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Packet theft solutions: Veranda pirates are not comparable to these smart home devices



This story is part of Holiday Survival Guide 2019 and contains tips for optimizing the holiday season.

As online purchases and deliveries of Christmas gifts increase, theft of packages becomes a major issue.

"It's a quick theft," Genoa Cook, a police officer for the Indianapolis metropolitan area, told CBS subsidiary WTTV. "[What] You'll notice cars driving up and down the street, so it's a good time for your neighbors to look diligently for strangers in the neighborhood."

Fortunately, the proliferation of smart home appliances means you can now monitor supplies without actually being home. Read on to find out which products and services help you virtually keep track of your vacation packages, wherever you are.

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The Nest Hello.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Intelligent Doorbells

Connected buzzers work much like conventional surveillance cameras. The Hardwired Nest Hello Video Doorbell features high-definition resolution, a live video feed, motion alerts, and more. Subscribe to the Nest Aware cloud service to gain access to face recognition. Create a database of known faces and get custom notifications when "Kevin", http://www.cnet.com/ "Ashlee" or another frequent visitor pops up. You can also track your video footage with Nest Aware to help neighbors and law enforcement agencies (if needed) find out who's vacationing.

Read more about the Nest Hello .

The Arlo Pro 3.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Battery Powered Surveillance Cameras

A less durable option is a battery powered surveillance camera. Models like the weatherproof Arlo Pro 3 can withstand the elements (like the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor ), but are much more mobile. Use one inside to keep an eye on your pet one day and move it outside if you expect a package delivery on another day. And when the battery is almost empty, simply charge it with the charger included with Arlo.

Read more about the Arlo Pro 3 .

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Chris Monroe / CNET

Light and Security Camera Hybrid

Integrated security cameras on the veranda are an emerging category for security in smart homes. The Ring Spotlight Cam (pictured), the Netatmo Presence and the Ring Floodlight Cam combine intelligent lighting with intelligent video surveillance. With each of these devices, you can watch a live video feed, receive motion alerts, and talk to people over two-way audio intercoms. You can also program the lights to turn them on and off at set times.

The spotlight camera even has a 110 decibel siren, so you can put off someone when needed.

Read more about the Ring Spotlight Cam .

The in-home delivery service from Amazon Key.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Package delivery at your home

Amazon Prime members have another way to keep track of their packages. Instead of monitoring conventional outdoor deliveries with outdoor cameras, the Amazon Key Service provides Amazon packages in your home . This service is available in selected areas in the United States. Check this list of cities to see if the locksmith is available at your place of residence. The Amazon Key In-Home Kit is required to enable Locksmith. It includes a key-activated Amazon Cloud Cam indoor security camera and an Amazon-approved third party Smart Lock. With this kit, you can receive notifications when a courier arrives and watch him deliver the package to your home.

Amazon is not the first company to offer this type of service. The manufacturer of intelligent locks August acquired the parent company of Yale in 2017 offers the in-home delivery August Access. Walmart also claims to work on a in-home grocery delivery .

Learn more about the Amazon Key Service .

The BoxLock Smart Padlock.


Chris Monroe / CNET

Intelligent Padlocking and Storage of Packages

In addition to home-style outdoor cameras and home delivery services, selected companies offer smart locks and storage options for their parcels. One such company is BoxLock . The product, also called BoxLock, is a smart padlock that works with a related BoxLock app.

Here's how it works: A BoxLock delivery partner uses the lock to scan the package barcode. The lock unlocks and secures your shipment in a storage bin (sold separately) until you get home and pick up your package. UPS, FedEx, Amazon Prime and USPS are BoxLock partners.

Amazon also offers a locker program in selected areas. Of course, you must travel to an Amazon Locker location, but at these kiosks you can pick up Amazon packages on your own schedule with a six-digit code (rather than worrying about something sitting on your porch).

Read more about BoxLock .

Other options

If you do not like any of the above technical options, do not fret. You can request a signature for your delivery so that packages are not left outside the home. You can also have your parcels delivered to your office or to another location where you are guaranteed to spend the day.

Originally published two years ago. Updated with new recommendations.


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