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How to Choose the Right Home Security System

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With frequent break ins, burglaries, robberies, murders and more, the world can seem an awfully dangerous place to live sometimes. It's only natural to want to protect those people and things that are close to you but traditional house alarms aren't always very effective. There's not always someone around who is going to call the cops if you're out, and by the time something is done you might have lost a great deal to thieves. These alarms also don't offer any protection inside the home, and you really are at a disadvantage if you're stuck in a traffic jam but the kids need to get into the house.

There are a myriad of household security issues you'll face day to day, but with the aid of new technologies and specialist security services you are now able to protect your property and family better than you ever could before.

Home Security Systems install top notch security sensors and alarms, utilising 24 hour monitoring services to keep your home safe at all times. There's been an explosion of consumers drawn to the market in recent years, meaning that security companies have become more efficient and more competitive, offering better technology and a higher quality of service at a lower cost. So, there's no better time to think about securing your home.

The basic systems contact a central command centre when your sensors and alarms are triggered. Most services will then call you to check if it's just an error on your part (maybe you knocked a window sensor for example). If you're not in or it's not your fault then the emergency services can automatically be called to your address. More sophisticated systems give you more control, allowing you to turn on or off the locks to your house, view what's happening inside or outside, or lock down a room, all of which can be done remotely. Your home can also learn your working patterns, knowing when you want doors locked, or lights turned on, making it a smarter and more secure place to live.

Each site we've reviewed is different, offering something that may appeal to one person but not to another. There are a few major differences between the various services and products provided, so it's important to consider these carefully and to check whether or not a site offers exactly what you need. Here are some of the most important differences for you to consider as you check out our reviews and the sites we've reviewed:


The equipment

Several important factors should be considered here. Primarily, does the equipment on offer do what you want it to do? If not, look somewhere else. Secondly, are you renting the equipment or do you need to purchase it? Renting means you'll spread the cost over a longer period and you may also get free upgrades, but owning the equipment means you can take it with you should you move house. Finally, make sure you look at some pictures of the equipment. It's common for the control pads to be molded in white plastic, but some sites will offer different designs. If aesthetics are important to you then you'll want the look of the devices to suit your home décor.



Sites will either offer you a professional installation service, which will probably cost you money, or a DIY option. Installation costs can be very high so it's worth taking these into account when deciding if you can afford a system. Although installing the systems yourself is relatively simple in all those services we've reviewed, if you're really not tech savvy then you might want to enlist the help of a friend, or simply to cough up and pay for a professional to fit it for you. After all there's no point in having a security system if it doesn't work when you need it!


Accessories and extras

Some home security sites will offer additional upgrades of gadgets that will help you to use their systems efficiently. In particular look out for sites that offer mobile applications, allowing you to secure your home from a distance, or even from the office. Many of them will offer key fobs / key rings that will lock or unlock your home as you approach, for a quick way to arm or disarm all the systems. Meanwhile video options can be really useful if you wish to keep an eye on who is in the house, or who is approaching it. These can also capture images, should you be broken into and in need of evidence.


Additional monitoring services and home automation

As well as monitoring your alarms for break-ins, many of the sites we have reviewed will offer additional monitoring services. These include anything from carbon monoxide sensors, fire and smoke, or medical alerts. If you're interested in any of these then make a point of it, you might receive a discount for purchasing additional monitoring services. In the same vein, home automation options are frequently available. These make your home a smart learning machine, able to control its temperature, lighting, blinds and appliances to fit in with your lifestyle. These will save you money in energy bills and they can also help to keep your home secure by giving off the impression that someone is in the house.


Value for money

It can sometimes be unclear exactly how pricing works when you're paying for a home security system. Some sites will charge a one-off installation (or activation fee), whilst others may ask you to purchase the equipment in one bulk payment before it is fitted. Meanwhile other home security websites will offer a rental service, reclaiming the equipment if you stop using their services. When you're budgeting it is important to make sure you know exactly what you're receiving. We've done our best to work out each service and its pricing, but if you're unsure then contact the sales team and discuss the potential costs in more detail.


The Bottom Line

Our reviews are in depth and consider the key differences between each service, so it's worth reading them carefully. Whilst value for money is important, don't just go for the cheapest option if it doesn't provide the services you need or the standards you expect. We recommend that you hunt around, take your time, and make a few inquiries before making a final decision.