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Best cheap home security devices of 2019

CNET logo CNET 12/6/2019 David Priest
The Wyze Cam costs just 20 bucks.  © CNET

The Wyze Cam costs just 20 bucks. 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday might already be past, but you can still find killer deals on security gadgets if you know where to look. So how do you avoid hurting your pocketbook on top of travel, gifts, food and holiday expenses over the next month? Check out these cheap home security options, each under $20, that can help secure your house when you're visiting family or friends for the holidays.

a variety of items on display © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.  
How to buy the right security camera for you

Smart bulbs stop dumb burglars

Wyze Bulb

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Chris Monroe/CNET

One of the most obvious deterrents to would-be intruders is an occupied house. Throw some smart bulbs into your kitchen, living room or front porch fixtures, schedule them to flip on at certain times during the night, and you instantly make your house much less appealing to the more-skittish thief.

One of the most wallet-friendly options: The Wyze bulb. You can get one for $8 or four for $30 -- not too much more than a regular LED bulb. These cheap home security gadgets connect directly to your Wi-Fi network and can be controlled with the Wyze mobile app through your mobile device. They are perfect to schedule and forget about.

Read more: Best cheap smart LED bulbs of 2019: Does it matter which bulb you buy?

Set up fake security cameras

Armo fake security cameras

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

While we're talking deterrence, it might be worth considering dummy cameras. Especially for larger properties, where you want to cover a lot of ground without breaking the bank, fake security cameras can make your house look like a locked-down compound. You can order a four-pack of dummy cams for under $20 here.

Of course, deterrence will only get you so far. If a burglar breaks into your house, you'll still want some sort of alarm monitoring device or motion sensor to alert you to the breach.

$17.00 AT AMAZON

Read more: Best home security systems of 2019 (plus DIY kits, video doorbells and more)

Buy a real (cheap) smart cam

Wyze Cam

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

As CNET's Megan Wollerton has pointed out, "The era of the $200 security camera is over." Today, you can find cheap security cameras for $20 -- yes, that cheap -- that actually offer most of the smarts and wireless security features of the higher-end models including a motion sensor with AI person detection. Wyze Cam is the wallet-friendliest smart cam, and it offers free person-alerts to your Wyze app, 14 days of cloud storage and an SD card slot if you want continuous recording. This Wi-Fi security camera is pretty incredible for the price.

$26.00 AT AMAZON

Use a security sensor kit

Wyze Sense

a wooden table © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Wyze Labs

If you're less concerned about recording specific rooms, and more interested in monitoring entryways to your house, the security sensor kit could be a better fit for you. Wyze is the security company that takes the cake again here, with a $20 kit that includes a bridge (which connects to the Wyze WiFi camera and helps the devices communicate), two-door/window sensors and one motion sensor.

Again, for the price, this is a solid deal. For a small apartment, or if you're just covering your front and back doors, this kit could keep you solidly covered with motion detection for super cheap.

$20.00 AT WYZE.COM

Read more: Best smart light bulbs for 2019 (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more)

Ask Alexa to keep an ear on the house

Amazon Echo Dot

a blue and white surface © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

As a relatively recent addition to the Echo's feature set, Alexa Guard can help keep an ear (or some far-field microphones) on your house when you're away. An Echo Dot, which you can find on sale for $25 fairly often, is the cheapest way to get Alexa Guard in your house. But if you already have an Echo, this monitoring service is totally free.

Just say, "Alexa, I'm leaving" to switch on the feature. Then your Echo will listen for glass breaking, alarms or the sound of humans moving around your house (it can distinguish between pets and people) -- and you'll receive a mobile alert if it hears anything.

Read more: Best Video Doorbells of 2019

Rishon Enterprises Addalock

For renters, add a retrofit lock

© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Screenshot by David Priest/CNET

It can be tough for renters to boost their home security in part because installation can be pretty involved -- especially when you're talking smart deadbolts. So if you want to add a little security without much hassle or cash down, consider a retrofit lock like this one.

Devices like these, while not Wi-Fi connected, still offer clever ways to add one more barrier for burglars to bypass, which equals a little peace of mind for the anxious homeowner.

$18.00 AT AMAZON

Read moreBest DIY home security systems


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