What goes into buying a home security system? In most cases, there’s a lot to think about before making an investment. Many companies offer security systems. Then, there are dozens of customization options to consider, too. Having a security solution is paramount, though. Even if you live in what you think is a safe environment, there are risks to your family and assets that you can avoid by installing a well-designed system. It doesn’t have to be complex. Instead, consider a few steps to help you with your buying decision.
What to Consider When Buying a Home Security System
Making the decision to buy a home security system means understanding that you do have options. Here are some of the factors to think about during this process.
The Cost of the System
Like anything else you plan to buy and own for some time, cost is a big factor. Consider what your budget for this type of investment may be. It’s possible to purchase something rather inexpensive and do well with it, but there are some costs that are worth paying a bit more for to many property owners.
- Equipment Costs: Some companies charge a cost for the equipment. You purchase it, and you own it. If you plan to purchase individual components for your home – such as a single doorbell camera or a basic indoor camera – these costs are common. Most of the time, you can find significant differences in price between equipment items based on promotions and sales. You can purchase as many components as you like, which can add to your costs.
- Monitoring Costs: Monitoring is an optional feature, but one that is well worth investing in for most homes. It provides a professional monitoring service that is there to react to any sensor triggers if they occur. Professional monitoring costs range widely between companies but are generally a monthly or annual fee. These are ongoing as long as you want to pay for them.
- Contracts: Another factor when buying a home security system to look at is whether or not the system requires a contract. Not all do, but contracts are not always bad. For example, some companies offer a 12-month contract you agree to, but if you do, you don’t pay equipment costs upfront.
Installation of the System
When buying a home security system, consider what your goals are for installation. Some companies offer both. Some require professional installation. Which one is right for you, depends on your needs, your budget, as well as the type of system you install.
- Professional Installation: Professional installation may be a requirement for some companies, especially for those who choose a hardwired system. Hardwiring is more complex and may require a licensed electrician. It also offers the benefit of not having to rely on batteries to operate.
- DIY: If you’re handy and don’t mind having to set up and manage your home security network on your own, a DIY solution may be the best bet. This is also a good option for those who want more flexibility in how they set up their system. Many companies offer these systems and make them easy to install.
Where You Live Matters
When choosing a home security system, always ensure it fits the size and type of home you have. It’s a good idea to have a system customized for you, when possible, based on the layout, features, and automation you hope to put into place. Here are a few key considerations to consider.
- House: If you own a home, it’s a good idea to purchase a comprehensive system that offers protection for all doors and windows. When buying a home security system for a house, also look at factors such as your driveway, garage, and backyard. You may want to invest in spotlights and cameras with a further range of view for improved overall viewing.
- Apartments and Condos: In these situations, the amount of protection you need is closer to home. These types of homes benefit from cameras at the doorway and any other entry point into the property. You may not need things like spotlights and cameras for the driveway unless it’s a private entrance. It’s also important to consider the rules of your property owner in installing these systems.
The Features You Desire
There are dozens of features available to home security buyers. They range from simple features to complex components, including home automation. Consider what’s important to you when trying to buy a home security system beyond what seems flashy or beneficial. And, be sure those features fit your risks and needs.
- Wireless Systems: As noted, hardwiring has its benefits, but many people prefer wireless systems. It allows for more flexibility. You can change things if you want to. You can often install these systems on your own. Wireless systems tend to need more attention due to changing out batteries, but they are super simple to install even in more difficult areas.
- Cameras: Most home security systems have cameras, but the type and quality of them are really up to you. When buying them, your goal should be to purchase enough to cover all entry points to the home. You also want to consider any needs for indoor cameras. Then, think about camera style. Doorbell cameras are a good first step for many buyers. Consider long-range outdoor cameras with ample features for higher risk areas.
- 24/7 Monitoring: Having a professional monitoring service that’s available 24/7 monitoring is a critical component in most situations. Also, find out where that monitoring is based.
Questions to Ask When Buying a Home Security System
Before buying a home security system, there are many things to consider. If you have a question, be sure to ask it before making a purchase. Here are a few key questions to ask.
- Does the home security system connect with any current home security equipment you have? Some compatibility is present in some models, but not all.
- Does the home security system link to any home automation features you like to use or want to use? Connections to Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and other assistants may be available.
- Can you expand the system over time? This may include adding new features and upgrading to newer cameras or tools as they become available.
- Is the system app-accessible? Many people want an app-based system because it is so easy to access the system on a routine basis.
- What type of internet connection is required for the system to operate, if any? Be sure your home’s specifications are up to these requirements.
- Are there extra charges? It tends to be very important to have a system that’s easy to use, but you also want to know what the bottom line cost is. Most companies are upfront.
- Does the system have a warranty? Learn about free trials, how long the warranties are in place, and any money-back guarantees available to you.
Where to Buy a Home Security System
When buying a home security system, always invest in a system that’s right for you. To find one, compare all of your options carefully. Use our website and the reviews we offer to find the right solution for any home or budget you have.