COMPARING NO-CONTRACT SECURITY SYSTEMS
Why do some companies require long-term security contracts? How can others operate contract-free? The following information can help you understand different options.
ABOUT SECURITY PRICING
Home security ads emphasize monthly monitoring fees. Do other expenses apply? Sometimes. Home security companies earn profits in different ways. Some charge for installation and/or activation, for example. Most important though is how equipment gets paid for. When companies have long-term contracts, they can build equipment expenses into monthly monitoring fees. (These companies advertise free or cheap equipment, but in truth, the equipment costs are subsidized with the revenue from long-term monitoring.) For comparison, when companies have month-to-month monitoring plans they might charge more up-front for the use of security equipment.
NO-CONTRACT SECURITY BENEFITS
The most obvious benefit of security monitoring without long-term contracts is flexibility. If you aren’t pleased with your security plan, or if your needs change, you can terminate service without having financial obligations. This includes avoiding the “small print” risks of some long-term contracts, which can allow for periodic rate hikes and automatic renewals. Another big benefit is ownership of the security equipment. With long-term security companies, a customer might not own any of the equipment until their monitoring contract is up… but with certain month-to-month plans, customers keep the equipment. The alarm system can keep functioning too, albeit without professional monitoring.
FEATURES OF NO-CONTRACT HOME SECURITY PLANS
No-contract home security plans share many features with long-term plans.
Here are some basics to help you choose the best setup.
A main benefit of no-contract home security is no commitment. Thus no-contract security pros focus on wireless equipment. Installing hardwired systems would involve drilling into walls to attach equipment and add electrical circuits.
Wireless no-contract security systems are easy to set up by yourself. The best companies program the equipment before shipping, so when it arrives you simply place the components and call for activation.
Wireless no-contract alarm systems use cellular radio connections to reach emergency operators. Cell connections are generally more reliable and secure than the alternatives, which are landlines and broadband Internet.
Wireless no-contract home security is available with secure mobile access. Use a mobile app to monitor and control your home security system from anywhere, and get alerts when you’re on the go.
Any good home security system secures the perimeter. No-contract home security sets include entryway sensors as essential equipment. Affix sensors to windows and doors with removable adhesive.
As backup to entryway sensors, a good home security system includes one or more motion detectors. These infrared sensors can trigger either silent or audible alarms when motion is detected.
Wireless security sets generally include a control panel, entryway sensors and a motion detector. The sets can be expanded with special features such as glass break sensors, panic buttons, smoke alarms and keyring remote controls.
Special Alert Zones
In many homes it’s wise to keep certain areas under special guard. Examples are alcohol cabinets, gun lockers and desk drawers. Month-to-month security plans can help you protect such areas with special alerts.
With month-to-month security plans, often the customer owns the equipment immediately. The alarm system may still function even if month-to-month monitoring is terminated, plus you can move the equipment to a new home.