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There are very few questions regarding your home that will require your undivided attention as much as home security does. The safety of your home may be the most crucial issue you’ll have to deal with once you decide to add an extra layer of protection in the form of a home security system.
However, as you already know, choosing the right one can be a challenging task, especially if you don’t have all the important information at your disposal. That’s why Top Gutter Guard wanted to make the choosing process easier for you by giving you some useful tips.
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1. Read Third-Party Reviews
Information is power, and this statement is certainly true when it comes to a question like home security. Hence, the power of third-party reviews. There are many specialists online that publish their findings and analysis in the field of home security. The best way to approach this topic is by reading and evaluating their opinions. For example, here’s an article on the ten best home security systems on the market today done by Porch.
Once you read through a few of them, you’ll get a better overview of the home security system that you would like to install in your home. Plus, some of them track the companies, and they will alert you about online discounts and bundle sales.
2. Check Out the Customer Service
The next thing you should do is check the online customer service reviews because you will find the good, the bad and the ugly right there in those comments. People are honest about their opinions when they have a problem, and you can judge a company by the way they handle their customer’s problem. You can find out more about the service quality of a home security company through the reviews of their customers than any other way. It’s like Yelp, but for the protection of your home.
3. Read the Fine Print
Any lawyer with adequate knowledge of contract law will give you the same advice, and that’s reading the contract thoroughly and making notes on the termination clause. The reason for this is straightforward; most professional home security companies will require a multiyear contract before they install any equipment. Furthermore, there is a brief cancellation period; you’ll have to “catch” if you don’t want to pay any additional fees. Hence, it would be prudent to understand the conditions clearly and to make sure you don’t sign up for any hidden costs as well.
4. Set a Budget
Once you’re done with the due diligence, you should set a realistic budget and go over your results again. The market is filled with home security products that are affordable. Therefore, you won’t have to compromise a lot to get things done. However, you should be aware that DIY alarms are usually less expensive than professional monitoring. That doesn’t mean however that they are as effective as professional home security systems.
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5. Choose Between DIY and Professional
The most important debate, and the most important question you’ll have to answer before you make a purchase is this one: DIY vs. professional home security system. In reality, we’re talking about convenience and freedom.
Professional home security is very convenient because you can pay in monthly installments and you won’t have to worry about anything. Every step of the process is handled for you, from installation to monitoring. Plus, you’ll get a ton of easy to manage features and high-tech equipment that protect your home. The company conducts the call to the police or EMS in case of an emergency. The catch is you have to sign a contract.
DIY home security is a bit different because you don’t have to sign a contract, but you have to do all of the above by yourself. You’re responsible for installation, setting the equipment up and connecting it. In fact, you can even buy some of these alarms and cameras at Target, and they are a more affordable option. Thus, you have a more extensive choice when it comes to the products, but they may not be as effective as professional home security is.
However, there are home security companies on the market that don’t fall in any of these two categories. In fact, they are considered hybrids. For example, ADT, which is one of the biggest professional home security companies in the US, included third-party device integrations. That means ADT systems link with Samsung, Qualcomm, LG, SmartThings and Lutron products already set up in your home.
On the other hand, Oplink, Scout, Abode, SimpliSafe, Viper and iSmartAlarm, which are DIY home security companies, include a professional monitoring service as part of the offer. The most significant difference here is that you won’t have to sign a contract. On the contrary, the monitoring is paid as a monthly fee, and you can cancel at any time without paying a termination fee.
The last topic on our list is self-monitoring, which was introduced by Nest, and later it evolved with Alarm, making it a very modern and acceptable method of home security. Self-monitoring is a rather simple procedure that puts you in control of the situation.
Every time someone triggers the alarm in your home, you’ll receive a text message and decide if you want to contact the authorities. However, this might not be the best strategy if you can’t get to your phone. There is another option, and that’s choosing a DIY system that includes central monitoring as well. You can check that with the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA).
As you can see from everything we stated above, there are multiple factors to consider when you’re choosing a home security system. The best game plan would be to set a budget and start reviewing and comparing home security systems that look promising. You could even do it the old-fashioned way, by creating a yes and no column for each of them before you decide to commit. We would advise you to consider every aspect before you make a purchase.