Each of our reviews, scores, and rankings is derived from our proprietary Ranking Criteria™. We do not have any relationships with companies that guarantee position, rank or score—and we never will. Like many sites, we are compensated through affiliate relationships with each company we review; however, our Ranking Criteria™, along with real customer reviews from people like you, ensure we remain honest and unbiased. Read on to discover more about how user review moderation and expert scoring is processed or select an industry to see our full ranking criteria.

How we rank for

15% Total Cost

We look at the total cost to automate your home – either upfront with DIY equipment or over 3 years using a home automation service. In our research, we found 11 standard pieces of home automation equipment:

  • Smart home hub
  • Sensors
  • Indoor camera
  • Doorbell camera
  • Locks
  • Smoke / CO2 alarm
  • Thermostat
  • Light Switch
  • Light Bulb
  • Outlet
  • Garage door opener

The prices we display for each company show you how much it will cost to purchase one of each of the above, or how much it would cost to sign up with a home automation service for 3 years.

*Not all home automation companies offer what we consider the 11 standard pieces of equipment. If one or more of the above pieces of equipment is not included in a company’s price, we will add a disclaimer to that company’s profile.

14% Unified System

We believe that the best home automation companies will offer all of the 11 standard pieces of equipment – and that they’ll be under one brand. This equipment includes:

  • Smart home hub
  • Sensors
  • Indoor camera
  • Doorbell camera
  • Locks
  • Smoke / CO2 alarm
  • Thermostat
  • Light Switch
  • Light Bulb
  • Outlet
  • Garage door opener

Companies receive points for offering consumers all of the pieces of equipment – added points if they offer them under their own brand.

10% Home Security

One of the main reasons people want to automat their home is for security purposes. Pieces of equipment that help with this are sensors, a camera with cloud storage, doorbell camera, door locks, and a smoke/CO2 alarm. Companies are awarded points for each piece of home security equipment they offer.

10% Thermostat

One main piece of equipment people want connected to their home automation system is a thermostat. Most of the thermostats people use are automated – meaning you can control it from a hub or from a remote on your phone. Companies that offer smart thermostats – meaning the thermostat can learn how you want to heat and cool your house on their own – score higher in this category.

10% Controls

We like to see systems that can be controlled in a variety of ways: touch screen hub, voice control, remote, and apps (Windows, GooglePlay, and the App Store. These are the 4 controls we believe companies should offer.

7% Smart Lighting

One of the best ways to automate your home is through lighting. The “Smart Lighting” criteria point looks at whether or not a company offers light switches and/or bulbs you can automate through your hub.

7% Outlets

Does this company offer smart outlets you can plug into your outlets? Smart outlets lets you control anything you normally plug in through your home automation system.

7% Garage Door

Does this company offer a garage door opener that you can sync into your home automation system? Companies that offer this are given high marks in this category.

15% Consumer Reviews

This site is designed to let consumers share their experiences. Given our expertise in many industries and the knowledge that we have gained over the years, we know that some of the most important opinions come from real customers. That is why we have allocated so much of our overall rating to the voice of our validated customer reviews. The Consumer Reviews Score is broken down into three metrics:

  1. The Average User Score
  2. Total Number of Reviews
  3. Total Number of Reviews in the last 12 months

These 3 metrics not only help us understand what consumers are saying, they also help us gain an understanding of volume and recency. All of which are critical to understanding the value of a company in the eyes of the consumer.

Note: this is different from the user score that is displayed on each company profile. The “user score” that is publicly displayed is the average of all user scores published for a given profile.

User Review Moderation

In order to prevent fake and misleading user reviews, BestCompany.com has a review moderation team specifically assigned to moderating all user reviews for all companies listed on the site. This team follows a very specific and strict moderation process that has been designed by gathering learnings from mistakes other major review sites have made in the past.

This moderation process involves a “flag” system where a flag is assessed for each negative attribute associated with a user review. Too many flags result in a disapproval of a user review. Some of the things our moderation staff looks for and assigns potential flags to include:

  • Email address verification of the user
  • IP address duplication and region check
  • User review semantic verification
  • Is the user an employee of the organization?
  • Is the user associated with a competitor of the organization?
  • Foul language of any kind
  • Relevance of the content pertaining to the company and the review

As you can probably tell, we take our user review moderation process very seriously. We believe accuracy and authenticity is critical when it comes to user reviews, and as a result we are constantly finding new ways to evolve our user moderation process to make it better. Please note that while we do our best to manually moderate each and every user review, mistakes can be made; however, our dedication to resolving errors in our process is what sets us apart from other review sites in the industry.

5% Company Stability

We look at the legal history and financial stability of each company. This metric takes into consideration any bankruptcies, class action lawsuits, government lawsuits, or government investigations a company has had in the last five years.

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