How to Choose the Right Home Security System for You
An alarming statistic states that every 18 seconds, a burglary takes place in the United States. How does one ensure to not become a part of that statistic? An effective way to protect you and your family from possible break-ins on your home is to install a home security system.
Home security systems have proven to protect homeowners and their families from theft, invasion, trespassing and property damages. Innovations in home security have made it more efficient, safe and comprehensive. Newer models in the market are no longer limited to monitoring via security cam alone but also check for changes in motion, temperature, and lighting.
Safety is the prime reason for getting home security, but there are added benefits to it as well such as convenience and peace of mind. If you plan on getting a home security system for yourself but have no clue where to start, this article will guide you on how you can choose the best for your home.
1. Monitoring Options
Not all home security systems contain the same devices. Some systems come with video surveillance while some are just keypads with motion detectors to alert you if someone is trying to break into your windows or doors. Monitoring may be the main role of your security system, but the methods and connections used can also vary according to your service. There are three types of security monitoring options:
- Landline Monitoring - If you live in a rural area where cellular coverage can be a challenge, this may be your only option. When a security alarm is triggered, landline monitoring uses a phone line to communicate with the monitoring center and inform them of an incident. However, this method is most susceptible to tampering and is considered outdated by current security standards.
- Broadband Monitoring - Broadband monitoring uses an internet connection to report an emergency to the monitoring center. It is faster and safer than using a landline but may be affected when your internet connection is down. If you have a broadband connection, you can also add home automation features to your security system.
- Cellular Monitoring - This type of monitoring uses a cellular uplink to communicate with the monitoring center. Cellular monitoring is starting to become the standard for security systems because it is reliable, easy to install and less susceptible to tampering. It is the most expensive option of all three, with some alarm companies exclusively only providing this service. The biggest advantage of cellular monitoring is that it continues to work despite weather changes or a power grid failure.
Aside from those mentioned, you also have the choice of subscribing either to a professional monitoring service or a self-monitoring one. With a professional monitoring service, your home is actively monitored by an actual person, 24/7, for a fee. They can call the authorities in case of a break-in or other emergencies, so any incidents are acted upon immediately. A professional monitoring service may cost more but is best for you if you need the convenience and maximum safety features it offers.
Self-monitoring puts the responsibility of checking your home for any suspicious activity into your own hands. Using a mobile app or desktop, you can access and view your home even when you’re away. When an alarm is triggered, it will fall upon your hands to call the authorities to notify them of a break-in or an accident. If you don’t want to spend money on professionals and would rather do the monitoring yourself, this option is for you.
Home security systems give you the option of either installing it by yourself or calling in the professionals to do it for you. Wireless systems are easy to DIY as it only requires simple installation and is easy to place anywhere you prefer without having to drill a hole. If you need more assistance, most companies have a 24/7 call center with technicians on the line to guide you through the process. The best thing about this method is that it’s free and easy even if you’ve never done home projects before.
A professional installation, on the other hand, takes the work off your hands and a technician will personally do it for you. They will assess your home’s layout and place sensors and devices in strategic locations which will provide optimal security. They will run you through the system and answer any questions you have. The downside of professional service is the cost and the availability and scheduling of manpower. This type of installation would also take longer as it usually takes a whole day to finish.
It’s no secret that a home security system is an investment. When weighing which provider to sign up with, take note of these costs: activation fee, monthly fee, service fee, relocation fee, and cancellation fee. These charges vary depending on the company and the package it offers, so always check for any differences on the same product and service. Also, check your contract terms and always read the fine print of the contract. There may be hidden costs or conditions regarding your service.
A home security system doesn’t come cheap, but the costs are nothing compared to the protection and peace of mind it will give you and your family. You will also need not to worry about paying for damages and loss caused by a robbery or an accident. Whether you prefer to go DIY or hire a professional to install the system for you, rest assured that this will be one of the best decisions you’ve made for you and your family.