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Home Security (& Automation) Newbie - Needs advice

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    Home Security (& Automation) Newbie - Needs advice

    We are in need of home security that is retained locally (as well as future home automation). My research points to Homeseer being reliable and stable so I am reaching out for advice. We anticipate making a purchase in the next 30 days.

    We currently have NO automation in our home and NO cameras. However, we are a PC/Android/Google Fi family and so are familiar with these products and their operation.
    At the moment, we are thinking we wish to begin with the following:
    1. Automation hub software (we currently own a 2017 DELL Laptop (or a 2015 HP Pavilion) on which we want to run the software)
    2. 2-3 outdoor cameras (no particular brand at the moment but we want good images, remote access and at least 7 days storage)
      1. Possibly. a Local NVR we manage
    3. A doorbell camera (again, no particular brand)

    Of course, they need to be wi-fi accessible for monitoring while on vacation.
    • Suggestions for the above?
    • Plugins that may be needed?

    Currently, we have a TP-Link AC4000 router (MU-MIMO) with two 5 ghz channels and one 2.4 ghz channel.
    We do want to expand our automation in the future, a device or two at a time as can be afforded. These devices may come from anywhere/any brand. Therefore security is a concern. Though I have done some research, I am unable to determine if I can create VLANS with my current router.
    • Will adding a switch with this router allow me to do so?
    • If so, any suggested switches?
    Also, I am positive there are things of which I am ignorant and should be considered. Feel free to throw types of issues at me.
    I'm doing the research and purchasing, husband will be doing the installing and I will be maintaining this system and I am overwhelmed!
    In a nutshell, I am looking for a bit of guidance on the least amount of money I can spend to get started and yet not be foolish on security and expansion.

    Thank you for your assistance.

    Welcome to the Homeseer forum Tammy.

    Best to start with infrastructure for your Automation and Security.

    A few years ago I would have mentioned using "wires" relating to networking and security sensors and multimedia (which was not mentioned).

    Today I still prefer to utilize wires relating to security devices like contact / PIR sensors and multimedia.

    Relating to network / security / router connectivity stuff here prefer to go "a la carte" with non ISP leased equipment and using a separate modem, router/firewall, managed switches and POE connected WAPs (wireless access points).

    Personally here I utilize VPN for access to home / automation / security. Relating to security monitoring I use a 3rd party service for alarm monitoring.

    Relating to automation control you can today utilize X10, UPB, Insteon, ZWave, Zigbee and or Wireless MQTT.

    With Homeseer you can mix the above or just go with one methodology. I am still a powerline person here and all of my in wall switches here are currently UPB. I utilize X10 every year here for Christmas lighting and do have a few ZWave and Zigbee devices.

    House #2 doing something different. Infrastructure "a la carte" stuff is same as House #1. Relating to security went the "Ring" alarm way and using a Ring to MQTT application to monitor alarm with Homeseer. In wall switches and automated modules I am using WiFi switches modded to be off the cloud using custom Tasmota / Espurna firmware.

    Understand your concern with the use of VLANs and more and more folks are using them. I come from a large global enterprise entity (Airline) where we did utilize VLANs. Not really sure it is worth over complicating your home network with separate VLANs (here have around ~100 devices on the home network).

    Many folks today are using Alexa or Google devices or both at home today. Some folks prefer not to utilize these devices. While I have Alexa devices here still like the touchscreen mechanisms of control and my Microsoft SAPI speech here. I have integrated Alexa devices in bits and pieces and today use Alexa fine with Homeseer.

    Baby steps...first infrastructure...

    Here purchased have

    1 - Arris modem that connects to my cable ISP. (no monthly fees if you own your own equipment)
    2 - DIY built a PFSense firewall router box with multiple network ports. (IE: have two ISP connections - failover and four LAN connections) - PFSense is free
    3 - Telephone (purchased an Ooma VOIP box a few years ago and it is doing well). Just recently disconnected two copper lines that I was still using. I also upgraded my multiple Line home phone system to a Panasonic system (two bases here) which also allow connectivity to cellular phones via blue tooth.
    4 - Managed switches - went to TP-Link small fan less managed switches. I was able to fit one of three inside of a Leviton 42" media panel. Also using managed TP-Link POE switches these days. I came from the Cisco everything world.
    5 - Wireless - Autonomous WAPs (wireless POE connected access points) - Mesh - here recently switched from using Ubiquiti to Ruckus WAPs.
    6 - NAS - utilized for multimedia files storage and CCTV storage. I have DIY'd two 8 drive boxes here doing the a la carte building. Latest NAS is using SAS drives versus SATA drives, Lsi RAID controller and ZFS. There are plenty of NAS drives that you can purchase from Internetlandia.
    7 - Multimedia - lately have gone to 4K and streaming services. Still keep my music and video and pictures on the NAS drives.

    Here we are not tethered to our smart phones and typically they are off when at home. Many folks today depend on their cell phone for automation, security, CCTV control and viewing stuff.

    Note there will be more coming here answering your original post. I am on another forum where you can ask the same questions. Check the forum out called Cocoontech.
    - Pete

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