holiday shopping

Keep Holiday-Gift Deliveries Safe From Porch Pirates

Consumer Reports looks at some of the best deterrents on the market

NBC Universal, Inc.

The holidays are just around the corner. Unfortunately, that also means it’s prime time for thieves who steal packages left on porches or at front doors — but there’s are ways to fight back. Consumer Reports looks at some of the best deterrents on the market.

The holidays are just around the corner. Unfortunately, that also means it’s prime time for thieves who steal packages left on porches or at front doors — but there’s are ways to fight back.

Consumer Reports evaluated lots of home security products—including video doorbells, package delivery boxes and even floodlights with cameras—all of which can help keep your porch and your home secure this holiday season and beyond.

There are several strategies to keep your packages and home more secure, starting with a package delivery box. Just as the name sounds, it’s a big box that you put on your porch; delivery people can drop packages into it. It’s a great option if you can get delivery people to use it, but that can vary dramatically. Some other drawbacks: Prices start around $150, and they take up some space.

A better option is a battery-powered video doorbell that can monitor your entryway and send you an alert when a package is delivered. It’s easy to install, with no complex or intimidating wiring, and you can get a great one that costs around $100 or less. Consider the $100 Ring Video Doorbell home security camera. A monthly $3 subscription to a Ring Protect plan is required for package alerts.

To extend security beyond your front door, consider adding or upgrading
floodlights. CR testers tried three floodlight security cameras—they're really just security cameras that double as floodlights—outside its labs. One nice thing about floodlights is that, on most homes, they’re in spots that are ideal spaces for cameras. Also: They're hardwired for power, so you never have to worry about recharging a battery.

Homeowners can easily swap out existing floodlights with the $180 Eufy, which allows you to store recordings locally on the camera itself. That allows you to skip that monthly cloud storage fee, too.

The floodlights offer as much lighting as regular floodlights, and clear and crisp video monitoring as we;;. You’ll get a camera, floodlight and siren in one package. As a bonus, you can control the floodlight by phone, smart speaker or even smart TV.