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They also operate in a mesh topology and can help extend the range of networked devices. However, neither protocol provides the bandwidth that you get with Wi Fi, which is why it is usually used in security cameras to provide smooth video streaming, and in other devices that require a fat pipe. 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. Cloud storage makes it easy to store and access recorded video, but it can cost hundreds of dollars per year depending on your subscription. Some systems offer both cloud storage and local storage, and some provide a dedicated storage drive that gives you DVR capabilities with time lapse recording, which makes it easy to find a video event that took place at a specific point in time. All of the systems we've tested feature an app that lets you use your smartphone as your command center to arm and disarm the system, create rules, add and delete components, and receive push notifications when alarms are triggered.

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Setup can be completed in a few minutes as the device just needs to be connected to electrical power and the internet for protection to kick off. While the Canary All in One can be used with free access, a membership plan of $9. 99 monthly is needed to get the most out of it. Features included are full length videos that are stored for 30 days, unlimited video downloads, and two way Canary talk. You can sign up for Canary All in One hereImage Credit: NestImage credit: Nest3. Nest SecureA slick home security alarm-monitoring.html">option from Nest$199 View at The Home Depot$227View at AmazonRecommended Retailer$299View at Best BuySee all prices 34 found?These days, Nest is part of Google, and the company has expanded into home security with Nest Secure. This is sold as the Nest Secure alarm system, commanding a premium fee of $399, and it includes a base station, two Nest Tags, and two sensors. The Nest Tag is a key fob style device that can arm or disarm the system when in proximity with the base station – other options for arming include a passcode, Google Assistant, and the Nest App. The sensor is Stick Nest Detect, which is a versatile piece of hardware, as each one can be used to secure a window, door, or even a wall, as it detects motion, with additional sensors available for $49. All of these sensors feed their information through the base station to the Nest App. Nest Secure works over Wi Fi, but cellular access as a backup is a $5 additional monthly option.