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abode Security System

We have all heard an ADT commercial or advertisement for security systems. Since the 1960s, this company has provided home and business security to many, with some states only having this one option. In 2014, a former executive for ADT created abode Security System, bringing the knowledge from ADT and pairing it with the security and automation powerhouse Nice S.p.A. of Italy.  Let’s take a look at the result, abode Security Systems, along with other security systems, to compare features and discover the best fit for your needs.

What is abode Security System?

Adobe Security Systems was founded in 2014 by the former executive of ADT Christopher Carney and with a few others specializing in technology and energy. In order to cater to the customer and give an integrated approach to security, Adobe Security Systems has partnered with the Italian technology company Nice. This partnership works not only to strengthen the ease of use and streamlining of services but also supports entrance into more modes of security within the company, as the Nice company focuses on automated home security and technology systems worldwide.

The goal of adobe Security Systems is to give the customer the ability to customize their security system to fully meet their needs. The customer has options as far as how many and which products to use for monitoring and automation, what the devices look like, and whether to self-monitor or to leave the monitoring to the company. The goal is that the devices should make the user feel safe while remaining easy to use and customized to the user’s desires for security and ease of automation in their lives. This system allows for the customer to install and monitor the devices, as opposed to the company doing these things. However, some of the products require a monitoring plan and contract in place in order to work.

Products

Abode Security System provides a variety of products and services for monitoring safety. For doors and windows, abode provides several types of window sensors and two options for glass break detection. As far as motion detection is concerned, abode provides two options; a motion sensor that detects motion within a fairly wide range, a Multi-Sensor, which detects motion as well as light, temperature, and humidity.

Adobe Security System accessories are also made available to increase the span of security within and around the home. Abode gives the user the option to purchase indoor and/or outdoor sirens, additional keypads, water and smoke detectors, and keyfobs, and a panic button. These products must be purchased separately from a starter kit, but they do add up to provide good security coverage for the home, both inside and outside.

The customer has a few options for starter kits starting at $231, but it is important to note that the products included are minimal. The starting kit option includes a Gateway (the ‘panel’ device that all products will be connected to), a mini door sensor, one keyfob, one motion sensor, and one sticker. Other products that are really necessary to provide full security coverage and peace of mind must be purchased separately and installed by the customer as well.

As abode Security System is a nice company, there are several smart products available for home automation. This includes the multi-sensor (the step up from the motion sensor), which can detect not only motion, but light, temperature and water. Next available is the abode Color Bulb. This smart device can be customized for color and brightness in addition to temperature. Even more features can be used with this smart device if the customer is willing to buy the gateway and commit to a plan (which is not needed at the basic level). The bulb can be automated, so the light can be programmed to dim or brighten at specific times of day without having to change it manually. The last smart device available is the Smart Home Power Switch. This is plugged into any outlet to make it a smart outlet. The customer can program this to be automated if he/she has that plan, or can use the abode app to control the switch from home (which is handy if he/she does not want to get up to turn off a light) or from elsewhere, making sure that the home is lighted correctly even if no one is home. All of the smart devices available sound good for the well-rounded security plan, but does the requirement of commitment to a plan make this security company different from any other?

In order to use these three smart devices, abode Security Systems created the CUE platform for automation. With CUE, the goal is to have a streamlined platform from which the customer can quickly and easily automate and access their smart devices. With this system, the customer sets up these automations based on triggers and actions. The customer, based on the products he has, sets up triggers (things that happen, such as a time of day, motion detected, door opened, etc) and a resulting action (alarm sound, chirp, lights turn on or off, temperature changes). There is also an Only If component that allows for this action to occur only if another condition is met. This can be customized in a very detailed way, but this is based on how many devices the customer wants to purchase, along with a monitoring plan; this automation is not self-monitored. With customization comes cost.

So, what is the catch?

This plan is touted as being customizable with the ability to be self-monitored without a contract. While this is true, the products and services available are slim. With the self-monitored option, the customer can monitor video (live only) and get notifications. If you just want to have video to see what is happening inside the home while you are not there or view the outside at any time,this is a good option for you. However, most people that are in need of a security system do wish to have more monitoring than this non-contract option.

For customers who want to continue to self-monitor but also want to use the automation services abode offers, the Standard Plan is available. This plan is $60/year or $6/month. While the customer is still responsible for all monitoring, this plan allows for video surveillance to be stored, creating a timeline of events. This plan also allows for a panic button option as well as all automation services(again, depending on which additional products you purchase so that automation is an option). Customers can receive notifications and person detection as well, using as many cameras as purchased. Once all equipment is purchased, along with this plan, the customer has many tools available to keep an eye on their property. However, this plan only works if the customer is closely monitoring at all times, and the responsibility falls completely on the customer.

For those who wish to have professional monitoring by one of two monitoring centers that are located in the US, the Pro Plan is an option. The Pro Plan can be purchased for $100 for the first year if paid in one sum. After that, the plan costs $200/year. This plan offers all of the services of the Standard Plan with the additions of 24/7 monitoring, cellular backup, and homeowner’s insurance discounts. This allows the customer to use all products and automations and to depend on the monitoring centers to keep their property and person safe. If the customer wishes to have the option to alert for medical emergencies, he or she must purchase and pair the Panic button. Keep in mind as well that these plan costs are in addition to the starter kits, which do not include all products. Starter kits are an additional cost that ranges from $279-$502.

So, while the abode Security System does allow for self-monitoring without a contract, the customer must determine if the available services offer enough protection. When all plan options, automations, and products are added to ensure the needed level of protection, how are the costs and contracts different from other traditional security companies?

Reviews

● Pros
Some of the pros of this system include its ease of set up and use. This system is designed to be user-friendly and able to be set up and used by the customer without the need for installation by abode Security Systems. This is nice for those who are tech-savvy, but some might need assistance in setting up all products and making sure the products are working properly.
This system is good for small homes and spaces and pairs with most smart home devices and for customers who want to monitor the home themselves.
● Cons
While this is marketed as self monitored with no commitment, in order to use some of the automated smart features, the customer must commit to a plan.

This is not the best for large homes.

Some have commented on the sound qualityof the system, saying that the sound is not clear and concise.

The customer must be able to install, set up, and sometimes monitor on their own, and this could be problematic for those who need assistance.

How Vivint Compares

Vivint Security Systems are installed by professionals who ensure that all parts of the system are working properly, and they also show the customer how to use the system. If there is ever a question, the customer can use the panel to get to customer service for an answer. This in itself is valuable, as it gives the customer peace of mind that the system is working properly to keep the property and residents safe. There is no false sense of security with Vivint.

Vivint offers many different products for home security. As far as cameras are concerned, customers can choose indoor and outdoor cameras and doorbell cameras. These are all monitored by livestream at all times. With Smart Drive, customers can access 30 days of stored video directly from their Vivint app, which is helpful, as some issues must be clarified at a later date; that video storage is necessary.

Vivint provides many smart devices for customers to use to keep their homes safe. From the Vivint app and the Vivint Smart Hub, customers can control all of their devices. Smart devices from Vivint include garage door control, light control, smart locks, smart thermostats, and Car Guard. So, the user can open and close garage doors and check to make sure it is closed even when not home, lock and unlock doors from the app, and adjust temperature and lighting. This definitely takes away the stress of not being sure if the house is secure. If children are coming home after school, the parent can have the house ready for them and safe after their entry as well.
In addition to security cameras, Vivint also offers window and door sensors that send alarms and alert authorities in the case of an emergency. Glass-break sensors are also available, so both types of unwanted entry are covered and alarmed.

While protection from theft and harm from intruders is a main concern, Vivint also provides peace of mind with alarms that can alert the customer of smoke and fire detection, dangerous carbon monoxide levels, and water detection. These devices not only alert the customer and authorities of emergency situations, but also take measures to control and mitigate negative effects. For example, the smart water detector not only alerts when water is present where it should not be, but it also tracks water temperature so that pipes are safe in cold weather, preventing flooding from burst pipes. The smoke detector works with the thermostat as well in order to turn off air flow that could help the fire to grow.

Another advantage to having Vivint is that in an emergency in which the intruder is watching/forcing the homeowner to disarm the keypad, the user can put in an emergency code that then sends an alert to Vivint and police while not indicating this through the panel. This can be crucial to calming a situation until police can arrive secretly.

Seniors and those with health issues also have unique protections with Vivint. Customers can purchase a medical alert emergency device that the person would wear as a necklace or bracelet, pressing the button if an emergency should occur. This would connect the customer with monitors who would help determine how to proceed with the emergency. This is a very helpful feature, as a health emergency might prevent a customer from moving towards a panic button or monitor. Additionally, automation is available, so customers can program lights and locks without having to get up to check on these security issues. Individual family members, friends, and healthcare professionals can have their own access codes to the home as well, so that they can enter the house with the customer having to go to the door.

To have all of these services, Vivint charges $29.99/month(minimum), along with an equipment purchase of $599.99. The installation fee ranges from $49- $199, depending on the products being installed. There is a financing option available, so the customer has the ability to pay $29.99/month for the length of the contract, which is only slightly higher than the Pro Plan at abode, even though there are more safety features and services available to the customer.

What to Choose

To make the best decision, each customer must determine his security needs first. What are the non-negotiables? Vivint provides 24/7 monitoring, video storage, and home automation that are available to control from anywhere on the Vivint app, or on the Vivint panel at home. Vivint can monitor large areas for motion, opening and closing of doors and windows, and glass breaks as well as monitor for smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, and water. For a monthly price of $29.99, the customer can have peace of mind knowing that a professionally installed and monitored system will keep the home, car, and people safe 24/7.