Stop vacation package theft with these 6 smart home devices

Stop vacation package theft with these 6 smart home devices

Stop vacation package theft with these 6 smart home devices – CNET – ApparelGeek

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These gadgets will help you keep an eye on your porch, even when you’re away from home.

parcels sitting on a porch in the snow

Don’t let your holiday deliveries get stolen by porch pirates.

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We are premium holiday shopping season, which means one thing: tons of packages arriving at your doorstep. It also makes it a popular time for porch pirates to slip the unprotected parcels and leave with your gifts.

This year, 64% of people say they plan to do all or most of their holiday shopping online, according to a recent survey. The same survey found that 26% of Americans have had a package stolen from their doorstep. Many of these thefts go unreported to law enforcement, according to the US Postal Inspection Service.

Fortunately, there are several smart home devices in this marketplace that allow you to track deliveries from your phone. Read on to find out which products and services will help you keep a virtual eye on your vacation packages, wherever you are.

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Connected buzzers work in much the same way as traditional security cameras. The wired Arlo Video Doorbell offers high-definition resolution, live video streaming, motion alerts, and more, all at a very reasonable price. Subscribe to the Arlo Smart cloud service to access advanced motion alerts that differentiate between people, animals, cars, and packages. You can also watch your video footage with Arlo Smart to help neighbors and law enforcement (if needed) identify who snagged your vacation deliveries.

The Arlo Video Doorbell is our current top pick in the category. Check out all the top best video doorbells.

Read our Arlo Video Doorbell review.

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The Arlo Pro 4 is smart and feature-rich, with 2K video resolution, a built-in spotlight for nighttime deterrence, a surprisingly loud siren, and all the smarts of the company’s video doorbell. With a subscription, you can view recorded events, receive alerts, and use two-way talk to scare away potential porch hackers.

This is our top pick in the outdoor security camera category. Check out all of our top tested home security camera picks.

Read our Arlo Pro 4 review.

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Integrated porch light security cameras are an emerging category of smart home security. The Ring Spotlight Cam (pictured), Netatmo Outdoor Security Camera and Ring Floodlight Cam all combine smart lighting with smart video surveillance. With each of these devices, you can watch a live video feed, receive motion alerts, and talk to people through two-way audio intercoms. But you can also schedule the lights to turn on and off at set times.

The Spotlight Cam even has a 110-decibel siren, so you can scare someone when needed.

Read our Ring Spotlight Cam review.

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Amazon Prime members have another option for keeping tabs on their packages. Instead of monitoring traditional outdoor deliveries with outdoor cameras, the Amazon Key service allows Amazon to deliver packages on the inside your house. This service is available in certain areas of the United States. Check this list of cities to see if Key service is available where you live. The Amazon Key In-Home Kit is required to activate the Key service. It includes a key-operated Amazon Cloud Cam indoor security camera and an Amazon-approved third-party smart lock. With this kit, you can get alerts when a courier arrives and watch them deliver the package inside your home.

Read our experience using Amazon Key.

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In addition to outdoor cameras and home delivery services, some companies offer smart locks and storage options for your packages. One such company is BoxLock. Its product, also called BoxLock, is a smart padlock that works with an associated BoxLock app.

Here’s how it’s supposed to work: A BoxLock delivery partner uses the padlock to scan the package’s barcode. The lock unlocks and they secure your delivery inside a storage container (sold separately) until you can get home and collect your package. UPS, FedEx, Amazon Prime and USPS are BoxLock partners.

Amazon also offers a Locker program in certain regions. You have to go to an Amazon Locker location, but these kiosks let you pick up Amazon packages on your own schedule with a six-digit code (rather than worrying about something sitting on your porch).

Learn more about Box Lock.

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Ring has a device specifically designed to track the opening of your mailbox, which makes it much easier to track deliveries. But if you have a home security system at home, another easy way to monitor your mailbox is to use a door/window sensor – one of those magnetic gadgets that ping the system when an entry is open – inside your box door. Either way, you should be able to track small package delivery and make sure you know when someone opens the mailbox when they shouldn’t.

Read our Ring Mailbox Sensor review.

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Other Options to Stop Porch Hackers

If none of the above tech options appeal to you, don’t worry. You can require a signature for your delivery so packages are never left outside when no one is home. You can also have your packages shipped to your office or wherever you are guaranteed to be during the day.

To find out more, see practical tips to stop parcel theftand how to improve your home security now.

More home security tips

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