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Stop package theft now: Smart home devices that protect your deliveries

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Published in Science & Technology News

With online shopping and holiday gift deliveries ramping up, package theft becomes a bigger concern. "It's a quick theft," Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Genae Cook told CBS affiliate WTTV. "(What) you'll notice is cars going back and forth up and down the street, so it's a good time for your neighbors to be diligent watching out for strangers in the neighborhood."

Fortunately, the proliferation of smart home devices means you can now monitor deliveries from your phone. Check out these three smart cameras that will help you keep a virtual "eye" on your front door as well as holiday packages, no matter where you are.

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Smart video doorbells

Arlo Video Doorbell

CNET TAKE: Connected buzzers work in much the same way as traditional security cameras. The hardwired Arlo Video Doorbell (https://www.cnet.com/reviews/arlo-video-doorbell-review/#ftag=CAD187281f) has high-definition resolution, a live video feed, motion alerts and more. Subscribe to the Arlo Smart cloud service for access to advanced motion alerts that differentiate between people, animals, cars and packages. You can also look back at your video footage with Arlo Smart to help neighbors and law enforcement (if necessary) identify who snagged your holiday deliveries. The Arlo Video Doorbell is our current top pick in the category.

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Battery-powered security cameras

Arlo Pro 3

 

CNET TAKE: For a less permanent option, consider a battery-powered security camera. Models like the weatherproof Arlo Pro 3 (https://www.cnet.com/reviews/arlo-pro-3-review/#ftag=CAD187281f) can withstand the elements (like the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor), but they are much more mobile. Use one inside to keep an eye on your pet one day and move it outside when you're expecting a package delivery the next. And when its battery is low, just recharge it with Arlo's included charger.

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Light and security camera hybrids

Ring Spotlight Cam

CNET TAKE: Integrated porch light-security cameras are an emerging smart home security category. The Ring Spotlight Cam (https://www.cnet.com/reviews/ring-spotlight-cam-review/#ftag=CAD187281f) combines smart lighting with smart video monitoring. With each of these devices, you can watch a live video feed, receive motion alerts and talk to people via two-way audio intercoms. But you can also program the lights to turn on and off at set times. The Spotlight Cam even has a 110-decibel siren, so you can scare someone away when needed.

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The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Senior Writer Megan Wollerton and Copy Editor Jim Hoffman. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit www.cnet.com.

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