What Should You Look For in a Home Security System?

When it comes to protecting your home and family with a home security system, putting in some time and research can go a long way to affording you some much needed peace of mind.

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There are a few basic considerations that must be made when selecting a home security system, but they can go a long way in ensuring your long-term happiness. Home security systems are available in a variety of types and styles to suit the varying needs of homeowners, business owners, and families. It is important that you take the time to find a system that is going to meet your specific needs without exceeding any budget that you may be working within. When you decide that you are ready to purchase a home security system, whether you are looking for the first time or seeking to upgrade the system you already have, these are some of the characteristics that you are going to want to look out for.

1 - Monitoring Type

There are three types of monitoring available for home security systems, which are landline, cellular, and broadband. Landline monitoring requires the use of a phone line to communicate with a monitoring center any time an alarm is triggered. Landline monitoring is ideal for remote locations that have difficulty reaching cellular signal and budget-conscious buyers. Broadband monitoring requires an internet connection to communicate with the monitoring center, allowing for a faster and safer connection than what landline monitoring offers. If your internet goes down, your security system will also be down though, so create a failsafe by adding a landline backup. Cellular monitoring requires a cellular uplink to communicate emergencies to the monitoring center, which is most reliable and least susceptible to tampering, but is also the most expensive.

2 - Customer Support

Customer service is a vital consideration when selecting a home security system, so pay attention to customer service ratings. Consumer Affairs, Consumer Reports, Better Business Bureau and similar websites will provide invaluable information when helping you choose the right security system for your home. You may also consider personally phoning each company you are considering, to see how their representatives treat you when it comes to asking questions and finding the specific information that you need. Try to craft a list of questions that you have about each home security company and call to speak to a customer service representative seeking answers to your questions. This is a great way to determine whether customer service may be able to meet your longer-term needs.

3 - Package Features

Choosing the right package from a home security company is going to depend on the needs of your home and family. If you are simply looking for a basic monitoring system without a lot of extras, then an introductory package will make more sense for your home since you will get the monitoring and the alarm system that you need without any added expense. However, if you are looking for a way to check in on your home or your family when you cannot be there to do so, you may want to look for a system that provides remote access capabilities, either by mobile or web, or something with email notifications or text notifications. If you’re looking for an even higher-end package, you could add something with live-stream video, or home automation features to really bring your home security system capabilities to life. It really comes down to what your individual needs and preferences are, as you should not need to pay for more features than you are going to use.

4 - Cost

There are different costs that you must consider when purchasing an alarm system for your home, including the activation fee, the monthly fee, the service fee, relocation fees, and cancellation charges. These fees and charges can vary fairly significantly from company to company, as well as from package to package, so it can be beneficial for you to keep track of them on paper or on your computer as you compare security system brands and packages before you make a purchase. Another thing that you are definitely going to want to factor into your decision is whether or not you will lease your equipment or purchase your equipment, and keep in mind that there are benefits and drawbacks to each option. Purchased equipment can be kept and used with other security companies in the future, however leased equipment typically carries lower costs up-front, since the equipment fees will be rolled right into the monthly costs that you pay.

5 - Home Automation Capabilities

In addition to providing your home with security protection, security systems can also typically offer home automation features, such as locking and unlocking the doors, turning lights off and on, adjusting the temperature and more using your tablet, smartphone, or computer. Not only does this add comfort to the home, but it can also make it seem as if the home is being occupied while you are away. These features typically require a higher-tier package, so consider this when shopping for your new home security system because the lower-end packages will not boast features such as these.

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