You’re thinking about getting a home alarm system. You’ve looked at a few options and are wondering to yourself what kind should you get: one that comes with professional monitoring or a self-monitored system, where only you and a select contact list are notified if an alarm is triggered. How can you make a smart decision?
There is no shortage of options for a self-monitored alarm system and a monitored alarm system. Companies like ADT, AlarmForce, Simplisafe, CPI, and Ackerman offer a traditional monitored home alarm system, while companies like Canary and Dropcam have a self-monitored solution. What’s the difference between self-monitored and professionally monitored alarms?
When a professionally monitored home security system is tripped a signal is sent to the monitoring station who can then assess the situation and then contact the police if necessary. A self-monitored system only notifies the homeowner through a text, email or automated phone call.
If the homeowner is busy or doesn’t have their phone on them, then they can’t deal with whatever situation is occurring. Plus, if they are far from their home, they may know that the alarm was tripped but can’t get any information beyond that. Self-monitored systems rely solely on the homeowner to resolve the situation, which may not always be possible.
A professionally monitored system has the monitoring station involved in the assessing process and the dispatching of whatever first responder is needed. This provides unmatched peace of mind and a response regardless of the homeowner’s activities or location.
While a self-monitored system is better than nothing, it doesn’t come close to the value that a professionally monitored home alarm provides. The peace of mind and level of security is unparalleled, giving the homeowner a better response and ultimately better security.
Remember though that not all alarm systems are created equal, so do your research on what type of alarm monitoring they provide, if their central station is a 5-diamond certified central station if they have an alarm contract and also the monthly price should factor into your decision. Think Protection and make an informed choice.
Canary Smart Home Security System announced on March 5th that they have secured a $10 million in funding for their single unit smart home security solution. The product was first featured on Kickstarter and raised over $1.2 million in funding.
The Canary product is still being developed and is not currently being sold. The unit will cost around $200, and contains sensors and a camera. The idea is that the unit can do most things a traditional home security system can do. It has certain learning features, where it will supposedly understand the movements within the house, and then when activated if any movements seem unusual it will trigger.
The unit is self-monitored through a users smartphone, where the user can watch the camera, see video and arm and disarm the system.
There is currently no outside monitoring solution.
While the idea for the Canary Home Monitored Security System seems novel, unfortunately, it can’t do everything a traditional home alarm system can. It has definite limitations. If you live in a small apartment, or a trailer home then the unit may well be enough to protect yourself. Beyond that, it simply doesn’t have the functionality that a system with more equipment has. Multiple motion detectors located throughout the house adds more security value than a standalone unit.
Beyond that, if the unit does not have outside monitoring capabilities then the true level of protection is suspect. What if the homeowner is in a meeting and can’t look at their smartphone or if the user’s phone is dead? In both of those examples the system then simply becomes a local alarm providing little deterrent value.
The Canary Smart Home Security System seems like a product that would be found at The Sharper Image or Brookstone. It’s a cool concept that in reality has little true value as a security solution. If someone is really looking for a real way to protect their home and family then a traditional security system, with increased features and equipment that is strategically placed throughout the house continues to be the ideal form of security.
Here’s the Techcrunch article on Canary’s latest round of funding: http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/05/canary-smart-home-security-system-nabs-10-million-series-a-from-khosla-ventures/