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Top Gadgets for Home Security

Eye SpyMicroTec's $259 MicroAlert is a pager-size sensor that vibrates when it detects the frequencies commonly used by observation devices like video cameras. Whether in your own home or in a hotel room, the MicroAlert tells you if you're being watched.

Eye Spy

MicroAlertMicroTec's $259 MicroAlert is a pager-size sensor that vibrates when it detects the frequencies commonly used by observation devices like video cameras. Whether in your own home or in a hotel room, the MicroAlert tells you if you're being watched. Wireless phones and microwave ovens can accidentally set the MicroAlert off, so use its high-low sensitivity switch to reduce false alarms.

Editor's Project: Light Show

A run-of-the-mill motion-detecting floodlight will light your way when you take out the garbage. But an X-10–compatible floodlight can double as a home security device.

The $50 X-10 floodlight (available from smarthome.com) does all the standard stuff—it turns itself on at dusk and has an adjustable range of up to 40 feet. But it can also automatically control up to eight other X-10 devices.

Take advantage of that capability by adding another basic X-10 module to the mix, say one that turns on the porch light every time the motion detector goes off. Now you'll know when someone gets too close.

Pet Project

Pet DoorOpening and closing the door for a demanding pet is a pain—especially when their need to leave hits during your favorite TV show. And while a pet door can give your pooch or cat an extra degree of independence, a hole in your door covered only with a rubber flap doesn't do much for home security.

The Solo Pet Door (starts at $359) is different. This motorized door opens only when a pet wearing a special collar tab comes near. Unless they have the proper electronic key, other pets, the neighborhood skunk, and industrious thieves are locked out.