Best products of 2012: home technology

PCWorld editors select the year's best home technology products.

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ADT Pulse Premier (home control/security system)

ADTs home security and automation system is almost as good as Vivints; plus, ADT will install in-wall lighting controls if you prefer (Vivint provides only plug-in modules). ADT added electronic door locks, a new touch-screen control panel (look for our hands-on review soon), and more advanced cameras, too. ADTs up-front costs are higher than Vivint's, but its contracts are shorter. That combination earns it spot number 61 in our list of the 100 best products of 2012.

Synology DiskStation 712+ (network-attached storage) 

This NAS box lets you start small and scale up. It has only two drive bays, but you can add two or five more by connecting it to Synologys DX213 or DX513, respectively. A great NAS for both home and business, the DiskStation's innovative design helped it lock down position 73 on our overall list.

Lowes' Iris (home control/security system)

Lowe's Iris system is for folks who want to dabble in home control and security without paying for central-office monitoring. This DIY package is reasonably priced, exceptionally well thought out, and very easy to install. The best kit comes with a local alarm; door, window, and motion sensors; a thermostat; and basic lighting controls. It placed 75th on our master list:

Apple TV (network media streamer)

The last product on our home tech list (number 85 overall), Apple's third-gen Apple TV sports a new processor capable of playing video at 1080p. But the real star of the show is the new software update that will run on the older 720p Apple TV, too. If you like AirPlay and the iTunes store, this is the video streamer to buy.

This story, "Best products of 2012: home technology" was originally published by PCWorld.

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