These days, dozens of home security solutions are marketed to consumers. Most solutions combine cameras, motion sensors, and related technologies to protect a home. Property owners will find both professional and DIY solutions on the market. With similar hardware, these systems often provide a similar experience and results. Differences tend to come down to overall cost and extra features.
Such home security solutions often fall under the domain of the smart home. More and more homeowners continue to buy and install smart home hardware. For instance, smart lights and smart speakers are incredibly popular at the moment. The same goes for smart locks, sensors, and everything in between. Since multiple companies manufacture these products, they aren't always well-integrated with each other.
A half-dozen apps might be required to control everything in a smart home. Therefore, adding a security system to the mix results in more fragmentation. Nothing is more frustrating than controlling everything separately. Even the best combination of hardware can be hindered by fragmented apps and varying control mechanisms. Fortunately, a new security solution might fix the fragmentation issue.
Xfinity Home: A New Challenger Appears
Xfinity Home from Comcast is sold as a security solution for homeowners. On that front, the platform doesn't bring many innovations to the industry. The base package includes a wireless keypad, touchscreen controller, three entryway sensors, and a single motion sensor. No cameras are included in the basic package, which is a shame. Regardless, a low monthly fee will keep a homeowner's property monitored and protected.
Without a doubt, Xfinity Home sounds like any other security system from a professional provider. AT&T, Frontpoint, Protect America, and ADT provide similar solutions for the homeowners of America. They're all designed to monitor a home throughout the day and night with an unblinking eye. Xfinity stands out by offering integrated smart home controls in a centralized app and interface without charging extra fees.
While that might sound like a minor differentiator, smart home fans may find this feature invaluable after using it.
At first, potential subscribers might assume they need other Xfinity services to use Xfinity Home. That's not the case here, and Xfinity Home can be utilized by itself. A high-speed Internet connection is the main requirement, though. Otherwise, Xfinity cannot deliver a smooth experience for security monitoring or smart home control. A potential subscriber should have a speedy connection and a capable router.
Xfinity Home is unique in its pricing structure and commitment requirement. Unlike other services, no pricing tiers exist with this service. Subscribers pay a minimum monthly fee and must commit to a 24-month term. A common promotion from Comcast offers a lower monthly rate for the first 12 months. One base price is a great option from Xfinity Home, although the price may increase dramatically with add-ons.
For $39.99 per month, Xfinity Home won't break the bank in its base form.
A Quick Note On The Sensors
All of the sensors provided by Xfinity come with two standout features. Subscribers never have to worry about the Internet going down or the power going out. Luckily, 3G wireless connectivity and backup batteries keep these devices running without a hitch. Most security solutions lack 3G connectivity today, and battery backup is rare as well.
Xfinity Home also sells its own Zen Thermostat and a smart outlet controller.
Subscribers won't always find such features in their existing security hardware. However, Xfinity will reuse such devices if they can be integrated into Xfinity Home. Doing so could save a given property owner hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. It's a nice gesture from Xfinity but wont' impact every subscriber.
$39.99 Per Month Isn't Realistic For Most Homeowners
As previously mentioned, Xfinity Home Security costs a minimum of $39.99 per month. Most subscribers will find themselves paying more than that, though. Included sensors may cover an apartment or small home with relative ease. The average Xfinity Home subscriber will need more sensors from the start. It doesn't help that indoor and outdoor cameras require an extra fee, too.
The more entryways a home features, the more sensors a homeowner will need. Then again, pricing starts to hurt when cameras come into the equation. Few homeowners will install a security system and then forgo video monitoring. Comcast provides two options for cameras through Xfinity Home, and neither is easy on the wallet for homeowners.
For an upfront fee, subscribers can pay $200 per camera without an added monthly cost. Cameras include 24/7 video monitoring, which is a necessary feature. Homeowners can also capture images and videos to edit and share. For this option, subscribers with a large enough budget can pay a one-time fee for cameras and be done with that cost.
Otherwise, Comcast offers another option with some upfront savings and long-term costs. A subscriber can pay $99 per camera while adding $9.99 per month to their bill. Customers save money right away through this option. Of course, the monthly fees might quickly add up to more than the upfront-only cost of the cameras.
10 days of video storage are included for live monitoring.
Xfinity Home's Best Feature: Smart Home Integration
By now, potential customers might think Xfinity Home offers what everyone else offers. The service comes with one incredible feature worth taking into consideration; smart home integration. Xfinity Home's security app can also connect to third-party smart devices with a simple login process. From Nest products to Philips Hue smart lights, most smart home devices are compatible with the main Xfinity Home app.
The previously mentioned touchscreen controller and wireless keypad can control Xfinity Home, including third-party devices. Through the wireless keypad, it's possible to arm or disarm the entire alarm system. A user could send an alert to authorities through the keypad as well. Using the touchscreen controller affords a higher level of control over the smart home in general, though. Users can check video feeds, access their thermostat, and see the status of various sensors in the home here.
A Web portal is available for accessing Xfinity Home. Like the app, users can check on their cameras and arm or disarm the alarm system. A number of smart home integrations are included in this portal for extra control options. Some users may find the Web portal a little clunky compared to the other control options, though.
Instead, the Xfinity Home app works best for most customers. Everything about the Xfinity Home security system can be controlled through the app. All smart home integrations from third-party providers are accessible here as well. Plus, the app is accessible through virtually all smartphones and tablets. Certain devices can be controlled whether the homeowner is at home or on the go.
Customers don't need other Xfinity services to enjoy Xfinity Home. Still, Xfinity TV subscribers have access to an extra feature. If they own the X1 DVR, they can control their cameras from the television interface. Even voice controls are included, so this feature provides another layer of usability for Xfinity Home subscribers.
A Note On Digital Assistants
One omission from Xfinity Home is support for Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple's Siri. None of these assistants play well with Xfinity Home, and integration with sensors, alarms, and cameras is not included.
Using Xfinity Home To Control The Home
Through the Xfinity Home app, customers can harness the true power of the smart home. Lights can be turned on and off with a single tap. The heat or air conditioning may be controlled with ease. Basic control of smart home devices is nice, but scheduling and automation take these devices to the next level.
One homeowner might set the lights to turn on automatically at different times. This can be done to make a home appear occupied or for simple convenience. For another person, managing the temperature in automated fashion can lead to energy savings. Automation and scheduling become a simple task through the Xfinity Home app.
A Good Solution That Should Get Better Soon
In the end, Xfinity Home is a passable home security solution. The base price of $39.99 is easily palatable for the average homeowner. Additional sensors and cameras may make the overall cost a little less inviting, though. Compared to the competition, Xfinity Home runs in the middle of the pack as a security system. A better pricing schedule for additional hardware and more security features would be welcomed.
The added benefits of smart home integration speak for themselves. It's a unique feature as part of a home security setup, although non-security solutions exist. With better automation and scheduling features, Xfinity Home will only get better. Comcast has worked on adding support for additional devices and more in-depth features. A handful of upgrades and changes in the right areas could make Xfinity Home even better.
Within the next year or two, Xfinity Home could easily top the list of best home security solutions.
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