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34. During this time, we've honed our testing process to look at over 100 distinct factors to determine how well a system works. Each time we update our reviews, we also update our scores based on how customers currently perceive the products. We do this by extensively researching user reviews at retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe's. When we test, we borrow some of the DIY security systems from their manufacturers and buy others. Although we may reach out for technical support or for clarification on a particular feature, the companies have no input on our testing practices and we don’t share our results or rankings with them before publishing our reviews. As we researched this topic and security systems in general, we reached out to Jamie Vos, vice president of the Electronic Security Association ESA for his thoughts on DIY systems. He emphasized professional monitoring for security systems: “If you receive a text alert, you may not be in a condition to respond and you may not hear an alarm. At that point, you have lost valuable response time, whereas a professional monitoring station can automatically alert first responders. ”We also contacted Kirk MacDowell, a board member with the Security Industry Association SIA and president of MacGuard Security Advisors Inc. He said a security system can act as a central heartbeat in the home.

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ProtectYourHomedotcom provides ADT monitored home security systems that are designed to protect homes and small businesses from burglaries and fires.

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Nest Secure read our full review here is the best example of what a home security starter kit should be: Simple, easy to understand, and unobtrusive while it’s working—but with plenty of options for expansion or additional features.