What Is The Best Security App In SEN’s opinion?
What Is the best security app – What’s the best security app in SEN‘s opinion? That’s a great question – there are plenty of new security apps and all bring something different to the table.
If we ask developers and distributors which is the best security app they are going to tell us it’s the app they sell. This is more understandable than you’d think, given they are steeped in their own solutions, and have an appreciation and comprehension of strengths and weaknesses we’ll never have.
However, all’s not lost. On my phone I have a number of security apps, including AJAX, Alarm.com, Vesta, Swann and Gallagher SMB. To put my comparison into perspective, I live with most these apps day-to-day, so have a strong sense of their performance in a range of situations. They are very different in execution but all are highly functional in their own way.
What Is The Best Security App In SEN’s Opinion?
AJAX is very light to steer – security people will love it. Some might never leave the control and notifications panes of the dashboard. Alternatively, they might choose to address their system via the device list, as I do, enjoying granular detail of sensor state. Nice features include geofence arm and disarm reminder, and I think the alarm activation experience with this app is most compelling.
The level of control and oversight AJAX gives you when it comes to your sensor group is brilliant. You obviously have to disarm the system to make adjustments to sensitivity and night mode, etc, but you can see battery state, sensor wireless and camera wireless, sensitivity, operating mode, 24-hour status, ambient temperature and more.
All these apps are a deep study – the more you play with the AJAX app, the more you find, including third-party CCTV integration. One other thing – programming – my feeling is that given the depth of functioning and the size and capability of the AJAX system, this solution was easiest to program at scale and the level of sensor control you have makes my constant sensor tweaking easy, too.
Meanwhile, Alarm.com has deep features but you can simply surf the highlights bar and your local cameras and never visit the menu. One of the things I particularly appreciate about the Alarm.com app that manages the Qolsys IQ Panel 4 at home is that it turns the system off when I arrive. When you rock up with groceries, dogs and a bad-tempered child in the rain, a system that turns itself off is very welcoming indeed.
Of the apps I’m around, Alarm.com is the integration machine and that stands to reason because it was built to be. If you’re doing third party home automation, bringing in Z-Wave and Wi-Fi, locks, lights, garage doors and home automation devices, this app is very hard to beat. That’s probably lucky, given the integration options systems like Qolsys bring to the table.
All this said, the thing I appreciate most about the Alarm.com app is the simple functionality of the highlights bar at the top. Yes, yes, if you receive zero notifications, the system is secure, I know all that. But with Alarm.com, if I open the home screen and the highlights bar shows a single green, I know with a glance that the system is fine and nothing whatever has moved in the house, even if I forgot to arm the system. It’s a feature I appreciate when I’m away.
Vesta is closer in spirit to the AJAX app, with loads of proprietary devices, but it’s a mistake to think this system doesn’t stack up. The Vesta panel and the constellation of sensors and automation devices in its orbit are first rate and give nothing away in terms of situational awareness.
The dashboard is simple and makes system status primary, giving the opportunity to delve deeper via the device or notification lists. With Vesta, I tend to drive the office from the device and notification list, where I can see alerts and access video verification of events.
There are elements of the Vesta system I have not set up – things like scenes, rooms, groups, automation devices and rules. Vesta automation groups include switch, dimmer, hue bulb, shutter control, radiator and thermostat.
It’s pretty obvious there’s considerable automation power with Vesta I’ve not fully explored, so bear this in mind if you’re interested in the home automation side. You’d need a demo to get a full understanding of what’s possible.
Swann – in this case it’s reporting on the movement in front of a single PIR and that makes Swann hard to compare in a realistic way. Or is it? You can link a dozen Swann PIRs up to the app as a single system and they’ll behave rather like a security system.
Regardless, Swann has made a tidy little app, which does a nice job of collating event numbers on a daily basis, giving a sense of movement in a location of interest in my case. Swann’s app is intuitive and I found it enjoyable to set up and to drive.
That brings us to which app is best of this bunch. From the point of view of an end user, it’s Alarm.com. From the point of view of wrangling sensors in real time and being connected with detection functionality, adjustment and site ‘feel’, AJAX is the clear winner. Another strength of AJAX is the uniformity of symbols across app, keypads and key fob.
As for the keypad interface – the winner there is Qolsys. Qolsys has a whole of system functionality and automation thing going on at the keypad that is way too deep to go into here. Suffice to say, if your phone dies, you can still drive, manage and program your system.
The simplest app to get your head around and to operate is Vesta – perhaps because the core functions are smack on the dashboard’s forehead. But Vesta also makes the automation side feel easy, too, with complex functions icon-based at surface level.
The wildcard is the Gallagher SMB alarm and access control system app, which is a simple and functional interface that in my user profile revolves around incidents and history, and doesn’t have the deep connection to sensors and devices you’d find with Alarm.com and particularly, AJAX. From the point of view of a retail end user, that’s no bad thing.
What Is The Best Security App In SEN’s Opinion?
Addressed via the My Site tab, Gallagher SMB lets you arm and disarm security, control doors, monitor events, manage users and manage multiple sites. Perhaps the most interesting thing about SMB is how functional it is in the wider sense. Being an enterprise solutions provider, Gallagher delivers local operations enhanced by enterprise functionalites.
For small business security and management in support of untutored operators, Gallagher SMB is the obvious winner is this group, though it’s an apples to oranges comparison to be fair – consider that along with its other functions, SMB is also a credential and a tag programmer.
Finally, which app does cameras better? That’s between Vesta and Alarm.com with Alarm.com taking the prize. I should point out that the cameras I’m looking at with AJAX are not its new CCTV range or the third-party cameras it supports, but sensor cameras, which do an excellent job of video verification, but don’t display in full phone screen.
One thing that’s very pleasing is just how capable and reliable all these apps are. They variously deploy instantaneous facial ID and none has ever skipped a beat. All of these apps but Swann live on page 1 of my home screen, which is holy ground occupied only by apps I know I will want immediate access to every day. Placed in a row, I can glance at my home screen and if there are no notifications, I know all is well.
“What Is The Best Security App In SEN’s opinion?”