How to Choose a Home Security System
There are many factors to consider when selecting a home security system. For example, most people expect doorbell cameras, indoor and outdoor security cameras, smart detectors and alarms, and more. In addition to these basic features, consumers should consider the type of contract that comes with the system. While most home security companies charge a one-time installation fee, a contract can run for two years or longer. You may have to pay extra to cancel your service early, so make sure you fully understand what you’re getting.
Most home security providers offer several packages with varying prices, so you can find a system that meets your needs and your budget. Some companies offer options for every size home. Others offer products you can add as needed. For instance, if your home has tempered glass, you’ll want a system with glass-break sensors. Some brands also offer DIY systems, which you can install yourself if you know how.
Once you have decided on which home security system you want to purchase, it’s time to start comparing prices. Prices can vary a lot from provider to provider, as can the cost of installation or monitoring. Some companies offer free trials that last for three, seven, 30 or 90 days. You should be aware that these free trials will likely expire at the end of the trial period, so make sure you compare costs and features before signing up for any package.
Depending on your needs, you might only need to replace a few elements of the current system. In the case of older systems, the wireless sensors are compatible with older wired systems. But the biggest change to your home security system will be its control panel. Most new control panels incorporate WiFi technology and a battery-powered cellular module. The battery backup should be sufficient for at least 24 hours. If your home security system doesn’t last that long, you can cancel the service without any penalty.
When deciding on the type of home security system, make sure you choose a package that provides you with all the features that you’ll need. Start with a basic starter package that includes motion sensors and door/window contact sensors. You can add more devices later if you need to, including cameras, glass break sensors, panic buttons, and water leak sensors. Some systems also come with audible alarms that can scare away burglars.
You should check whether your lease or rental agreement has specific requirements regarding security. Some landlords may prohibit cameras or other security accessories. Upon installation, be sure to notify your landlord to avoid a violation. Also, keep in mind that some home security systems trigger loud alarms, which can call the police or fire departments. This can lead to unpleasant surprises later on. The cost of installing a home security system will depend on how comprehensive your security plan is.
Once you’ve chosen a company and selected the equipment you need, the next step is to choose a monitoring service. Some systems can be setup easily on your own and can be monitored from your smartphone. Depending on your needs, you can even choose do-it-yourself video baby cameras to watch your children and pets while you’re away. Motion and spotlight cameras record video footage when movement is detected, while smart doorbell cameras can verify your requests for entry.