There are tons of smart devices out there today, promising to make your home more secure. They include home security systems, smart doorbells, connected leak detectors and beyond. But don’t get bogged down by all of the choices. 

Here’s a rundown of gadgets that keep an eye on your house and your stuff so you aren’t surprised by a break-in or a potentially damaging water leak. 

Also read: How smart home tech can save you money

Home security systems

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Home security systems like the DIY SimpliSafe kit pictured above, give you control over your home. Not only can you install and configure SimpliSafe yourself in the app, you can also monitor it yourself. Get alerts telling you motion — or another type of activity — was detected and decide what to do from there.

You can also sign up for professional monitoring if you’d like a remote team to keep an eye on things for you. 

Additional home security systems that offer this functionality include: Ring Alarm, Nest Secure and Abode. 

See at Amazon

Indoor security cameras

Chris Monroe/CNET

We’ve reviewed dozens of indoor home security cameras. While many offer different designs and prices, they all do roughly the same thing. 

The $120 Amazon Cloud Cam has live streaming, motion detection and integration with Amazon Alexa. Amazon’s Cloud Cam comes with free 24-hour video clip storage and an optional Cloud Cam subscription service starting at $7 per month.

Select other home security cameras, like the Nest Cam IQ Indoor, offer facial recognition and other advanced features. 

See at Amazon

Outdoor security cameras

Outdoor cameras are a growing category in home security. Like indoor cameras, they offer live streaming, motion detection and access to saved video clips. 

You can install them pretty much anywhere your Wi-Fi network will extend — near your front door, along a fence line or next to your garage. They help protect the perimeter of your home, alerting you to activity that happens outside.

The Arlo Pro 2, pictured above, is an excellent, battery-powered outdoor security camera. Others include the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and the Ring Stick Up Cam Wired.

See at Amazon

Smart doorbells

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Smart doorbells, like the Nest Hello, perform a unique function within the outdoor security camera category. Part doorbell, part security camera, smart doorbells send alerts to your phone whenever it detects motion — or whenever someone rings the bell.

You can then pull up a live video feed and chat with whoever’s at the door. Tell a solicitor you aren’t interested, instruct a delivery person to leave the package by the door and more. Select doorbells, like the August View, also work with smart locks, meaning you can talk to your visitors and unlock the door to let them it from the same screen. 

See at Best Buy

Leak detectors

There’s more to keeping an eye on your home than security. Smart leak detectors alert you to a potential leak in bathrooms, basement, laundry rooms — and any other places of concern.

Models like the Roost leak detector pictured, pair with a related app and send alerts to your phone when they sense water. It’s a simple way to track areas prone to flooding and could save you a lot of money in the long run. 

See at Amazon

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are another good way to monitor your home’s safety. Like the leak detectors, connected smoke alarms have related apps where you can check in on the status of your home.

You can get alerts telling you there’s a potential issue, too, so you can contact your local fire department, even when you’re away from home. 

The Nest Protect and the Halo+ are two solid smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. 

See at Amazon

Garage door openers

Connected garage door openers like the Chamberlain MyQ Garage, are a great way to track whether your garage door is open or closed.

These devices are fairly simple to install and have related apps so you can control and monitor the status of your garage door remotely. The Nexx Garage is also a solid option and it works with Alexa and Google Assistant without assistance from IFTTT.

See at Amazon

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