Customize smart home security system for best results

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Whether for your primary residence or your second home, keeping everything safe and secure is just a few taps away.

In homes across the world, the Internet of Things has revolutionized how we live. With a tap on our smart phones we can adjust the temperature, feed the pets, or even activate the robotic lawnmower. Couple that technology with a security system, and you have the ultimate in-home protection in the palm of your hands.

For second homeowners, whether a vacation home or a rental property, this technology means peace of mind. It's the assurance that you can keep a virtual eye on your home no matter where you are in the world.

One of the most attractive aspects of smart home security systems is the ease with which they can be customized. If you want a fully integrated system that you don't need to monitor yourself, you'll find options like the ADT Pulse, the Vivant Smart Home or the SimpliSafe Home Security System. Each has their pros and cons (for example, both ADT and Vivant's offerings require monitoring contracts, but have superior quality cameras).

There is also a bevy of do-it-yourself options, letting you decide which components you need and which you can do without. Solutions from Nest, Ring and LifeShield let you purchase only the security modules you need. Plus, you can opt into a monitoring service if you'd prefer to let someone else keep an eye on your home.

But no matter which route you choose, an integrated system or a DIY solution, the key to your smart home's security is fast, reliable Wi-Fi. Without it, your devices can't communicate with each other or with you, leaving your home unguarded.

This doesn't apply just to the quality of the signal, but its range as well. In most cases, the signal that connects your devices to the Wi-Fi originates from a single point - your router.

In larger homes or homes with multiple stories, this can lead to a degradation of the signal the farther away from the router you get. If the Wi-Fi doesn't reach your front door's smart lock, it's not going to do you much good.

To truly secure your home, make sure your Wi-Fi has multiple access points, meaning the signal isn't coming from just one source. A "Wall to Wall Wi-Fi" solution, a service provided by Hargray, is a great example of this technology, with multiple repeaters bringing a strong connection to every corner of the house.

Want to make sure your Wi-Fi is sufficient for your home security needs? Check with your provider of choice to see what options they offer.

Andres Tovar is vice president of product and marketing for Hargray Communications.

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