With all the attention given to home automation companies recently, customers are becoming more and more interested in the features automated products can offer. While the industry is still fairly new, there are “established” players in the game that were once focused on home security. The biggest home automation company is known as Vivint (the name is a portmanteau of “vivre”, which means to live in Latin, and “intelligent”), with operations in all 50 states and Canada.
Consumer Reports: Home Automation Reviews
One of the best tools for determining the quality of a product is Consumer Reports. The time-tested publications has been objectively researching and grading new consumer products for over 80 years. While Consumer Reports is a great place to find a quality toaster or TV, it won’t be too much help with home automation or security reviews.
Highly respected consumer review outlets, like Consumer Reports, stay away from service-supported industries, like home automation/security. The products at the core of these industries vary in performance depending on their support service. Consumer Reports, and other reputable outlets, would have issues attempting to replicate the extensive number of scenarios a customer might encounter.
Third Party Home Automation Reviews
One of the only “reliable” sources for home automation reviews is third-party sites, like Angie’s List. These sites don’t guarantee that each review was written by an actual customer. With the level of competition present in the home security and automation industries, it’s not uncommon for unscrupulous competitors to write misleading reviews on such sites. Also, as a general rule, happy customers don’t tend to reply on these sites, which is why you’ll notice most reviews on these sites are really negative. In the rare instance where you do find positive reviews on a third-party site, there’s no guarantee they didn’t come from the company itself. If you’re going to use a third-party site for your home automation research, The Security Blanket recommends using Angie’s List, which requires a paid subscription to access and submit reviews.
Protect America Home Automation
A low cost home automation option that doesn’t involve installation technicians in your home is available from Protect America. The Simon XT wireless home security system used by Protect America can be customized to include home automation features, such as lighting and appliance control. When customers order a monitoring solution, Protect America provides wireless home automation equipment for free! There’s no upfront cost, like activation or installation fees, which can run hundreds of dollars with companies like Vivint.