What to Look for When Purchasing a Home Security System

By Tim Chesonis •  Updated: 02/08/23 •  11 min read
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Your home is your sanctuary, and ensuring its safety should be a top priority. With the increasing number of break-ins and burglaries, investing in a home security system has become essential. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right system for your home. To make the process easier, we have compiled a list of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a home security system for your convenience.

1. Type of System

When purchasing a home security system, one of the most important factors to consider is the type of system you want for your home. There are three main types of systems: wired and wireless, and smart home systems. Each type has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, and choosing the right one for your needs requires careful consideration.

Wired home security systems are a more permanent solution and require professional installation. This means that they are typically more reliable and not subject to interference from other devices. Wired systems are ideal for homes with a large coverage area and can offer a more robust and secure solution. However, they can be more difficult to install, requiring drilling holes in walls and running wires through your home. Additionally, yhey also cannot be easily taken with you if you move.

Wireless home security systems, on the other hand, are much easier to install and can be taken with you if you move to another house (or apartment). They are also more affordable than wired systems and offer the same level of protection. Wireless systems use battery-powered sensors and can be easily connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network, which provides a more flexible and convenient solution. The downside, however, is that they are subject to interference from other wireless devices, and their batteries need to be replaced periodically.

When choosing between a wired or wireless home security system, consider the size of your home and the number of doors and windows you need to protect. Wired systems are ideal for larger homes with a large coverage area, while wireless systems are better for smaller homes or for those who want a more flexible and convenient solution. It’s also important to consider the monitoring options available with each type of system, as well as the cost of each solution, but we’ll get into that in a minute.

Another type of system to consider is the smart home security system. These systems allow you to control your home security system through a smartphone app and offer a wide range of features, such as remote access, automatic alerts, and the ability to arm and disarm the system from your smartphone. Smart home security systems are ideal for anyone who owns a smartphone and wants a more advanced and customizable solution.

When purchasing a home security system, the type of system you choose is a crucial factor to consider, and should not be taken lightly. Wired systems are more reliable and ideal for larger homes, while wireless systems are more flexible and convenient. Smart home security systems offer advanced features and allow you to grant access to your home remotely.

I would encourage you to carefully consider your specific needs before making a purchase, because what system you choose will determine how flexible you can be. For example, will you easily be able to add security to a new addition to the house, or a new shed or barn you put on your property? Will you have to hire a contractor to implement any new security features? Be sure to choose the type of system that best suits your home and lifestyle.

2. Coverage Area

When determining the coverage area, consider the size of your home, including the number of rooms, doors, and windows. Make sure the system you choose has enough sensors to cover all the areas you need protected. It’s also important to consider any outdoor areas you want to protect, such as a garage or driveway. Many home security systems now offer the option of adding outdoor cameras to your setup, which provides an extra layer of protection for your home.

It’s also important to consider the range of the system’s sensors. Make sure the system you choose has sensors that can reach all areas of your home, including basement and attic spaces. If you have a large home with a lot of coverage area, you may need to consider adding extra sensors or upgrading to a system with more powerful sensors to ensure full coverage.

Additionally, you need to think about the placement of the sensors. Ideally, you want to place sensors in areas that are most vulnerable to break-ins, such as doors and windows, as well as in areas that are difficult for intruders to access, such as basements and attics. You should also consider the placement of the control panel, which is typically located near the main entrance of the home.

3. Monitoring Options

Monitoring options is a crucial aspect to consider when purchasing a home security system. The monitoring options determine the level of protection you will have in case of a security breach. The following are the main types of monitoring options available:

  1. Professional Monitoring
    This type of monitoring involves a professional security company that monitors your system 24/7. If an alarm is triggered, the monitoring company will contact the homeowner and the local authorities. This type of monitoring is the most reliable and offers the highest level of protection.
  2. Self-Monitoring
    With self-monitoring, you receive alerts via a mobile app or email if an alarm is triggered. You then have to take action yourself and contact the authorities if necessary. This type of monitoring is less expensive than professional monitoring, but it requires the homeowner to be available and alert at all times.
  3. Hybrid Monitoring
    This type of monitoring combines the best of both professional and self-monitoring. You receive alerts on your phone or email, but if you don’t respond, the monitoring company will take action on your behalf. This type of monitoring offers a balance between cost and protection.

When choosing a monitoring option, consider your lifestyle and the level of protection you require. If you are often away from home, professional monitoring is the best option. On the other hand, if you are always at home and want to save money, self-monitoring may be the way to go. Hybrid monitoring is a good option for those who want a balance between cost and protection.

Another thing to take into consideration is the communication methods offered by the monitoring company. The most common communication methods are landline, cellular, and internet-based. Landline communication is the most traditional, but it is becoming less common because of the increasing popularity of internet-based communication. Cellular and internet-based communication are more reliable, as they are not vulnerable to power outages, and the professional thief is well aware of this.

Choose a monitoring option that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle is key. Consider the level of protection you require, the communication methods offered, and the cost of the monitoring service. With that in mind, let’s talk about Cost for a minute.

4. Cost

The cost of a home security system can vary greatly, depending on the type of system, coverage area, monitoring options, and the size of your home.

A basic security system can start at around $200, while a more comprehensive system with more advanced features can cost over $1,000. However, keep in mind that the cost of a security system can also include installation fees, monitoring fees, and equipment upgrades.

If you are looking for a more cost-effective solution, a DIY home security system may be the right choice for you. These systems come in the form of self-installable kits and typically cost less than a professionally installed system. However, it is important to keep in mind that a DIY system may not provide the same level of customer support as a professionally installed system.

If you prefer a professionally installed system, you may want to consider a monitored home security system. This type of system typically requires a monthly monitoring fee, which can range from $20 to $50 per month. Some providers also offer the option of a long-term contract, which can provide a discount on the monthly monitoring fee.

Another cost-saving option is to opt for a home security system that can be integrated with other smart home devices, such as a smart thermostat or smart lights. This integration can help reduce the overall cost of your home security system, as well as provide a more convenient and seamless experience.

Ultimately, the cost of a home security system will depend on your individual needs and preferences. My objective is to bring all of these issues to your attention before making any decisions on which home security system you should get. Before making a purchase, it is important to research different options, compare costs, and consider the total cost of ownership, including installation fees, monitoring fees, and equipment upgrades. By doing so, you can find the right home security system that fits your budget and provides the protection you need for your home and family.

5. User-Friendliness

One more major thing to take into consideration is the user-friendliness of the home security system that you purchase. The purpose of having a security system is to provide peace of mind, so it’s important to make sure that the system is easy to use and understand. Here are some factors to keep in mind when evaluating the user-friendliness of a security system:

  1. Ease of Installation
    The installation process of the security system should be straightforward and user-friendly. Some systems come with pre-installed components, while others require professional installation. Consider a system that can be easily installed without professional assistance, to save on costs.
  2. User Interfaces
    The security system should have a user-friendly interface, such as a mobile app or a web portal, that makes it easy to monitor and control the system. The interface should be intuitive and easy to navigate, with clear instructions on how to use the various features.
  3. Alerts and Notifications
    The security system should have customizable alerts and notifications, so you can be notified of any activity, whether it’s a door opening or motion detected. The alerts should be easy to understand, and the notifications should be sent to your preferred device, such as a smartphone or tablet.
  4. Remote Access
    The security system should offer remote access through a mobile app or web portal, allowing you to monitor and control the system from anywhere. This feature is particularly useful when you are away from home and want to keep an eye on your property.
  5. Technical Support
    The security system should come with comprehensive technical support, whether it’s through a dedicated phone line, email, or chat. In case of any issues, you should be able to get quick and effective assistance.

User-friendliness should not be overlooked when purchasing a home security system. A user-friendly system is not only easier to use and understand, but also provides peace of mind and ensures that the security system will be used to its full potential. By keeping these factors in mind, you can find a security system that meets your specific needs and provides the protection you need for your home.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, purchasing a home security system is a big decision that requires careful consideration. The type of system, coverage area, monitoring options, cost, and user-friendliness are all important factors to take into account. As we have discussed, each factor plays a major role in determining the overall effectiveness and reliability of the system.

By considering the type of system, you can determine the best fit for your home’s specific security needs. The coverage area will ensure that every corner of your home is protected. The monitoring options provide peace of mind knowing that you will be alerted in case of an emergency. Cost is an important factor to consider, but it should not compromise the quality of the system. User-friendliness is also crucial, as it can determine how easily you can manage and use the system.

In short, following the advice found in each of these points listed above can lead to a well-informed decision when purchasing a home security system. Investing in a high-quality home security system is an investment in the safety and security of you and your family, and with the right system in place, you can have peace of mind knowing that your home is protected 24/7.

Tim Chesonis

Tim loves writing and helping people succeed. He brings a wealth of wisdom and insight from an entrepreneur's perspective, loves Linux, his iPhone and his iPad. When he's not writing another article, he's probably binge-watching “The Middle” or “Breaking Bad”, (again). To learn more about Tim, click here.