Are you stuck trying to figure out which home security system is the best fit for you and your home? We have news for you: You’re not alone! So how are you supposed to select the best one when they all look so similar?
Although similarities do abound between security systems, you may be surprised to learn that each is also unique and different. We’ve tested and tried two renowned home security systems, Lorex and Amcrest, and put together a helpful comparison that will explain the similarities, differences, pricing, and features you can expect from either brand.
Lorex and Amcrest Similarities
During our research, we were pleasantly surprised at the number of similarities between each company. For starters, neither Lorex nor Amcrest require long-term contracts. Instead, you’ll have the option to buy all the equipment upfront which will help to reduce the overall cost significantly. For example, you won't have to pay monthly rental fees for the equipment, and it will also be up to you to decide if you want to pay for professional monitoring services.
Did You Know: Many companies charge for installation, which means that rather than paying upfront for equipment costs, security companies will charge you a monthly bill. Unfortunately, tying yourself to a monthly plan can be quite the pain, especially in today’s world, where most businesses work on a subscription or contracted basis.
As mentioned above, neither company requires professional installation (DIYers, rejoice!). Not only does this mean that you’ll be able to skip the cost associated with a professional install, but you’ll also not have to worry about scheduling a time that works for both you and them. For those who fall into the not-so-tech-savvy crowd, try not to feel too intimidated. Both Lorex and Amcrest come with detailed instructions so that you can easily install the systems by yourself. Additionally, there are plenty of resources out there to help you, from guides on security camera installation to nifty instructional videos on home automation.
Did You Know: Installation fees can cost up to $100. In fact, companies often require a professional to do the work for you. While they provide excellent technicians, it may be cheaper if clients had the option to install the system by themselves. If you decide to relocate, it’s sometimes more convenient if you’ve chosen a company that allows DIY installation.
Unfortunately, even though you won’t have to pay for any installation fees, both systems tend to be quite expensive. Along with the equipment costs, you’ll also have to consider the monthly fees associated with certain features and monitoring services.
Another strong perk shared between Lorex and Amcrest is that they both have multiple storage options for that seemingly endless supply of surveillance footage. Many do not realize just how much space is needed for the hundreds of hours that your cameras will capture. Prior to making your purchase, you should consider how many days’ worth of footage you may actually need (or feel comfortable having). Whether it's days, weeks, months, or years; you need to make sure you have ample storage space to support it.
Now, let’s dive into what exactly sets these two apart (the good and the bad). First off, you’ll likely notice that Amcrest offers a wider selection of equipment overall, from cameras and baby monitors to drones and GPS trackers.
Pro Tip: Be sure to thoroughly look at all of the equipment offered by each company. You may wish to expand or enhance your system later down the road. If this ends up being the case, you’ll want to make sure that the company you're choosing has the equipment available that you might wish to add later on.
Another difference you should take note of is that Lorex only provides wireless connection, while Amcrest offers both wireless and hardwired options. Wireless systems can be easier to install and their devices also have plenty of flexibility when it comes to their layout on your property, allowing easier access for monitoring and control. With that said, hardwired systems tend to be a bit more reliable and do not necessarily require good cell service or Wi-Fi to operate correctly (this can especially be a perk for more rural areas).
Another way that Amcrest stands out is the fact that they provide weatherproofing for their equipment, an essential feature because outdoor cameras must endure outside elements like storms and high summer temperatures. Using an indoor camera outdoors is a quick and easy way to ruin an expensive piece of equipment.
Compared to Amcrest, Lorex is superior when it comes to video quality as their cameras capture 4K video.
Pro Tip: High-definition video quality can mean all the difference when trying to see exactly what is happening. For example, high-quality cameras allow you to clearly see when an intruder breaks into your home or if someone steals your mail. There should be no second-guessing when the safety of your home is at stake. Be sure to choose equipment that produces images that are high-quality enough for you to clearly see.
Lorex also offers SD card compatibility and external hard drives to store surveillance video footage. Amcrest has a cloud-based storage system that can handle both NVR and DVR, depending upon your preference.
And finally, Amcrest is not as widely compatible with third-party equipment, whereas Lorex is slightly more flexible.
Did You Know: Most people looking to achieve more home automation prefer to use equipment that is compatible with third-party companies. This compatibility makes it much easier to integrate other equipment and programs.
Our Favorite Features
Features serve as an essential part of just about every home security system on the market today, adding extra levels of convenience and safety that go above and beyond your basic setup. Both Lorex and Amcrest offer a wide array of options that will take your system up a notch, giving it that “wow” factor which is sure to impress friends and neighbors alike. We’d love to list them all, but that didn’t seem very practical. Instead, we’ve narrowed it down to some of our favorites to give you an idea of what you have to look forward to with each option.
Some of the features you can expect with Lorex include video doorbell cameras, night vision, temperature sensors, the cloud security camera app, local storage via external hard drives, two-way communication features, and more.
Amcrest, on the other hand, offers quite the home security spread. They not only feature the latest high-tech cameras and gadgets, but also multiple mobile apps, cloud storage of video files, NVR and DVR storage, Wi-Fi connectivity options, video doorbells, full HD resolution, wide viewing angles, and two-way communication features.
Pricing: What to Expect
Now for the fun part … how much should you plan on budgeting for a Lorex or Amcrest system? Let’s start with a positive.
Lorex offers a refund on any of their products as long as they are returned within 60 days (plenty of time to try them out for yourself). Each of the cameras will cost less than $100; however, the entire system can cost up to $3,000 or more (ouch). Try not to panic! Since the system will be tailored to your individual needs, the equipment and cloud storage costs will vary, likely resulting in a much lower price.
With Amcrest, indoor monitors start at around $65 per piece, while the price for one outdoor camera is roughly $85. Some of their cameras are pricier than others, costing up to approximately $250 apiece. As with Lorex, after you factor in the cost of cloud storage and additional services, you can possibly expect to pay a few Ks for your entire system.
How to Choose the Best System to Fit Your Needs
Even after your endless hours of research, it can still be hard to confidently make that final decision. There are an insane amount of options in the home security marketplace today and it can feel almost impossible to peruse them all.
So here’s our advice: If you’re still struggling to determine which system is right for you, write down a list of priorities, such as automation, price point, outdoor features, etc. This list will guide you as you check against the features and equipment each company offers.
Hopefully, we’ve helped to make your search a little easier. When it comes to the safety of your home, you should not cut corners. A home security system should leave you with the peace of mind that you and your family are safe and secure.