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How to Choose a Home Security System?

With several robberies and mishaps happening everyday in the world, everybody wants a way to keep their family safe. A home security system is a wonderful way to ensure the safety of your home and your family even when you are away. If you want peace of mind while sleeping at night, a home security system is a must.

Such systems have several useful features like emergency alerts, 24/7 monitoring, and so much more. Since there are multiple home security systems in the market, you might wonder which is the best one among all.

Well, this entirely changes from person to person based on their preferences and requirements. In any case, this article will help you get a rough idea about what kind of home security system would be best for your home.

Overview of Home Security System

When we say home security system, we mean equipment which is a combination of monitoring services and hardware devices. The hardware detects intruders and threats while the monitoring services will make calls to the concerned emergency authorities during a triggering event.

Steps to Follow While Choosing Home Security System

While choosing a home security system, you can follow the steps given below to ensure that the system you pick is the perfect choice for your home’s scenario.

  • Security Needs Assessment: Start by checking the vulnerabilities your home might have. Identify all the possible entry points for thieves and other intruders. By doing this you can get an idea about the type of detectors and sensors you may need.
  • Look for Available Options: Since there are multiple home security systems available in the market, check the reviews for each and shortlist a few equipment to narrow down the available options.
  • Set a Budget: A home security system’s cost can vary depending upon the system type and monitoring requirements. Set a limit to how much you are willing to spend on a home security system and look for options within that range.
  • Check for Add on Features: Several home security systems come with many additional features like smart home integration, video monitoring, remote controlling, mobile app, etc. Determine which of these features are necessary for the safety of your home and look for surveillance systems that satisfy this necessity.
  • Compatibility Check: If you have installed some other smart devices in your home like doorbells, cameras, and sensors, you need to ensure that the home security system you choose is compatible with these devices.
  • Check Provider’s Market Reputation: You need to make sure that the home security system provider you pick must have a good reputation in the market. They must have a proven track record of supplying high quality surveillance systems and must also have a good customer support service. You can check this by looking at their customer ratings and reviews to get an idea about the system provider’s trustworthiness and reliability.
  • Installation and Testing: Once you have picked a home security system that satisfies all the above requirements, you need to install it properly and test whether it is functioning fine. You can then set up alerts to get notified in case of any security breaches.

What are the Factors to Consider When Choosing a Home Security System?

Selecting a home security system specifically for your home can be pretty confusing. There are several factors that you may need to consider before investing in one. Here are a few such important features that you need to be mindful of.

1. Installation

You can either install the home security system on your own or hire a professional for the same. When you choose a professional for this task, you can be sure that they would ensure maximum protection by installing the home security system in an optimum location. Only drawback of this is that you need to work around the technician’s schedule. You will also have to take care of the installation cost which can be pretty high for a professional.

If you choose to install the home security system on your own, you can lose out on some benefits which you may have got from the technician’s expertise. However, there are many home security systems these days that come with a DIY manual with detailed instructions making the entire process simple and effective. Several systems also come with a peel-off sticker so that you do not have to worry about drilling holes on the walls.

2. Monitoring Options and Plans

Similar to the above section, you can plan to pick between professional monitoring or self-monitoring. With professional monitoring, you would get assistance from experts round-the-clock. They get alerted as soon as the alarm is triggered. They then assess the situation and immediately contact the emergency services if required. However, you will need to pay a monthly fee to avail this service.

Self-monitoring does not require you to pay any monthly fee but you would have to contact the emergency services yourself in case of an unwanted event. With such monitoring, you will get the alerts whenever your alarm is triggered.

3. Equipment

Some home security systems can be purchased, while some others would require you to lease them for a specified time period. Some home security system providers give you an option between the two. When choosing the equipment you need to keep in mind whether it is wired or not. It is better to invest in wireless equipment if you have small children or pets that may interfere with the functionality of the equipment. You need to also ensure that other safety equipment like window and door sensors, cameras, motion detectors, and smart locks, are integrated into your home security system.

4. System Type

You can choose from a variety of systems when it comes to home security. These include wireless, wired, unmonitored, and monitored systems. Take your time to evaluate each type of home security system, note their advantages and disadvantages, and pick the right system that suits your personal requirements. For instance, the wired systems are more affordable while wireless systems are generally considered to be more reliable.

5. Alarm

An alarm is basically there in your home security system to draw attention in case someone unwanted tries to enter your premises. The alarm systems act as active deterrents to keep intruders away. This is generally integrated with other features of the home security systems like the motion sensors to detect any suspicious activity effectively.

6. Audio

These days most of the home security systems come with cameras that are equipped with microphones and speakers which enables two-way audio functionality. Through this feature, you can easily speak to the person who is at your door through the camera without having to open the door.

7. Streaming and Video Recording

All the recorded videos of the home security system generally gets stored on the cloud. You can go to this cloud storage and access any video recording for streaming. However, for this cloud storage space, you will have to pay a monthly or yearly fee, depending on your system provider. However, the cost of this is not very high.

8. Siren Level

Siren is integrated into the alarm system of home security equipment. Whenever some alarming activity is detected loud sirens go off that are as high as 100+ dB. Unfortunately, emergency services like the police cannot immediately respond to an active burglary that are over in just a few minutes. Such loud sirens can deter the criminals who are pursuing an illegal theft at your home.

9. Remote Control and Mobile Access

Home security systems these days are connected to mobile applications where you can get notified and alerted when the alarms go off at your home. You can even remotely access the livestream footage and manage all other devices integrated with the home security system through such an application. For the majority of these systems, remote control and livestream features are free of cost. However, a few systems with professional monitoring would require you to pay a monthly fee for these services.

10. Smart Home Integration

There are several home security systems that come with the option to integrate with other smart devices at your home like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, smart lock, smart light, etc. With home automation you can not only add convenience but also save a lot of money. With smart home integration, you can customize the controls of all the devices based on your schedule.

11. User Friendly and Environmental Monitoring

This category includes equipment like pipe freeze detectors, smoke alarms, and leak detectors. Smoke or carbon monoxide have the ability to even kill someone, this is why their presence in your home should never be taken lightly. People who reside in older homes should try to install these as a part of their home security systems.

12. Connection Type

If you opt for professional monitoring, you need to choose the way in which the system will be connected to the center. When you pick a landline connection type, your home’s landline connection would be used for sending alerts and notification to the center. This type of connection is the least expensive but it can also be tampered with easily. With one single cut to the connection line, the center can no longer get notified of any emergency situations.

You can use a broadband connection to communicate effectively with the center, if it features high speed internet. However, the drawback of this connection type is that you would lose the connection when the power goes off. There are a few providers who give the option of a backup battery so that your system stays on even when the Wifi stops working.

With cellular connection, a built-in chip is responsible for sending alerts to the monitoring center using your phone’s network signal. This is a very reliable method since the signal will not get cut off or cannot be tampered with. However, this option is the most expensive when compared to others.

13. Contract Length

A few home security systems would require you to sign a contract that can be as long as 3 years. There are a few systems that offer a shorter contract period and then there are some that do not need you to sign any contract at all. If you do not wish to sign up for a long term commitment or if you are someone who keeps shifting to different places, a home security system with minimum or no contract requirement would be the best for you.

Home Security System – FAQs

1. Is a paid home security system a worthwhile investment?

Ans: Yes, investing in a home security system is definitely worthwhile. Not only does it ensure a prompt police response for successful criminal arrest but it also acts as an effective deterrent for burglars.

2. What factors are important when selecting a home security system?

Ans: When you are choosing a home security system, you need to consider several factors including fire alarms, glass-break sensors, extra cameras, motion sensors, smart locks, and other smart home devices.

3. Can a home security system lower homeowners insurance costs?

Ans: Yes, many home insurance companies like StateFarm, Allstate, Farmers, and Progressive, give discounts for home security systems. According to QuoteWizard, on an average you would save $59 for owning a home security system which makes it a cost-effective investment.

4. What is the typical lifespan of a security system?

Ans: The typical lifespan of a security system is about 5 years. Although a few high-quality security systems can last for longer than 10 years. However, extended use is not recommended when it comes to home security systems.

5. Do home security systems consume a substantial amount of electricity?

Ans: Yes, the basic features of a security system like standby function, motion detection, and others consume about 35 kWh/year.

6. Is Wi-Fi required for a home security system?

Ans: No, not every home security system needs Wifi. Some systems can use other connections like LTE. Some systems with local storage can even operate offline.


Home security systems have become an absolute must these days. If you want a peace of mind that you and your family are safe, you should definitely consider investing in an efficient home security system. Before picking a home surveillance system, you must consider several factors like the ones mentioned above, to ensure that it perfectly suits your home’s security needs.

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