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That’s not to say there weren’t annoyances — which can become major sore points if you’re interacting with your system every time you leave the house. LiveWatch’s piercing, impossible to mute beeps drew complaints from one tester, as did Link Interactive’s inaccurate digital display. Others, like Vivint and ADT, were easier to incorporate unobtrusively into our daily routines. The majority of home security companies recommend or require you to call when ordering your service. 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. 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.

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Read ReviewNest Secure ReviewMSRP: $499. 00 at Pros: Stylish. Easy to install. Multi purpose sensors. Works with Nest cameras and a handful of third party devices. Cons: Expensive. Requires three year contract with hefty termination penalty. Some Pulse peripherals require third party mobile apps. Bottom Line: ADT Pulse offers just about everything you could want in a full service home security system, including many component options, support for popular third party smart home devices, and a solid app experience. Read ReviewSimpliSafe Home Security System ReviewMSRP: $229. 96 at Pros: Affordable hardware, reasonable monthly monitoring fees.