Since 1969, security systems have gained increasing importance in a consumer’s home protection. In some instances, a good security system is the only thing that stands between your family and a crafty thief. This article discusses the steps for upgrading your home’s protection system, listed by chronological importance. If a burglar focuses his efforts on your home, you should be prepared.
Top 5 Steps on Upgrading Your Home Security
Step 1: Choose Wired, Wireless, or Hybrid
Before choosing your home protection upgrade, consider your current security setup. You may already have an older, wired system in place. In many cases, a security service can simply connect to the current system’s control panel and use your current system. However, only a protection service can determine if the setup is still usable.
If you’re adding an entirely new system, there are several benefits and downfalls to wired and wireless systems. Wired is usually deemed more reliable and will not depend on sometimes shaky internet service or outside interference. However, the wired option can be expensive to set up in an existing house.
Wireless is very portable, an excellent choice for older homes that will not support a wired system, and provides more compatibility for smart home automation. Wireless components are battery-operated, easy to install, and can be placed virtually anywhere in the house. However, keep in mind that wireless systems rely on a good signal and can be subject to electrical interference, or in rare cases, hacking.
Step 2: Subscription vs. DIY Monitoring: Which Is Best?
Price is often the main factor that leads consumers to go with self-monitored systems instead of a subscription service. The service you choose depends entirely on your availability.
Subscription services provide 24-7 monitoring by a trained staff. When something triggers an alarm, the control center is automatically notified. You will receive a call from the service to confirm your safety. With smart systems, you will also receive an alert on your smart device.
If you aren’t available to confirm the safety of the house, the control center will alert the police. Along with emergency services, you will gain access to tech and customer support. The benefits of this system are apparent, but the subscription can cost anywhere from $20-$50 a month.
A self-monitored system removes the fees required by a large team. When something or someone triggers an alarm, the system will send you a notification. You have the option to notify the police or ignore the notification. Unfortunately, if you’re sleeping or away from your phone, you will not be able to address the danger.
Step 3: Consider the Most Popular Systems
If your main concern is creating a smart security system with access to home automation and other helpful accessories, consider Vivint Home Security. This service offers it all: wireless home security camera systems, window and door sensors, carbon monoxide alarms, and more.
Vivent allows you to control every aspect of your system with smart technology, such as Alexa and Android phones. In addition, they offer professional installation and monitoring for $50 a month.
ADT is a staple in the home protection business. This is a subscription service that allows both wired and wireless setup. ADT has come leaps and bounds from their original, clunky systems. They now offer ADT Pulse, which allows many of the same features as Vivint. ADT currently offers the Nest Learning Thermostat with the purchase of their Pulse system.
The thermostat allows you to effortlessly control your home’s energy efficiency while the device learns your patterns and preferences. This service runs from $20-$30 a month.
Many cable companies also offer home protection bundles, such as Comcast Xfinity and Time Warner Cable (now known as Spectrum). With these services, you can bundle your internet, phone, and TV subscription with a home protection service. The features are very similar to ADT and Vivint’s.
However, Xfinity and Time Warner home security reviews indicate that while the technology is more than substantial and convenient, they tend to be lacking in customer service.
If you prefer a self-monitored system, consider Abode. One can effortlessly integrate this system into automation systems, such as Alexa and IFTTT. In addition, you can connect to Nest home protection accessories. This bundle includes two window/door sensors, a hub with a built-in alarm, an at home security camera, a disabling key fob, and the ability to connect to a cellular chip.
Step 4: Consider Additional Accessories
Before making your final decision, consider any accessories you may want to add to your system. Vivint, ADT, Abode, and Xfinity will work with Nest home protection accessories, such as the Nest Security Camera and the thermostat. Many companies also offer their own proprietary accessories, such as motion sensors, additional window and door sensors, and even heat detection sensors.
Step 5: Consider Smart Home Capability
To create the most efficient security system you can, consider integrating it with smart devices. Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular, allowing you to control essential functions such as your temperature, unlock/lock features, entertainment, and lighting, remotely.
Purchasing a security system that is smart home-compatible will allow you to easily integrate it into your developing automated home. While reviewing each service, look for key compatibility listings, such as the Amazon Echo, smart hubs like Smart Things, Android phones, or IFTTT.
As technology advances, so do the techniques of thieves; it’s essential to stay ahead of the game to create a thief-proof home. Check your home for pre-existing systems. If none are present, decide between a wired or wireless system. If you are not readily available to respond to an emergency, consider hiring a subscription service.
Consider the features, accessory compatibility, and the potential for smart device use when you make the final choice on your protection provider. Don’t let a crafty thief put you or your family in danger. Speak to a professional about upgrading your home security.