Installing a home security system used to mean spending hundreds of dollars to have professionals come and hardwire your house, signing a long-term contract, then paying huge fees month after month in order to keep the thing running. Systems weren’t flexible, false alarms were frequent, and if you were a lowly renter, you were out of luck — despite the fact that rental units get burglarized more often than any other kind of property.

Times are changing, though, with a smart new wave of home security systems that’s changing the way we think about protecting our homes. These new systems are built around plug-and-play, DIY-friendly devices and sensors that work with your smartphone, move when you need them to, and put you in control of how you protect your home, whether you own a five-bedroom townhouse or rent a studio apartment. Best of all, these systems come with no contracts, and in many cases, no monthly fees — meaning that peace of mind is more affordable than ever.


Canary

Perhaps the slickest-looking security device ever created, the $199 Canary is an all-in-one security system with an assortment of smart sensors built right into it. There’s Wi-Fi, a night-vision-ready camera that you’ll be able to access v ia a smartphone app, and motion, temperature, and humidity sensors all packed inside, along with learning technology that will adapt to your habits over time, leading to fewer false alarms. You won’t be able to hook up any external sensors with the system, though, and in the event of an emergency, it’ll call you, but not the police.

Still, Canary raised over $2 million during an immensely successful Indiegogo campaign, and big names like Khosla Ventures and Bobby Yazdani recently invested over $10 million in the device, so it’s clearly something people are excited about. Could Canary break out big and do for home security what the Nest did for thermostats? We’re not sure, but we’re looking forward to getting our hands on one when it’s finally released in the coming months. Just one question — why isn’t it yellow? (Availability and pricing outside the US are unknown at this time.) Read our full preview of Canary.

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