If you’re in the market for a new home security system, then rest assured you’ve made the right choice. A wireless alarm system has got what it takes to protect your most valuable asset: your family. There are, however, numerous different options on the market and the differences between them are remarkably complex. Therefore, it’s crucial you do your research before deciding on the best unit for you.
Here’s everything you need to know about the modern home security system to help you make an informed decision.
DIY Versus a Professional System
Two types of home security systems exist: the DIY and the professional system. The DIY system is ideal for customers on a budget as both the upfront and ongoing costs are low. As the customer sets up the system themselves, there’s no hefty installation fee to pay.
The DIY system is usually sold as a kit whose components vary depending on your specific needs. Some are large and elaborate, while others may include a single sensor and camera. It’s even possible to create a bespoke set up from scratch, although this isn’t recommended as some components aren’t compatible with others. The DIY customer can choose whether they want monitoring or not.
A professional home security system, on the other hand, offers more functionality for a considerably higher upfront and ongoing cost. Professional systems must be installed by a home security expert, which is the main reason they cost more.
Professional systems, like video intercom systems, come with a touch screen central hub that communicates with various other components through the internet or radio waves. Connected features can include door locks, motion detectors, video doorbells, glass break detectors, window/door sensors, smoke and CO alarms, and thermostats, among others. These highly advanced systems can automate a multitude of components to create a smart home you can control from your mobile phone.
The Upfront Costs
Upfront costs refers to the amount you’ll pay for the unit on day one. Take a look at the price of a few different systems and evaluate their inclusions before settling on a budget. Note that some units allow you to pay off the device through installments that are included in the monthly fees.
The Monthly Fees
Over time, monthly fees will far outweigh the upfront costs, so it’s crucial to consider them carefully as well. Both professional and DIY systems offer monitoring services, where a dedicated security team keeps an eye on your property and will call emergency services when necessary on your behalf.
Compare the monitoring plans of different companies by evaluating the monthly fee against the inclusions and exclusions. Note that some require contracts of several years that come with hefty cancellation fees.
Voice Control Support
Voice Control is a must-have feature when creating a 21st century smart home. Ensure your preferred home security system supports your preferred voice control system. Most modern DIY and professional systems have this functionality, which allows you to perform a plethora of useful actions with your voice, such as unlock doors, turn on lights, and adjust the thermostat.
The Storage Solutions
Cheaper setups store your recorded footage on a local hard drive and will erase old footage to make room when necessary. High-tech units, on the other hand, upload data directly to the cloud, which means you’ll pay ongoing fees of several hundred dollars a year.
The ideal option for you depends on your budget and how highly you value having a record of old footage.
The Camera Alternative
If you live in a small space such as a studio apartment, you might be able to get away with purchasing a cheaper standalone camera instead. Modern cameras can use WiFi to broadcast an image directly to your phone, and you can even add sensors that automatically alert you when there is movement or sound in your home.
Outdoor cameras are a great way to keep an eye on the kids and can combine with extra features such as sensor-activated floodlights. The greatest advantage, of course, is that a standalone camera is a fraction of the cost of a full home security system.
Do You Want A Video Doorbell?
Video doorbells automatically photograph or film when the doorbell is rung, thus creating a record of everyone who attempts to access your home. Some customers feel this feature is indispensable while others don’t rate it that highly.
What about a Smart Lock?
A Smart Lock allows you to lock and unlock your home through your phone, which means you’ll never have to worry about losing your keys again. You can also use the system to remotely let friends or family in, as well as receive alerts when others lock or unlock your home. Smart Locks are only available in more advanced systems, so they tend to be rather expensive.
Purchasing a home security system is a considerable investment, so it’s worth taking the time to research the different systems and features on offer. By taking the above information on board, you’ll be well on your way towards finding the ideal security solution for you.