If you want to see what's happening at home, you'll need a system that lets you install cameras as well as sensors. But unlike simpler systems that require only a phone line to send you alert messages, video-capable systems require you to have a broadband Internet connection. Two leading camera-equipped options, AT&T Remote Monitor and iControl Networks, create secure Web pages, where you can view and monitor your home. (To access all features, these services require a subscription fee, generally $10 to $15 a month.) You can program the cameras for "if/then" scenarios: If the motion sensor is triggered, then take 15 seconds of video and e-mail it to me.

For most of us, these systems are unlikely to replace the traditional burglar and fire-alarm setups just yet. One problem: Full home coverage costs quite a bit more than the many discount deals you can get on old-fashioned security systems by browsing the Internet. But for early adopters, these new technologies are not to be missed. They provide a remarkably detailed view of your house, making you feel at home even when you're away.

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