What is 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 arrive at 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 soon?
* Do you need more than just an anti-theft system?
* Any good references?
* What is the reputation of the security system?
These simple questions will guide you in choosing home security and ensure you get exactly what you need. You’ll find that most home security systems come with extra features that you don’t need and probably never will use. Being a smart shopper will save you money and a lot of headaches. Just do your homework properly.
So what’s next?
After answering the questions above, it’s time to get into the real home security system options and get the best one that suits your needs or that you prefer. The following is a short list of features that you should always consider when investing in a home security system.
* Cost: Covers equipment purchase, 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 purchased home security system. Some wireless security systems require some simple DIY, but you can also hire a handyman if your DIY skills were never developed! Make sure you get the best deal, as you’ll 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 things you need to consider are the installation requirements and procedure. While some simple system installations are DIY, you may need to hire an outside 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 total cost.
* Monitoring – How your home security system is monitored is very important. Most security companies will have a central monitoring station that operates 24/7. There are basically 3 ways to configure monitoring channels. Cellular monitoring, which is the safest option but also the most expensive, telephone line and internet, which is the cheapest of the three. Keep in mind that central monitoring costs can be as high as $60 per month and you may not actually need it. Also, self-monitoring can be a good idea, but not always the best option.
* Home Automation – This is a feature that has gained popularity in recent times. Please note that you will have to pay extra for this. Basically what this will do for you is allow you to control appliances and security equipment while you are out of the house. You can view live or recorded CCTV camera feeds and disarm or arm the alarm from anywhere via your smartphone or any other web-enabled device. Your best bet is a system that supports multiple detections and sensors while allowing you to expand your control options.
* Contracts – Always remember to read the fine print. Many security companies will slap you with a contract when installing the security system for your home. Check the contract period and terms before you sign anything. Also check to see if the contract covers things like moving the system to your new home in case you need to move. Contracts are binding legal documents, and you’ll want to be on the safe side of the fence when things unexpectedly go wrong.
* Warranty on equipment – You’ll want to consider this very carefully before purchasing any home monitoring or security equipment. Most security companies offer a warranty that covers free replacements or repairs for a certain period of time. Please confirm the warranty information to avoid future problems.
* Scalability or add-on features: Another thing you’ll want with a security system is the ability and ease of upgrading or downgrading as needed. Because lifestyles are known to change, it’s important to know in advance whether your security system will allow you to accommodate changes or additions without hassle.
* Remote Access – A good home security system will also allow you to have remote access through mobile apps or web-based dashboards.
These few features will help you get the best home security system that will give you the peace of mind and security you so richly deserve in your home. Just make sure your research and evaluation are thorough before entering into any related deals.