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You can connect Z Wave, ZigBee, Alexa, Nest and Google Home and over 70 other devices. Read the full reviewBest User ExperienceAbode$279 View at AmazonCheck Walmart?Most user friendly system we testedStrong smart home compatibilityEasy to installMost expensive professional monitoring feeCellular backup requires additional feeOne year warrantyThe thing we liked most about abode is that it's more user friendly than other DIY home security systems we tested. You can set up different modes such as home, vacation and away and specify which devices are active in each mode. There's no monthly fee for self monitoring, but you pay extra if you want cellular backup and security camera backup $10 for your system. You can also get monthly professional home monitoring $30, which includes the backup features mentioned above. One of the best things about abode is you can buy the amount of professional monitoring you need on a monthly, weekly or even a three day basis. This is particularly convenient when you can't monitor the system on your own during vacations. To install abode, you need to connect the base station to your router using an Ethernet cable and set up the sensors with the mobile app. It takes about 10 minutes to set up. When we tested the built in siren, it was one of the loudest, making it hard for intruders to ignore. There's a 10 hour backup battery that keeps your system functional when the power goes out.

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The new systems may also be connected to central monitoring stations, as do many old style security systems. The big difference, however, is the degree of interactivity. New software platforms, such as alarm. com and iControl allow you to send commands, program home systems, view surveillance video, and receive alerts on a smart phone or computer—whether you’re at home or away. When shopping for a system, review software platforms first. Alarm. com and iControl are the two biggest. The former has partnered with more than 2,500 dealers and the latter with ADT and Comcast. Among other things, you’ll have to decide between a “cellular primary” or “broadband primary” system. The former is a wireless connection to the monitoring station, making it immune to power outages or someone cutting a cable. It is limited, however, with regard to transmitting large quantities of video, so many cellular primary systems incorporate broadband for video.