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It's also quite smooth, and never suffered choppiness in my testing—despite the fact that the camera only operates on the 2. 4GHz band. When analyzing footage captured with an adjacent 1080p Logi Circle, which supports the 5GHz band, the SimpliCam's video quality was comparable. Sound captured is a bit muffled, but certainly audible, though the camera does not currently support two way audio. Night vision footage is clear and motion detection sensitivity can be adjusted in the app. Motion detection is based on heat signature so the camera can discern the difference between, say, a spinning fan, a small dog, and an actual moving person who's breaking in to your home. Recently added, Alexa voice control lets you arm your system or check on its status on Amazon Echo devices. Enabling the SimpliSafe Home Control skill in the Alexa app is simple, and commands like "Alexa, tell SimpliSafe I'm leaving" to arm the system in Away mode, "Alexa, tell SimpliSafe good night" to arm the system in Home mode, and "Alexa, ask SimpliSafe if my home is secure" to get system status worked well in testing. There was little lag between the voice command and the base station announcing status or changes in system modes. The Alexa integration only works with the new SimpliSafe hardware, and the system can't be disarmed via voice for obvious reasons. With the monthly Interactive Plan, you can use SimpliSafe's Online Dashboard or mobile app to control the system, including arming and disarming it.

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The Guard also comes with a Google Assistant built in, so you can use voice commands to arm the system but not disarm, play music, or even request a temperature change, if you have a Nest thermostat. During our tests, we strongly considered home automation options, which allow you to remotely control features of your home, such as lights and door locks. But we wanted to figure out what these differences meant on a day to day basis: Which features were necessary for improved peace of mind?Which would be easiest to integrate into our daily routines?Needless to say, the market is increasingly shifting toward DIY home security, as people look for options that work seamlessly with their existing smart homes. Technology may not be at the point where an alarm will sound if your security camera detects an unfamiliar face or burglar — but it’s certainly not very far. On the other hand, the more we automate and become intertwined with the Cloud, the more vulnerable our personal data becomes to hacking. The demand for greater smart home automation also paves the way for voice assistant compatibility, which is helpful but also opens another window of opportunity for hacking or data leaks.