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In fact, sales reps from eight of the nine security companies we considered offered us a discount over the phone — we didn’t even have to ask. If you decide that home automation is an important part of your home security, it’s a good idea to research home automation protocols to learn which one will work best for you. As we touched on above, a protocol is the language smart devices use to communicate with each other, and it serves as the foundation on which a home automation system is built. Not all protocols are the same, with some supporting more devices or using less power. Before committing to any home automation devices, look into which protocol works best for your home and if it supports the devices you wish to incorporate into your home automation system. Every home is different, and so is every homeowner’s security needs. Like most technical services, you can pay for professionals to craft your home security system or you can take matters into your own hands. DIY home security means you customize your device kit, self install, and then monitor alerts from your sensors and video feed. Self monitoring is the common difference between DIY and traditional security, but there are plenty of companies that strike a happy medium between both. We looked at providers offering pure DIY as well as those offering professional monitoring, either de facto or as an upgrade. We required all systems to have Z Wave Support — the most universal mesh network for communicating appliance to appliance.

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We recommend this as well, because regardless of whether calling beforehand is required, having an attentive lineup of customer service comes in handy, especially when self installing or encountering difficulty with the system. You can often get a lower price by discussing your quote with a salesperson. Sometimes home security systems require an installation fee, equipment fees, or an activation fee. It’s quite common that special deals can waive or lower those. In fact, sales reps from eight of the nine security companies we considered offered us a discount over the phone — we didn’t even have to ask. If you decide that home automation is an important part of your home security, it’s a good idea to research home automation protocols to learn which one will work best for you.