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

The automation features in the ADT and FrontPoint systems are very similar, in part because both companies use the same Z-Wave technology. You can program lights to turn on and off at certain times or in response to system events, such as a door opening or an alarm being triggered. ADT's Pulse system, however, can report the status of each Z-Wave device. If you want to know whether someone forgot to turn off the coffeemaker or the lights at the end of the day, for instance, you can log in to the Pulse system and verify the on or off state for the appliance module or the light switch. You can send an "off" command to any Z-Wave device using either system, but FrontPoint's controller does not report Z-Wave device status in real time. Both systems do report sensor and thermostat status.

Will It Fit Your Needs?

ADT's system works better in larger buildings than FrontPoint's does, since it's capable of supporting more sensors: You can have a maximum of 96 (lighting/appliance controls, cameras, and the thermostat do not count against that number, but keychain remotes and panic buttons do). ADT can also deploy other types of alarm systems, although they might not all be integrated with Pulse. If you're looking for an alarm system with central-office monitoring and the ability to have law enforcement dispatched in the event of a break-in, but you don't want to install the system yourself, a company with local installers is a good solution.

RedCloud Express

This system provides site security via sophisticated access control.

RedCloud provides a different type of premises security system, one that revolves around access control. As such, RedCloud Express wouldn't be appropriate for a retail operation open to the public, but it is ideally suited for small-office buildings, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities where you need to restrict access to authorized personnel and you wish to keep track of who's coming and going.

Unlike FrontPoint and ADT, which sell security systems along with subscriptions to central-office-monitoring services directly to the end user, RedCloud sells its security systems through a dealer/installer network. And instead of paying service fees for central-office monitoring, you manage a RedCloud system on your own, using a PC, a smartphone, or a tablet. This means that law enforcement won't be dispatched in the event of an alarm event unless whoever on your staff is monitoring the system at the time calls them.

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