pc-magazine-logoPC Magazine – By John R. Delaney

Do-it-yourself digital home security systems like the SkylinkNet SK-200 $143.30 at Amazon and the iSmartAlarm Premium $299.00 at Amazon are great for frugal homeowners who want to save money by monitoring their homes themselves, but these systems leave it up to you to take action when an alarm is triggered. They don’t check in to see if everything is OK when your smoke alarm goes off or when your front door alarm is tripped, and they don’t call the local authorities. For that kind of response, you’ll need a subscription-based service such as the Vivint Sky smart home system. With Vivint Sky you get around-the-clock home monitoring with an incredibly swift response when an alarm goes off, and it offers a variety of home automation services, all of which can be controlled from a smartphone, a PC, and a 7-inch touch-screen control panel. With monthly subscription plans ranging in price from $49.99 to $69.99, the Vivint Sky system isn’t cheap, but once you decide on a plan you won’t have to lift a finger; Vivint technicians will come to your house, install everything, and give you a comprehensive tour of the system.

PROS
Speedy event response. Excellent video doorbell. Offers remote control of door locks, cameras, thermostats, and sensors. Responsive touch screen. Lots of cloud storage.

CONS
Requires a monthly subscription. Cannot delete video events or customize alarm sounds.

BOTTOM LINE
The Vivint Sky smart home system offers 24/7 security monitoring and remote control of your door locks, cameras, heating system, and more. It requires a monthly subscription, but features one of the best video doorbell solutions around.

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