How we test: Comprehensive Testing and Reviewing of Smart Home Security Systems

A detailed explainer on how we test DIY smart security systems, in order to deliver our comprehensive reviews.

In the landscape of smart home technology, self-install smart home security systems have risen to prominence as the guardians of modern safety and peace of mind.

Brands like Abode, SimpliSafe, Ring and Nest offer comprehensive security solutions that users can seamlessly install themselves.

At The Ambient, our dedication to being the authority on smart homes extends to our rigorous testing and real-world evaluations of these smart home security systems.

During the review process of these systems, we analyze whether they meet the highest standards of reliability, effectiveness, ease of use, and offer seamless integration within the larger smart home ecosystem.

Here’s how we aim to do that…

Comprehensive Testing and Hands-On Installation

Our commitment to thoroughness begins with hands-on installation. Our expert team installs and sets up each DIY security system in our testing labs or own homes, simulating real-world scenarios.

This hands-on approach grants us first hand experience of the installation process, user interface, and the initial barrier some readers may fear: Ease of use.

Real-World Integration and Usability

Beyond installation, we assess how these self-install security systems seamlessly integrate into our existing smart home setups.

Our experts explore how the security systems coexist with other smart devices, analyzing whether it’s possible to coincide with a smart home ecosystem to enhance both convenience and security.

Ease of Use and User-Friendly Interfaces

We scrutinize the user interfaces of these security systems, evaluating the intuitiveness and ease of use of both the hardware and the software.

Our review team assess how effortlessly you can navigate the native apps to alter settings, customize alerts, manage security preferences and more, to ensure that these systems cater to users of varying technical expertise.

Advanced Integration with Voice Assistants and Smart Ecosystems

Smart DIY security systems are not standalone entities; they interact with larger smart home ecosystems and often rely on other devices, think smart lights, locks and more, to form a fully functioning system.

Our experts delve into integrations with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri and explore how voice commands enhance functionality, from arming the system to receiving alerts.

We also look at smart home ecosystems as a whole and how automations, routines and alerts can be enhanced by combining a smart security system with an existing smart home setup.

Real-World Automation and Customization

Our commitment extends to crafting intricate automation scenarios that blend security with other smart devices.

We explore how the security systems can trigger actions such as turning on lights, locking doors, and adjusting thermostats, enhancing both security and convenience.

From activating camera recordings when a door is opened to sending alerts to your smart speakers, we showcase how these systems bolster your smart home environment.

Remote Monitoring, Alerts, and Mobile Apps

We evaluate the mobile app experience, assessing whether you can monitor your security system remotely, access live camera feeds, receive real-time alerts, and control system settings from the convenience of your mobile device.

Component Assessment

Our testers meticulously evaluate the performance of individual components, such as motion sensors, door/window contact sensors, cameras, doorbells, and keypads.

We assess their accuracy, responsiveness, durability, and compatibility with other devices.

Comprehensive Review Process

Our rigorous testing culminates in insightful reviews that empower you to make informed decisions.

We distill complex evaluations into comprehensive reviews that not only highlight performance but also emphasize real-world integration, ease of use, and long-term functionality within your smart home.

We also compare and contrast smart light devices to alternatives already in the market and consider that all important price-point when delivering our verdict.