When it comes to home security, there are so many options available that it can be hard to determine which one is best for your home. When choosing a security system, there are three things you should consider:
- The method of installation
- The method of monitoring; and
- The automation features included.
When it comes to installation you have the choice between wired or wireless systems.
Wireless systems can be DIY or you can choose to have the system professionally installed for a fee. The installer can also show you how to use the system. The advantage to wireless systems is that they aren’t attached to your home, which means you can take them with you if you leave. It also means that you don’t have to get permission to access the wiring if you are a renter.
Wired systems are usually installed professionally. Wired systems are a part of your home, which can be an advantage if you are planning to stay there for a long time. A wired security system can also add to the value of your home. Some wired systems require a landline, so you should check those requirements before choosing.
Most security systems offer some sort of 24 hour monitoring from an external security station through three different methods:
· Cellular; and,
Landline systems use your home phone line to communicate with the security station. This means that you need to have home phone service through the telephone company. This type of monitoring is also vulnerable if your phone lines are cut.
Cellular systems use a built-in cellular connection to communicate with the security station. This type of monitoring is more reliable because it’s not vulnerable to your phone lines being cut, and is considered faster than landline.
Broadband systems use your home’s internet connection to communicate with the security station. It’s faster than a landline connection, but could still be prone to disconnection if the lines carrying the broadband connection to your house are cut.
Automation from products like ADT Security Pulse and Honeywell Home Automation gives you the ability to control your home security from your smartphone, tablet, or other internet device. Different systems offer different types of automation depending on your needs.
Basic systems allow you to arm and disarm the security system remotely, whereas more advanced systems let you control other home functions such as your thermostat, lights, appliances, and even your door locks. You can even get systems that have video surveillance of the interior and exterior of your home.
Which System is Right for You?
The first thing you should consider is what type of installation and automation you want. More advanced systems might need to be hard-wired to your home electric and temperature control system to work properly, and could also require a landline or broadband connection.
If you are a renter, you might not be able to install a wired system, but there are some companies that make systems specifically for renters, which might also include some home automation.
If you don’t have a home phone, you won’t be able to install a landline system without subscribing to a phone service first. However, if you don’t have a phone line but subscribe to DSL internet, then you should already have an active phone line and might be able to use that same line for the security system monitoring. Some phone companies also offer cheap, basic phone service for people who don’t need to make a lot of calls, which could work well for security monitoring. Check with your phone company to see what kind of rate plans are available.
If you have broadband internet, but no home phone, then you should consider a broadband system. Some broadband providers even offer home security as a separate subscription.
If you own your home, you can choose from any of the available options, and the only thing that might color your decision is your options for automation.