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Some apps will even use your phone's location services to automatically arm and disarm the system according to your physical location. The more expensive systems usually come with a wall mounted panel that acts as a communications hub, with a touch screen display that allows you to do everything the app does. The display lets you communicate with a professional monitoring service when an alarm is triggered and view video from any of the installed security cameras. While many systems use wireless components that are installed using double sided tape, some high end systems use components that require professional installation. These soup to nuts systems typically cost considerably more than DIY systems and offer 24/7 professional monitoring, but you may have to enter into a multi year contract and pay a hefty termination fee if you break it. They usually use touch screen hubs thatcontain RF, Wi Fi, Zigbee, and Z Wave radios, allowing them to communicate with and control a multitude of components including door and window sensors, door locks, glass break detectors, indoor and outdoor cameras, light switches, motion and water detectors, smoke/CO alarms, thermostats, video doorbells, and a host of other home automation devices. With a professionally monitored system, when a smoke or intrusion alarm is triggered, an agent will first try to reach you via the two way control panel before calling your listed phone number. If you fail to respond, the agent will call 911 to dispatch an emergency responder to your home. The nice thing about professionally installed systems is you don't have to lift a finger; after you've placed your order a technician will come to your home, set everything up for you, and show you how the system works. It's important to note that in some areas you may have to file for a permit to have a security system installed in your home. Nearly all of the latest DIY and high end home security systems offer support for voice control via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and in some cases Apple Siri, which allows you to unlock doors, change thermostat settings, open the garage, and arm or disarm your system with a spoken command to a connected device like an Amazon Echo or a Google Home speaker.

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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 app is a extremely reliable security app that connects to dozens of control panels, sensors and z wave products. The majority of all companies use Alarm. com except for the two giants, ADT and Vivint. Anything that uses alarmdotcom as it's backbone is a safe bet. If you want what is hip and cool definitely go for Pulse or Vivint which have their own unique app.