two-way voice Archives | Think Protection

Can My Alarm Company Listen In With Two-Way Voice?

Two-way voice home alarm monitoring means that in the event of a home alarm signal, the home is connected to a central station where the monitoring operator can listen inside the home and voice threaten the intruder out through a two-way voice speaker. This connection provides a verified response, as the operator has instant information on what is truly occurring inside the home.

The big concern for the homeowner though is if the home alarm company can listen to the home when the alarm hasn’t already been triggered. Can this happen?

The answer is no. With live two-way voice monitoring, the connection is only established after the home alarm’s been triggered. If the alarm transmission hasn’t been launched then there is absolutely no way the central station rep can listen into the home. The technology doesn’t allow it, and doing so would be illegal.

Certain companies that don’t offer two-way voice monitoring will say that companies that do can indeed listen inside the home when the alarm hasn’t been triggered, which is a blatant lie. They do this to try to sway the customer to devalue live two-way voice monitoring.

Fear not, companies that have live two-way voice monitoring like AlarmForce, CPI, ADT and Rogers Smart Home Monitoring can only hear what is occurring inside your home after your alarm is triggered – which is where the value of live two-way voice monitoring lies. If your alarm has not been triggered then you have absolutely nothing to worry about, nobody has the ability to listen in on your home.

So, Think Protection when researching home alarms and understand that with live two-way voice monitoring you get a great form of monitoring that provides a verified alarm response.

What Is Two-Way Voice Monitoring And Do I Need It?

Live two-way voice monitoring is a type of home alarm monitoring, where if the alarm is triggered a live link is established between the home and a monitored central station. At that point, the monitoring station can listen inside the house through a two-way voice speaker. They can then voice threaten the intruder out, meaning that the intruder will hear the central station operator inside the house.

This is a premium type of alarm monitoring because it provides an enhanced response, where the central station can truly understand what’s happening inside the home. Beyond that, it proves to the burglar that the alarm system is monitored and someone is, in fact, responding to the break-in.

Sounds great, right? The question is how much does this type of monitoring cost. Most alarm companies, ADT, Vivint and CPI to name a few, offer live two-way voice as an enhanced service and charge between $32/month and $60/month for it. Beyond that, each of them requires a 3-year contract to be signed for the service. Even a low-cost alarm company, like AlarmForce, still isn’t truly low cost, where they charge $25/month for two-way voice and also require a 3-year contract to be signed.

While the monitoring is a better form of monitoring, customers should be wary of paying such high monthly rates for any type of alarm monitoring. Beyond that, signing any sort of contract is never for the customers benefit, as they are then locked into paying the company for the service, even if they are unhappy with the quality of service they are receiving.

So, in conclusion, two-way voice is a superior form of monitoring, however like any purchase you should understand that costs and the contractual terms before you sign up for any service. Understand what you’re getting and the total overall price commitment you’ll be responsible for. Two-way voice is a great form of monitoring, but if it comes with a contract and high monthly rates, then maybe you should look for other options. If you can get two-way voice without a contract and those enlarged rates, then that very well may be your best choice.

Who Is Ackerman Security And What Do They Offer?

Ackerman Security is an alarm company based in Atlanta, Georgia. They do both residential and commercial security and operate in both Atlanta and Washington, DC. Ackerman does a significant amount of advertising and is well known in both areas, offering a traditional home alarm solution for $18.95/month.

They specialize in traditional home security, specifically taking over people’s home alarms. This means that if you own a home alarm system that was monitored by a different company, you can switch to Ackerman, who will take over the monitoring for $18.95/month. This is for standard monitoring, not 2-way voice or cellular backup. Both are offered at a higher monthly amount.

A new alarm system with Ackerman Security costs upward of $300, which almost negates the lower price on the monthly fees if you currently don’t have a home alarm. They also require a 1-year contract. Beyond that, there is a charge for all service issues.

Ackerman Security does not answer your sales questions over the phone. Instead, Ackerman Security sends a sales rep to your home. The point of this is to put more sales pressure on the customer hoping this will help close the deal. While this may be a good sales tactic for the company, this is detrimental to the customer. Ackerman Security says they need the sales representative to come to your home in order to fully assess your security needs. While this sounds good, it’s not true. All security needs can be done over the phone, however, this line does help them get the sales rep into your home, which then leads to more pressure on you to sign a contract.

Remember to be cautious when dealing with a company that won’t answer all of your sales questions over the phone. Potential customers should be skeptical of any company that’s not fully transparent about their security offering from the first initial call.

To recap, Ackerman Security offers a new home alarm system for a significant upfront fee ($300+) and then $18.95/month. You will own the system, not lease it. Additional premium monitoring services like two-way voice and cellular backup are available for a higher monthly fee. Ackerman Security requires customers to sign a one year contract and then after there is a charge for service. And lastly, Ackerman Security will not answer your sales questions over the phone, but instead, send a sales representative to your home.

Why Does ADT Charge So Much?

In the world of home security, ADT is the 800-pound gorilla. With over 4 million customers, ADT is the biggest name in home alarms. When looking at their products and services, ADT doesn’t have anything unique, separating them from the thousands of other home alarm companies out there. So the big question is why does ADT charge so much for their services?

ADT charges anywhere between $29.99/month and $34.99/month for standard home alarm monitoring. Two-way voice monitoring with ADT is between $35.99/month and $39.99/month. Cellular alarm backup is another few dollars per month depending on if you contact ADT directly or an ADT dealer. Beyond that, there is a charge for the installation of their basic package which ranges from $99 up.

As far as I know, ADT has never lowered their monthly rates, however, once you’re under contract with them they reserve the right (and often do) raise their monthly rates. So if you signed a 29.99/month contract, don’t be surprised if by the third year of your three year contract you’re now paying $31.99/month.

In this ever competitive world of security, one has to ask themselves why doesn’t ADT lower their prices? The answer is because they can’t. ADT is locked into this high prices. By having so many current customers, all of which continue to pay more and more, if they lowered the price for new customers, say to $25/month, the rebound effect for their current customers could potentially destroy the company. So unfortunately for new and old ADT customers, the price is what it is, regardless of the world of security continuing to be more and more competitive.

When considering going with ADT, compare their offering with other companies. Look at the monthly monitoring price, the upfront price, what and how much equipment you’re getting if there’s a contract and what’s the length, is the equipment leased or do you own it and if you’re associating with the company or a dealer working independently of the parent company. All of these issues should contribute to your decision. Think longterm when you think protection, and make sure to go with the best company.

What Are Three Basic Steps To Protecting Your Home?

You don’t need to turn your home into a castle to protect yourself when you are home and away. There are some basic steps you can take that will instantly help protect yourself and your family. These steps are simple, and most are basic commonsense. Here is the list of three basic steps to increasing your level of home protection:

Keep Your Front Door Locked When You Are Home And Away!

The vast majority of people lock their doors when they are going out, however when they are home they leave their front door unlocked. By leaving your front door unlocked, anyone who approaches your home can easily walk inside with minimal interruption. Whether it’s a door-to-door salesperson or a stranger, you need to make sure that their ability to enter your home is non-existent. Always keep your front door locked whenever you are home!

When Away For Long Periods of Time, Make It Seem Like Someone Is Home!

People forget that when they go away on vacations to make it seem like they are still home. There are some basic things you can do to give the general perception that someone is in your home, even when you’re away. Make sure your newspaper delivery is put on hold, get timers for your lights so lights will turn on and off daily, have a neighbor collect your mail if it’s placed outside the house or in a mailbox and lastly, if it’s winter, have a neighbor drive on your driveway if it snows, to make it seem like a car was there recently. Simple steps that make it look like someone is there, so a burglar will move on to the next home instead of breaking into yours.

Get A Home Security System!

Homes with home alarm systems are more 3 times less likely to have an attempted break-in than homes without a home alarm system. When someone tries to break into your home, the home alarm tells them they’ve been caught and to get out of the home quickly. Without a home alarm, the burglar can enter the home uninterrupted, without anyone being notified that someone is inside. Get a home security system, especially one with live two-way voice security. The lawn sign and window decals alone will act as a deterrent, where a burglar will move on to a different home as opposed to risking it by trying to break into yours.