Home Security Systems
Chapter 1: ReviewsView Comparison Table
Chapter 2: Features
What Home Security System Features Matter and Why?
Fire Department Dispatch
Sensors and Detectors
Door and Window Sensors
Fire and Smoke
Garage Door Tilt Sensor
Glass Break Detector
Recessed Door Sensors
Wireless Sensors and Detectors
Change Access Codes
Electronic Door Locks
Live Video Feed
Cellular Monitoring Keypad
Installation and Setup
Homeowners Insurance Certificate
Fixed Video Cameras
Outdoor Video Cameras
Pan-and-Tilt Video Cameras
Record Triggered Event
Store Video Recordings
Chapter 3: Consumer Profiles
Who Uses Home Security Systems?
Rental Property/Second Home Owner
Chapter 4: Product Types
What are the Different Types of Home Security Systems?
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Home Security Systems
As implied by the name, a do-it-yourself (DIY) system is a home security system that the homeowner installs independent of an installation technician. A basic DIY home security system will come in a package that contains the main keypad and door, window, and motion sensors. Although it may sound like a daunting task to some, installing a DIY home security system is actually fairly simple. Window, door, and motion sensors have heavy-duty sticky pads that enable them to stick to most surfaces and can be installed on the majority of windows and doors. The main keypad will generally require a phone line or Ethernet cable connection, but all sensors and detectors will communicate to the keypad wirelessly. Many DIY home security systems will also provide video tutorials and support via phone to assist with the installation process.
One important aspect to be aware of when selecting a home security system is the length of the contract. Generally speaking, out-of-the-box systems like these will have shorter contract requirements. Another positive aspect of DIY home security systems is the ability to take the system and install it at another location if the homeowner moves to a new residence. Because DIY home security systems often sell hardware from major retailers, it is also easy to add additional equipment to the home security system.
Technician-Installed Home Security Systems
Technician-installed home security systems will require a professional technician to complete the installation. The benefit of this type of installation is that the homeowner won’t have to worry about doing any of the work. The primary keypad is typically mounted on a wall in a convenient place with power being delivered behind the wall. Detectors and sensors are also placed throughout the house and communicate wirelessly with the primary keypad.
A typical technician-installed home security system package will include a keypad, a few window and door sensors, and a motion sensor. One unique feature of technician-installed systems is that the standard system hardware will be given to the homeowners for no charge. Homeowners will be given the option to buy additional equipment if desired and there is usually an installation or activation fee. Getting free, high-quality home security equipment is a great feature; however, homeowners should be advised that free equipment is typically a signal that contract requirements will be relatively lengthy. It is not uncommon for home security contracts of this nature to extend for three to five years.
Wireless vs. Cellular Home Security Systems
One important distinction to understand with home security systems is the difference between wireless and cellular systems. All of the best home security systems will utilize wireless technology to connect the keypad to sensors, detectors, and other home security equipment. However, cellular technology is the ability for the home security system to communicate wirelessly to the monitoring system, and this is a functionality not found in all home security systems. The best home security systems will include wireless capabilities to the sensors and detectors in the home and will communicate to the monitoring center via cellular transmission.