How to buy the best home security system

Posted January 27th, 2021 by SimpliSafe

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When it comes to safety and security, it really does start at home. So it’s time to find the best home security system for your household. So, sit back and let us guide you through how to buy the perfect alarm system for your home. 

What goes into a home security system?

Long gone are the days where we had only guard dogs and animals to alarm us. Nowadays we can rely on intelligent security systems to not only deter burglars in the first place, but to alert us and our neighbours to a situation. Even the emergency services can be notified if you have a monitored alarm system

When linked to a main base or control panel, motion detectors can be cleverly placed around the home and work by triggering an alarm when motion is detected. Then it comes down to whether you have a smart or traditional home security system. A smart system can also use integrated mobile apps, cameras and Wi-Fi, whereas traditional burglar alarms just sound a siren until manually turned off - no camera footage or recordings. 

What home security systems are out there today?

Home security systems tend to fall into two categories: traditional and modern burglar alarms. You can find out more about them in our guide, but here’s a quick round up: 

  • Monitored alarm system: This provides 24/7 professional monitoring via an alarm receiving centre (ARC). So whether you’re sleeping upstairs in your home or on holiday (when safe of course!), an ARC will be alerted and call you as well as visually verify an incident and contact the authorities on your behalf for a high-priority dispatch 

  • Bells-only: A traditional alarm system where a siren sounds to alert the surrounding area 

  • Smart home security system: This links to smart sensors, cameras and a monitoring centre using Wi-Fi and cellular backup 

  • Dialler alarms: This system will contact you or nominated friends, neighbours and family members when the alarm is triggered. You can then decide whether to contact the police or ask a nominee to investigate 

  • Wireless: No wires or cables are needed to set this type up, as it relies on cellular and radio frequencies 

  • Wired: These will need to be professionally installed and wires up all components of the system 

  • Dummy: These fake alarm boxes are placed on the house exterior to help deter burglars 

See our complete guide to burglar alarms for more about the different types. 

What are the key features of a smart home security system?

Where a standard alarm system will just alert the house and neighbours, a smart burglar alarm system can do so much more. 

  • They can connect to a smart home security camera to capture vital evidence and record, so police appreciate them for investigations. They’re also great for capturing what your pets get up to when you’re not around and checking in on children 

  • It uses Wi-Fi to work with cellular backup 

  • Smart alarm sensors work with the system, where you can add many different types - from water sensorssmoke detectors and temperature sensors for freezing pipes to motion sensors and glass break sensors 

  • With a professional monitoring system, your home can be monitored 24/7 so wherever you are, a security specialist is on call to alert you and even dispatch a guard or the police on your behalf 

  • They’re super easy to install by yourself and can be set up in minutes 

  • You can easily transport the system if you move house as this type of burglar alarm is portable 

  • If power fails, you can rely on a battery backup 

  • If an intruder damages the keypad, the smart system can still alert the emergency services 

  • Detects only intruders, not your pets 

  • You can rely on confirmed alerts 

  • Deep encryption 

  • Control your system from anywhere with your mobile, tablet or computer

How much does a home security system cost, what’s the cheapest?

If you’re looking for the cheapest alarm system, a dummy or traditional alarm ticks those boxes, as they are limited in what they can do. For example, the dummy is seen more as a deterrent as it isn’t able to alert anyone if an intrusion occurs. 

Wired alarm systems are pricier, as they need to be professionally installed. Plus, if anything goes wrong, such as sensors or wires being damaged, the repair costs can add up. Not to mention the cost of time and lapse in security while you wait for an engineer to come out. 

Smart security systems have a range of costs because of the different plans you can opt for. For instance, with SimpliSafe, you don’t have to worry about long-term contracts and you can even get only a camera recording plan deal for less than £5 a month. It also depends on the plan you opt for and whether you want 24/7 professional monitoring. Then, it’s up to you how many sensors and accessories you want, as you can build your own bespoke system for your home. 

Which alarm system is easier to install?

Not needing any professional service or personnel to install it for you, a wireless and smart alarm system is the easiest to install, as you can do it yourself and set it up in minutes. Not only that, if you need to decorate or move house, wireless systems are portable. 

How effective is a home security system?

Even simply having a deterrent outside your home, like a sign and a security alarm box works at putting off potential intruders, but with opportunists out there taking chances all the time, having a working system is crucial. 

For instance, take the rise of sneak-in burglaries, where data showed 58% of burglaries happened when someone was in the home. And with lockdowns continuing, burglars will stop at nothing to try and gain a quick, opportunistic steal. Therefore, having a home security system that can have a ‘home’ mode as well as an ‘away’ mode is effective, as you can help protect rooms and areas that are inactive. 

What alarm system is best when you have pets?

Smart is your answer. It really is in the name. With a smart alarm system, you can rely on them only detecting the unique heat signature of humans, meaning your furry friends are safe from triggering off any alarms. 

When considering a home security system - whether for the first time or if you’re looking to update one - it can be difficult to figure out which is best for you. We hope you’ve found our buying guide useful, but if you have any questions or want to find out how your home could benefit from a smart home alarm system, contact us today.