Home Security: Everything You Need to Know
Home security is indeed a growing phenomenon. The latest Google stats show the graph for the global home security market in 2021 is going up and up. It’s in the spotlight, especially after the integration of home automation.
Surveillance neighborhoods are saved, so day by day, more homeowners are becoming aware of it. Still, it’s difficult for them to pick the best service with a myriad of choices and opinions.
If you’re among that group, worry no more. This guide is going to tell you all that you need to know about home security systems.
Let’s first begin with home security insurance and the benefits you get to enjoy with it.
If you’re willing to buy a security system to protect your home and your loved ones, you can check on your local insurance companies for any discounts they offer to smart homeowners.
There are usually 10% to 15% off (by most insurance companies) on security systems if you have subscribed to an insurance policy. You can simply reach out to your agent and leverage the discount.
With this, you won’t have to worry about the costs as much.
We need to keep in check that not all security systems take coupons or vouchers. The insurance agent will tell you about the ones who do, and your choice will be easier.
Now we’re going to talk about the benefits of placing a security system in your home.
The neighborhoods with more robust security are safer than the ones that don’t.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) got together with federal and local security providers to protect people from burglaries, crimes, and threats.
So security systems are recognized as a tool to deter crime in the neighborhood.
Research by Safewise tracks the count of crimes from 2019 to 2021, and they found out that the crime rate has been on a decline with each passing year. Well, what’s the most probable reason behind that? It’s the home security system.
A surveillance system protects your home from burglaries, vandalism, package theft, and all other crimes that come under the local crime umbrella.
One of the many reasons for people to go for smart security is home invasions or unlawful entry.
These home invasions can be deadly. A study by Politifact says that most homeowners started to keep a gun at home for protection which results in homicide in most cases.
But you don’t have to worry because the percentage has lowered significantly over time. Since people are now using alarms and security cameras, they have technology at their aid.
Most security system companies sync with the security department to dispatch instant help if the homeowner signals.
Vandalism is a concept where a property, either corporate or residential, is at risk of damage. It can be graffiti, window breakage, or stealth of personal property. And the repair can result in extra expenditure.
Back in the day, people used manual service providers to look out for them, but then, intelligent security systems came out as a greater replacement.
They detect suspicious movement and are smart enough to differentiate between humans and pets.
The smart security system uses wireless technology, so there’s no chance a criminal can unwire your system. If there’s any malicious activity, the system will notify you in time to take immediate action.
Burglaries have become a common security issue. PolicyAdvice suggests that there are at least three burglaries in each minute, and this count is specified to the US only.
It’s alarming, but this is where the ‘burglar scare’ alarms help.
The households where security systems are used are reportedly safer than those who aren’t as mindful of their property. So you need to make your move and if you’re wondering how these alarms work, let me explain.
A smart alarm, camera, and sensors can detect even the slightest unlawful activity and alert you in real-time. You can then take further measures as suited.
Residential security has become crucial as the ‘keeping the lights on while no one at home to fool the criminals’ concept has reached the ears of security-threatening actors.
Surprisingly, most burglars come through the front door, which means they aren’t bothered if anybody is home or not.
Now, to protect your personal space from invaders, it’s essential to keep an intelligent security system in the scene.
Having one installed can save you and your property from unlawful invasion, larceny, property damage, package stealing, burglaries, and indoor theft.
You’ll get your peace of mind that you’re protected even if you’re alone.
There’s no anxiety or constant fear if you even have kids at home and you’re someplace else. You know that the technology has precision and will keep you onboard (live) with everything.
Experts say that they can’t stress the need for residence security enough. People can lose all their life savings in a snap and get traumatized for the rest of their lives which is not unlikely.
You are at risk of losing your sanity and your family. So, why take the risk when we have the option of protection.
Two aspects make smart security systems a fantastic choice.
You’re out of town on a business venture, but you need regular cleaning of the house. So, you’ve subscribed to a new maid service which you need to monitor.
You can do it from anywhere in the world through live streaming of the scene on any smart device if you have a security system installed.
It’s especially suitable for families when both partners work and have kids to look after.
A security system with remote monitoring and control will prove itself extremely helpful by giving you the chance to control the temperatures, entries, and appliances remotely.
Almost all the security systems offer custom controls (for example, Vivint and ADT) through their mobile application in an all-inclusive package, not charging anything extra.
While for streaming and two-way communication, some security brands may exclude the charges for this feature from standard packages and charge extra.
An emergency can be smoke detection, fire breakout, pipeline burst, and medical assistance. In such a case, a security system lets you handle your security alerts as well, which costs extra, of course.
Your reason for using a smart security system can differ from mine, but one common thing is availability at the moment of emergency.
Most security system companies have mobile applications to make streaming easier for you.
Names like SimpliSafe come to action if you’re away or asleep and don’t respond to the alarms, and the service team can look into the emergency by checking in the streaming and dispatch help by themselves.
A smart security system keeps you covered wherever you are. Now that you’re convinced that getting a security system will only add more value to your life, it’s time to know how you can choose the best for yourself.
Don’t put much thought into it if you’re considering getting a security system for yourself, but you’re unsure which qualities would be specifically good for residential property protection. We’ve got everything sorted for you.
A security system is usually flexible in terms of product addition which makes them a good option for individuals and families.
If you’re an individual, you can select the basic packages of an outdoor camera, a sensor, and a security alarm with a mobile streaming application. While it’s pretty basic for families, look for a scalable security system that allows you to add more users and devices.
When you need security equipment, thinking of products that will include the essential ground of your field (residential or commercial) is crucial.
Sensors and security video cameras with two-way audio are a perfect fit for all sorts of properties. You’ll be aware of all the entries and theft with it.
On your hunt for smart surveillance systems, you must know that every system offers monitoring which is by now a known fact, but some of them give enough flexibility to choose.
You can either go for professional monitoring, where the system helps you monitor your property. If you go for personal monitoring, you’ll have to do the monitoring yourself, while if you need extra measures, you can go for both.
One of the many important factors you’ll need to pay attention to is deciding if you want the security measures outdoors or indoors.
As we’ve examined trillions of user reviews and security systems, we would suggest you not go overboard for any one of these two spots. Instead, go for a balanced package for both places.
Outdoor security cameras and sensors will help you solve the issue before it catches fire, and indoor cameras will keep you covered in case the outdoor signals are somehow overlooked.
We will now look at the security camera equipment so you can make the right purchase.
A security system can come with one product, but it also has several types of equipment in the package. You may have heard of video doorbells, cameras, sensors, smart locks, but if we go into details, each of these is further divided into categories.
The cost of your equipment is 70% dependent on the equipment you choose. Some companies offer affordable packages as well.
You have options to pick what you think is best for your home. Many security companies give their customers the option to create a custom package. So, the possibilities for customization are available.
Security cameras are our eyes when we aren’t present at a place. They’re also a tool to gather evidence and enable us to verify a case of ‘emergency’ as if it’s an actual emergency.
You won’t fidget in stress if you have a security camera in place. It’s especially resourceful when your security alarm or sensor signals danger because your pet is curious about the device in place.
You can check if the problem is serious and then react accordingly.
When we talk about security cameras, we need to know that they are divided into two categories, just like most other security devices.
Indoor security cameras
Outdoor security cameras
Let’s talk about each in detail.
Using indoor security is not only going to be useful for intruders, but it’s also going to be a stand for the family. You can keep an eye on your kids or an elderly person at home.
If your cameras have sensors or smart communication features, then it’s a plus, and you’ll be able to control the temperature inside the home with emergency alerts.
Usual costs for indoor security cameras range from $150 to $450, according to homeguide.com.
You can either buy at least one security camera ($100 to $125) or a maximum of five cameras ($4000 to $6000) in a system.
The installation costs can go from $500 to $2500, excluding the labor.
Outdoor security cameras are smart watchmen for you. But the perk is:
Unlike an indoor security camera, the outdoor security cameras come with specifications that you need to check before investing in the product.
Here’s what you need to look for in an outdoor security camera:
The installation of outdoor security cameras and labor costs are almost the same as indoor cameras, but prices may differ based on the advancement of features.
While buying a security camera system, you’ll also have to keep the storage capacity in mind.
You can either use a storage card which costs around $15 to $40, to store the recorded videos for four days, whereas hard drive storage can cost $100 to $300.
Doorbell cameras have roots in their evolution in CCTV and electric doorbells. Now, the market cap for doorbell cameras is at 1.83 billion dollars, according to industry stats. It took us years (1930 to 2021) to reach the product we use outdoors for extra protection.
Studies show that doorbell cameras will be the most popular security devices in 2021, and their popularity will keep increasing in the coming years.
The doorbell cameras have:
Doorbell cameras let you know who’s at the door so you can be sure it’s safe to open the door from anywhere around the world. They reportedly help protect things that you have outdoors, like your parcels and plants.
Smart locks open doors of convenience for you. How? You can lock and unlock your door and windows from anywhere in the house using the company’s mobile app or through voice recognition using your virtual assistant services.
You can operate the smart locks with wifi, Bluetooth, or a mobile app.
They are remarkable when you integrate them with your smart home devices. When you’ve integrated the smart tech into home devices, you won’t have to worry about forgetting the keys at home or the office while leaving in a rush.
The smart locks will open the door just by recognizing your voice. The market for video doorbells is also expanding each year.
A study about smart security sensors shows that professional invaders account for around 85% of burglaries. This means that these burglars may know how to dodge security devices.
A security sensor, on the other hand, leaves no chance for mistakes. They are not very obvious, so burglars may not be able to detach them in any way.
There are mainly five categories that are further divided.
When we talk about security sensors, we need to understand that they come in a variety. Let’s have a peek.
As the name suggests, Motion sensors are basically to detect motion around the place they’re installed.
The motion sensors are smart enough to differentiate between pets and humans to not give the homeowner spam notifications. So, they are an ideal security product for people with pets.
The best thing is, the motion sensors are scalable, which means you can adjust their sensitivity to the environment, mainly their pets.
Smoke sensors are usually used indoors for smoke detection in case of food burn, fire, or gas leak, but there’s no specified use so that they can do the duty anywhere.
They alert you whenever the temperature or smoke is higher than what you’ve defined.
These sensors are also called fire alarms, and they are not used explicitly for residential projects.
Large-scale kitchens or industries are common use cases for these sensors since they are smart enough to detect different gases.
Contact sensors also serve the simple meaning, and they detect contact. They come in two pieces. One goes inside the house for alarm signals, and the other is placed on the windows or doors.
You can use them for your safes as well. They work just fine for that cause too.
Glass sensors are not made of glass (in case you wonder). These kinds of sensors use innovative technology to detect glass breaks. It can be burglars (window glass) or your infant (crockery glass).
You’ll be notified to take precautions. You can place these sensors on the ceiling or near the window.
Flood sensors detect water leaks and floods in the home. You can use one at the garage or in the bathroom near the washing machine, or in the kitchen for the sink.
You can save yourself from a serious property and financial damage with flood sensors by taking notes in time.
All of our refrigerators use carbon dioxide. It’s a dangerous gas, and if the exposure is constant, it can be lethal for us.
It isn’t easy to pinpoint the exact point where the gas is coming from, and we may not be aware of it all the time.
That’s where the gas sensors come into action and alarm you about the situation.
All the devices that we have discussed are connected with a base station that the company will provide you.
You’ll have to place it in the center of the house (just my opinion) to have better connections. But what does the base station do?
Base stations facilitate your device connection and your phone. They are the central devices, also known as transceivers, and they exchange wireless signals for flawless signal transfer and integrations with each of the devices.
All the sensors and detectors that you use need to be connected to the base station; otherwise, they won’t be of particular use.
This was a brief list of security equipment readily available today. Now, what are the main features that will make these products more specific to your needs? Find out in the next section.
Do you ever wonder why a smart product is called ‘smart’? It’s not mainly because it uses wifi or is wireless. The main reason to call any product or device ‘smart’ is how they serve their users.
An intelligent device has more than the usual to offer, like the devices we’ve discussed above.
They can detect, alert and inform at the same time. Interestingly, they can do more, and the answer is below.
As we’ve progressed to a digitally intelligent world, doing things manually sounds boring. IoT (Internet of Things) backed devices help homeowners like you and me stay on board with everything that’s happening around us without lifting a finger.
You can lock and unlock your doors, and you can see who’s knocking on the door. You can be notified every time a glass breaks or unusual smoke, with no physical restrictions to be at a place.
Things have been made easier with virtual assistants like Alexa, Google, or Siri. They do their job by just recognizing your voice. No questions asked. Reportedly Google is, however, more precise and ‘committed to the service’ than other home assistants.
Another exciting aspect where IoT assists us is controlling the switches and temperature. You can buy mobile applications devices and do things with a gentle touch on the screen or use your voice to get the job done.
The smart sensors are customizable, so we can even save electrical energy by putting them in place. They can only turn on when they detect motion or movement, so you get a good cut on your bills.
Now, don’t take the ‘motion lighting’ fact to your disadvantage. Home automation gives you the option to keep the lights ‘on’ and ‘off’ for a specified period so the burglars can stay away from your place.
IoT devices have made it so easy to control the world with just a few clicks on the phone or by sound recognition. You can control your home’s temperature with a mobile application as thermostats become smarter.
You can use your mobile and turn on the AC before you reach home to keep the environment as you like. You can control your electric devices as well to save on bills.
One of the best things that home automation does for you is giving you the freedom to watch over your home anytime, anywhere.
You can go in and out for business or personal reasons, so you’ll have access to your property at all times.
As we’ve mentioned above, you can either monitor your home by yourself or go for professional monitoring. Let’s make it more clear.
Going for self-monitoring is a budget-friendly option (free mostly), and it’s comparatively easier. In self-monitoring, you take care of everything on your own. If you get the alarms off, you’ll have to check for the fixes and sort things out.
Professional monitoring was the only option back in the day, but as the security systems advanced, they made it optional. It’s basically about a team of professional monitoring.
There are two ways for this procedure
Professional monitoring is a better option for people living on the go, but it can be heavy on your pocket. But it’s more convenient.
A smart security system does not only protect you from theft and burglaries, but it’s also amazing for the environment.
With sensors detecting smoke, flood, and carbon dioxide, it’s a major save on the environment. The entire thing becomes effortless with all these controls under one roof that’s your mobile app, of course.
Alarms are good to keep you informed, but it may not be enough for evidence which is why there are video recording and streaming.
Video streaming and its recording are by far the best ways to keep track of a situation and act accordingly. The majority of the security system companies give live streaming choices for the user.
Which means you can watch whatever is happening at your place in real-time.
If there’s smoke detection, the alarms will ring to alert us, but what if we are not home or nearby? We can watch live streams and reach out to help with evidence of recorded videos.
What can come in handy in such a situation is: staying connected to wifi so the signals can reach you without interruption.
The security system you’re using will ask you for the storage choice when it comes to video recording. You’ll have two options there.
You can either choose cloud storage or local storage. Cloud storage can be expensive, but it’s a viable option and goes for the longer run. You can subscribe to the monthly or annual service.
From all that we have studied in this factor, we have come with this list to remember:
You should also keep the footage with movement on your computer where nobody knows about it to reduce the chance of cyber theft.
We’ve been chanting ‘remote control, access from anywhere’ whenever the talk is about smart security systems.
But one thing that makes all of it possible is a mobile application by smart security providers. It’s how everything regarding smart control falls into your hands.
Unfortunately, not all security systems come with a mobile application. So if you want to enjoy controlling your lights, temperature, electronic devices, and locks with a few touches on the screen, you need to ensure that you’re investing in a security system that offers you this freedom.
Well, if you think the security system with applications will be expensive, you need to read the next section where all we’ll talk about is: ‘Costs’.
The cost of a security system is completely dependent on its qualities, and we’re sure you now know what a good security system should have. So, the costs are defined by:
Let’s begin with the equipment. We have analyzed the top 5 security system companies to have a match for costs.
This is our shortlist of the five most common security systems with their equipment costs.
The noteworthy point is that these packages come with the flexibility of buying either a single product or the entire package.
Most of these companies offer live consultation to help you understand what you need to spend on.
Your next step after purchasing a security system is to get it activated.
The security companies charge as low as $20 to max $100 to activate your security system, while some prevalent companies like Vivint do not charge any money for system activation. You can save a lot from this patch.
During our study on this subject, we’ve figured that the installation costs can range from as low as $50 (Vivint), $600 to $1000 depending on the devices and connection needs.
Each security product has a particular cost set so that it can get very expensive for you.
If you want to cut short on the expenses, you can go for DIY installation. SimpliSafe and FrontPoint are examples of security companies that make DIY installation easy and affordable.
We have already discussed how storage is EVERYTHING when we think of buying a security system. We will now look into the details, including the costs.
Storage is extremely important when working your way with a security system. So you should buy a system that offers you maximum freedom there.
The security companies with mobile applications give their customers the chance to self-monitor their house by themselves using the company’s application.
Otherwise, professional monitoring is quite expensive. Its cost is second to equipment.
Ring’s package includes self-monitoring, while SimpliSafe does not provide this service. We’ll know more about such companies in the table below.
The good part about having options for monitoring is you can save money while enjoying premium services. Most security systems don’t even need you to have professional assistance, which means it’s an addition but not a necessity.
System installation gives you two options. DIY or Professional installation.
We haven’t yet tried that many security systems, but we have studied what experts have to say about it, and they deem professional installation better for three reasons.
Although DIY installation is free, it demands your time, so if you have enough of it at hand, you should go for DIY.
If you ask us, we suggest you decide the installation based on the type of devices you’re using.
There are two kinds of products available in the market today. Wired and wireless, and this is a rundown of their specifications:
We have covered almost everything starting from the benefits of a security system to the costs involved.
Now, it’s our time to understand which companies rule the smart security industry and are reliable for the newcomers.
Talking of smart security systems, not mentioning Vivint is just impossible. One of the major security systems presents a perfect blend of smart technologies (home automation devices) and smart security using WiFi or cellular signals to protect and inform.
Vivint is an all-rounder company. For anybody looking for a company backed by advanced technology, it has competitive costs, mobile applications, and user freedom. Vivint is a perfect call.
Here’s what makes Vivint Different:
A few drawbacks that Vivint has is it’s a bit on the high scale if we talk about its pricing and it doesn’t, as per the latest information, entertain DIY system installation.
SimpliSafe has a reputation in the industry for its services to the customers. It may not be as smart in tech integration as its competitors but what it offers to the users kept the company in the race for years.
SimpliSafe is a DIY system but it doesn’t include outdoor cameras. But, other features make up for that.
The security system company works on a ‘no pressure’ ideology. YOU have the ultimate power to choose which equipment, package, delivery medium, and monitoring options.
All this means that SimpliSafe makes nothing a ‘compulsion’ like many other systems. You don’t necessarily have to sign up for the contract or stick to only one kind of monitoring option.
ADT is undoubtedly the oldest security company with decades of industry exposure. It has, by far, the most monitoring centers than any of its rivals. ADT’s best features can be its ‘free’ consultation and installation.
A summary of what ADT has:
ADT is a foolproof security system. How? If there’s a system breakdown (worst case scenario) and your local server fails to perform, the signals will instantly be directed to other portals, so the service goes on 24/7.
Frontpoint is a kind of balanced mixture of professional and DIY security systems. It has the advanced tech for security but gives customers their due flexibility to choose what they need.
Frontpoint may not offer professional installation for free, which you can get on request. It, in turn, gives you the security systems at a good, affordable price.
Frontpoint lacks the professional installation, but here is what it gives besides that:
Frontpoint, like SimpliSafe, encourages DIY installation, but it’s rather comprehensive. With wireless alarm systems, sensors, and outdoor cameras, it secures its spot in the market.
Ring is a security system that’s more about its alarms. It doesn’t bore you with long instructions or extra professionalism. Ring keeps it simple.
Ring also has a basic security kit that includes sensors to detect anything unusual, but it’s not as technically smart as others.
Ring has recently updated its professional monitoring costs, but it’s still not as expensive to push you out of your budget.
Ring and what it has in stores for us:
Ring alarms are a reliable and affordable option for you if you need unrestricted protection for your home and loved ones.
Abode is a security system that includes smart assistance. How is that different?
You may wonder. It’s different because Abode is allegedly the only security system company that includes Apple assistants as well.
You can use Abode security systems with voice recognition. It also has an advanced application that helps you get things done without putting in any effort.
Abode’s security system has smart lighting, locks, smoke, CO detectors to keep you safe at all times.
A rundown of Abode’s features:
Abode is an ideal security system that fits your small home with unparalleled protection at such a good price.
This was all about the prevailing security systems that we had on our list for you.
This blog was intended to provide you with all the information you need to make the right choice among the plethora of options. Everything mentioned here is backed by legitimate sources linked to the relevant point.