Creating a smart home isn’t as easy as it sounds. Whether you’re assembling your system piece by piece or planning the whole thing at once, it takes a significant amount of research to ensure every part can communicate with every other. If you mistakenly order, install, or sign a contract for a service or piece of equipment that is incompatible, you could be out hundreds of dollars or stuck with a clunky system that is anything but intuitive.
A truly intelligent home system starts with a control portal that works well with a variety of components. After all, you don’t want to be stuck with a product or service that doesn’t fulfill your needs simply because it is the only one that is compatible. Fortunately, the three leading artificially-intelligent (AI) assistants realize that. That’s why Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Nest are all designed to communicate with a variety of smart home components, including home security systems, from a variety of manufacturers.
Below, we’ll detail which home security systems work with each AI assistant, also known as smart speakers, in the hopes that it will help you cultivate a safe, streamlined smart home security system that is built based on your family’s needs.
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Which Home Security System Works Best with Amazon Alexa?
Thanks to the partnership between Amazon and various home security providers, you can do more than just ask Alexa to play music, tell you a joke, or answer trivia. Your personal AI assistant, with the help of an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, can learn new skills that allow you to control your home security system with simple voice commands. Here are the systems you can integrate, and a few examples of how you can use Alexa to control your home security.
After you sync Alexa with the ADT Pulse app, she will recognize your home security devices by name. You can use the voice commands to disarm or arm ADT to away or stay mode, or check to see whether the system is armed. You can also use commands to control other smart home devices, like locks, lights, and thermostats.
Connect your Scout system with Alexa to arm and disarm the system and to get status alerts. You can also tell Alexa to “ask Scout” about recent security events, like open doors and windows, and “tell Scout” to send help in the event of an emergency, like a fire or a break-in.
You can use the Ring Skill to connect certain components of the Ring home security system to your Alexa-enabled device, including Ring Video Doorbell 2, Video Doorbell Pro, Video Doorbell Elite, Floodlight Cam, Spotlight Cam, Stick Up Cam Wired, Ring Alarm, and Locks connected to Ring Alarm. Then, you can control them with voice commands. Additionally, if a visitor or intruder presses the doorbell or triggers the motion sensor, your Echo or Echo Dot will light up and announce their presence. If you have an Echo Show or Echo Spot, you can see, hear, and speak to the guest directly from that device.
Like with the other systems, you can add the abode Alexa skill to control your abode home security system with voice commands. You can also create routines in which your Alexa device will notify you when a door or window opens or closes, or a motion sensor is triggered. You can even pick exactly what Alexa says when these actions occur.
Honeywell Total Connect
The Total Connect 2.0 skill won’t allow you to disarm your Honeywell alarm system with a voice command, but it will allow you to arm it or check its status. You can also set up motion alerts, control locks and lights, and tell her to run the “smart scenes,” or combinations of device commands bundled together, that you’ve set up with your Honeywell system.
Which Home Security System Works Best with Google Home?
Google Home, another smart speaker, can serve as a hub for dozens of smart devices. While streaming music, controlling colored lights, and turning appliances on and off are all cool features, Google Home’s ability to connect to and manage a variety of home security features elevates the device from simply convenient to truly useful by helping protect your family and provide you peace of mind.
Naturally, since Google owns Nest, the two systems complement one another. For more information about the Nest home security system, check out the next section of this article.
The Scout system works with Google Assistant in much the same way it does with Amazon Alexa. Once you’ve synced the two systems, simply use one of the following phrases to check the status of your alarm or to arm/disarm it. Begin each phrase with, “OK Google.”
- Tell Scout to arm
- Tell Scout to disarm
- Ask Scout what mode is armed
- Ask Scout if my alarm is on
- Ask Scout if any doors are open
- Ask Scout if any windows are open
- Ask Scout if there is motion
- Ask Scout if I closed all the windows/doors
Set up and use Google Home with ADT Pulse in the same way you would Amazon Alexa. Once you set it up, your Google Assistant can recognize and group your devices, arm and disarm your system, provide status updates, and connect to other smart home sensors and devices.
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Which Home Security System Works Best with Nest?
When the smart home craze began, Nest was one of the first on the scene. But a lot has changed since then, and what was once hailed as a top-of-the-line smart thermostat now offers many more products. The team at Nest has developed a core offering of functionally-beautiful products that combine seamlessly, from smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) sensors to cameras to their very own home security system.
However, there are plenty of other home security systems that integrate with Nest, and they may be a better fit for your home and family. So, before you buy, check out all of your options:
The Nest home security system is designed to work with your learning thermostat, and you can control it all from the same app. Available components include:
- Alarm system
- Indoor cameras
- Outdoor cameras
- Video doorbell
- Door & window sensors
- Door locks
- Fire & CO sensors
Unlike with the other two devices, integrating your Nest Learning Thermostat with another brand of home security system means that you’ll be able to control your thermostat with the home security app — not the other way around. In the case of ADT, once you sync your two systems, you can use the ADT Pulse mobile app to:
Select settings: auto/cooling/heating/off
Control the temperature, including setting the “heat to” and “cool to” temperatures
Set the fan speed: auto/on/off
Set status to auto-away
Auto-schedule heating and cooling
The self-installed system communicates with your thermostat so that when you’re away, you can save money on your energy use. You will have to use the SimpliSafe web app to control your thermostat, as opposed to the mobile version.
An abode home security system integrates with the Nest thermostat, smoke and CO alarms, cameras, and the Nest app. The abode system can intelligently set your thermostat temperature using an automatic system that uses your phone location to determine whether you are home or away.
The GetSafe system works with the Nest thermostat and app, allowing you to control the temperature of your home from one place: the GetSafe mobile app.
Sync your Nest CO and smoke alarms with the Scout system, and the alarm will sound when either is triggered. The system will also change your home and away settings when you arm and disarm your system.
If your home security system provider isn’t listed here, that doesn’t mean it’s not compatible with your favorite smart home controller. Alarm.com, the smart service used by more traditional home security providers like Brinks, works similarly to the apps we’ve already mentioned. Once you sync your Alarm.com account with your controller, you can use voice commands to carry out common tasks.
Whether you ask Alexa, tell Google, or rely on Nest, there is a home security system that will work for you and your family. Before you invest your time and money into installing and learning a new system, do your research. Finding the home security system that is right for your family is only one part of building a smart home system that serves your family well, but it may just be the most important one.