Smart Home

The 8 best smart home gadgets to protect your home while you're away

Going on vacation? Make sure you've got these smart home gadgets first.

The Nest Cam Outdoor is pictured next to the Currant Smart Outlet. Credit: / Ben Keough / Currant

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Booking a weekend getaway—or a vacation of any sort—can be a relaxing experience when you need to recharge your batteries. But, how can you make sure your home is in good hands while you’re away?

You can hire a house-sitter or ask a friend to stop by periodically, but there’s an easier way to check in on your house when you’re on vacation. Before you pack your bags and go, here’s a look at the eight best smart home products that can protect your home when you’re not there.

1. The best smart door lock to keep intruders out

Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt
Credit: Reviewed / Sarah Kovac

The Schlage Encode is a solid, easy-to-use smart lock.

You probably won’t forget to lock the front door when you leave, but with the best smart lock, the Schlage Encode, you can control and monitor your front door right from your beach chair.
Additionally, the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt can store and remember up to 100 permanent, temporary, or recurring passcodes, which you can dish out to friends and family who may stop by to grab your mail or check on your pets while you’re away—and revoke when you’re back in town.

Get the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt on Amazon for $192.49

2. The best outdoor smart security camera so you can see what’s happening

Nest Cam Outdoor
Credit: / Ben Keough

The video itself is the highest quality you can get from a smart security camera, with 1080p recording and excellent night vision.

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, it’s always nice to check in on your house while you’re away to make sure everything is a-ok. For a crisp and clear video stream, you need the best—like our favorite outdoor smart security camera, the Google Nest Cam Outdoor. When coupled with a Nest Aware subscription, the camera can differentiate between people and pets, create shareable clips, and it even has a video history feature that records to the cloud 24/7, so you never miss a beat. And, with a fast enough connection, you can scrub through the remote footage like it’s on a local DVR. It’s absolutely magical.

Get the Google Nest Outdoor Cam at Walmart for $199

3. An HD indoor smart security camera to keep a watchful eye inside

D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD
Credit: D-Link

The D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD is easy to set up.

Keeping an eye on the inside of your living space is equally as important as the outside, which is why we recommend one of the best indoor smart security cameras to keep the inside of your home secure. Much like an outdoor security camera, a smart indoor security camera lets you check in at home to make sure everything is as it should be. We love the D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD because it works with Apple HomeKit, provides a full 180-degree view, and the nighttime footage looks just as clear as the daytime video.

Get the D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD on Amazon for $129.99

4. The best smart bulbs and smart switches to make it seem like you’re at home when you’re not

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit (Gen 3) and Leviton Decora Smart Switch (WiFi)
Credit: / Nick Schmiedicker / Daniel Wroclawski

Smart bulbs and smart switches give you the ability to turn your lights on and off from anywhere.

Leaving the lights on when you’re away can trick others into thinking you’re at home, even when you’re not. However, gone are the days when you have to leave the lights on for the entire day. With the best smart bulbs and the best smart switches, you can flip on the lights from anywhere. It’s also easy to set up a schedule for the bulbs and switches to turn on and off, giving the appearance that the house isn’t empty.

5. The best smart plug to turn your living room lamp on and off

Currant WiFi Smart Outlet
Credit: Currant

Currant's Smart Outlet can control and monitor two devices independently.

Smart plugs are great because they can make basic appliances and fixtures smart without spending a small fortune. With the best smart plug, you can set the plug to a schedule and pair it with an item like your living room lamp or pedestal fan. The companion app allows you to create a schedule, so, for example, the lamp might turn on every night at 6 p.m., or the fan could turn on occasionally to flutter the curtains mimicking your usual schedule so it looks like you’re at home (even if you’re on the other side of the world).

Get the Current Smart Outlet on Amazon for $49.99

6. The best smart doorbell to see who’s at your front door

Google Nest Hello
Credit: Google

The Google Nest Hello is an easy-to-use doorbell that can recognize familiar faces, sends immediate alerts over data and WiFi, and never lost its connection during our tests.

It seems like everyone has a video doorbell these days, but with so many options, you might not know which one to buy. We think the best smart doorbell out there is the Google Nest Hello Smart WiFi Video Doorbell. It excels at delivering alerts right away over WiFi when you’re at home or via cellular data when you’re relaxing on vacation. This doorbell also offers the best video and audio quality of any doorbell we tested, facial recognition alerts for familiar faces, package delivery notifications, and more useful features that will make you feel secure wherever your travels take you.

Get the Google Nest Hello Smart WiFi Video Doorbell at Walmart for $229

7. The best smart water leak detector in case a pipe bursts

Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector
Credit: / Jackson Ruckar

A leak detector should be reliable, easy-to-use, and able to do its job despite being completely submerged in water; the Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector easily ticks all of these boxes.

Leaky pipes can cause major headaches for homeowners—especially if you’re nowhere near home. Do yourself a favor to avoid frozen or cracked pipes before they become a problem with our favorite smart water leak detector, the Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector. The detector works over WiFi for easy setup, doesn't need a hub, and should last up to three years on AA batteries.

Get the Honeywell Home Water Leak Detector at Home Depot for $53.76

8. The best smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector so you can make sure your house is safe

Nest Protect
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

It takes about five minutes to set up the Nest Protect, and the process is impressively thorough, asking you for the detector location, as well as your self-testing and night light preferences.

Before you jet off on your next trip, it’s a good idea to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. The Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm is the best smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector on the market because it sends push notifications to your smartphone when it senses smoke or carbon monoxide, which is helpful when you’re not there.

Get the Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm on Amazon for $118.89

These products can help safeguard and protect your home while you’re on vacation, giving you peace of mind to truly kick back and relax.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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