Welcome back to FrontPoint’s informative Monday blog series on wireless residential alarm systems. We’ve got a large (and growing) audience for these posts, and one reason may be that every time you turn around, there’s either a new company entering the field of home security and home automation, or a really big company – like Apple – makes an announcement that it wants to play in this sandbox.
Yes, these are exciting times for homeowners looking for the latest and greatest alarm technology, but it’s more important than ever to get smart before you buy. That’s why we are providing this timely information – so you can shop for real peace of mind with confidence.
Interactive Features are the New Norm in Home Security
In previous posts we’ve dealt with most of the components that make up the suite of interactive services you can get with your alarm system. As we like to say, now you can feel not only protected, but also connected.
Every alarm company worth its salt is selling and supporting these advanced services, and FrontPoint was one of the early adopters. Today we’ll cover one of the most attractive elements of interactive monitoring and home automation: mobile applications, or “apps.”
We know that interactive, wireless home security is what people want – and some of the “juice” is in the apps that allow you to access and control your alarm system remotely. This is a logical step in the evolution of interactive, wireless home security. The next-gen companies started with safer cellular monitoring, added remote arm/disarm, text and email notifications, then introduced video and smart home features – and the apps to tie it all together.
What’s an App?
The word “app” is short for “application software” – meaning a program that allows you (the end-user) to get the most out of your technology. Traditional applications include email, spreadsheets, word processing – things we all use.
The shorter “app” term is now generally applied to mobile applications, specifically written for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, and other devices. And “mobile app” is what I’m talking about here, since the best of today’s alarm companies offer a free app with the interactive monitoring services.
With 58 percent of adult Americans using a smart phone, the growth in apps has been explosive, and new ones are released every day. Some come with your phone, and the others are easily downloaded. Many are free – and the app you get with your alarm services should be!
Home Security & Home Automation Apps
When it comes to alarm system apps, they are not only fun and easy to use, they also provide an additional layer of control and protection to your home security system.
Mobile apps for home security really make accessing your system easier and faster. For starters, the best ones enable you to remotely arm and disarm, access a camera in your home, check the history on your account, or when the system was disarmed – and by whom – among many other things. And all these interactive features are literally at your fingertips!
And as if all that was not enough, how about apps for turning lights on and off, setting or scheduling your thermostats, and even locking or unlocking your doors? All of these functions should be bundled into one easy-to-use app that should add nothing to the cost of your monthly monitoring plan.
Some Companies Ahead of Others
Unfortunately, many alarm companies lag in developing home security apps. Major alarm system providers (especially the traditional companies with landline based alarm systems) have been slow to introduce advanced interactive features (like remote access), let alone a comprehensive home security app. But the good news for consumers is that it’s getting easier to find the smart alarm companies who do.
Beware “MIY” Systems
Here’s a word of caution: remember that there are plenty of new players in home security offering systems that have apps, but are not professionally monitored. We call these platforms “MIY,” for “Monitor It Yourself.”
In other words, they provide anything but real peace of mind. You want to know that police and fire personnel are being dispatched when needed – and only true alarm systems can offer that level of security.
Everything You Need to Know About the Latest in Home Security Technology
Today’s blog puts the finishing touches on our coverage of the interactive features available in today’s most advanced alarm systems. You can actually get these services from a number of providers, so just make sure you shop hard, and read all the reviews that you can find on the companies themselves – like FrontPoint.
Remember to ask plenty of questions once you’ve made the important decision to protect your home and family. Whether you’re a first-time home security shopper, or you’re an old hand upgrading to the new interactive technology, the more you know, the better. See you next Monday!