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Start with the Hub

Easy setup

Motion detection and more

Open/closed, hot/cold...

I sense a presence...

No place like home

Other sensors, too

Works with IFTTT

Consider a kit

At $99, the SmartThings Hub is the brain of the system, and will monitor and control all of your sensors. Even if you don't have any sensors, it'll be able to track when your smartphone comes and goes, then use that as a trigger.
Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET
The Hub is easy to install: just plug it into your router and power it up. The SmartThings app, free for iOS and Android devices, will take care of the rest.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET
The SmartThings motion detector doubles as a range extender for the Hub.
Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET
The magnetic entry sensor is especially clever. In addition to monitoring when the door or window it's attached to opens or closes, it'll detect vibrations and also track the temperature.
Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET
Want the door to lock automatically when you leave, and the lights to turn on automatically when you get home? Clip a SmartThings presence sensor to your keychain, book bag, or purse, and your system will be able to track when you come and go.
Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET
You'll be able to teach your system where "home" is from within the app, and also customize how far away you have to be before anything triggers.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET
SmartThings is compatible with a wide variety of sensors. This moisture sensor will alert you if there's a leak.
Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET
With IFTTT's SmartThings channel, you'll be able to use your sensors to trigger other IFTTT-friendly devices like the Belkin WeMo Switch or Philips Hue bulbs. You also be able to hook them up with popular online services like Twitter, Google Drive, and Foursquare.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshots by Ry Crist/CNET
If you want to try out a variety of sensors, you might go with one of SmartThings kits. Prices start at $199.
Caption by / Photo by Colin West McDonald/CNET
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