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Imagine a home safety supermarket where you can take your time to peruse the aisles, picking up exactly what you need and leaving out those items you're not so keen on. That is essentially SmartHome, a sort of online shopping centre for high security equipment at lower prices. What's more, their alarm monitoring service is one of the cheapest we've seen at just $8.95 a month. It all sounds a bit like a dream, but what's the reality?
Well actually there's not much of a need to pinch yourself here, the prices are low and the quality of equipment is high. What we like about these “DIY” security sites is that you get to pick the bits that you need most, and miss out the others. So for example if you need to keep a particular check on a specific door in your house, you can splash out and get automatic locks, a video camera and an alarm system for that door. Or perhaps you're keen to make sure that the windows are secured but you're not too bothered about checking who's at the front door. This is all possible. In fact when we checked they were offering a 10% discount, making it even cheaper.
So we were pretty impressed with the equipment on offer, and the prices, but what about the security services? Well unfortunately although these are very cheap they don't seem as varied or in depth as some of the security services you'll find with some other home security companies. Essentially it's just an alarm monitoring service that's available, whereas some sites offer bodyguards, fail-safe systems, two way voice calls, 7 second response times, automated lighting and blinds, and more. But of course, Smart Home will call the emergency services if needed, which means your alarms won't go on sounding aimlessly whilst your home is raided.
The site offers additional information in its learning centre but it's wise to keep in mind that you are expected to install the safety equipment yourself. This includes checking that it's working correctly and maintaining it should anything break. If you're not confident in your ability to do this then SmartHome.com might not be the best site for you. There are plenty of websites that offer an installation service as part of their package, although they are likely to cost more money.
Since this site is primarily concerned with the sale of security equipment, it doesn't offer a great range of features to go with that equipment. More complex systems such as digital door locks or motion sensor video cameras may not always be supported by the services available through this site. As such you may be required to outsource these services or to take them on yourself (for example, setting your cameras to record and then checking the recordings later on). However, they do offer some remote home options at an extra cost, allowing you to check your systems from your mobile device.
SmartHome is going to be of great use to you if you don't mind getting your hands dirty and you're looking for high quality, low price home security equipment. However, if you'd feel safer having this equipment installed by a professional, and you would benefit from a greater range of features and services, then you may wish to look elsewhere.
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