Stories by Jake Widman

How to secure your home like a pro: 20-plus expert tips and strategies for DIYers

Feeling secure in your home is important, whether you're a homeowner or a renter. That's why security plays a central role in all the best connected-home systems. The easy way to secure your property is to call a professional service provider: ADT or Vivint, for instance, or a custom installer like Control4 if you want something fancier. Those firms will send someone out to look at your residence, assess your needs, and make equipment recommendations. Alternatively, you can do it yourself by acquiring the hardware from a DIY-friendly provider such as Frontpoint or Simplisafe. Those companies will provide some relatively generic advice, but they don't have agents in the field who can customize a package for your specific needs--that's why they cost less.

Jake Widman | 30 Jun | Read more

Contracts are optional with this DIY connected-home system

Aside from the absence of a keypad control panel, the Abode connected-home/home-security system looks much like a product you'd buy from ADT, Vivint, or one of the other major home-security dealers. But the people behind this Kickstarter campaign consider those companies' business models to be out of step with what people need these days.

Jake Widman | 14 Apr | Read more

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