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The suite of products typically included in a Vivint Smart Home security system includes:The total cost of a home security system can be measured in three phases: purchase price, installation costs, and operating costs over time. Purchase price varies by provider, equipment package, and payment options. Vivint Smart Home, for example, offers a consumer financing option that gives customers the ability to customize a state of the art smart home security package for little to no upfront cost. Learn more about consumer financing here. Some of the lower quality home security systems come with only basic door and window sensors that customers can easily install themselves. More high end equipment packages—like the ones Vivint Smart Home provides—come with a touch screen control panel and the option to add outdoor home security cameras, all of which require professional installation.

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Considering just the camera part, a security audit is needed to identify weak points, and how to address them one by one with the optimal number and placement of cameras. Apart from physical security, one issue with wireless cameras, and in particular IP cameras is whether they can be accessed from an external network, how frequently vulnerabilities are patched so the window of available exploits remaining viable is short, and how to secure the vast amount of data generated, all to ensure that someone isn’t using it to monitor a range of targets over time to learn patterns/routines. One often sees comments about unexplained “voices” over the camera two way speaker speaking to the kid when the parents are away, and the suspicion that if that’s the case, someone is also watching. This focus on security is missing from this write up. Eyespyfx features free software called MyWebcam broadcaster, which will let you use any USB or built in webcam as a security camera. The software allows users to broadcast a private or public feed, watch it remotely via a web browser or mobile device, and take time lapse photos at set intervals. If you already have a form of home security set up with other cameras, the software is compatible with USB and built in webcams, IP or network cameras, and it can enable control of the Logitech and Creative pan and tilt USB webcams. Its available for PC or Mac, and the company also offers an app that users can download to an Android, Blackberry, Java mobile, or iOS device. Brinks Home Security is well recognized for offering professionally monitored security systems. These systems offer the flexibility of either professional or DIY installation. As a partner with Nest, they also allow you to choose between using their own equipment or Nest Secure equipment and monitoring.