Keeping tabs on who is at the door, whether you're home or not, is key to your safety. The latest version of this model lets you see who is ringing your bell from your PC, tablet, or phone with its automatic doorbell alerts and motion sensor capabilities that come with a small monthly cost. The camera has a quick release rechargeable battery so no need for electrical installation. 
Vivint is all about home automation and state-of-the-art technology. If you’re into things like controlling your lights, door locks, security cameras, and pretty much anything else under your roof that can connect to your smartphone, then Vivint’s alarm systems are worth heavy consideration. The company is starting to design more and more of its own equipment, so it doesn’t rely as much on third-party vendors as Frontpoint or ADT do. The Vivint Doorbell Camera is one of our favorite pieces of security equipment to date.
Any smart security system worth its salt offers components that work together in a seamless environment and can be manipulated using customized rules. For example, you can create rules to have the lights turn on when motion is detected, have your doors unlock when a smoke alarm goes off, and have a camera begin recording when a sensor is triggered. Some systems store recorded video locally on an SD card or a solid state drive, while others offer cloud storage. Locally stored video is a good choice for do-it-yourselfers on a budget, but you have to be careful not to overwrite video that you may need later. Cloud storage makes it easy to store and access recorded video, but it can cost hundreds of dollars per year depending on your subscription. Some systems offer both cloud storage and local storage, and some provide a dedicated storage drive that gives you DVR capabilities with time-lapse recording, which makes it easy to find a video event that took place at a specific point in time.
I had someone enter my home when I was at work. ADT called me right away but the cops didn't show up in time. I called back to see what ADT recorded as to how quickly they called (to see if it was their fault or police) and they said they called dispatch after neither myself or my wife answered our phones. So regardless of how quick or slow ADT may be, it still is up to your local authorities to trust their word and come check out your house. A few things got shuffled around with but nothing of real value got stolen. Not fun knowing someone has been snooping around in our home and now I am adding some Pulse cameras to the system for better surveillance.

Alex Colon is the managing editor of PCMag's consumer electronics team. He previously covered mobile technology for PCMag and Gigaom. Though he does the majority of his reading and writing on various digital displays, Alex still loves to sit down with a good, old-fashioned, paper and ink book in his free time. (Not that there's anything wrong wit... See Full Bio


The Internet of Things has made it easier than ever to set up a smart home in which you can remotely control your door locks, lights, thermostats, vacuums, lawn mowers, and even pet feeders, using your smartphone and an app. It's also made it simple (and relatively affordable) to monitor your home from pretty much anywhere. Smart security systems are highly customizable and available as do-it-yourself kits or as full-blown setups that include professional installation and monitoring.

We had the worst time when we moved. It's a really long story, but the cliff notes version is that they said it would be an easy transfer and offered approx $400 worth in services. The control box and the keypad device both came with nearly dead batteries. 2 separate occasions they started beeping in the middle of the night. ADT told us to go to Radio Shack to get the batteries....we went there, Amazon, ebay, etc. and no one sold them. The system couldn't be accessed on our phones either. The device kept making us test and re-test and still wouldn't work properly. We had 3 technician visits and 6 months with a system that wouldn't work. They won't let us cancel. We're stuck in a 2 year... Read More
ADT’s Control Package offers its basic coverage and more. It also starts with a $125 upfront equipment fee, but with a monthly monitoring fee of $36.99, it adds home automation, giving you more control over the features and systems within your home regardless of whether you’re on site. In addition to remote web and mobile access, you can receive email and text notifications for various security triggers.
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