Best home security systems

January 21, 2017
Tips to find the best home

INFOGRAPHIC: Reasons to Get A Home Security SystemA sucker is born every day: don’t be one! There’s so much phony Internet marketing around security systems going on that it’s easy to get suckered into paying too much for something you don’t really need, or ending up with an alarm company that spends all its dollars on marketing instead of customer service. has been reviewing security companies since 2008. Our market research is rigorous and includes installing and testing systems and conducting anonymous consumer research calls to gauge customer experience.

Questions to Ask Before You Buy

Before we get in too deep, you’ll want to have these questions in-hand to make the most informed buying decision for your home. I mean, what security system components do you really need? How much should you expect to pay for an alarm system? What does installation involve and how complicated is it? I’m sure these are some of the questions running through your head – they were for me.

Here’s a run down of the questions you should ask the company before you buy. I have also put together the answers to help you choose the best home alarm system for you.

1. What are my options?

There are many (in my opinion, just enough to make it super confusing!) home security options, and lingo, out there. One thing you might be wondering is what’s the difference between home alarm and home security? As far as the industry’s concerned, not much. Technically speaking, a burglar alarm consists of just the skeleton sensors necessary to detect an intrusion (door, window, and motion) and notify the home owner with an audible noise. An alarm system extends this to also include fire and smoke detectors. Taking it a bit further, a home security system also can include monitoring by a central station, home security cameras, remote control via your smartphone, and home automation options such as automated lighting and door locks. With all the tech options today, you probably want to choose this more comprehensive security system to best meet your needs.

2. How much does it cost?

A simple can be purchased on Amazon for as little as $20. A self-monitored alarm system includes an extensive set of sensors including carbon monoxide, freeze and water sensors. A popular version is offered by SimpliSafe and it can be purchased for around $260. A full-fledged home security system is monitored by a central station and can be upgraded with all the bells and whistles, including home security cameras. It typically locks you into a 3-year contract and starts at $20 per month plus installation fees of $100 and up (but if you ask nicely, they might just offer free equipment and installation).

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