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A flock of geese may be an unusual method of home security, but they can be effective without any special training. A smart home security system connects to your Wi Fi network so you can monitor and control your security devices using your smartphone and an app. Entry level systems usually include some door and window sensors, a motion detector, and a hub that communicates with these devices using one or more wireless protocols such as Wi Fi, Z Wave, Zigbee, or a proprietary mesh network. You can add extra door, motion, and window sensors to provide coverage for your entire house and build a comprehensive system that includes door locks, garage door openers, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, lights, sirens, smoke/CO detectors, water sensors, and more. A word about wireless protocols: In a perfect world, all home security components would use the same wireless standard to communicate with the main hub, but factors such as power requirements, signal range, price, and size make it virtually impossible to settle on just one. For example, smaller components such as door/window sensors typically use Z Wave or Zigbee technology because they don't require a lot of power and can be powered by smaller batteries. They also operate in a mesh topology and can help extend the range of networked devices. However, neither protocol provides the bandwidth that you get with Wi Fi, which is why it is usually used in security cameras to provide smooth video streaming, and in other devices that require a fat pipe. Moreover, Z Wave and Zigbee devices are connected and controlled using a hub, while Wi Fi devices can be connected directly to your home network and controlled with an app. Finally, Z Wave and Zigbee devices use AES 128 encryption, and since they operate in a closed system with a dedicated hub, they offer more security than Wi Fi devices. Any smart security system worth its salt offers components that work together in a seamless environment and can be manipulated using customized rules.

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The Honeywell Lyric Controller has also added integration with the new Skybell HD Video Doorbell though you will need the DBCAM version to work with Total Connect 2. The high definition video doorbell lets you enjoy new levels of security, control, and convenience wherever you are in the world. With Skybell you can remotely check doorbell activity on the Honeywell Total Connect 2. 0 Remote Services app, and see, hear and speak to visitors at your door from a smartphone. When activating Honeywell’s Total Connect Remote Services used with the Lyric Controller, you can control the security system, compatible IP cameras including Skybell, Z Wave or Lyric thermostats, Z Wave lighting, Z Wave locks and receive alerts from most smartphones, tablets, and computers. You can also download the My Home Controller app for local only WIFI access when Total Connect 2 service for remote system control is not chosen. While we see the Honeywell Lyric LCP500 L Security Controller as a hit with great new features, there is a glaring negative we see as well. If you signup for AlarmNet for Interactive Services and possibly Total Connect 2, you are sort of “locked” to your selected dealer for monitoring services. You can still change dealers at any time of course but it will require a factory reset defaulting the panel which blows away all existing panel settings and zone configuration. Honeywell has decided, and just for Lyric it seems, to make dealer “takeovers” of monitoring accounts very difficult since they now require the new dealer or DIY homeowner to reenter/reprogram all wireless sensors and more into the controller from scratch. If you start with a good monitoring vendor this will never be a problem, but we have an issue making it so burdensome for users to switch if their dealer service levels fall or their pricing is no longer competitive.