Protect your assets: A buying guide to office security systems

Antivirus software protects your data, but a robust security system protects your PCs and everything else in your office.

By Michael Brown, PC World |  Security, physical security

FrontPoint's systems are best suited to home offices and smaller commercial facilities, because the control panel cannot support more than 39 sensors, and it's limited to nine unique user codes for arming and disarming. You have a few workarounds, however; you could, for instance, deploy a $65 motion sensor to cover a large area inside your office, instead of mounting sensors on every entry door.

You can get around the nine-user limit by providing employees with $30 keychain remotes for arming and disarming the system (although each keychain remote will count against your 39-sensor limit). You can assign each user code and each keychain remote to an individual, and the system tracks log-ins, log-outs, alarms, and all other events so that you have an ongoing audit trail of the activity at your location.

ADT Pulse

These systems are professionally installed, but they're pricey.

ADT maintains a large presence in both the residential and commercial security markets. The company rolled out its residential Pulse system in late 2011, and is now marketing the same devices and services to small businesses. As with FrontPoint's system, Pulse combines central-office-monitored security with video surveillance and lighting, HVAC, and small-appliance control available as options. Pulse does not include access control in the form of keyless entry, but ADT can provide such systems independently of Pulse. ADT dispatches a technician--and in some cases, an electrician--to install its systems.

You can monitor, arm, and disarm a Pulse system via any computer, iPhone or Android smartphone (BlackBerry is not supported), or tablet with Internet access, but you must have broadband Internet access at your location. (ADT's equipment must be hardwired to your router. Unlike FrontPoint's system, Pulse comes with its own wireless access point and creates a private wireless LAN for its cameras and control panel.) ADT's systems connect to its own central office for monitoring via a landline, but Pulse systems also have a dedicated GSM module for cellular backup in the event the landline is compromised. You can monitor and control a Pulse system through a Web browser or with a smartphone or tablet app.

How Much Does It Cost?


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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