How to Choose the Right Type of Security System for Your Home

How to Pick a Home Security SystemHome security systems can dissuade people from attempting to break into a specific house. There are many systems on the market, but they all fall into a few broad categories. Understanding what they are and how they work can help homeowners make the right decision for their circumstances.

Monitored vs. Unmonitored Systems

Some home security systems are monitored, sending alerts to call centers or emergency responders when the alarm is triggered. Others have no monitoring, relying instead on a loud alarm when the system detects an intruder.

Monitored systems are among the most popular options for those who are considering home security. Professionally installed, these systems require a monthly contract or subscription with a service to operate. They offer a great deal of security without the homeowner needing to be nearby, as the system operates on its own.

Unmonitored systems typically involve just a one-time expense for installation, plus basic periodic maintenance. They involve alarms and/or bright lights that are triggered by motion. While their simple installation can make them more affordable for buyers, the alarm must be a sufficient deterrent. In isolated areas where no one is likely to hear it, a burglar may still proceed after disabling an alarm.

A third option that lies between the two is self-monitored systems. These can typically be purchased online and easily installed by the homeowner. When the system is triggered, it will send a signal to the homeowner's mobile phone. Self-monitored systems require the homeowner to be there to see the signal and call law enforcement.

Wired vs. Wireless Systems

The other broad division in home security system types involve wired versus wireless systems. Both monitored and unmonitored systems can be wired or wireless. Wired systems are connected to the home's electrical wiring through low voltage connections to an alarm panel. Doors and windows around the home are then wired into the system to detect an intrusion. These systems can also include devices like glass-break sensors or motion detectors and are typically considered very reliable. However, they can be vulnerable to intruders who know the system is there and who disable it by cutting the wires.

Wireless systems communicate through Wi-Fi. They are typically inexpensive, easy to install, and can be used in rental properties where a wired system installation wouldn't be allowed. However, the potential downside is that these systems will only work as long as there is a connected Wi-Fi network. They also require regular battery changes or recharges to keep the system online.

Every home is different, and every homeowner is working with a different budget and different home security concerns. By looking at the risks they consider most likely and the sorts of expenses and maintenance they are willing to commit to, homeowners can choose the system that works best for them. By making a choice to up their home's security, homeowners can reduce insurance costs, protect the members of their household, and keep their homes more safe and secure.

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