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Entry level systems usually include some door and window sensors, a motion detector, and a hub that communicates with these devices using one or more wireless protocols such as Wi Fi, Z Wave, Zigbee, or a proprietary mesh network. You can add extra door, motion, and window sensors to provide coverage for your entire house and build a comprehensive system that includes door locks, garage door openers, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, lights, sirens, smoke/CO detectors, water sensors, and more. A word about wireless protocols: In a perfect world, all home security components would use the same wireless standard to communicate with the main hub, but factors such as power requirements, signal range, price, and size make it virtually impossible to settle on just one. For example, smaller components such as door/window sensors typically use Z Wave or Zigbee technology because they don't require a lot of power and can be powered by smaller batteries. 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.

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If you program it to, Sky can make decisions for your home based on sensors, geolocation, and history. Using the geolocation feature on your phone, the Element thermostat learns your preferred temperature settings and then auto adjusts when you arrive home. When your home is empty, the thermostat readjusts to conserve energy. ADT is one of the most recognized names in the home security business. The company was founded in 1874 as the first home security system network. Now, ADT is the nation’s largest home security provider.