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If not placed somewhere discreet, the motion detectors are obtrusive and look like a child’s night light. The contact sensors also only detect for opening and closing doors and windows, whereas the Nest Detects detect for door and window openings but also include motion sensors. The basic Nest Secure package comes with a hub — the Guard — two key fobs Nest Tags that allow you to check in and out of your system, and two sets of motion detecting sensors you can attach to doors or windows Nest Detects. At 3. 7 inches in diameter and 2. 1 inches high with a matte white finish, the hub makes an unobtrusive addition to any side table, while the Detects are discreet and responsive for up to 15 ft. The Guard also comes with a Google Assistant built in, so you can use voice commands to arm the system but not disarm, play music, or even request a temperature change, if you have a Nest thermostat. During our tests, we strongly considered home automation options, which allow you to remotely control features of your home, such as lights and door locks. But we wanted to figure out what these differences meant on a day to day basis: Which features were necessary for improved peace of mind?Which would be easiest to integrate into our daily routines?Needless to say, the market is increasingly shifting toward DIY home security, as people look for options that work seamlessly with their existing smart homes. Technology may not be at the point where an alarm will sound if your security camera detects an unfamiliar face or burglar — but it’s certainly not very far. On the other hand, the more we automate and become intertwined with the Cloud, the more vulnerable our personal data becomes to hacking.

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Finally, Z Wave and Zigbee devices use AES 128 encryption, and since they operate in a closed system with a dedicated hub, they offer more security than Wi Fi devices. Any smart security system worth its salt offers components that work together in a seamless environment and can be manipulated using customized rules. For example, you can create rules to have the lights turn on when motion is detected, have your doors unlock when a smoke alarm goes off, and have a camera begin recording when a sensor is triggered. Some systems store recorded video locally on an SD card or a solid state drive, while others offer cloud storage. Locally stored video is a good choice for do it yourselfers on a budget, but you have to be careful not to overwrite video you may need later. Cloud storage makes it easy to store and access recorded video, but it can cost hundreds of dollars per year depending on your subscription.