When it comes to home security systems, it seems like a major part of users tends to focus on getting the right hardware components. And to some extent, we can’t really blame them, because having good hardware is definitely a great start. For example, a good camera is what allows you to capture a lot of details when something happens.
On the other hand, too few users focus on the software aspect of home security. It’s just as important as the hardware, and it can definitely be a dealbreaker when you’re looking to buy your next security system. With that in mind, below we’ll take a look at a few things that you should look for when you’re looking at the software aspect, so you know which ones are worth it.
Software Integration and Compatibility
If you look at smart devices for your home security system, you’ll notice one thing – they all have an app. Smart devices connect to your home network, and they’re using that connection to allow you to control them when you’re away from them physically. Whether that’s a different room, or halfway across the globe, it’s the software that allows this.
Therefore, you’ll want that software integration to be as well implemented as possible. When you’re shopping on a budget, this can be somewhat of a problem, because most manufacturers prefer to focus on hardware instead of software. However, with the more premium manufacturers, you get software integration that’s going to give you complete control over your devices.
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As far as compatibility goes, this is a major problem nowadays. There are a lot of manufacturers of home security hardware, and they all resort to their own standards and apps. However, in the past couple of months, we’re seeing an initiative by some of the software and hardware giants such as Google and Amazon to move everything to a single standard – Zigbee.
Until that happens, one of the key features you should be looking for is compatibility between the devices you’re using with the software you want. While getting all your hardware from the same manufacturer oftentimes guarantees that you’ll be able to use a single app to control everything, that’s not always the case. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes you have different manufacturers that allow you to use various apps to control your hardware – this is the compatibility we’re talking about. When you’re choosing the software, you’ll want one that’s compatible with all the hardware components you’re using.
Another major thing nowadays, especially in the home security industry, is cloud storage. Instead of resorting to physically storing your data on hard drives and memory cards, cloud storage will allow you to keep your data online, on servers by a third company.
The software you’ll be using for your home security system should have a good cloud storage option. There’s nothing wrong with you keeping your own copies, but they can get damaged. On the other hand, storing your data on the cloud means it will be there when you need it.
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Various software will give you a different type of cloud storage. Most notably, the differences will be in the pricing, as well as the amount of data you’ll be able to store. There are some that will let you store months of footage for a pretty high price, while others will be cheaper, but will limit you to a couple of days. Here, it’s all about finding the one that suits you best. Ideally, you’ll want at least a week of footage to be saved, and you’ll want to be able to download it immediately if you need it.
Notifications are Crucial
The last thing we’d like to focus on is the notifications. As we mentioned, smart systems are connected to your home’s internet, which means that they can send an alert to your phone using it. And this is by far one of the most important features of a good home security system because getting a notification quickly gives you more time to respond to it in an appropriate manner. However, different manufacturers take advantage of this in different ways.
If you’re looking for the ideal solution, notifications should arrive on your phone within less than a minute of something happening. It’s even better if you have the ability to make those notifications persistent because if there’s a fire in your home, you’ll want to call the fire department, even though you’re in a hurry.
This is one of the reasons why it’s good to do your research well, and see how different security software providers implement this. This will show you who does things best in this regard, and you’ll be able to choose accordingly!