Beefing up home security on a budget is so easy with these quirky but clever gadgets

Home security an issue because you're on a tight budget? These are some of our top affordable finds; they're all super easy to install, too

home security gadgets: men breaking into living room of house
(Image credit: Getty)

Who doesn't want to beef up their home security as winter draws on? And even if you already have the best home security system installed in your home, these clever little gadgets can really help boost it in specific places around your home for little spend. 

Concerned about that easy to open window? We've found a device for that. Landlord won't fix the lock on your bedroom door? We have a gadget to solve the issue. Often visit hotels or holiday lets and concerned that others have a key to your room? Scroll for a solution to all your security worries, home and away.

1. A motion sensor to arm your doors and windows

Kangaroo Home Security Motion + Entry Sensor

(Image credit: Kangaroo)

The Kangaroo Home Security Motion + Entry Sensor is a genius smart entry sensor that sends you messages when doors or windows are opened. 

Here's how it works: you download the app, then peel and stick the devices on vulnerable doors and windows; you'll receive instant notifications if the doors or windows are opened via the app (or via Alexa if you're hooked up), no matter where you are in the world. 

You can, of course, arm and disarm the devices from your phone to, so that you don't get alerts when you or other family members are home. We think it's an affordable way to monitor your home – perfect for anyone on a budget or if you're renting and your landlord won't pay for an alarm system. 

2. A mini security camera that can be hidden with ease (or worn on your wrist)

Aobo Mini Spy Security WiFi Camera

(Image credit: AOBO)

This home security camera is a must-buy if you're often away on weekends, out at work all day – or just like to keep an eye on what's happening at home when you're out. It's affordable, you can stream the footage straight to your smartphone and it's tiny so anyone scoping your house from outside won't spot it (come to that, neither will anyone inside). 

We're not lying when we say it's mini. This camera has a diameter of 4cm and a height of 2.5cm, meaning it can very easily be disguised. It can also be used indoors or out, it has a wide-angle lens and it has night mode.

You could also pop it on your car dashboard to avert potential break-ins or vandalism, or since it comes with a wrist strap, you could take it cycling or hiking with you to track where you've been.

3. A Fake TV to give the illusion you're at home binge-watching Netflix

FakeTV FTV-11-US Extra Bright Burglar Deterrent

(Image credit: FakeTV)

This burglar deterrent is called a Fake TV, and it's unlike anything we've ever seen before. Simply put, it can simulate the flickering light of a TV, so all you have to do is place it in your living room and set it to turn it on while you're not home. 

Before you ask, it doesn't eat lots of electricity – it consumes the same amount a normal night light would need, and some models have timers for when you're going away and want the device off from dawn, but on from dusk. Otherwise, we'd suggest matching a less versatile model with a basic plug-in timer. Sorted. The modest price tag also makes it cheaper than installing a home security system, a video doorbell or a smart lock, too.

4. A second door lock for peace of mind in a hotel

Addalock door lock in use

(Image credit: Addalock)

If you've got a door at home with an unreliable lock, perhaps you regularly work away and stay in hotels, enjoy a weekend breaks in AirBnB or are a college student with a dorm room door lock you don't trust (or are about to go off traveling the world), here's the home security gadget you need. It's incredibly simple to use, really affordable, is handbag-friendly, and it requires zero tools for installation.

Introducing the Addalock: a portable door lock that can be used on any door that opens inwards (that's the crucial bit). Essentially, it turns a lock you may not trust (or that doesn't work) into a secure lock instantly. This means that, once you're inside your room/apartment/holiday let and the door lock is secured, no one else will be able to use a key to enter your home. 

5. A lightbulb camera to keep a (fish) eye on your belongings while away

ShamBo Light Bulb Security Camera

(Image credit: ShamBo)

A light bulb security camera is a great buy for those who are often away, offering peace of mind that belongings and pets are safe. Simply enough, the device screws into an existing light socket; you'll need to connect it to your Wi-Fi by downloading the compatible smartphone app. Then all you need to do is follow the steps and you're all set up. Installation is easy peasy. Also, recharging isn't necessary since it's powered from your light socket. 

The lightbulb camera's app will notify you of movement, it allows you to see the entire room thanks to its fish eye lens, and you can talk through it. You'll be pleased to hear that this camera also works at night time since it features IR lights built in that automatically turn on when it detects darkness. Clever, huh?

6. A door stop alarm for those who hate sleeping home alone

EMDMAK Door Stop Alarm

(Image credit: EMDMAK)

This clever device works as a door wedge. Place it under an inward opening door in a closed position and it will keep the door firmly shut. And, if someone tries to open it, an alarm will go off to notify you and to deter whoever is on the other side. Super easy to use and since it's compact, you can take it away with you to ease hotel room nerves. 

It can also offer peace of mind to those who live on their own, and to college/university students who have a dorm room door that's easily opened, or renters who share a home with people they're newly acquainted with.

The alarms are powered by nine volt batteries and their sensitivity levels can be adjusted so as not to disturb your sleep for no reason. On the bottom of the devices, there's a non-skid pad to stop them from sliding on hard flooring. To use, there's a simple on and off switch operation. 

  • Buy a door stop alarm from Amazon US for $12.99(pack of two)
  • Shop a UK version for £12.99 (pack of three)