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He took extra time to help me weigh whether I needed home automation or not — and I’m almost positive it wasn’t scripted. ”Abode provides one of the most robust displays of third party integrations in this lineup. The company offers a decent amount of its own proprietary devices, but you’re certainly not limited to Abode specific products alone. An Abode system can communicate with a slew of Z Wave and Zigbee compatible smart lights and locks, light switches and dimmers, Nest products, IFTTT commands, and, of course, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Put simply: If you want the freedom to lock/unlock your door or turn on/off the lights all in one place from the Abode app, this system is definitely worth a look. Installing the Ring Alarm took less than twenty minutes and was a complete breeze. We didn’t encounter any issues with device connectivity or placement, because, frankly, Ring tells you exactly where to install everything and how to do it on the app. You’ll start by connecting your WiFi to the base station via the Ring app — from there, Ring instructs you to pull the plastic tabs off the backs of the contact sensors and motion detectors, which automatically activates the products for use. You can customize your settings for each device within the app, including how sensitive you want your motion detector to be and how often you want to receive alerts for every time someone opens or closes the door. If you’re not already aware by now, your jurisdiction may require you to obtain a permit in order to operate a professionally monitored alarm system. Before we could even find the right spot to place the base station, Ring notified us that our area Charlotte Mecklenburg required a permit for use.

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Moreover, Z Wave and Zigbee devices are connected and controlled using a hub, while Wi Fi devices can be connected directly to your home network and controlled with an app. 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.