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10.12.18 – CNET – 


This Cheapskate-exclusive BOGO deal offers dead-simple home security, with or without professional monitoring. Plus: Haven’t chosen a VPN yet? Here’s one of my favorite deals.

Home security comes in all shapes and sizes: Traditional alarm systems, smart DIY kits, “Beware of dog” signs (regardless of veracity) and so on. Many of them are complex, expensive or difficult to install.

Let’s hear it for simple, inexpensive solutions. For a limited time, Cheapskate readers can get two Kangaroo Motion Sensors for $29.99 shipped with promo code cheaparoo. That’s some BOGO goodness right there: Normally the sensors are $29.99 each.

This is a relatively new product, something that boils security down to its most basic: motion detection. The Kangaroo is a wireless, battery-powered sensor that you simply peel and stick, then pair with an app. When it’s armed and it detects motion, it triggers an app alert.

Got pets? Kangaroo says the sensors’ pet-detection technology will prevent them from triggering false alarms.

Each sensor comes with a pair of AA batteries, which Kangaroo says will last for up to two years.

The company offers two monitoring plans: Basic (free) and Pro ($9 per month or, way better, $60 annually). The former provides the aforementioned app notifications and two user invites (meaning you can loop in, say, a relative and neighbor to also get notifications).

When you step up to Pro, you get unlimited invites, text and phone-call notifications, Alexa integration, 24/7 live-agent monitoring and assistance negotiating a home-security discount on your homeowners’ insurance.

Kangaroo has three additional products in the works: a siren, an entry sensor and an environmental sensor. Presumably, these will be similarly dirt-cheap.

For now, I love the price and simplicity. Something like this might be especially ideal for an apartment or small office, where basic while-you’re-away motion-detection is all the security you really need.

That said, reality check: Why not just deploy a Wyze Cam Pan, which costs under $36 shipped? It gives you not only motion-detection, but also a live camera feed. Well, it requires AC power and a strong Wi-Fi signal, which limits where you can put it. There’s no option for professional monitoring, either.

All that is to say, maybe you put cameras in some rooms and Kangaroo sensors in others? Me, I’m just happy to see yet another super-affordable security option.

Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: Let’s talk about a different kind of security — the kind that protects your phone, laptop and tablet from prying hacker eyes when you connect to open Wi-Fi networks.

It’s called a VPN, and if you’re not using one, you should be. There are countless options available (see CNET’s VPN directory), but I continue to be a fan of this product and this deal on it: A lifetime subscription to KeepSolid VPN Unlimited for $39.99.