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Comcast Offering Home Security Bundle 102

vaporland writes "Bloomberg reports that media giant Comcast has begun offering home security bundles with cable or phone service in selected markets. From the article: 'The Philadelphia-based company is starting Xfinity Home Security in seven markets for $39.95 a month. It lets users remotely adjust lights and thermostats, watch cameras, and get e-mail or text alerts when doors and windows are opened and closed. Customers can watch live video of their homes on an Xfinity website or with an Apple Inc. iPad application.'"
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Comcast Offering Home Security Bundle

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 12, 2011 @09:22PM (#36421296)

    I have the service. Allow me to enlighten you as to what it is ( and isn't ).

    First, you MUST have a router feeding the house network. You need an available eth connection as well for the alarm head unit. The unit is NOT static IP configured, it's dhcp so it will be begging the router for an IP address. Force a static on it from the router and it will be thrilled. Head unit is listening on port 80 so you need to forward the port through the firewall to allow net access. Yeah every scan on Earth will see it so I suspect your router logs are gonna jump an order of magnitude or so. Hitting the unit asks for the install code ( 16 digit ) but I didn't test it past that.

    The whole system is wireless so the main unit needs to be centralized if possible so the sensors can talk to it. The install tech has to add the sensors to the head unit and you don't get to play in the config once they're done. Preferred package is four door / window sensors and one motion sensor. Additional sensors are horrendously expensive ( $170 for a motion sensor ?! ) but the system is General Electric based so you may be able to buy your own ( Z-Wave compatible ) but they will have to configure them in the head unit. Head unit also has a battery backup with a cellular system in the event of a power failure or loss of cable signal. Head unit is broadcasting it's own SSID and appears to be running with at least WPA.

    They fail to mention on their site that the customer is required to obtain an Alarm Operators Permit from your local municipality. Not expensive ($25 first year, $15 renewal) but necessary as the fine for the police showing up on an alarm call if you don't have one is expensive.

    Email and text messages for damn near anything can be configured. System arm / disarm, tamper switches trigger, individual triggers for every sensor, etc. Make sure you have a decent messaging plan.

    Remote monitoring, arm / disarm and system / sensor history are available once you log in using your info. Same for the IPhone app.

    They need to add a swivel bracket to the motion sensors for better placement options IMO. Three year contract. $200 install and $39.95 month. Qualifies for insurance discount. IS a monitored service. Seems to perform fairly well. No real complaints to speak of so far.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky