Top Links

Wi-fi help
Broadband Advice
Mobile Broadband
Wi-fi webcams
Mobile phones

Receive the latest updates direct to your inbox

FileSaveAs News Feed Follow FileSaveAs on Twitter FileSaveAs Tech Podcast
FrequencyCast UK Tech Podcast

Home Security Systems Explored

Want to keep an eye on your home while you're out? Information on low-priced home security systems.


Low-price home surveillance?

If you're away from home, it's now cheap and easy to keep an eye on your property while you're not there.

For home security, you have a couple of options - the expensive, professionally installed alarm system, or a low-cost self-install system.

On this page, we're looking at the self-install option. Buy a 'kit' from the Internet, install one or two devices around your house, and you should be able to keep an eye on your home and get alerts if someone tries to do anything unexpected. Uses include:

  • Home security - get an alert on your mobile if someone breaks in - plus images held securely offsite.
  • Pet cam - Keep an eye on your home, family and pets while you're at work
  • Babysitter / cleaner monitor - Keep a log of time that your doors were opened and closed, and when rooms were entered
  • Kids - Check when kids wander where they shouldn't, and if a door or cupboard was opened unexpectedly
  • Fire and flood - audible alerts if there's a temperature spike or high water level is detected

The system we've chosen to review, is the Starter Kit from myhome247. This is available from £99, and is expandable to add extra sensors and cameras as required.


The myhome247 Starter Kit

MyHome247 SystemThe Starter Kit available from contains a master controller (the Xg1000 Gateway), a door/window sensor, and a Panasonic IP camera.

This will enable you to monitor when anyone opens a door or window, or when anyone triggers the camera's motion detector. If those things happen, you can get a text message or email alert, then log in to see what's going on. Still images are also captured and held on a secure offsite website for later review as needed.

Here's what you get in the kit:

myhome247 Kit contents
myhome247 Kit contents

Setting up the kit

Firstly, set up the door sensor. This is in two sections, a transmitter and a sensor. You use the supplied sticky pads or screws to fix the transmitter to the door opening, and a sticky pad to fix the sensor to the door. When the door is opened, the connection is broken (indicated by an LED). The door sensor transmitter is powered by 2 x AAA batteries.

Myhome247 Door Sensor
myhome247 door sensor

Next, set up the webcam. The camera supplied with the Starter Kit is a Panasonic BL-C1. Note that the camera supplied with the myhome247 Starter Kit requires a wired connection (it's not wireless) - if you want to position the camera in a room where there isn't a router - you can use a set of Homeplugs (which use your home's mains wiring instead).

Myhome247 Camera
myhome247 IP camera, the Panasonic BL-C1

Then, it's a case of plugging in the controller to a power supply and to your home Broadband router (we tested the system using a BT Home Hub).

Myhome247 Router
The myhome247 Xanboo Service Gateway

Once everything's plugged in, you set the service up online at - At purchase, you're supplied with a username and account, and when you go to this web address, you enter those details, download a browser plug-in, and the controller is detected. The controller then detects the door sensor and the camera. You're now in business.

Using the kit

We've been trying the kit with some of the other device sensors available. We've been using a motion sensor, a keyfob arming panel, a mains-powered siren and a mains on-off switch. This means that we can detect a door being opened, motion detected in our hallway, and motion in front of our camera. We can also arm or disarm the system as we enter the house, and can remotely turn on a lamp.

This is where it gets clever, as you can now log on remotely from any web browser, and also from a mobile phone, and check out your system:

myhome 247 Device Status
myhome 247 Device Status

You can see the state of each device, and access still images or live video from the camera(s). You can also access a log of what's gone on, for example when doors were opened and when someone moved around (with images).

Intruder Alert!

The Xanboo software that's used to administer the system (via a web browser), lets you do some clever stuff to let you know what's going on - you can get the system to send you an email or a text message when something happens. You can also set up a macro to do something such as switching on a lamp when your door's opened, or get a camera to record multiple images or video when motion is detected.

Myhome247 alerting
Setting up an alert


There are a whole bunch of extra sensors available for the myhome247 setup. As well as extra cameras and door sensors, you can also get a pan-and-tilt camera, temperature sensors, water sensors, wireless sirens and even a thermostat controller and 4 channel DVR to record video footage.

Mobile access

As well as the system being able to send a text message alert to your phone, you're also able to control the system from many makes of mobile phone. If your mobile supports Java, it may be able to access and control your home system. If you're one of those lucky chaps or chapesses with an iPhone, there's also an iPhone interface - see the screenshot below:

myHome 247 iPhone screenshot
myhome247 on an Apple iPhone


Our Summary:

This is one piece of kit we've had lots of fun reviewing. Our podcast team reviewed a system called Homesight, made by Motorola, a couple of years back - broadly a similar product, but it required a USB connection to a PC, whereas this solution is stand-alone. We've let our podcast team loose on this too - expect commentary on an upcoming FrequencyCast podcast.

Bottom line: We're very impressed with the myhome247 Wireless Home Security System.

MyHome247 SystemThe basic kit starts at £99, with a camera and door sensor - but to get the most from the system, you'll probably want to get some of the optional extras, such as other sensors, cameras and the home/away panel, which you'll be pleased to hear are reasonably cheap. You'll also need to go for the £9.99 a month "self-monitoring" service, which gives you remote access to the system, plus the online storage for images and the alerting service.

A great way to get peace of mind on the comings and goings at your des res. Easy to install, and at a very attractive price

For full details, go to

myhome247 kit F.A.Q:

Answers to a few questions about the myhome247 Starter Kit:

  • Operating system: Supports Windows2000 / XP/ Vista / Mac / Linux. No installation CD required, as the system is managed via a web browser.
  • Wireless door sensor has a typical indoor range of 18 metres
  • The controller needs to be connected to an Rj45 Ethernet socket on your wireless router.



Bookmark this page:

delicious digg stumble technorati facebook