Buying home security equipment can prove to be a challenge. There are numerous options, various brands, and outstanding ways to improve security and home automation. Where do you start? Take a look at this guide to home security equipment for homes.
What Are Some Common Pieces of Home Security Equipment?
The right types of equipment for your home are those components that help to secure your property’s biggest risk areas. Each home security system should be customized to fit those risks. Windows and doors are good places to start. Consider these key components of most home security systems.
Home Security Control Panels
These control panels act as the brain of the system. They provide you with a single location to view what is happening on your home security system at any point. In many ways, they work to connect all of the other home security equipment together. You can arm and disarm your system from this location. If you have a modern version with home automation, this is also the place you will use to update those sensors and tools. Control panels can be very basic or touchscreen devices with numerous features.
Home Security Sensors
For all home security equipment to work, they need to be placed in an area near the risk to pick up on what’s happening. Sensors typically react to what’s happening around them. For example, some detect motion. If a sensor detects motion at your front door, it lets the security system know that – and then the system connects with you on an app or through an audible alarm.
Sensors are used for various aspects throughout the home. Glass break sensors help to pinpoint instances where glass is being broken, such as when someone is trying to get into the house. Other sensors detect smoke, water, fire, moisture, and heat. The more sensors present, the more information the system can pick up on and respond to.
Home Security Cameras
Cameras are an important feature in most modern home security systems. They provide information to you visually. Many times, they are used to monitor what’s happening in the area – such as picking up on things like motion in the yard. Sometimes, a sensor can trigger a camera to turn on. For example, if you have a sensor in the basement to monitor for flooding, it till trigger when it senses water, turning on a nearby camera to capture what’s happening. That system can then alert you with real-time video of what’s happening in your home.
Both indoor and outdoor security cameras are available. Many have outstanding features such as zoom technology, HD video quality, and night vision. Some include bright lights. Others can be programmed not to send an alert if an animal walks by, but only if a person is present.
Home Security Door Locks
Home security door locks provide one of the most common forms of security – the ability to lock your door. However, modern solutions incorporate far more security within them. Some are smart locks, which means you can lock and unlock them from any location using a connected app. Others will automatically unlock when you approach the door with your keys in the pocket – that’s great for carrying the groceries in. Some allow you to lock and unlock them from your home security control panel, too.
In all cases, door locks are an important component of security for your home, and with connected sensors, they can give you insight into when someone approaches and tries to open the door. You can set them up to trigger a camera to automatically record when someone approaches the door or tries to open it. This type of versatility allows you to remain in control of your door locks and minimizes risks.
Home Security Doorbell Cameras
A doorbell camera is designed to provide protection for homeowners in a rather unique way. It works just like a doorbell with additional features. For example, some are set up to allow you to receive a notification whenever someone approaches the door. This allows you to see – in real-time – what is happening outside your door. Doorbell cameras can also provide you with two-way audio, which means you can talk to the person outside of your door without getting up from the couch to do so.
There are various versions available with numerous features. Some will work right along with your home security system to automatically send an alarm to your smartphone or to your 24-hour monitoring service if someone approaches. As a result, if someone is trying to break in or steal a package on your stoop, the authorities can be notified immediately.
How Much Does Home Security Equipment Cost?
One of the most important factors to remember about home security equipment is that it is very much customizable. You can choose an inexpensive system and set it up yourself, paying just a small fee for the equipment itself. Basic security like this offers limited protection but gets you started. Take a look at the most common costs associated with home security equipment purchases.
Buying the Equipment
In some situations, you will need to purchase the home security equipment outright. This is very common when you want to set up your own system and not use professional monitoring services. For example, you may want to buy a home security doorbell camera. You can do that without any professional monitoring. You just need to pay the fee for the doorbell itself. The same is true for most other forms of equipment.
The cost of buying equipment ranges widely based on the product, the brand, and the features it has. While there are low cost home security systems out there, some of them are inferior in terms of functionality and true value. In other words, spending a bit more may get you a much better product.
Leasing the Equipment
Other companies will allow you to obtain the equipment you desire as long as you sign up for professional monitoring. Leasing the equipment may also mean that you enter into a longer term contract. As long as you maintain that contract, you do not have to pay for the equipment outright. In short, it is leased to you as a part of the service.
Some companies offer free equipment as a solution for those who sign up for professional monitoring. If you are going to buy a home security system, it’s rather important to consider the value of professional monitoring. It tends to be the most important feature of a home security system in terms of its ability to protect you and your family. And, it may include free equipment with lower costing additional features you can add on.
Home Security Equipment Installation
Once you decide what to buy, the next step is to determine how to install it. However, some security companies only offer professional installation (some of the largest companies offering their services do this). In either case, installation methods can be a component of your buying decision.
Though it may sound like a bit of a hassle, having a professional set up your home security equipment is the easy route to take. They handle setting up each component, linking it to your home’s Wi-Fi, setting up the home automation you have onsite, and managing the entire process. And, if your system will be hardwired in – rather than with replacement batteries – this is the best option. It helps ensure it is done properly to minimize any electrical risks.
Many systems do not require professional installation. Some are designed to be very simple to set up on your own. These systems may use rechargeable or replaceable batteries, for example, to make them easier for you to install (they do not necessarily require running electrical lines). You can still get most of the high-end features you desire, but you can expect the system to be easy to install overall.
What Companies Offer the Best Home Security Equipment?
There are dozens of companies offering home security equipment. Each one has good and bad points. These are our highest rated systems:
SimpliSafe offers outstanding home security equipment. From door and window sensors, to cameras, video doorbells, and so much more. SimpliSafe’s equipment is made in-house, so you’re sure to enjoy quality and affordability. Protecting your home and family has never been easier.
An excellent solution overall for its great customer service, high-end features, and lower costs. Frontpoint is very much a modern system with professional monitoring and a 100 percent risk-free trial. It has numerous sensor types, monitors for all areas of your home, and home automation.
As one of the most well-respected names in modern home automation and home security, Vivint is an all-around good choice. They offer some of the best integrations of smart home technology and high-end cameras to ensure you always have a clear picture.
ADT is a strong leader in home security and has been for many years. The company’s products are packed with features, and the professional monitoring is incredibly responsive and intelligent. ADT also offers some of the best range of options in both equipment and plans.