home security

Can I use a smartphone with my home security system?

Samsung Galaxy S10E

Episode 1615

David from Whittier, CA

David has a vacation home and has WiFi cameras in it to view remotely. His problem is that when the service goes down, it could be days before it gets repaired. Could he use a cellphone and TING? Leo says that cellphones can be used as a "hotspot" and they can use their data plan to reach you when you need to view it. The question is, would TING let you do that? Other mobile services do, but they charge you and cameras use a lot of bandwidth. So check to see if they only work on movement. In principle, that could work.

How can I get my home security system to work on my windows?

SimpliSafe Entry Sensor

Episode 1556

Ron from Warsaw, IN

Ron bought a SimpliSafe home security system, but he doesn't know how to install the sensors on windows that crank outward. Leo says that's not going to work if they close a circuit like magnets. There are other kinds of sensors, including strip sensors that can work with it. They're designed for casement windows. But will they work with Ron's system? Only SimpliSafe knows for sure.

(Disclaimer: SimpliSafe is a sponsor)

Why can't my wireless camera connect to my server?

Episode 1068

Walt from Huntington, WV

Walt and is using an old server as a home computer. He uses Alarms.com to monitor his home security system, and it works wired. But when he changes over to the wireless configuration on the camera, one of his cameras will not connect.

Leo says that there may be a DHCP conflict that's preventing it, or the password based security is the issue. He should try turning off security on the router to see if it works. It may be the older camera can't be supported with the newer security standard used by the router.