With so many new home security and smart home devices hitting the market, we’re always looking for ways to connect our old and new devices to one system. That’s how home automation works. But even some of the industry’s best security systems are limited in how much automation you’ll get. That’s where IFTTT – IF This Then That – comes in. This free service will allow you to pair more of your devices and apps together, so they can be controlled from a single dashboard, and in some cases, with your own voice. Here are the best IFTTT home security systems, according to our expert testers and researchers.
If you’re looking for an affordable home security system that doesn’t require a contract and is easy to install, a low-cost security package from abode might be right up your alley. Continue reading for an Abode overview and some of the Abode pros and cons.
Whether you have several different brands and devices or are thinking about buying an entire home security/automation system, you might want to look into the free IFTTT service before making any buying decisions. Using IFTTT could ultimately save you money versus having to buy proprietary equipment all from one brand.
Aside from being affordable, abode is also one of our best picks for DIY home security. The Abode system is easy to install, you can monitor it yourself, or have it professionally monitored if you so choose. Abode also allows you to customize a system to meet your needs so you never have to pay for something you won’t use.
Other features you can expect with Abode is a battery backup, customizable alerts, advanced integration with third-party services, and access to a wide variety of home automation products. You get all of that, plus a system that’s easy to use and has a good reputation for customer service. Learn more in our full abode review.
The makers of the super-popular Ring Video Doorbell have come a long way. Ring’s line of cameras and the newer Ring Alarm security system are all decent for smart home automation, and as a bonus, they work really well with the IFTTT protocol, too. If you want the convenience of connecting as many of your devices as possible, you might consider using the IFTTT service to do so. Ring offers a flexible home security system with lots of accessories and configuration options. So you can take the IFTTT technology and run with it. Continue reading for a Ring overview and some of the Ring pros and cons.
Ring is a hardwired or battery-operated Wi-Fi enabled security system. And when using IFTTT technology, you can do so much more with your Ring products by building your own connections. Ring has upwards of 18 different equipment packages from which you can choose that range from $199 to about $850, which makes it a little difficult to decide on which package to buy. However, because of IFTTT, you will be able to give your system a little more functionality that provides you with more ease of use and convenience features than you would otherwise have without it. Ring’s other options include video doorbells, indoor and outdoor cameras, and whole-home alarm systems. Their accessories lineup includes solar panels, smart lighting, and PoE adapters. Check out our review of Ring cameras as well as our Ring Alarm review for lots more details and tips. Finally, be sure to check out Ring’s monitoring options, which include self-monitoring for free or 24/7 professional monitoring for as little as $10 per month.
Arlo offers some of the best home security cameras on the market. Prices for Arlo cameras are a bit higher than competing brands like Ring and Blink, but as a home security system, Arlo’s home automation and equipment quality are top-notch. They have wired and wireless Wi-Fi indoor and outdoor cameras, a cellular mobile camera, and even a Wi-Fi baby camera along with a multitude of accessories. Continue reading for an Arlo overview and some of the Arlo pros and cons.
The one thing people love about the Arlo cameras is that they can be mounted just about anywhere. However, it’s a basic home security system so if you are looking for advanced features, you might want to look elsewhere. Arlo’s equipment works well with the free IFTTT service. You can use your home security and automation components along with the IFTTT service to tell your Google Assistant to arm/disarm your Arlo system. You can also use IFTTT for your Arlo notifications, turn on your lights and/or call you when motion is detected, and more.
Arlo offers three subscription plans that range in price from $2.99/mo. to $14.99/mo. They also have what they used to call a Basic plan; however, it’s now referred to as a “no-subscription” option which includes 7-days of free cloud storage. Arlo also has a Premium Video Recording option available for $1.99/mo. that allows you to upgrade your video recordings and storage options.
The beauty of Scout Alarm is that it’s extremely basic, so if you don’t like all the bells and whistles of advanced technology systems or difficult to use components, then Scout might be just what you’ve been looking for. Scout doesn’t require you to sign a contract, and they have some extremely affordable low monthly rates. Indeed, its lower-than-average prices make Scout one of our favorite affordable security systems of the year. Continue reading for a Scout Home Security overview and some of the Scout Home Security pros and cons.
Scout manufactures the equipment it sells. That means they cut out the middleman, so they can pass on the savings to you. They use Wi-Fi systems along with a cellular backup feature. Unfortunately, you have to subscribe to a monthly monitoring package if you want to use their equipment. The Scout equipment ranges in price from $2.50 to $129 and their monthly subscription plans range from $9.99/mo. or $107/yr. to $19.99/mo. or $215/yr.
You can use your Scout Security System with IFTTT technology for a variety of functions. For example, you can arm/disarm your system, send for help when your alarm is triggered, close the garage door when the alarm is armed, and more.
The abbreviation IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That”. IFTTT is an internet-based service that uses applets to connect chains of commands. This is a free service that anyone can use. IFTTT allows you to connect your apps to a variety of other devices, so they can all communicate with each other and perform automated actions. If you’re thinking about using cameras with your security system, keep in mind that many security cameras, from big names like Arlo and Google Nest Cams to lesser-known players like SkyBell and Night Owl cameras, also are compatible with IFTTT.
It works like this. When you begin searching for something using IFTTT it begins searching for or creating an “applet,” formerly called a recipe. Once the applet is created, it basically creates a chain reaction between one or more of your apps and enables them to communicate with each other or to perform any designated automated actions you want to put in place. For example, you could use IFTTT to automatically alert you of the upcoming forecast or when bad weather is predicted, etc.
As we mentioned above, IFTTT applets were previously called recipes. IFTTT works with Alexa, Google Home, SmartThings and more. Additionally, IFTTT works with many smart home features, as well as many smartphones. In fact, when using IFTTT with your smartphone, you aren’t required to use a virtual assistant.
What can you do when your devices all communicate using IFTTT? You can tell Alexa to lock all your Z-Wave doors at a specific time, if the equipment you have is all compatible with both Alexa and IFTTT. You can use it to have your porch light turned on when you are expecting a visitor at a certain time. If you happen to own one of the highest-rated security systems for home automation, you’ll have lots of options for connecting just about any device that’s IFTTT-compatible.
Here is a small sampling of the equipment that works with IFTTT. Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, Spotify, TiVo, YouTube, Vimeo, Nest thermostat, Nest cam, and Nest Protect, Ecobee, Honeywell, Arlo, Abode, Ring, iRobot, GE appliances, LG washers and dryers, and many more.
Wireless systems don't require any drilling, cutting into walls, wiring, or any electrical work of any kind, so they are extremely easy to install. Wireless connectivity means a home security system communicates using a Wi-Fi signal or a cellular signal. And sometimes a home security system will offer Wi-Fi communication with a cellular backup or just use a cellular signal exclusively. Many wireless devices can be connected to other home security/automation equipment using IFTTT technology.
Cellular monitoring is what most brands use as their form of connectivity for all their devices. Cellular monitoring is the line of communication from a cellular chip in a home's security Control Panel to a monitoring center. The system will send a wireless signal through an encrypted transmission to the monitoring center that will, in turn, respond to the alarm accordingly. Cellular monitoring is the same type of communication that's used with cellular phones.
Mobile alerts are sent using a mobile app. When an alarm is set off or activity is detected at your home or property, you and/or the monitoring center will be sent a mobile alert or text so you can respond accordingly. This will help you proactively deal with any situation so it can be handled, in many cases, before it has the chance to become a problem.
Most brands these days use a mobile app to give a user remote access to their home security and home automation systems. Once the mobile app is downloaded and the systems are all set up and connected, a user can access, monitor, and control their home's functions from a single mobile app dashboard.
One of the most popular smart home features is light controls. If you have a home automation system the smart lighting control feature will enable you to control your lights remotely using the companion mobile app or by connecting them with your other devices using IFTTT technology. With light controls, you can turn your lights on and off or set them to turn on and off automatically on a schedule using the IFTTT service or other similar controls.
Motion detectors use infrared sensors to detect motion within their pre-designated range. That sensor will then send you an alert or send the monitoring center an alarm that activity has been detected so it can be investigated and responded to appropriately. Some motion detectors can distinguish the different heat signatures between pets and people, which helps reduce the number of false alarms. And some motion detectors even come with facial recognition technology. Your motion detectors can be networked with your other devices using IFTTT technology, as long as they are all compatible with each other.
Security cameras are included with almost all home security systems and many of them are compatible with IFTTT technology, so they can be added to and controlled using an existing home security network. Security cameras come in a wide variety of styles with varying functionality. Everything from a basic video camera to a security camera that uses artificial intelligence to enable that camera to access advanced features and functions. There are indoor and outdoor cameras and cameras that are either wired or wireless. Many security cameras also come with sirens, a two-way talk feature, tamper detection, night vision, and many of them can store video recordings locally on the camera itself, or send those video recordings to a cloud storage service.
Many home automation systems use the free IFTTT service to develop a larger network of devices of different brands that each have their own apps. IFTTT can connect any compatible devices, so they can all communicate and work together for greater controls and conveniences. Home automation features include smart lighting controls, locks, thermostats, and other smart home devices that can all be controlled using a mobile app or voice-controlled device.
As Managing Editor for SafeHome.org, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles in home security. His expertise is in smart home automation and home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in the Reno/Tahoe area of Nevada.