These gadgets will prevent your holiday packages from getting stolen
Here's how you can protect your deliveries this holiday season.
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It’s that time of year again when a surplus of packages begins showing up at your doorstep—but how can you keep all of those holiday gifts safe from porch pirates when you’re not at home?
Roughly 8% of U.S. households (or 25.9 million Americans) said they’ve had holiday packages swiped from their front porch or doorstep, according to a 2017 report from InsuranceQuotes. Luckily, there are a handful of smart home products that can be your eyes and ears when you’re at work or running errands and a package gets delivered. Here are the five smart home products you need to protect your package deliveries this holiday season.
1. A smart doorbell
Smart doorbells are becoming an increasingly popular way to keep an eye on things from afar. Our favorite smart doorbell, the Ring Video Pro 2, sends alerts to your smartphone when motion is detected at the front door or someone rings your doorbell. In the Ring app, you can customize motion zones to avoid receiving false notifications (like a flag off in the distance that’s blowing in the wind).
Or, if you live in an apartment, the Ring Peephole Cam, is a solid option to consider. The doorbell attaches through the peephole of your front door, making it an ideal option for apartment dwellers who lack doorbell wiring. Just make sure to clear it with apartment management before installing it.
2. A smart outdoor security camera
A smart doorbell is just the starting point when it comes to keeping an eye on your packages while you’re away. Our favorite smart outdoor security camera, the Google Nest Outdoor Cam is more expensive than other options, but, as the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.”
With a subscription to Nest Aware, you can access package-protecting features like notifications that differentiate between people and pets and customizable activity zones. If you catch someone swiping a package from your front porch, you can create a video clip of the event to share with neighbors or law enforcement. If you come home to a missing package, you can scroll back through your camera’s video history, which records to the cloud 24/7.
3. A smart outdoor flood light
During the holiday season, package deliveries may happen after the sun has gone down. Proper lighting is crucial to keep your packages safe and the Ring Smart Floodlight can help brighten up any dark areas around the exterior of your home, but you'll need the Ring Bridge to make it work.
The battery-powered floodlight displays 600 lumens (about the brightness of a 40-watt or 60-watt bulb) and can be installed in just a few minutes above your driveway or your front porch. When the light detects motion, it will turn on and, hopefully, startle anyone who shouldn’t be on your property away from your pile of packages.
4. A WiFi-connected mailbox
If you’ve had it up to here with strangers running off with holiday deliveries from your front porch, it might be time to invest in a more substantial mailbox than you currently have. The Danby Parcel Guard Smart Mailbox can be controlled from anywhere with the Parcel Guard app. In addition to remote access, the smart mailbox has a camera, a tamper alarm similar to a car alarm, and is made from industrial-grade plastic to keep intruders out. For additional security, you can bolt it to the ground.
When your delivery driver arrives, they can put your packages inside of the mailbox’s “anti-theft” drop slot, and you’ll receive a notification on your phone that the package is secure. While it includes a back-up battery, it’s best to plug in the smart mailbox to safeguard your holiday deliveries.
5. A few smart pathway lights
The more lights, the better when it comes to properly illuminating your exterior entryway and the walkway leading up to it. Philips Hue makes our favorite smart bulb, and these smart pathway lights by the brand are a great option to light up your front yard. At least one light must be plugged into an outdoor outlet to work, but you can connect multiple units to one another for shared power.
Made from weather-proof materials, the lights last up to 25,000 hours (or roughly 1,041 days of continuous use). They can display 16 million colors (which can double for holiday decor, too), and can be set to a timer in case your UPS, USPS, FedEx, or Amazon driver comes after dark. Make sure to pick up a Philips Hue Smart Hub if you don't already have one, as you'll need the bridge to make these lights work.
Another reason to love them? They work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
You can take additional steps to protect your holiday packages through programs like Amazon Key, which allows an Amazon delivery person to leave packages inside of your house and garage. However, not everyone is cool with a stranger leaving packages inside of their home for security reasons.
You can also arrange to have your holiday packages held at your local post office, shipping store, or pick up your Amazon packages from a nearby Amazon Locker location.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.