Are you looking to get a home security system? There are many options out there. With so many alarm companies, how do you find the best security system for your needs? Here are some tips to find the best home security systems available.
First you need to understand what a home security system does. Home alarms are designed to deter and detect burglars. A monitored home security system will provide unparalleled peace of mind. But not all alarms are the same. A monitored alarm system provides more security than a self monitored alarm. A monitored system contacts a central station when triggered. A self-monitored system will contact the homeowner. That’s it. Only a monitored system will provide a response 24 hours a day. Get a monitored system. If the security company doesn’t provide a monitored response, move on the the next one.
Next, you need to find out the price. Some companies offer security systems for $30-60 per month. ADT, Vivint, NorthStar Security, CPI Security and Xfinity are some of these companies. Frontpoint Security and Protect America are also in that range. Ackerman Security is $20/month. Think Protection and Simplisafe are under $20/month. Understand the price and what services are included. How does the system communicate with a central station? Is it professionally monitored? Are there hidden fees? Does the monthly rate include access to the mobile application?
In regards to technology, how does the panel communicate with the central station. Does it work through broadband, cellular or phone lines. Broadband is through the internet. This means the house needs to have internet. If the internet isn’t reliable then broadband will be a problem. Is may be the case in rural areas. Cellular connects the panel to the central station. This signal is stronger than a cellular phone. It can work anywhere pending there’s cellular reception. A positive is you can place the panel anywhere in the house. With broadband it must connect to the router. With home phone you need a phone line in the home. This is detrimental as more houses don’t have phone lines. Ask the alarm company how their panel connects.
All alarms should come with a mobile app. Most do, some don’t. The mobile app will let you arm/disarm the system through your smartphone or keypad. This provides fantastic convenience. If you are away, and you forgot to arm the system, you can through your phone. It gives extra peace of mind. All companies should supply the app at no additional charge. Think Protection, Frontpoint and Vivint include it in their monthly. Simplisafe and ADT charge extra for the app. This bumps up the monthly cost. The app is incredibly important. Don’t get an alarm system that doesn’t come with a mobile app at no additional cost.
Smart home automation is available with some home alarm systems. This is when you can control parts of your home through the alarm system. Unlock your doors or control your thermostat through your phone or tablet. Open and close your garage door. Turn on and off lights. This provides a level of coolness to your system. Plus it can add an extra level of security. Smart home automation is available as an additional service with most alarms. Think Protection, ADT, Xfinity, CPI offer smart home. So does AlarmForce and Vivint. Simplisafe does not have smart home automation. Ask your alarm company. Ask prices and services. Does the monthly monitored raise with smart home automation? How much? Which features can be added? Do your homework.
Most alarm companies require the customer to sign a contract. Usually contracts are three years. Cable companies require a two-year contract. What do you get with a contract? The contract locks the customer up during this period. The customer will have to pay the monthly rates. They won’t be able to cancel. If they do cancel, they’ll have to pay out the remaining term. ADT, CPI Security, Vivint, Frontpoint and Protect America require three year contracts. Ackerman Security has a one year contract. Xfinity has a two-year contract. Simplisafe and Think Protection come with no annual contract. Contracts only benefit the alarm company. So ask if there’s a contract. If there is, then stay away.
If you do go with an alarm company with a contract, read over the contract before signing it. Does it include the right to raise prices. Most alarm contract include this clause. If you are paying $25/month initially, is that price locked in? Will the company raise prices? Most will. Read reviews online. Ask the company for a copy of the contract before signing. If you see they can raise rates, then don’t sign with them.
Online reviews can help you find the best alarm company. Read trustpilot.com and homestars reviews. These are real reviews from actual customers. They will give you insight into customers experiences. How does the company rate? You’ll get a good sense of what to expect. How was the customer service? What about the pricing? Are customers happy or is there buyer’s remorse?
Also if you are considering using a cable company, ask how has your experience with the company been with your other services? When you call, are you waiting for help? Have they raised rates in the past? Are they a jack of all trades? This usually means they’re a master of none. Security is important. It should be the primary focus of your security company. It shouldn’t be low on their totem pole of company priorities. We recommend using a security focused company. One that only only focuses on keeping your protected.
When looking for the best home security, ask the right questions. Do your homework and don’t rush into a contract. People usually stay with an alarm company for just under 10 years. This equals thousands of dollars. Plus, you’re trusting them to protect your home and family! Make an informed decision. One with a company that will provide excellent value and service.