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Fight back against porch pirates and keep your packages secure

Consumer Reports tests simple tools to help protect your deliveries

Consumer Reports tests simple tools to help protect your deliveries.

There’s a way to fight back against porch pirates and keep your delivered packages safe until you can get them inside.

Consumer Reports evaluates a lot of home security products on the market -- including video doorbells. But with the holidays coming up, it’s more important than ever to know the tech that’s available to help you keep a watchful eye on what’s dropped off at your door.

Package delivery boxes

Just as the name sounds, a package delivery box is a big box you can sit on your porch that your delivery person can drop your packages into.

“They’re a great option if you can get your delivery people to use them,” said Consumer Reports Home Editor Dan Wroclawski. “My experience was that it varied drastically.”

Keep in mind that prices can start around $150, and they do take up some space.

Battery-powered video doorbell

Consumer Reports says a better option for you may be a battery-powered video doorbell that can detect when packages are left on your porch, send you an alert and keep tabs on your entryway.

“Not only are they really easy to install with no complex or intimidating wiring but they are also pretty affordable. You can get a great one for around $100 or less,” said Wroclawski.

Consumer Reports says to Consider the $100 Ring Video Doorbell home security camera. A $3 monthly subscription to a Ring Protect plan is required for package alerts.

Floodlight security cameras

To extend security beyond your front door, Consumer Reports says to consider adding or upgrading floodlights. Testers tried three floodlight security cameras -- really just security cameras that double as floodlights -- outside Consumer Reports’ labs.

“The nice thing about floodlights is on most homes they’re in spots that are ideal spaces for cameras. And they are hardwired for power, so you never have to worry about recharging a battery,” Wroclawski said.

Consumer Reports says you can easily swap out your existing floodlights with the $180 Eufy, which lets you store recordings locally on the camera itself so you can skip that monthly cloud storage fee, too.

All three of the floodlights offer as much lighting as regular floodlights and clear and crisp video monitoring. You’ll get a camera, floodlight and siren in one package. And as a bonus: you can control your floodlight from your phone, smart speaker and even smart TV.

About the Authors:

Lauren Verno anchors the 9 a.m. hour of The Morning Show and is the consumer investigative reporter weekday afternoons.