This particular Shield system comes with the SimpliSafe base station (which plugs into the wall), six entry sensors, two motion sensors, a keypad, and a key fob so you can easily arm the system when you leave. Like many other systems on this list, SimpliSafe doesn’t require any tools to install. Just stick the sensors to your windows and doors, pair them with the mobile app, and you’re ready to go. SimpliSafe sells additional sensors so you can expand your system as needed. It is compatible with Amazon Alexa.
Professional monitoring means that, if an alarm is triggered, your system will send an alert to a command center and a trained dispatcher will assess the situation, alerting local emergency professionals if needed. With DIY monitoring, there’s no command center connected to your system. Your security system will send any alerts to your smart device for you to determine if emergency professionals should be called.
Home automation refers to anything that you can control indirectly, either by remote control, mobile app, or IFTTT automation. (“If This, Then That” is a formulaic programming approach, i.e. “if I open my garage door, then turn on my living room lights and set my thermostat to 72 degrees.”) While some of this can seem a little convoluted or overboard with custom options, most operations are simple to set up.
ADT offers 24/7 professional monitoring of your home security system 365 days a year. Beyond its most basic equipment package and monitoring plan that look like the rigorous security systems of the latter part of the 20th century, ADT now also offers home automation through its app, ADT Pulse. This includes a control panel with Z-Wave compatibility, giving you the flexibility to add whatever smart home devices you’ve already got in play, from lights and locks to appliances.