It’s officially the holiday season and that means more packages than ever are being delivered on doorsteps across the United States. In fact, the United States Postal Service estimates that it will deliver over 900 million holiday shipments this year. That means one thing: porch pirates will be out in full force.

So how can you protect yourself (and those packages) from shifty passers-by looking for some free loot? Well, we’ve rounded up five tricks and tips to keep your packages safe. From the low-cost to high-tech, we’ve got you covered.

Low-cost, low-tech Porch Pirates Protection

Track with delivery-specific user accounts

Every good online shopper knows that you can track your package’s progress from the warehouse to your front door. But signing up for UPS My Choice, FedEx and USPS accounts you can enjoy greater flexibility in your delivery experience. In fact, most delivery services will allow you have packages held at delivery locations, which may or may not be convenient depending where you live. But if you’re worried about the safety of a valuable item, consider going this route or having it delivered to a brick and mortar retail location.


Low-cost motion sensors and alarms

There are plenty of high-tech ways to monitor your front porch, and we’ll get to those in a second. But for some, or perhaps most, a simple alarm or motion detector will do the trick. Something like 1byone’s low-cost motion detection system will set off an alarm inside your home when movement is noticed on your driveway or front porch.

If you’d simply like to shine a little light on the situation, consider going with a Mr. Beams motion-activated LED light. These simple lights are easy to install and work both indoors and outdoors. The built-in sensor will shine light for up to 60 seconds up to 12-feet away. It’s perfect for above your door or at waist-level.

Porch Pirates hate smart homes, here’s why

It’s easier than ever to track movement outside

There aren’t many HomeKit-friendly outdoor motion sensors, but this option from Eve should do the trick. When combined with smart home outdoor lighting you’ll be able to quickly shine some light on your pirate friends. It will also provide a timestamp of any movement triggers as well. It’s worth noting on this one that batteries will need to be replaced.

Ring’s entry-level doorbell provides a relatively low-cost but high-tech solution to avoid packages being stolen. There are plenty of options out there in the competitive video doorbell market. Ring has long been the standard bearer, and its entry-level model does the job for most. You’ll be able to capture video of any thieves and also speak directly through the doorbell.

A nice middle-ground is Arlo’s Audio Doorbell. Aside from being a #1 best-seller, it costs less than the Ring alternative mentioned above but still delivers some solid functionality. You’ll be able to speak directly to anyone on your front porch but do lose the video capabilities.

How are you combating Porch Pirates this year?

What’s your porch pirate strategy? Let us know in the comments below.

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