Home Security System Buying Guide 101

Your ultimate guide to purchasing a security system for your home.

By Isaiah Shelton

1. What should I look for in a home security system?

Your home security solutions will largely depend on the specific needs of your home and you as a precautionary homeowner. However, the best providers realize the marks every homeowner should take into consideration. These include:

Company Reputation

Wondering why we regard FrontPoint Security so highly? For one, because the users have spoken, ranking FrontPoint as having some of the best home security options in the nation. We live in a social era of technology where what we do is largely based on referral; so when it comes to protecting the things and people that matter most, a security system’s efficiency is often as good as its customer base indicates. Understanding that reputation is not always synonymous with popularity, FrontPoint’s dedication to cutting edge technology and focus on wireless solutions blend well with current times, contributing to the company’s high marks from satisfied homeowners.

24/7 Monitoring

It’s a painful reality that we live in a world of round-the-clock crime; therefore, it’s crucial that your security system supports round-the-clock monitoring. This is yet another reason why FrontPoint Security ranks so highly on our site – the company’s 24/7 monitoring facility doesn’t believe in taking days off, because neither do burglars.

Robust Monitoring

Medical and environmental threats are also exempt from time, so seek a home security provider that promotes versatile monitoring.

2. What are my free security options?

You can win big when signing up for a home security system at the right time. For example, Protect Your Home is currently offering $850 dollars’ worth of free security equipment to users who sign up for its service with a $99 installation change and purchase of a 36 mo. monitoring contract. Meanwhile, Protection 1 has a limited time offer of its own, offering new customers a free, wireless DIY security System valued at $599. Also, be sure to look out for companies that offer free inspections, as having a professional come out to make suggestions could do a great deal for letting you know exactly what equipment you’ll need, keeping cost to a minimum as a result. It’s one of many reasons you shouldn’t hesitate to check out Vivint’s lauded home security services and take advantage of its free professional installations.

3. Are wireless systems more effective than hardwired ones?

Both options have their perks. Many people look to tradition when deciding on dependability, which is an argument in favor of hardwired systems. However, technology has shown a push towards cellular networks, causing many leading home security companies such as FrontPoint to focus their efforts on wireless systems. Using an all-cellular signal and VoIP technology, FrontPoint is considered one of the industry leaders in home security innovation. Wireless systems are certainly easier to install and can be used in more locations, but perhaps the main lesson to take away from a company like FrontPoint is that no matter what type of system you install, its efficiency will largely depend on the competency of your security provider. Be sure to check out our full list of top providers where you can find a mix of the best hardwired and wireless systems on the market.

4. I live in an apartment. What home security options are available to me?

In the past, installing a security system for an apartment renter was considered a daunting task for both property managers and security companies. Unlike homeowners, apartment dwellers have more potential safety breaches right off the bat, considering the cleaning staff and other authorized workers who have keys to the space. But as home security leader ADT Authorized Premier Provider mentions on its website, the rise of wireless systems have opened up new opportunities for apartment renters. Wireless systems present a great alternative considering they don’t require too much hammering and disruption to install, can be easily expanded, and are easily adaptable to new technologies.

If you’re someone living in an apartment, be sure to head over to ADT Authorized Premier Provider – Protect Your Home and consider it’s apartment-ready, wireless solutions a gift for your residence. New customers can qualify for an $850 security system for free when you sign up for a monthly service plan, so don’t miss out!

5. What is home automation?

Home automation is cutting-edge technology that allows you access to your home’s features from anywhere in the world. From fine-tuning your home’s lighting or thermostats to unlocking the front door for your babysitter from across town, home automation was invented in the spirit of convenience and mobility. Imagine all of this made possible from your handheld device!

Understanding that home automation is shaping to be the norm for security systems in the near future, industry tastemaker FrontPoint lets its customers communicate with their security systems via the consolidated features of its free mobile app. If you are looking for more autonomy over how you protect the things you care about most, home automation and the companies staying ahead of the curve are options to consider.

6. What is Redundancy Monitoring?

When we’re talking saving lives, a home security provider that provides redundancy monitoring is a beacon. The term “redundancy monitoring” refers to two or more monitoring stations that are linked together through a redundancy network. Protection 1, for example, employs a triple redundancy rotation for monitoring home alarm systems. In the event that your signal does not reach the primary or secondary monitoring center, your signal will automatically route to the third, layering the aid you’d want in the face of an emergency.

7. What happens to my system during a power failure?

This depends on the make-up of your system and whether it’s hardwired or wireless. While some hardwired systems have built in battery reserves that can be triggered during power outages, you should check with your provider, as this is not a standard feature. The fear of being disconnected in the time of an emergency has caused many people to favor wireless systems like those available through FrontPoint Security and Vivint Security, which operate via cellular data and have the built in battery reserves that many hardwired systems lack. These systems come standard for both companies, so you won’t have to worry about tacked on fees. Keep in mind, though, that a working system does not necessarily mean you’re home is being monitored. Check with your home security system’s monitoring center to ensure that you’d be protected in the event of a power outage or similar hassle.

8. What happens to my home alarm if I move?

Moving out and having to uninstall your home alarm could seem daunting when assessing the possible fees and hassle associated with the process. However, you should have your security provider outline these details before signing up, as many companies realize the headache of moving and have softened their uninstallation protocol as a result. For example, FrontPoint Security states explicitly on its website that there’s zero charge for uninstalling and relocating your equipment. The company’s revolutionary wireless systems make for an easy move, cutting out the hassle that usually results in extra fees with other companies.

9. Which is better: DIY install or Professional Install?

While realizing the necessity of home alarms is a great first step, you could stall the process by not knowing if you should have a professional perform the installation or do it yourself (DIY). Both sides aren’t without perks. With professional installation, you don’t have to get your hands dirty and, arguably, have a better chance of your equipment being properly configured. An expert can also provide you with advice on upkeep and walk you through the ins and outs of your system while you have him or her on site. While many point to cost as a drawback of professional installation, reputable companies such as Vivint are offering free professional installation as one of its many attractive benefits.

10. Aside from intruder protection, what else can a home security system offer?

Hazards come in all forms. Depending on where you live, you are more susceptible to certain dangers than others, meaning it’s in your best interest to find a home security provider than can scale. We’ve found FrontPoint Security’s “Environmental” and “Life Safety” protection plan a robust solution for precautionary homeowners looking to cover their tracks in case of a flood, water leak or even a potential carbon monoxide threat. If you’re an elderly individual or someone with a serious health condition, the Life Safety plan comes equipped with panic buttons, which you can engage for immediate response if a medical emergency ensues. Protection 1’s non-intrusion related assistance also ranks high on our site, seeing as though customers can remotely monitor smoke, water and temperature from their smartphones, meaning you’ll be able to anticipate disruptive patterns while away from home. This adds a layer or transparency that could mean the difference between responding accordingly and entering an unsafe environment. That’s exactly what you get when you select a home security provider that puts customers first.

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