Posted: February 13, 2017
Home security systems are tailored to your individual needs. Like that perfect t-shirt or favorite pair of shoes, the right home security system just FITS. How much does this cost? Well, that depends on several factors.
Think about home security systems like taking a trip. Much like traveling, you can take any number of ways to get to the same place. You can choose an efficient route that gets you to your destination for the least amount of money. You can also choose a scenic route that offers more views and recreation for a higher price. You can stay in a luxury hotel along the way or opt for the lower-priced hotel that sports fewer amenities.
Security systems follow a similar decision-making process. The choice is yours.
Here is a roadmap to help guide you on the way to better security.
You can choose a fully supported, professionally installed, monitored system or ditch all of the extras and go for a complete do-it-yourself (DIY) system. You can also stop somewhere in between. You can even select a basic setup and upgrade later.
Depending on the company and the package you choose, you can expect to pay anywhere from $27.99 to $60 per month for professional monitoring. Most companies offer basic and advanced monitoring packages to fit your specific needs. Typically the price goes up with additional features.
Here are some of the major players for monitoring.
Somewhere in the middle of DIY and professionally monitored systems, you can find companies like SimpliSafe. They offer monitoring for as low as $14.99 per month, but do not provide installation services or home assessments. You are responsible for ensuring that your equipment gets installed and is functioning properly. You have the advantage of a lower cost. In exchange, you don’t get the benefits associated with expert opinions or home setup.
If you don’t like the sound of paying for monitoring services, you can do a complete DIY system. These systems are exactly what they sound like; you do it yourself. The obvious benefit is a significant savings on cost. You won’t pay monitoring costs, but the monitoring and alerting of emergency services is left entirely up to you.
For example, you can purchase a DIY camera with an app that connects to your phone. This gives you the ability to monitor your home, but you’re the person behind the camera. It is your responsibility to ensure that camera is being watched, remains powered, and you notify the appropriate people if an emergency comes up. You are not tied into contracts or monthly monitoring fees. However, if you find yourself in the middle of an emergency where you are unable to act you may second guess going this route. These systems only cost you the price of equipment, which we investigate below.
Alternatively, with monitored systems, you aren’t saddled with the anxiety that you might miss a peek at your phone or be unable to respond. You don’t have to worry while stepping into your meeting. In the event of a break in or other emergency, you’re covered.
Once you have chosen a perfect monitoring fit, you have to select the right equipment. The hardware you need to properly secure your home depends on the size and layout of your home. If you have a larger home, you will need more sensors to cover the area including windows and doors.
Home security equipment might include the following options:
(NOTE: The touchpad, signs, and decals are only typical of professionally monitored services.)
Pricing of equipment also varies. With a DIY system, you can piece together what works best for you; a camera here, a motion sensor there, etc... The amount you pay would depend on the brand and the sophistication of the devices you choose.
For example, you can get a D-Link outdoor network camera for $99.99 or an Arlo camera security system for $599.99. Tack on a motion sensor like this one from Doberman Security for $16.47 or the Ideal Security motion sensor set for $78.97. Doing it yourself can get pricey and add up fast as you add on features. However, you can add on gradually as long as everything works together.
Companies like Simplisafe that offer monitoring without installation or assessment have starter equipment packages ranging from $229 to $599. From there you pay for each additional sensor to outfit the different areas of your home.
Or companies that install professionally monitored systems take care of all of that research. Basic packages are available starting at $99, but depending on what options you choose, the size of your home, and what you cover the price will go up. If you have a 5,000 square foot home with several windows and door, want multiple cameras, and choose all the bells and whistles you will like pay in excess of $1,000.
Much like cell phone companies, home security from companies with professional monitoring and installation service often offer free or low installation fees to new customers who commit to a monitoring agreement.
The decisions are yours as you decide what works best for you. If you have never shopped for home security systems it can be confusing. If you find this information helpful please use Protect Your Home as a resource as you look at and research home security systems. Hit us up on Facebook and Twitter with your home security questions.