Your front door has a lock. And you’ve probably secured your windows pretty well- perhaps even with a security system, and those little sensors that help protect them from intruders. If you’re truly security-minded, you might also have considered getting a camera.
These components are typically separate, but the modern trend is to combine them and connect them, in what has come to be called “the Internet of Things”.
That’s the promise of the Home8 Smart Garage Starter Kit- to help you automate your home, and be able to check on and control it from afar. Inside the kit are three basic parts- a wireless Mini Cube camera, a smart hub, and a remote control button to connect your garage door.
Hopefully, you won’t need to change out your garage door opener, much less your garage door, and the system will be able to use your existing hardware without much hassle.
Many competitors require a subscription, and though one is available here for more sophisticated setups, the basic version is fully featured and free- no contracts, no monthly fees, and no landline required. Free apps are available on both the App Store (for iPhone/iPad users) and Google Play (for Android fans).
The included instructions are clear and fairly straightforward, with one complicated part that we’ll get to shortly. Simply make sure the base station has power and connect an ethernet cable to your router.
The hub is where you’ll pop in an SD card for video storage, and it handles the signal routing to the various other pieces. It also has a 100-decibel siren to help scare off intruders.
Their HD camera is only 720p and is pretty obvious if you’re looking for it, but did offer night vision two-way communication, and decent color/sharpness.
We liked the system’s text notifications- you can get a push update whenever someone opens your garage door for instance. And you might wonder why you’d want a camera in your garage- but with the Home8 you can make visually sure your garage door is closed, and keep an eye on an area of the home you probably do not already have covered by surveillance.
Let’s talk about the garage door portion of the setup though- you’ll actually need to do a bit of wiring, attaching the door fob to your garage door switch, the opener itself. It’s not too difficult- just some screws and some wires- but average DIYers might find it a bit of a challenge.
It took us a couple of tries to make sure everything worked properly, but on the plus side, most openers are compatible.
Home8 offers a variety of other kits and add-on sensors too, so you can pick and choose what fits your house best. If this is the right base kit for you though, the home8 Smart Garage Starter Kit is available online and in stores, for around $229.