Getting a security system for your home is an important step to increasing its value and lowering your home insurance premiums. But it is also a complex process.
It is easy enough to talk about what you need: Cameras to record trouble, alarms to warn you of danger, and motion sensors to allow them to actually work. But not all security systems are created equal. Some provide these things in different capacities. They are not created equal.
We are here to help you decide which is the best for you. Today, we are going to go over the features you need, the products that provide them, and the mistakes to avoid.
There are three main things you need in order to have a strong security system that is highly reliable. These features are a programmable alarm, cameras that allow you to monitor them, and a phone app that can control all of this. But why are these so important?
What you are trying to do with your security system is simple: You want to scare off intruders. That means having an alarm system that goes off when intruders try to enter your home. Cameras help you confirm that the alarm is necessary, and the app helps you control all of it.
The Programmable Alarm
Alarms are not only the first line of defense in a home, but they are also the centerpiece of a home defense network. They will connect to the internet or a local Bluetooth network to communicate with your other devices, such as motion sensors and security cameras.
It is important that you be able to program your alarm to be ready to activate when you are not at home, but basically dormant when you are home. This prevents false alarms.
Cameras are not there just to record things. They need to be able to turn on at a moment’s notice and let you see through them. This allows you to know if setting off an alarm or calling the police is necessary. The fact that a camera is present in a home can be a deterrent to criminals.
An App to Connect Them
So, how do you program your alarm and how do you monitor your cameras? Simple: With a phone app. Some security systems come with phone apps, and some don’t. Some phone apps are easy to use and bring a lot of features, others are not.
The two things that are critical to a phone app is that it allows you to interface with your alarm and your cameras. It does not matter if your alarm or cameras are programmable or monitorable if your app is not able to make use of these features.
What Products Support These Features?
There are tons of security systems on the market, but here are the ones that perform best:
One of the top names in the home security business, Vivint sets itself apart by using high-tech security solutions that are designed to be friendly to all users.
That does not mean they are always easy to install. But it does mean that once you have them, it will not be any trouble to reconfigure them to however you need to keep your home safe.
This is who you go to if you want a camera system that gives you a lot of value. ADT comes from an age where cameras were everything, meaning they have some of the best cameras out there at surprisingly low prices. They have also kept up with technology really well.
They can also integrate with more than just security apps. They can integrate with personal assistants like Alexa and Cortana to let you give voice commands to your devices.
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Ring pioneered motion activated home security technology, so it is no wonder that we mention them. It can be argued that they have not advanced with the times all that well, but they still provide top tier products. Particularly to homes that need additional cyber security.
If you are setting up a burglar alarm, then the most common issue you will face is false alarms. These can be problematic for two reasons. The first is that they will make it hard for you to trust your own alarm system. If it’s going off for no reason, will it work when you’re not around?
The second is that if your alarm is set to call the police every time it goes off, then you can quickly cause the police to distrust both you and your alarm just as much, which is a disaster.
This is why we recommended programmable alarms. To start with, you can set your alarm up so that it does not call the police every time. In fact, you can set it up so that it does not call the police at all. Some people prefer this, as the noise is enough to scare away intruders.
People also make the mistake of leaving their cameras on all the time. This is highly unnecessary and wastes the batteries of the cameras. What you want to do instead is set them up to respond to motion sensors. That way, they only turn on when they need to.
This also means you can use your cameras to verify whether or not an alarm that has been triggered is necessary.
The last mistake people make is overthinking their security setup. This is somewhat related to people keeping their cameras on all the time. Remember, you do not need a silent alarm or to call the police at the drop of a hat. You just need to scare a burglar away.
To recap: All it takes to secure your home is an alarm, some cameras, and an app that connects them. Set up your alarm to be loud, but only call the police if your cameras show it’s necessary.
You can be more cautious if you want though. Smith Thompson’s alarm monitoring has proven that you can never be too careful.