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Craftsman AssureLink

As telephone landlines become obsolete, so do the hardwired security systems that rely on them. Cellular modems and Wi-Fi receivers are now so affordable that manufacturers can install them in security devices for a nominal cost. Meanwhile, the proliferation of smartphones means that more people have the ability to receive texts, e-mails and live video from a home monitor.


These devices are easy to use and install and are customizable to any home. Unlike standard security systems, they allow two-way communication with your home. For example, you can both watch a camera feed and remotely lock your doors. You pay for only the features you want and can decide for yourself if an event is serious enough to justify calling 911.

Garage-door opener

Forgetting to close the door to an attached garage can leave a home vulnerable to theft. The AssureLink (pictured top) garage-door opener allows users to check the door in a password-protected app and close it remotely. Craftsman AssureLink: $290

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2GIG Go! Control Panel

Home-automation control

Controllable via the Web, the Go!Control console acts as the hub of a DIY wireless security system. The panel works with accessories, such as motion sensors and cameras, over ultra-high-frequency radio. If a yard motion sensor goes off, it could lock doors and send you a video feed. 2GIG Go!Control Panel: $500 (est.)

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FireText Smoke Alarm

Smoke alarm

The FireText sends a text message to you and up to three neighbors when it senses a problem. The alarm works with prepaid AT&T and T-Mobile SIM cards and draws so little power that you’ll only have to change the batteries once a year. FireText Smoke Alarm $145