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What is the broadest smart home ecosystem that includes a monitored home alarm option?

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  • Sep 15th, 2021 1:46 pm
[OP]
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Mar 13, 2003
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Alberta

What is the broadest smart home ecosystem that includes a monitored home alarm option?

Hi all

We're building a new home, and one thing we presently hate is the plethora of smart apps we use to run our devices. Right now we have

- Vivint Alarm, smart door lock
- Chamberlain MyQ Garage Door
- Google Home devices
- Nest front doorbell and security cameras
- Nest thermostat
- Kasa Smart Plugs
- Globe Smart Bulbs

Dumb. We want to integrate this into the fewest brands as possible. Yes, we can integrate a lot of it into Google Home voice commands, but if we're using apps on our phones this isn't a great option. Clunky at best.

Ring seemed like a contender, but apparently some of their "Works with Ring" functionality is locked US-only - for example the Liftmaster garage door opener features. That's too bad. Otherwise, it seems Ring might have the broadest ecosystem for this stuff.

Any other ideas? I appreciate any advice.
12 replies
Newbie
Oct 28, 2019
94 posts
100 upvotes
Ring. Can't intergrate your thermostat (ecobee) yet, but you can integrate with Alexa - philips smart bulbs, ring doobell & cameras, ring alarm system...I believe they are working on MyQ integration, too (myQ has integration with Alexa, so you can integrate most of this into alexa). Schlage front door lock integrates into ring app & alexa.
[OP]
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Mar 13, 2003
3223 posts
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Alberta
SuburbanSpider wrote: Ring. Can't intergrate your thermostat (ecobee) yet, but you can integrate with Alexa - philips smart bulbs, ring doobell & cameras, ring alarm system...I believe they are working on MyQ integration, too (myQ has integration with Alexa, so you can integrate most of this into alexa). Schlage front door lock integrates into ring app & alexa.
I saw that MyQ has Ring integration, but they block it in Canada. That seems stupid at best!
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
37838 posts
23936 upvotes
Center of Universe
There's no "one size fits all" solution.
Mix and match to suit your needs.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22829 posts
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Eastern Ontario
If you are building a new house from scratch …
Then I think the best solution is to just call a Home Automation Firn
And get their EXPERT OPINION
And a quote

Those folks will be 100% up to date on what’s available / new to the market
And how things are integrated for best results

Do it once … do it right !

ADDED BONUS … a lot of these Home Automation Cos got their start in Audio-Video … so in addition they can advise on your home theatre, tv, music, internet, and home security needs too

TIP … look up the Hospital Lottery Homes in the GTA. Look to see what Cos did the installations in the top tier prize homes. They prob are gonna be amongst the best in the Biz
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 13, 2003
3223 posts
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Alberta
PointsHubby wrote: If you are building a new house from scratch …
Then I think the best solution is to just call a Home Automation Firn
And get their EXPERT OPINION
And a quote

Those folks will be 100% up to date on what’s available / new to the market
And how things are integrated for best results

Do it once … do it right !

ADDED BONUS … a lot of these Home Automation Cos got their start in Audio-Video … so in addition they can advise on your home theatre, tv, music, internet, and home security needs too

TIP … look up the Hospital Lottery Homes in the GTA. Look to see what Cos did the installations in the top tier prize homes. They prob are gonna be amongst the best in the Biz
Not an option with our builder I'm afraid
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12916 posts
7676 upvotes
Brampton
This is why people use Home Assistant or OpenHAB to break down integration barriers.
[OP]
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Mar 13, 2003
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Alberta
tebore wrote: This is why people use Home Assistant or OpenHAB to break down integration barriers.
Unfortunately they're extremely complex for rookies
Deal Addict
May 23, 2006
1528 posts
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Vancouver
No one app for all solutions that i am aware of. I use Hub6 for my alarm. It's been great.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12916 posts
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Brampton
scouzer wrote: Unfortunately they're extremely complex for rookies
Take an hour read thru the documentation (Watch some Youtube videos) if you don't get the gist of it then I agree don't dive in. If after the hour you feel this might be something you'll want to try it will completely change how you plan your Home Automation.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 21, 2018
7553 posts
8126 upvotes
Vancouver
Ring (Amazon) and Google are competing for the broadest system.

There are several problems though:

- They are trying to do it by buying independent companies and welding them together under one umbrella, and it's often a clumsy and awkward fit
- They both want to dominate and eliminate the competition, so they are each trying to create their own walled garden that excludes all other competing brands
- They don't care about making money on hardware products, their goal is to milk you forever with the highest possible subscription fees. So they eliminate cheap ways to do things and instead tie everything to their subscription services. Your equipment becomes useless if you stop paying the fees.
- Both companies have a reputation of making sudden radical changes in direction and infrastructure and abandoning older products

So before you lay out much money for either ecosystem, estimate what it's really going to cost you over 5 years, and assume the equipment will all need to be junked and replaced after that length of time.

The alternative is open systems like Home Assistant, but have no illusions - it's much more complicated to set up and maintain. Sure, you can buy a suitable mini-server like a Raspberry Pi, install and set up Home Assistant fairly easily at first go, and you will be impressed by the breadth of support and the power. But somebody should be whispering in your ear that this is an open-source project maintained by hundreds of separate Linux geek volunteers, because you're going to find that out fairly quickly!

So basically you are going to pay with your money, or pay with your time.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 13, 2003
3223 posts
871 upvotes
Alberta
Scote64 wrote: Ring (Amazon) and Google are competing for the broadest system.

There are several problems though:

- They are trying to do it by buying independent companies and welding them together under one umbrella, and it's often a clumsy and awkward fit
- They both want to dominate and eliminate the competition, so they are each trying to create their own walled garden that excludes all other competing brands
- They don't care about making money on hardware products, their goal is to milk you forever with the highest possible subscription fees. So they eliminate cheap ways to do things and instead tie everything to their subscription services. Your equipment becomes useless if you stop paying the fees.
- Both companies have a reputation of making sudden radical changes in direction and infrastructure and abandoning older products

So before you lay out much money for either ecosystem, estimate what it's really going to cost you over 5 years, and assume the equipment will all need to be junked and replaced after that length of time.

The alternative is open systems like Home Assistant, but have no illusions - it's much more complicated to set up and maintain. Sure, you can buy a suitable mini-server like a Raspberry Pi, install and set up Home Assistant fairly easily at first go, and you will be impressed by the breadth of support and the power. But somebody should be whispering in your ear that this is an open-source project maintained by hundreds of separate Linux geek volunteers, because you're going to find that out fairly quickly!

So basically you are going to pay with your money, or pay with your time.
Ugh, yes. I agree on everything. Home Assistant is no problem in a computer sense as I already run a home windows server as an HTPC. But... everything else about it makes my head spin.

Then lots of research is required anyway to ensure HA is compatible with everything I need from every product anyway. Then bugs. Then troubleshooting. Ugh

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