The big difference, however, is the degree of interactivity. New software platforms, such as alarm. com and iControl allow
you to send commands, program home systems, view surveillance video, and receive alerts on a smart phone or computer—whether you’re at home or away. When shopping for a system, review software platforms first. Alarm. com and iControl are the two biggest. The former has partnered with more than 2,500 dealers and the latter
with ADT and Comcast. Among other things, you’ll have to decide between a “cellular primary” or “broadband primary” system. The former is a wireless connection to the monitoring station, making it immune to power outages or someone cutting a cable. 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.