How safe is your home? Even if you live in a good neighborhood and take the right precautions, like keeping your doors locked, there’s a good chance you’d like to increase your security.
Buying home security systems can be a complicated process, though. There’s a lot to consider before making that purchase.
There are a wide variety of home security systems out there, as well as several different features that you might prioritize. You need to think carefully about what you need, and what system best fits those needs.
Keep reading to learn about the eight key factors you need to consider before buying home security systems.
Table of Contents
1. What Needs Protection?
The first step in choosing a home security system is deciding what, exactly, you’re looking for. What is the goal of the system? What are you trying to protect? What are your priorities?
There are many types of security systems depending on your needs.
If your focus is preventing home invasions, start with an alarm system. If you prefer to focus on monitoring your home and property, start by installing surveillance cameras.
You’ll likely want to install a suite of home security options that includes cameras, alarms, and more. It’s good to get your priorities straight, though, so you can find brands and products that suit your needs.
2. Home Size
Once you know what you want, you need to figure out how much you need. A mansion is going to need more home surveillance technology than a two-bedroom home, because there’s more ground to cover.
Figure out how much space you’re working with and which areas are the most vital to surveil. You might want cameras in nearly every room of the house, or you may only be concerned with a few key areas.
Take your entire property into account. You’ll likely want exterior cameras as well, so if you have a lot of yard space, you may need extra cameras. On the other hand, you might only need a simple doorbell camera.
There are home security systems at just about every price point, so choosing a budget is a key step in the process. Obviously, if you’re willing to spend more, you can get more bells and whistles.
Of course, there are plenty of low-cost options that are effective, too. You don’t need to break the bank to protect your home and family.
Certain cost factors will be out of your control; for instance, if you have a larger property, you’ll inevitably need to spend more to cover all of it.
As long as you factor that into your home security budget estimates, though, it shouldn’t be an issue.
4. Monitoring Style
When you install home surveillance technology, you need to decide who will be monitoring it. There are two kinds of systems: self-monitoring systems and professionally monitored systems.
A self-monitored system is just what it sounds like: a security system you monitor yourself. You’ll receive notifications when alarms are tripped, but it’s up to you to take the next steps, such as calling the police.
A professionally monitored system is one that a security service monitors for you. These are more expensive, but also more efficient (and better for larger properties).
Click for more information about the kinds of options professional security services offer.
5. Wired or Wireless
Security systems can come in wireless or wired forms. There are benefits to each, but there’s one major caveat about wireless systems: they often rely on cellular service, so make sure your property gets decent cell service.
Aside from that potential complication, wireless systems offer much more convenient installation than wired ones.
Wired and wireless systems may also differ in where they store their information. Wireless cameras often store footage in the cloud, while a wired camera is attached to a central recording device.
Many wireless cameras, such as motion-sensing cameras, only record in short bursts in order to conserve battery power.
6. Camera Options
Even setting aside the ‘wired or wireless’ question, there are tons of options for security cameras. There are dome cameras, bullet cameras, doorbell cameras, motion-sensing cameras; the list goes on.
Doorbell cameras are a popular choice. As the name implies, they are cameras that attach to a doorbell. When someone rings the doorbell, the camera turns on and records for a bit.
Motion-sensing cameras are similar; they don’t begin recording until they detect motion.
Dome cameras offer a wide view of an area, while traditional bullet cameras offer a narrower view of a specific spot (though they are generally able to rotate to some degree).
7. Installation: DIY or Professional?
You may be able to install a home security system yourself, saving some money on installation fees. For a more complicated system, though, you may need to rely on professional installers.
The installation process depends on what kinds of devices you’re installing. As mentioned earlier, wireless systems are easier to install than wired ones; they don’t often require professional assistance.
Some wired systems are also simple to install. Doorbell cameras, for example, are a wired system that is easy to install yourself. Most are better left to the professionals, however.
8. Extra Features
Burglar alarms and surveillance systems are the core parts of most home security systems, but there are a lot of other features you might want to invest in.
You may want to use floodlight cameras, for example, which are motion-sensing cameras that activate a large floodlight as well as a camera when motion is detected.
You can get a personal panic pendant, which is a wearable button that can quickly put you in touch with emergency services.
Many home security options can integrate with home automation products. This allows you to set schedules to cut down on false alarms–sensors won’t trip when your child comes home from school, for instance.
Buying Home Security Systems Today
Whether they’re preventing home invasions or recording suspicious activity, home security systems are a great way to keep your family safe. That’s why careful consideration is necessary when buying home security systems.
Home surveillance technology is a fascinating field. If you’re interested in similar products, check out our tech blog!