Top Home Security Providers
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Security systems offer a variety of features. Choose the ones that are most important to you.
Security Options For Renters and Owners
Should you invest in a home security system?
That depends a lot on whether you rent or own your property.
Landlords tally up every nail hole and scuff when you move out and charge you for damages. That's what makes this type of living situation kind of tricky for home security installations. While it's important that you and your belongings stay safe, you'll want to request permission before you start putting anything too permanent in your rental. Or, you can choose options that are minimally invasive like standalone cameras.
You can also do yourself a favor by scouting out a rental that is already very secure. Check for a property that has a locked front door, so that non-residents can't enter the building without consent. Make sure it's in a well-lit area and has a secure deadbolt on your unit too. All of these things can help enhance your security.
The joy of owning lies in the fact that you can do anything to your property that you want. If you would like to install a full home security system, you can drill into walls, wire cameras to every corner of your home, and even install a mote if you see fit. While you'll want to be considerate of your neighbors if you're installing bright motion lights, everything else should ultimately be left up to your discretion and budget.
How to Choose Between Professional Vs DIY Installations
How handy are you? Do you feel comfortable running the electrical for your own security system or climbing a ladder? Those are a couple great questions to ask yourself before deciding on a professional or DIY install. Here is some more information to help you pick.
Some security companies require their products to be installed by a certified professional. While it's a bit more expensive than a DIY option, you'll be rewarded with convenience and peace of mind that the job has been done right. Plus, before the installation professional packs up for the day, he or she can also show you how to properly use your new security system and make sure everything's running smoothly. Do keep in mind though that you might be a little inconvenienced for the appointment since you'll need to be home during installation.
Doing it yourself is a great way to save money on your home security system if you don't mind following directions in one of two ways:
Voice Recording: With a voice recording, or electronic prompt, you can expect to be walked through the installation process by a robotic set of directions. This will have been pre-recorded by the security company you purchased your equipment from, so it should be thorough, but it won't put you in contact with a person directly.
Calling a Representative: Calling a representative on the phone will be similar to an electronic prompt, but you'll have the benefit of speaking to an actual human. If you have questions, you can get more detailed answers so you can ensure you're installing your system correctly.
The one concern with DIY installs is that they take more of your personal time (about 30-40 minutes) and you might not be sure you set it up right. A security system is meant to make you feel safe and sound, so go with the option you feel confident about.
Features You Can Add To Your Home Security System
Keep it bare bones or go all out with your home security system—it’s up to you! Here are some options that you can lump into your package for added protection.
With mobile access, you can use your smartphone or any device that’s connected to the web to control your security system. This feature doesn’t come standard, but most companies offer the option to add it and will have varying degrees of interactivity. For some, it’s just letting you arm and disarm your security system from afar. For others, it’s additional home automation like temperature control, locking doors, controlling lighting, and viewing live camera streams. What’s the right amount of connectivity you need? Figure that out and you’ll be ready to add proper coverage to ease your worries.
Some companies have equipment that operates completely wirelessly through cellular uplink or internet connection. This allows for an easier installation process, transportable systems, and less wires that could potentially be cut by intruders.
This type of service is like a babysitter for your home. Albeit, an expensive one. You can buy this kind of coverage if you’d like to be connected to your security company directly and reach them immediately if there is an emergency.
This is the gold standard in the security industry and the most advanced to date. Using cell towers, you won’t have to worry about shaky internet speed or connection or landlines being cut. It’s the most expensive option, but the best one out there if you live somewhere with good cell reception.
In the case of a security breach, your system will call the monitoring center for help through your phone line. This is usually the cheapest version of home monitoring, but it isn’t the most secure. If your phone lines are accessible, trespassers could cut them and render your system useless during a crisis.
Like we mentioned above, you’ll need to decide if you’re comfortable setting up your own security system or need a professional’s help. Most companies offer professional installation at an added cost, but a lot of benefits. You’ll be able to trust in his or her skills, feel confident that the installation was done correctly, and ask questions about how to operate your devices while they’re at your home.
Home automation is as good as having a magic wand. Some companies will enable you to lock doors, control lights, adjust the thermostat, or even turn small appliances on or off from your smartphone or connected device. It’s a way to keep ultimate control over your house while you’re away and make sure it’s ready for you when you come home.
Instead of using a phone line, this service communicates through your internet connection to contact a monitoring center. It’s faster and middle of the road in price, but it’s only as reliable as your internet connection.
You can choose from a variety of models when it comes to indoor cameras. Pick one that tilts and scans a room, is stationary, or has a wide angle lens. With indoor cameras, you’ll be able to see what’s happening at your home when you’re not there. You’ll most likely have to pay more for monitoring services if you install indoor cameras, but if it’s a safety priority for you, then it should be worth it.
If you're new to buying a home security system, you may have come across some unfamiliar terminology on security websites, or even right here on SafeWise.com. Here's a glossary of security terms that we hope will help alleviate any confusion.
These companies have mobile apps and mobile alerts that can keep you in-the-know while you’re at the office.
Keep your energy usage in check with tools that support remote thermostat and lighting adjustments.
You can get personalized pendants to wear from these companies in case you fall or are hurt and can’t reach the phone.
Ideal for those who are away from home often, these companies support mobile apps and alerts to keep you informed and 24/7 monitoring plans.
Check in on your kids with live video streaming from a mobile app.
Those who own pets should know that these companies offer motion sensors that can distinguish pets, so your alarm won’t go off because Fluffy jumps on the bed.