The popularity of home automation software has increased dramatically in the last few years with the rise of compatible smartphone, tablet and PC technologies that allow home monitoring and control through remote access. Systems are now available that only require a small investment upfront for the equipment, followed by a low monthly fee that will allow homeowners to complete a variety of home management tasks remotely. Common services that are provided include the ability to remotely adjust heating and cooling systems, turn the lights on or off, or even monitoring alarm and camera systems for intruders.
Verizon Home Monitoring and Control Features
Verizon is a popular provider of home monitoring and control services. The following are some features and limitations of the home automation and control services.
Verizon is a telecommunications company that offers Home Phone, Cable TV, Internet and other services through both traditional copper telephone line and fiber optic (or FiOS networks). To use Verizon’s home automation software, a user will need the Home Monitoring and Control Equipment Kit, Verizon Broadband Service, and the Verizon Home Service. All of these items must be purchased or subscribed to individually. To enable control of the system through Verizon FiOS TV, a separate Verizon FiOS TV subscription is also required.
What’s Included in the Kit?
The Home Monitoring and Control Equipment Kit includes a single gateway device, as well as one each of an indoor camera, light module, welcome kit, installation guide, as well as the required cords and wires to get started. This kit retails with Verizon for around $129, but the company does have special offers or bundles available where pre-owned units can be received at no charge.
Additional accessories are available for the kit and must be purchased separately. These accessories include additional indoor and outdoor cameras, door locks, lighting and appliance modules, window and door sensors, energy readers, smart thermostats and compatible control panels, and remote controls.
These additional accessories are necessary to enable some of the more popular tasks that can be completed remotely through the service, such as remotely unlocking doors to let in a child that has been locked out or service personnel entrance into the home, or remote monitoring and control of energy consumption by various appliances. Additional popular activities that Verizon’s home automation software and hardware allow, include the ability to remotely adjust one’s thermostats, identify energy leaks and perform energy audits, and even to be notified when a window or door is opened in the home.
Once a user has purchased and installed the kit and accessories, they will have additional monthly charges for their broadband service and for the monthly monitoring. The monthly monitoring fee is around $9.99 and broadband prices vary widely based on what is included in a users particular service bundle.
One of the main limitations of the Verizon Home Monitoring and Control service is that it is not available in many areas at this time. This service uses technology known as Z-Wave to enable wireless communication between the kit and accessories as well as Verizon’s Broadband services and Verizon FiOS TV. This means that the service is limited to those areas that have an available FiOS network. While the number of homes and locations that have FiOS available is growing, many areas remain bound to traditional copper telephone or coaxial Cable TV networks for their broadband services.
Services provided over a FiOS network, such as Internet, Broadband, and even home monitoring, are often more expensive than traditional broadband or cable services. While FiOS is not affected by the weather or distance from the office originating the signal to the end user, or the number of users online, they are impacted by seismic and other events that might cause damage to the underground fiber optic cables. If the tiny glass tubes in the fiber-optic cable become bent, or broken, it can result in the loss of signal, as well as bleed through or a corrupted signal, which can also impact service.
For users that live in areas with high seismic activity, or that do not have access to a FiOS network, traditional Cable TV companies such as XFINITY, as well as other home monitoring and alarm companies such as Brinks, also offer home monitoring and control over traditional Telephone and Cable TV networks. Digital Landing offers users the ability to compare the availability, as well as prices of all of these providers to make it a bit easier to find a compatible provider of home automation software and hardware, as well as the best plan and price.
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