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. “Devices such as locks that can be opened remotely, home light control and thermostats that can raise or lower temperature are all tied into one convenient app and then tied into the alarm, making the operation seamless. ”How we tested DIY home automated systems For each new DIY security system, we test in two areas: user experience and ease of installation.