Affordable home security, the new D.I.Y.
So what's a couple hundred dollars to protect your home and catch bad-guys? If you're not convinced, watch this incredible video captured by a Ft. Lauderdale woman who, while at work, caught young men breaking into her home via a live security-video-feed. It's a classic cops and robbers scene, and a perfect example that these handy-home cams aren't just for nanny-stalkers.
The Classic: The Teddy-Bear Nanny Cam
This cuddly, little fluff-filled creature isn't just for busting lazy babysitters anymore. Position these little cuties near doors and windows to get the best footage of crooks. It's obviously not so much a deterrent, but it can help bring criminals to justice and, like the Ft. Lauderdale example, you may be able to nab unwanted visitors in time.
Price: $199 from SpyAssociates
Pick of the Litter: Panasonic -- Wired Network Video Camera, Model BL-C111
This little classy cam will send you an email when someone sets off its heat-sensor. And it lets you monitor by logging into a website. User reviews are strong and say it's easy to use and install.
Price: $149 from BestBuy
Tricky Traps: The Spy Store
By now, stuffed bears may scream surveillance camera. If you want to be more discreet, try the Sponge Bob boombox with built-in spy cam from the SpyStore. Not a fan of the cartoon (gasp!)? Then try the oscillating fan, air purifier, or digital clock radio -- the James Bond versions, of course.
Looking for something more elaborate and techie? There are more hardcore options here, you big roller. If you think the idea of filming people is creepy --(which it's not! It depends on the context!) -- then Slashdot reports that InGrid and LaserShield supply do-it-yourself kits modeled after the services of traditional alarm companies. And Walletpop's own
Tom Kraeutler has more tips on cheap home security.
Remember: A happy home is a safe home. Happy criminal-nabbing!