Today’s home alarm systems give you more ways to protect your home than ever. When combined with other hot technologies such as mobile computing and smartphones, you have a level of access and agility that puts you truly in control and in tune with your home security system.
Many home alarm systems offer smartphone aps that let you remotely view, control, and interact with your system. These apps let you do things like
· Arm or disarm your alarm system remotely.
· Watch live or recorded security camera footage.
· View open or closed doors and windows.
· Access home security system records.
Proprietary systems, proprietary apps
Before you go any farther, you need to understand that each security company uses proprietary technology in its systems. Accordingly, you can’t use an app for one system with a different type of system. There aren’t universal protocols for security the way there are for email, as an example. (And if there were, that would probably make for less secure systems.)
Let’s take a look at some of the smartphone apps for home security out there today:
· LifeShield. This app is for the LifeShield security system. This is the only app we’ll discuss today that doesn’t require an additional monthly charge on top of your security monitoring service to use. It’s available for iPhone, Blackberry, or Android. The app requires a data connection to work.
· Alarm.com. Alarm.com does most of its business via resellers. It also provides its security app to its resellers, allowing them to rebrand it. So, if you have a security system from APX, Frontpoint Security, Protect America, CPI, Vector Security or many others, you’re really running the Alarm.com App. The app does require a data connection for most functions, and the app requires an additional monthly charge.
· Protection One. The E-Secure app for Protection One systems doesn’t require you to have a data connection for the most basic functions. You can control and monitor your alarms all via the SMS network with this app. If you have a data connection, you can also access your home security cameras, as well. The app requires an additional monthly charge.
· ADT. Pulse from ADT is a robust app. It lets you control any components connected to your system, including things like lights, heating and cooling, as well as the standard features. It’s available for Android, iPhone, and Blackberry, but it also runs via a web interface accessible from any web-enabled device. This app even lets you unlock doors remotely (assuming that you have the appropriate system components installed). This is ideal when you need to grant access to your home but can’t physically be there to do so. The app requires an additional monthly charge.
If you already have a home security system, you’re pretty locked in as to which app will work with your system. If you’re still considering which home security system to buy, however, take a closer look at some of these apps and pick the one that most suits your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle.