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It is limited, however, with regard to transmitting large quantities of video, so many cellular primary systems incorporate broadband for video. Broadband primary services, on the other hand, have cables running down the side of a house that can be cut, thereby disabling the system. Some services offer cellular back up should this occur. Look for a home security system with a full line of wireless peripherals, including modules for controlling lights and appliances, thermostats, cameras, motion sensors some can distinguish between a pet and a person, water sensors, and glass break and vibration sensors. Look for long life battery power, too. Lithium sensor batteries, for example, can last three to five years. When they do run low, the system lets you know well in advance. Choose a controller with back up battery so the system will stay active in the event of a power outage or if the Internet is down. If you will be installing smoke alarms you’ll need the extra power of a 24 hour battery back up, not the 4 hour back up offered by many manufacturers. THE COST FOR SECURITY There are two costs to keep in mind when shopping for a home security system. The first is for the equipment and the installation, if you’re having it done by a professional.

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abode's one year warranty isn't robust, but it’s typical of DIY smart home systems.

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The cameras through ADT have 720p HD video recording with night vision.

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In the science fiction movie "Gattaca," Ethan Hawke's character was able to get into a secure area using nothing but a scan of his retina.

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Some systems are set up so that if the power in your house goes out, a battery backup will kick in and run the control unit until power is restored.