The recent surge in smart home systems can be chalked up to the technology’s dual tackling of both comfort and protection. A smart home security system allows you to control your door locks, lights, garage door, and security system all from a single hub or application. Smart home technology transforms the static nature of the home/homeowner relationship into one of dynamic interaction. Whether at home, at work, or away for the weekend, smart home systems give homeowners comprehensive and customized control of their own house.
The concept of the smart home isn’t difficult to grasp, but the mechanics of how the smart home ecosystem communicates are more complex. EPS Security’s staff of security consultants, engineers, and technicians are well-acquainted with the confused looks that terms such as “Z-Wave® technology,” “mesh network,” and “AES-128 encryption” elicit on our customers’ faces. A lack of understanding over how smart home devices communicate and whether or not these devices are truly secure is the primary barrier for most smart home skeptics. Because of this, we’ve made it our mission to hash out how our smart home systems communicate—and why the methods we use are the superior options for both home comfort and security.
Smart devices are, by definition, capable of communicating with each other and with a central “smart hub.” For instance, EPS Security’s ProSeries® systems tie into Total Connect®, a smart home automation platform through which compatible devices can be synced to and controlled. A smartphone, tablet, or computer communicates to the Total Connect hub using conventional WiFi. However, the smart hub—and every device on it—communicates using alternative methods.
The ProSeries® line of smart security devices communicate using a sort of beefed-up WiFi known as SiX Two-Way Wireless. To ensure hackers cannot hijack the security devices and disable your home security system, SiX Two-Way codes its signals with 128-bit Advanced Encryption System. In laymen’s terms, a 128-bit AES encryption would take a supercomputer over a billion years to crack—and the odds are, anyone trying to hack into your home security system won’t have a supercomputer at the ready as it is.
Security companies such as EPS Security and security manufacturers such as Resideo©, the company responsible for the production of the ProSeries®, have a transparent interest in making their products as secure as possible. But what about other smart home devices? EPS Security doesn’t install smart coffee makers, but they do exist—and, depending on their default form of communication, may even be compatible with the ProSeries®. Are these additional, convenience-based smart home devices vulnerable to hacking?
EPS Security’s Total Connect smart home platform does support additional smart devices—but only so long as they communicate using the Z-Wave® protocol. Much like WiFi and SiX-Two Way Wireless, the primary technical differentiator in Z-Wave® is the spectrum of frequencies at which it communicates. At 908.42 MHz, this frequency band is much lower than the 2.4-5 GHz utilized in standard WiFi or SiX Two-Way, eliminating the risk of your Z-Wave® devices interfering with your home WiFi network. Although the frequency is unique, Z-Wave® secures its signals using the same 128-bit AES encryption as the ProSeries® home security devices, ensuring that hackers can’t take over your smart coffee maker and covertly switch you to decaf. Additionally, each network of Z-Wave® devices has its own unique ID to prevent your neighbor with the exact same coffee maker from accidentally hijacking your own.
Z-Wave® devices also feature a unique feature known as “mesh networking.” A normal “smart hub” may only have a range of thirty or forty feet, limiting both the number of devices you can sync to your network and how far away from the hub you can put them. With Z-Wave®, each device acts as a relay, amplifying the signal and extending the range. At its maximum potential, a Z-Wave® mesh network of multiple devices can extend to a radius of up to 600 feet!
Because of its extensive range and tight security, Z-Wave® has become the protocol of choice for many smart device manufacturers. Over 3,000 types of Z-Wave® smart devices are currently sold on the market and an estimated 100 million Z-Wave® devices are installed in smart homes across the globe. Countless devices come with Z-Wave® built in and are rigorously tested and certified by the Z-Wave® brand, including:
Garage door openers
Smart homes technology adds layers of comfort and security to your lifestyle that only total control of your security system can bring. At EPS Security, we relish the opportunity to provide customized smart home solutions for our customers. It’s our great privilege to see the satisfaction of a fully realized smart security system on the faces of those who have entrusted the protection of what matters most to them to us.
Investing in a smart home is a smart solution. While custom security systems can be complicated to engineer, they are remarkably easy to control. Your home deserves an upgrade, and you deserve the convenience of control and the peace of mind a top-notch smart security system can bring. Take advantage of EPS Security’s 65+ years of home security experience and let us show you just how smart your own smart home solution can get.