What’s the difference between a home alarm system and a home security system? Technically… nothing! Basically what matters most is the level of home automation, the installation process and the monitoring options. There are many home security systems to choose from and this needs careful consideration. The best way to come to a good decision is by answering the following questions.
* Do you own or rent your current home?
* Will you need remote mobile access and what are the options?
* Is a camera necessary?
* Are you planning to move anytime soon?
* Do you need more than an anti-burglar system?
* Any good referrals?
* What is the reputation of the security system?
These simple questions will guide you to the choice of home security and ensure you get precisely what you need. You will find that most home security systems come with extra features that you don’t need and most likely will never use! Being a smart shopper will save you money and a lot of headache. Just do your homework properly.
So what next?
After answering the above questions, its time to go into the actual home security system options and get the best that suits your needs or that you prefer. The following is a summarized list of features to always look out for when investing in a home security system.
* Cost – this covers buying the equipment, installation and monthly monitoring subscription costs. You need to consider the price of the equipment as well as the installation cost that comes with the home security system bought. Some wireless security systems require a simple DIY, but you can also hire a handyman if your DIY skills never developed! Make sure you get the best bargain as you will get different quotes for the same thing.
Tip: Wireless home security systems are cheaper and easier to install compared to wired systems.
* Installation – the next thing you should consider is the installation requirements and procedure. While some simple systems installations are DIY, you might need to hire a third-party professional handyman and pay by the hour to get it fixed properly. Otherwise most security companies will do the installation for you which is charged as part of the overall cost.
* Monitoring – how your home security system is monitored is very important. Most security companies will have a central monitoring station that is manned 24/7. There are basically 3 ways that monitoring channels can be set up. Cellular monitoring which is the safest option but also most expensive, phone line and internet which is the cheapest of the three. Please note that central monitoring costs can run up to $60 per month and you may not actually need it! Also, self monitoring may be a good idea but not always the best option.
* Home Automation – this is one feature that has gained popularity in recent times. Please note that you’ll need to pay extra for this. Basically what this will do for you is allow you to control appliances and the security equipment while you’re out of the house. You can be able to view live or recorded CCTV camera feeds and disarm or arm the alarm from wherever you are through your smartphone or any other web enabled device. A system that supports various detection and sensor while allowing you extended control options is the best.
* Contracts – always remember to read the fine print. Many security companies will slap you with a contract when installing the home security system for you. Check the period of the contract and the terms before signing anything. Also confirm if the contract covers things such as moving the system to your new home in case you need to move. Contracts are binding legal documents and you will want to be on the safe side of the fence when things go unexpectedly wrong!
* Warranty On Equipment – you will want to consider this very keenly before purchasing any security or home monitoring equipment. Most security companies offer a warranty covering free replacements or repairs for a certain period of time. Confirm the warranty information to avoid any future problems.
* Scalability or Add-On Features – another thing you will want with a security system is the ability and ease of upgrading or downgrading as required. As lifestyles are known to change, it’s important to find out before hand if the security system will allow you to incorporate the changes or additions without complications.
* Remote Access – a good home security system will also allow you to have remote access either via mobile apps or web-based dashboards.