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99 per month, Boyce said. While close to two thirds of the home security industry is still controlled by local and regional players, the growth potential has attracted some large companies and brought consolidation. Most notably, Amazon this year acquired home security brands Blink and Ring—startups that offer web connected doorbells and cameras—and announced a home security offering with monthly monitoring as low as $10. The move “is high up on the radars of people in this industry,” said Jillian Bateman, chief development officer of the Electronic Security Association, a national trade group. “Amazon is absolutely a disrupter, so we’re very closely monitoring what they’re doing,” Bateman said. “It will be interesting to see if people trust Amazon with their home security.

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A smart home security system connects to your Wi Fi network so you can monitor and control your security devices using your smartphone and an app. Entry level systems usually include some door and window sensors, a motion detector, and a hub that communicates with these devices using one or more wireless protocols such as Wi Fi, Z Wave, Zigbee, or a proprietary mesh network. You can add extra door, motion, and window sensors to provide coverage for your entire house and build a comprehensive system that includes door locks, garage door openers, indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras, lights, sirens, smoke/CO detectors, water sensors, and more. A word about wireless protocols: In a perfect world, all home security components would use the same wireless standard to communicate with the main hub, but factors such as power requirements, signal range, price, and size make it virtually impossible to settle on just one. For example, smaller components such as door/window sensors typically use Z Wave or Zigbee technology because they don't require a lot of power and can be powered by smaller batteries. They also operate in a mesh topology and can help extend the range of networked devices.