8 Things To Consider Before Buying a Home Security System
Home security systems do a lot more than just protect your belongings from burglars and intruders; more importantly, they also help preserve your sense of safety and security inside your home.
But before you go out and buy the latest and greatest home security system on the market, it’s important to arm yourself with some information first. To help out, below are eight things to consider before buying a home security system.
There are two parts to most modern home security systems: hardware and monitoring services. The hardware part consists of the various sensors that you place in different areas around your home. These sensors are placed around doors, windows, garage doors and other areas of entry.
However, it’s important to only purchase the sensors you need for your specific home. Providers usually allow you to either purchase hardware sets for convenience or to mix and match sensors a la carte. In most cases, it’s more cost-effective to only purchase the sensors that suit your home’s security needs.
After purchasing all of the relevant sensors, you need to purchase relevant monitoring services to connect to your sensors. Whereas hardware can usually be mixed and matched, monitoring services are usually purchased as part of a larger service package. Providers usually offer various service packages offering different degrees of coverage with the option to add additional services to your service package at an extra cost per service.
The most common way to pay for a home security system is to pay for all the hardware upfront as a one-time payment and then pay for the mentoring services on an on-going monthly basis.
However, many home security providers allow you to customize your payment plan based on your needs. For example, instead of paying for all of your hardware upfront, you can instead choose to pay for your hardware in multiple payments, adding the costs onto your monthly service fee.
Before purchasing your system, be sure to explore all the different ways to pay and to choose one that best fits your situation.
Fortunately, installing most modern home security systems is as complicated as waiting for your sensors to be delivered, placing them around your home, and connecting your monitoring services online. That said, setting up the control hubs that accompany most modern home security systems can be more complicated.
If you prefer to have a helping hand when setting up your system, you should prioritize providers that either provide in-depth installation instructions with their devices, or providers that offer in-person installation at no extra cost.
It can also be helpful to have installation experts show you how to control your various monitoring services and sensors in action.
For first time home security system buyers, it’s common to overbuy. This is understandable, as when it comes to protecting your home and everything/everyone inside of it, it’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared.
Regardless, this is why it’s important to research and understand your provider’s return policy before purchasing anything. Fortunately, many providers offer a 30-day return policy, wherein if you’re not satisfied with your system, you can return it for 100% money-back (including shipping costs).
If you plan to stay in your current home for years to come and want to make sure you’re always covered, it might be worth it to purchase a home security system with a contract. The average contract length is 36 months (three years) and often comes with perks like professional installation and discounted equipment.
On the other hand, if you see yourself moving or not needing home security in the near future, it’s better to choose a provider with month-to-month plans. This is because contracted home security providers often aren’t very mover-friendly and may come with early termination fees.
Because there are so many different parts to a home security system, they often come with a central “brain” from which you can monitor and control the various parts of your system. Some providers include a piece of hardware similar to a tablet that acts as this brain, while others allow you to control your system from the convenience of your phone or smart devices. Some providers offer the option for both.
Suffice to say that being able to control and monitor your home’s security system from your phone or smart devices (like Google Home or Amazon Echo) is a lot more convenient than having to rely on a fixed piece of hardware somewhere in your home.
Different home security systems operate through different forms of connectivity, including landline, Internet, and cellular connection Some forms of connectivity offer advantages over others.
For example, home security systems with a cellular connection are more secure than one with just a landline or home Internet connection since the system remains linked to the provider’s monitoring center over cell tower signals. This is an advantage in the event of power outages.
For those on a budget, a landline connection, although less secure, is usually the least expensive option.