SAN ANTONIO - As the threat of so-called "porch pirates" looms, technology is making it easier for people to protect their holiday gift deliveries and their homes in general.
But there are so many devices and companies out there, making it overwhelming to decide which one is best.
When Joe Dixon had his work shop broken into, he knew it was time to take action.
"They cleaned me out. They took everything I had," said Dixon.
Dixon had a traditional monitoring service on his family's home, but wanted more.
"Now we have the cameras, and we know who set off the alarm," said Dixon.
Dixon has cameras all over his house, inside and out.
He can watch them on his TV or his phone.
Whether it's the pool man or a package thief, Dixon is recording their every move.
"If you have their face, and you have their license number or even their vehicle ID, you've got something to give the police department to help them find the people doing these stupid things," said Dixon.
Dixon had his system set up by Aegis Security.
A four-camera system with 24-hour day and night vision costs around $1,500.
There are no subscriptions or monthly fees.
Aegis hooks everything up for you.
"Obviously getting it set up, loading apps and doing all these things the technical people do, I don't get involved in it. I really don't want to get involved in it," said Dixon.
"Time is money and seems like nowadays no one has free time to do anything," said David Flores, a spokesperson for Aegis Security.
You can save money if you're willing to do a little leg work.
Blink offers a do-it-yourself monitoring service.
A single-camera system will cost you a one-time charge of $99.
"They are basically motion detectors, where when something happens in your home, it'll send an alert directly to your phone as it happens," said David Laubner, a spokesperson for Blink.
Setting up the system requires WiFi, electricity, a smartphone and about five minutes of your time.
"All you do is plug in two AA batteries, and you scan it with your smartphone. Connect it with a registered Blink account," said Laubner.
A three-camera system with Blink is $229.
There are no subscriptions or monthly fees, and video is accessible for up to a year.
One big difference between Blink and traditional monitoring services is who calls police when an alarm is activated.
"The overwhelming majority of alarms in homes tend to be false alarms, which can, in some markets, cost you. If it's real, you call the police," said Laubner.
Dixon prefers the extra help, but said there's no reason for anyone to go unprotected.
"The new technology is just wonderful," said Dixon.