment. But some security systems also have a handsfree feature that will work with your mobile device or a key fob to detect when you are within range of your system. And when you are within that range, it will automatically unlock your door and disarm your security system for you, handsfree. So if this is a convenience factor you’d like to have, then yes, you do need to look for a system that has handsfree options. Geotracking works similar to the handsfree feature. When geotracking is included with your home security system, it works with the GPS feature on your smartphone, as long as you have the location services enabled. This feature will detect your location as long as you have your phone with you and you can preset rules as to how you want to use that feature. You can lock/unlock your door, arm/disarm your security system, turn your lights on or off, set the preferred temperature on your thermostat so it’s comfortable when you arrive. You can even preset it to close your garage door if you forget and it will do so once you’ve traveled beyond a certain range. You will probably want good security cameras and/or doorbell cameras so you can see who’s coming and going, as well as what’s happening in and around your home at all times. You might also want the panic button and the two way talk feature so your family can instantly call for help when needed.