Best Home Automation Features

What is home automation? Home automation is the centralized control of household features such as lighting, door locks, heating and air conditioning. The control center could be your alarm system’s control panel, your work computer or your mobile device. Biometric voice control is an option too; just speak to control your lamps, blinds, thermostat and so forth. The possibilities are endless! The following companies support home automation along with wireless home security.

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4.5/5

About

Vivint is an elite home security company specializing in smart technology for homes and businesses. Their wireless equipment combines comprehensive security with monitored fire prevention and other environmental protection. Vivint also supports automation to give customers remote/online control of home/business...

System Features

  • Wireless & Cellular
  • Professional Installation
  • Intrusion Protection
  • Environmental Protection
  • Remote Control

Lifestyles

  • Homeowners
  • Pet Owners
  • Techies
  • Travelers
  • Elderly
4.8/5

About

Frontpoint provides outstanding customer service and maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Their DIY home security systems are 100% wireless and cellular, and customers can install the equipment in about 30 minutes. Wireless home automation is optional....

System Features

  • Wireless & Cellular
  • DIY Installation
  • Intrusion Protection
  • Environmental Protection
  • Remote Control

Lifestyles

  • Renters
  • Homeowners
  • Techies
  • Military
  • DIY
4.0/5

About

ADT Security Services is America's largest provider of hardwired and wireless home security equipment and monitoring. It’s also one of the oldest home security companies and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Each ADT security system is...

System Features

  • Wireless or Hardwired
  • Pro Installation
  • Intrusion Protection
  • Medical Response
  • Home Automation

Lifestyles

  • Renters
  • Homeowners
  • Techies
  • Elderly
  • Rural

Top 5 Home Security Systems
With Home Automation For 2018

  1. Vivint – Automated home security with a wide range of smart products and AI-enabled assistance
  2. Frontpoint – Easy home automation and security with the industry’s best customer service
  3. ADT – Professionally-installed home security from a household brand with reliable monitoring
  4. Protect America – Award-winning home security with the guaranteed lowest price locked in for life
  5. Link Interactive – Easy DIY security from a well-established company for quality long-term security needs

1. Vivint

Vivint is the best choice for a home security system with home automation in 2018, and they also boast the best mobile app for their system. Vivint puts cutting-edge technology into every piece of equipment they sell, and they streamline home automation by making every device in your system accessible and controllable through their highly acclaimed app. Here’s why Vivint is our first choice for home security automation:

PROS

  • Automated Devices Controlled in One App
  • Wide Range of Automated Equipment, Including Camera, Locks, Thermostat, and Lighting
  • Automation Controlled Through App, Voice, or Control Panel
  • 2-Way Voice Panel with Monitoring Support
  • 24/7 Customer Support and Professional Monitoring
  • Video Cameras
  • 100% Wireless
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONS

  • Professional Installation Required
  • Above-Average Monthly Cost
  • Four- or Five-Year Contract

Vivint provides “smart home solutions for real people.” They offer a full line of smart equipment to automate your home without gaps in coverage. Products include Vivint doorbell camera, Ping indoor camera, Vivint outdoor camera, Element thermostat, Kwikset smart locks, Amazon Echo, and Linear garage door control. Home automation with Vivint gives you control, comfort, and convenience. You can control your smart home from the control panel on your wall, from the Amazon Echo with only your voice, or from your mobile app when you’re away from home. The Vivint SkyControl Panel moderates communication with all automated devices in your system. It includes a two-way talk feature that connects you directly to Vivint’s professional monitoring center. The Amazon Echo allows you to adjust your thermostat, lighting, appliances, and security system with only your voice. With the Vivint app, you have full access and control of your home security system.

The home automation features from Vivint are a step above the rest. The critically acclaimed mobile app uses a built-in AI assistant, Sky, that tracks input from sensors to automate and manage your smart home. This machine-learning feature allows Sky to make decisions for your home based on history, geolocation, and sensors. The Element thermostat learns your preferred temperature settings to auto-adjust when you arrive home. Then the thermostat readjusts to conserve energy when no one is at home. Vivint allows you to create customized user accounts. You can create permissions and build in limits so that each user has different access and control of the system. For example, kids can have user accounts where they can’t change the thermostat, notification settings, or rules. Vivint makes automated homes that truly are smart.

2. Frontpoint

Frontpoint is our second choice for a home security system with home automation in 2018. They are also our top choice for other security categories, including systems with cameras, systems with DIY installation, best overall system, and best customer service. Frontpoint does what’s best for the customer and not necessarily what’s best for their bottom line. The company earns such consistently high reviews, because they sell quality products at an affordable price and always put the customer first. Here’s why Frontpoint is our second choice for home security automation:

PROS

  • Automated Devices Controlled in One App
  • Range of Automated Equipment, Including Locks, Thermostat, and Lighting
  • Automation Controlled Through Frontpoint App or Control Panel
  • Customized Security System Arrives as Soon as Tomorrow
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring
  • Automated System Checks Every Hour
  • Best Customer Service in the Industry
  • Affordable Price
  • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • DIY Installation
  • 100% Wireless and Cellular

CONS

  • Long-Term Contract
  • Credit Check Might Raise Prices
  • No Landline Option

Frontpoint allows you to access and control your home security system from anywhere. All of their products for home automation communicate to one another with Z-Wave technology, which allows interconnected products to become signal repeaters. This means that the more devices installed in your home system, the stronger your network becomes. Z-Wave signals can pass through walls, and devices are energy efficient. Frontpoint offers wireless light control that allows you to remotely control any lights plugged into the Z-Wave light sensor. You can schedule when to turn lights on or off in the Frontpoint app, or you can control them in real time. You can also add event-triggered automation so that lights turn off when you activate the alarm and turn on when you disable the alarm or unlock the door. Automated door locks from Frontpoint use a keypad and code instead of the traditional lock and key. You can remotely lock and unlock the door, and you can access a log of who has used the lock (since each user has a unique code) in your Frontpoint app or online. The automated thermostat allows you to change your home’s temperature remotely, and you can set up temperature adjustments based on your location through geolocation on your phone.

Frontpoint prioritizes customer satisfaction. They provide the best possible products at a great price, and customer service is available to help. When you contact Frontpoint for a free quote, they will provide you with personalized equipment recommendations for your specific home based on whether you rent or own and your home’s size. They will also go over monitoring features, costs, and any current exclusive offers. If you decide on Frontpoint for your home security, your pre-configured equipment will arrive as soon as tomorrow if you need it. The system arrives ready to install, and installation takes less than 30 minutes. After you place sensors around your home, simply call customer service to activate your system and to perform a system check. Frontpoint offers an online trove of knowledge for any questions you may have about your system, specific equipment, or general home security. As always, an expert customer service representative is always available to help.

3. ADT

ADT is a top choice for home security systems with home automation in 2018, and they are also our first choice for a system with professional installation. ADT is committed to home security, which is why they are the most popular home security system in North America. Their equipment is backed by multiple monitoring centers across the country, so a power outage won’t take down your home security. ADT does require professional installation to ensure that your system is installed correctly and in optimal locations. Technicians can install your system as soon as the same day or the day after you purchase the system at no additional charge. Here’s why ADT is our third choice for home security automation:

PROS

  • Wide Range of Automated Equipment, Including Locks, Thermostat, Lighting, Doors, Cameras, and More
  • Automation Controlled Through App, Voice, or Control Panel
  • Free Installation
  • Competitive Monthly Rate
  • Six-Month Money-Back Guarantee
  • Wireless or Hardwired
  • Video Cameras

CONS

  • Professional Installation Required
  • Licensed Third-Party Providers are Inconsistent
  • Three-Year Contract

ADT allows you to control your home remotely with automated equipment that connects to your alarm system. Home automation flows through the ADT Pulse app, which lets you to watch live video, check your system’s status, and arm or disarm your system from anywhere. You can access and control your security, lighting, smart locks, thermostat, cameras, and more. Smart switches and plugs make almost any appliance or electronic automated, when you use the Pulse app to interact with these devices. A neat feature includes the ability to dim lighting, even for lamps that don’t have a dimmer. The automated system through ADT uses Z-Wave technology, which allows products in the same system to become signal repeaters. The more products with Z-Wave technology that you include in your home security, the stronger your system will be. ADT offers more products for home automation than any other security company on our list. You can get the following automated equipment integrated into your security system: lights, thermostats, garage doors, doorbell camera, smart plugs and switches, cameras, doors, locks, carbon monoxide and fire sensors, flood sensors, window sensors, and door sensors. You can control your automated ADT system from the control panel on your wall, the ADT app, or the Echo.

ADT makes our top lists time and again for their variety of choices. They install and monitor a wide range of home security devices from brands you trust, such as GE, Honeywell, Samsung, and others. You can choose between wireless or wired security equipment. ADT can monitor another company’s security system, or you can pick from their three bundled home security packages. The Traditional Package does not support home automation, but it does provide a basic level of home security. The Control Package includes home automation and the ADT Pulse app. The Video Package offers everything in the Control Package plus security cameras with secure, remote access. Whatever level of home security you need, ADT has you covered.

4. Protect America

Protect America is a top choice for home security systems with home automation in 2018. Everything from monitoring to equipment design is done in-house, which is part of Protect America’s commitment to becoming the best home security provider. They are well on their way. Their award-winning wireless systems come with a price-match guarantee and a rate that’s locked in for life. To top it off, all systems are no-tools-required, DIY installation that takes less than an hour. When you choose home automation from Protect America, you will get voice command with Amazon Echo’s Alexa and the choice of America’s top brands for smart products, like locks, lights, and more. Here’s why Protect America is our fourth choice for home security automation:

PROS

  • Automated Devices Controlled in One App
  • Wide Range of Automated Equipment, Including Locks, Thermostat, and Lighting
  • Automation Controlled Through App, Voice, or Control Panel
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring
  • Video Cameras
  • 100% Wireless
  • Price-Match Guarantee
  • Rated Locked In for Life
  • Choice of DIY or Professional Installation
  • Lifetime Equipment Warranty

CONS

  • Three-Year Contract
  • Cellular Monitoring Costs More
  • Customers Do Not Own Equipment, But Lease

Secure your home at the press of a button with Protect America. You can control your wireless system with the control panel, the SMART Connect app, or the Amazon Echo Dot. Protect America’s SMART Connect app gives you complete control of your home. You can arm, disarm, and check the status of your security system; lock and unlock your front door; dim lights and turn them on or off; stream live security video; and easily control appliances and lights through smart plugs and switches. Protect America’s automated products can be voice controlled with the Amazon Echo Dot. Automated products communicate to one another through Z-Wave technology and with Simon control panels. You lease equipment from Protect America, instead of buy it. You pay no equipment fees and have a lifetime guarantee on equipment. Protect America wants your system to stay up-to-date as much as you do.

Protect America isn’t your standard home security company. They offer the best prices, because they don’t deal with door-to-door installation technicians or any other middlemen. They offer high-quality systems that are custom built and shipped to your door. Installation is up to you. It’s a straightforward process that takes less than an hour from opening the box to an active security system. This DIY installation is one of the ways Protect America keeps prices low, and they have no reason to offer any other kind of installation, because it really is that easy. Protect America is confident in their products and in their prices. In fact, if you find a lower priced home security system that offers the same wireless products that they offer, they’ll match the price. When Protect America boasts that they have a locked-in rate, they mean it. Your rate will never increase, even if they raise rates for future customers.

5. Link Interactive

Link Interactive is a top choice for home security systems with home automation in 2018. This family-owned company was founded in 1952 as a door-to-door fire alarm company, but they have since expanded to providing one of the highest-quality, wireless home security systems on the market. Link Interactive uses cellular-based security to protect your home from intruders and environmental dangers, because sometimes the internet breaks down. They make sure that when something happens to your internet, your home is still protected. They offer home security and automation packages. Here’s why Link Interactive is a top choice for home security automation:

PROS

  • Automated Devices Controlled in One App
  • Wide Range of Automated Equipment, Including Locks, Thermostat, and Lighting
  • Automation Controlled Through App or Control Panel
  • System Works Without Monitoring
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring Offered
  • DIY Installation
  • Video Cameras
  • Wireless Equipment
  • Competitive Monthly Rates
  • Rate Locked In for 3 Years
  • Customer Owns the Equipment

CONS

  • Up-Front Equipment Cost
  • Long-Term Contract (1, 2, or 3 Years)

Link Interactive makes it easy to control your home automation. They partner with Alarm.com for their products and app. Their automated equipment includes door locks, thermostats, lighting, doorbell cameras, and garage doors, which use Z-Wave Technology to form an integrated system. All products Link Interactive sells are engineered for security. They use a dedicated and secure cellular communication to provide reliable protection that won’t be interrupted, even if the internet, phone, or broadband is down. If your power goes out, your security system will continue working on backup battery power for 24 hours. You don’t need a landline, and their cellular communication is fast. Link Interactive products are tamper-resistant. Crash & Smash technology makes sure that your system will continue to work even if the control panel is damaged or the phone line is cut. The Alarm.com app allows you to control and access your system anytime from anywhere. You can create unique user codes for members of your family or for visitors, so you know who comes and goes and who arms or disarms the system. The app allows you to review system history.

Security through Link Interactive is customized for your specific needs and budget, so you won’t pay for equipment that you won’t use. You can pick and choose products for home security, environmental protection, home automation, and cameras. All security equipment is DIY installation and typically takes 30 to 45 minutes to install. Link Interactive is there for you to ensure that you have the support you need during the self-installation process. Customer support representatives offer assistance before, during, and after installation by phone, email, live chat, Skype, and online installation videos. They maintain user guides, quick start guides, FAQs, procedures, and tips in the online support.

Home Automation With Security Systems

Shoppers choose security service with home automation for various reasons. Some choose it primarily for enhanced safety. Others get home automation mainly for its energy-saving potential or another benefit. Here are details about some key advantages.

Security Benefits

From a home security perspective, the main benefit of home automation is enhanced control over your alarm system: Get centralized and remote control and monitoring of your security system’s door locks, window entry sensors and other components. You can even view real-time video footage online. A second big benefit of home automation is automated and remote control over lighting and window coverings. Automate lights and blinds when you’re on vacation, for example, and program lights to turn on if the security system is triggered. Third, home automation with voice recognition can make security especially easy. For instance, say “I’m going to sleep” to automatically lock doors and activate your alarm.

General Benefits

Home automation can help homes keep safe while reducing utility costs and saving time. From a safety standpoint, it enables remote control and monitoring of wireless security systems, plus it can remotely control lighting and window coverings for a “We’re home!” appearance. Home automation can also monitor smoke detectors and other environmental safety devices. From an energy-efficiency standpoint, it’s useful for automating lights and making it easy to use thermostats wisely. Most exciting perhaps is the biometric voice control supported by leading security companies. Just speak to activate your alarm, turn on music, adjust lighting and more. Home automation even lets you set up macros; one command by voice or touchscreen accomplishes many tasks.

Home Automation Installation

Home security systems vary in complexity and size, but all systems must be installed. Professional installation is easier, but DIY installation is cheaper.

Professional

With professional installation, a trained technician from the company of your choice installs the system into your home while you relax. Some companies offer free professional installation, and others require you to pay for it. Professionals by their very name know what they’re doing, so you benefit from their experience. The technician who installs your system can ensure that the system is properly set up and teach you about the system specifics and about home security. Companies with professional installation include Vivint, ADT, and Protect America.

DIY

Do-it-yourself installation offers you more control about when, where, and how your home security system is installed, and it’s usually free. DIY systems are easy to install, and many are as simple as plug-and-play. DIY systems are also exclusively wireless, so you won’t need any tools. Because customers set up the systems, companies with DIY installation tend to offer better-than-average customer service to walk you through the process. A positive and negative for these systems is that no one comes to your home. On the plus side, you won’t have to invite a stranger into your home, but at the same time, a technician can teach you about areas of your home that might need more attention to security than others. DIY systems may not qualify for some home discounts that require a certification stating that your system was installed correctly. Companies with DIY installation include Frontpoint, Protect America, and Link Interactive.

Smart Home Equipment

Smart home equipment allows you to automate your home. You can control doors, windows, and appliances around the home with a simple command to either a control panel on the wall, to an app, or to a hand-free voice-controlled device like the Amazon Echo.

Smart Locks

Smart locks integrate into your automated system to allow for keyless entry and are one of the most important parts of an automated system. Smart locks are easy to install, and they allow you to control and monitor who accesses your home. They range in price from $100 to $300. Some look like standard locks and others include keypads. You can even link some smart locks with your doorbell camera.

Smart Lighting

You can connect lights to smart switches and plugs that give you remote control of the appliance it is connected to. If you want truly smart lighting, smart light bulbs let you control the intensity and color of the light. Smart lighting works with most home automation systems.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats let you control your home’s temperature whether you’re across the world or across the room. Many smart thermostats include proximity sensors and machine-learning to customize your home’s temperature by learning your preferences.

Smart Speakers

Smart speakers are the newest additions to home automation systems that allow you voice-control of your home. They can set timers, lock and unlock windows or doors, play music, and answer questions. While smart speakers can make your life easier, you will have to choose which voice-assistance platform you want. Only smart speakers on the same platform will communicate to one another, and they will only work with specific devices. In the top tier of voice assistants are the Google Home and the Amazon Echo.

Google Home

Google’s voice-assistance platform is Home, and the voice assistant is called Google Assistant. This platform includes the Google Home, the Google Home Mini, and the Google Home Max. Google Home is fully voice controlled, so there is no screen. If you’d like to control it with a screen, then you can use your phone or a connected TV. Google Home is an audio device that allows you to connect it to other speakers for higher-quality sound that can be placed in multiple rooms.

Amazon Echo

Amazon’s voice-assistance platform is Echo, and the voice assistant is called Alexa. This platform includes the Amazon Echo, the Echo Plus, the Echo Spot, the Echo Dot, and the Echo Show. Some of the Echo products (Spot and Show) have screens, while the others are fully voice controlled. Amazon Echo is an audio device that allows you to connect it to voice-enabled speakers for better sound quality that can be played in multiple rooms. Vivint, ADT, and Protect America all use the Echo platform to control of their automated systems.

Features of Home Automation Systems

How will you automate your home? Here are basics about home automation for wireless home security and other home systems.

Control Panel

General home automation can be set up with an alarm system’s wall-based control panel; top home security systems have touchscreen panels that run apps for smart home features as well as for security. Home automation can also be monitored and controlled remotely.

Remote Access

Mobile monitoring and control are included with home automation from home security companies. Use a mobile app or desktop computer to arm/disarm your alarm system, dim the lights, turn off your coffee pot and so forth.

Voice Recognition

Select security companies support biometric voice recognition. Easily set up programs that let you simply speak to control lights, locks, your garage door, the thermostat, appliances and more. Some systems can integrate Bluetooth music devices.

Arm/Disarm Security

The ability to remotely arm your system is a great benefit of home automation. Save time driving home to check on the system. Remotely verify that you activated your alarm, and if you forgot, just set it with your mobile app.

Remote Control Door Locks

Sometimes you need to let a visitor inside but you can’t get to the door. Home automation lets you unlock doors with your mobile app, then lock the doors again for security.

Garage Door

Just like other doors on your home, the garage door can be monitored and controlled with home automation. If you ever drive off and then worry that a 20-foot-wide door was left open, simply check your mobile app and remotely close the door if needed.

Heat/AC

A key benefit of home automation is temperature control at your fingertips from anywhere in the world. Smart thermostats can ensure that your home feels comfortable when you’re around and doesn’t waste energy when you’re away.

Home Appliances

Automate home appliances such as music players, coffeemakers and heated towel racks. Top home automation packages give you endless options by allowing control over individual electrical outlets.

Lights

Adjust a whole set of lights with the press of a button. This convenience can help lower your electricity bills, plus it lets you get creative. Automate lighting for specific events such as nighttime parties, for example, or to let children know that bedtime is near.