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Gadgets for the Smart Home: No need to wonder who's lurking with these Wi-Fi wire-free security systems

The Arlo Q is an AC-powered 1080p HD camera with night vision and two-way audio. (Photo courtesy Arlo/TNS)
The Arlo Q is an AC-powered 1080p HD camera with night vision and two-way audio. (Photo courtesy Arlo/TNS) TNS

Netgear's Arlo security camera system is a perfect example of how user-friendly the smart home category has become.

The newest addition to the system is the Arlo Q, an AC-powered 1080p HD camera.

You'll need Wi-Fi, and the free Arlo app (iOS and Android). Once you have the app installed and running, it walks you through the setup in just minutes.

It's as easy as connecting the camera to a power source with the included USB cable and USB AC power supply. Then turn on the app and when the camera is ready it will read a barcode off the app, which will set it up on your existing Wi-Fi network.

Then you can customize what alerts you receive from the camera, specific zones to be monitored, motion alerts and even schedules to monitor or not monitor based on when you are home or away.

The camera has night vision and two-way audio. Recordings are saved for free in the Arlo cloud system for 7 days.

If you want it saved longer there are pay upgrade options.

The premier plan is $9.99 monthly or $99 annually for saving recordings for 30 days with up to 10 cameras.

Arlo also has a wireless system with the Arlo Wire-Free and weatherproof security camera system.

arlo.com $219 for the Arlo Q, $159.99 for the Arlo Wire-Free, combo kits are available

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Ring, the maker of the innovative video doorbell, has added the Ring Stick Up Cam to the smart home security system.

They refer to it as the "World's First Wire-Free Outdoor Security Camera With Two-Way Audio" and since it's the first time I've seen this feature, I'm not going to argue.

It works with the same free Ring app (iOS, Android and Windows 10 Desktop) as the doorbell system and installs in minutes since it's wire-free.

It's weather-resistant so it can hang indoors or outdoors. In addition to the noise cancellation audio, it features cloud HD video recording and night vision from an 80-degree lens.

The Ring Video Doorbell works as a doorbell but also gives you one-way video and two-way audio so you can see and talk to who's at your door.

Everything you need for the simple installation is included assuming your Wi-Fi signal is within reach of where it's installed.

The system connects to your smartphone or tablet on the Ring app and sends you a push notification to alert you someone is at the door. You can view the person through the 180-degree lens and talk to them through the app.

Through the app, you can even decline and ignore whoever is ringing.

Both the doorbell and camera are powered by an internal rechargeable 5,200 mAh batteries, which can last for up to a year before a charge is needed.

The Ring Chime Wi-Fi speaker ($19.95) can be added to the system to extend the sounds within the home when the Ring Doorbell is pressed.

The audio/video recordings can also be saved into a cloud storage for just $3 per month or $30 per year.

Ring.com $199 each for the Stick Up Cam or the Video Doorbell.

Gregg Ellman, gadget guru, can be reached at greggellman@mac.com. Follow him on Twitter@greggellman.

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