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There are some specialized sensors and video cameras that weren’t common in the past and window and door contact switches have gotten a lot smaller, but the basics are the same: a control panel or console, magnetic contact switches, motion sensors, a siren. The new systems may also be connected to central monitoring stations, as do many old style security systems. The big difference, however, is the degree of interactivity. New software platforms, such as alarm. com and iControl allow you to send commands, program home systems, view surveillance video, and receive alerts on a smart phone or computer—whether you’re at home or away. When shopping for a system, review software platforms first.

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Brinks Home Security brings its powerful industry reputation to the table alongside three smart home security packages. Founded over 160 years ago, the Brinks name is well known and highly rated for home security. In fact, the company ranks No. 1 in overall satisfaction by customers in the 2018 J. D. Power study.