A colleague from the San Diego area just shared this information about home monitoring systems and since a past client asked me about this just a couple of days ago, I realize that more people could also benefit from Marti's information.
When it comes to home security, there is no one-size fits all solution and evaluating all of the variables and options offered by the different companies can be at best confusing. Do you want video monitoring and professional installation? Is it important you control your system with a cell phone app? Do you want home automation and integration with lights, thermostat and other devices? And what about monitoring?
I dug through all the reviews at safehome.org to try and simplify the selection process and then compared their reviews to those of other reviewers including wirecutter.com (a New York Times company).
Your top 5 list might vary based on your specific needs, but here are 5 systems you may want to include in your review and selection process:
1. Frontpoint Home Security – The wireless Frontpoint system offers DIY installation, competitive prices and great customer service according to reviews. Video monitoring is available as is home automation and it sends cellular alerts so no land line is needed. Equipment is by General Electric. They require a 12 or 36 month contract for monitoring. Monthly fees start at $34.99.
2. Vivant – Vivant offers a higher-end solution with professional installation, cellular and/or land line connections, indoor and outdoor video cameras, life-time warranty, home automation and doorbell camera with two-way voice. Monitoring starts at $39.99 a month but contracts are for 4 or 5 years.
3. SimpliSafe Home Security – This company was founded by students at Harvard business school in response to apartment break-ins. The system is ideal for both renters and homeowners as it is a DIY installation and there are no contracts, so it can be easily moved. Monitoring is optional and indoor video monitoring is available. Monitoring starts at just $25 a month and includes cellular access. Wirecutter rated SimpliSafe as #2.
4. LiveWatch – LiveWatch offers wireless DIY installation with optional indoor/outdoor cameras and home automation. In case of emergency, the alarm owner and trusted friends or relatives are notified by text within 30 seconds of any security breach. They also offer a cancel anytime feature with monthly monitoring starting at $34.95. LiveWatch was # 1 rated by Wirecutter.
5. ADT – By far the largest and oldest security company in the U.S., ADT offers a broad range of services to both business and residential customers. They offer both wireless and hardwired systems and free installation. They also have some unique options such as medical alert pendants with GPS tracking. ADT also provides monitoring for people who already have a system in place. Monthly prices start at $28.99. Customers sign 3 year contracts.
There is no question that keeping yourself and your family safe at home is a top concern. More and more people are opting for some type of a security system, and most new homes are built with the wiring in place. As you start to consider your options, narrow down the field by first determining whether or not you want monitoring by an outside company that can contact the police or fire department on your behalf, and secondly if you want professional installation or a DIY system. Check contract terms and determine the ability to expand your system with additional features and you’ll be well on your way to selecting the home security system that is right for you.
Need a home for that new system? I’d love to help you buy or sell your San Diego County home. Contact me now.
Photo courtesy of Unpakt