How We Rank and Review

Written by | Updated October 12, 2018

How We Keep the Lights On

First things first—we can give away our reviews, insights, and tips for living a safer life because we pay the bills with affiliate commissions from some (but not all) of the retailers and brands we recommend. Those commissions may influence when we review products, but they never interfere with our recommendations and the content of our reviews. In fact, we’ll be brutally honest about our partners if their product or service falls short.

Our writers and editors rank products and services based on their expert opinions about which ones will best serve the needs of our readers. Period.

How We Rank Products and Services

We Find Problems That Need Solutions

First, we identify a home security or safety need. Then we find out what tools, tips, products, and other resources are out there to fill that need. On the way, we get tangled up in wires and stuck knee-deep in tech specs and setup. We wade through the waters of online support, apps, and connecting just about everything to a Wi-Fi network.

We Get Our Hands Dirty

We set off alarms, test response times, and push the limits of durability. When we test a product it may have to face down weather, kids, kitties, and dogs. We challenge our tech-savvy limits to find out if a product or service is easy for the average mortal to use.

We Make It Personal

We designate cupboards, closets, and rooms in our homes to boxes and boxes of test products. And sometimes we fight to keep the ones we really like. We visit security companies to find out what goes on behind the scenes. We grill them with questions and examine their equipment. Then we line them up against their competition.

We Research, Research, Research

On top of our hands-on tests, we settle in and read as many customer reviews, expert findings, and applicable research as we can find. We may even call up an industry expert or company rep to hear their two cents. In the unlikely event that we can’t get a product in-house to test in time to meet deadlines, we may write up a review based on research and interviews—with testing scheduled for an update as soon as possible.

We Bring It All Together

Finally, we synthesize all of this information and boil it down to help you find the home security and safety information you need. Our testers fill out in-depth testing rubrics, take photos of equipment and screenshots of apps, and compare their results to the claims of the company. The result is our collection of safety and security recommendations. Recommendations that we can stand behind because they’re based on real experience.

Disclaimer: SafeWise is supported by readers like you. That means we might make money when you click on one of our recommendations.