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Common Cents Sales Group

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Buy Home Security !!TOP!!

Choosing a home security system is like many decisions we make for our homes: it's personal, and what you need largely depends on your specific situation. The good news is that thanks to improvements in wireless home security technologies and home security monitoring, as well as the flexibility smartphones bring, there are lots of great options to fit every need, budget, and circumstance.

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1. Decide how much protection you need. How much protection you need depends largely on crime in your area and the parts of your home you want to monitor or protect. Decide if you want protection just while you're away or also while you're home, particularly at night.

Michael Silva, owner of Silva Consultants, a security consulting and design firm, says for more security just while you're away, you probably only need a couple of door sensors and motion detectors, along with fire alarms. But if you're concerned about someone breaking in while you're home, you'll want a more comprehensive system that covers all possible points of entry with a full suite of door sensors, glass-break sensors, motion detectors, and possibly cameras.

Doug Huey, co-owner of Executive Security Consultants, which specializes in home security systems, notes that the back of the house is usually less visible and thus more vulnerable than the front, so protect those doors and windows first, followed by other first-floor doors and windows. Sliding glass doors are made of tempered glass and thus are particularly attractive to burglars because they're safer to break. If you have one, be sure to put a glass-break sensor on it. Fire alarms should be next, Huey says, followed by motion detectors, cameras, smart locks, and other smart home devices.

2. Determine your budget. Adding more sensors and cameras to a basic home security package can quickly increase your final bill. Still, prices for both professional and DIY home security systems have come down significantly. Silva says that while protecting a 3,000-square-foot house might have cost around $5,000 several years ago, today it's closer to $1,500 because the equipment is less expensive and can be connected wirelessly, which cuts professional installation fees.

4. Schedule an in-home consultation. If you want to have your system professionally installed, consider scheduling a representative from the security company to visit your home for a consultation and to prepare a proposal. Vivint, ADT, and Xfinity Home provide this service for free, while Brinks (and the DIY companies) consult solely over the phone.

A professional installer can assess your specific security concerns and address any technology constraints (for example, spotty Wi-Fi service in your home). The risk with a home visit is that most security advisers also serve as commission-based sales representatives, who might push a system that's larger than necessary.

When choosing a security system, cost is a primary consideration. Whether you buy a professionally installed or DIY system depends in large part on how much you want to spend. A professionally installed system from companies such as ADT and Vivint will always be more expensive, as you're paying for the time and expertise of an installer who will come to your home and outfit it with all the devices and sensors required for proper security. Sometimes you're also paying for all your equipment upfront, although this cost can be amortized over the life of your contract.

That said, with DIY home security systems, you can choose to monitor the system yourself through a smartphone app or pay a month-to-month monitoring fee without a contract. This option may be attractive to those on very tight budgets. For a full comparison of the costs of all pro-install and DIY systems, take a look at our guide to the Best Home Security Systems of 2023.

Finally, make sure your home security system has equipment and features that fit your lifestyle. Home security systems typically offer sensors that detect if a door or window has been opened or if someone is moving around in your home. They offer other sensors as well, such as fire alarms, glass-break sensors, and water leak detectors. Most also have a keypad and/or a key fob to make it easy to arm and disarm the system, as well as a smartphone app for controlling the alarm. And many systems now have equipment and features that can do much more than provide basic security, such as integrating with smart thermostats and door locks.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, some systems will suit you better based on your specific needs. If you live in a single-family home and have a large yard or outdoor area, you'll want to look at a system with excellent camera integration. Frontpoint is the best system with outdoor security cameras. Ring is the cheapest option we rated, and it has the most robust selection of outdoor cameras, all including night-vision and person detection, and some with built-in floodlights. Ring also has battery- and solar-powered camera options for areas where running a power cable isn't feasible.

If you have a large home, outfitting it with sensors can be time-consuming and costly. This is where the services of a professionally installed company bring benefits over DIY options. In addition to the installer doing all the hard work for you, our choice for the Best Professionally Installed system, Vivint, lets you amortize the cost of all the equipment over a fixed-term contract.

All security systems offer some form of camera integration. However, if you're not interested in having cameras inside or outside your home, you still have plenty of options as none of the systems require cameras.

A home security system's cost will vary depending on the level of protection you need, but generally runs from about $200 for a basic suit of equipment to thousands of dollars. Be aware that although base equipment packages can seem inexpensive, they usually only provide a handful of sensors and other components, which may not be enough to fully protect your property. Professional monitoring, which many experts recommend because it's impossible to monitor your own system all the time (such as when you're sleeping), can cost anywhere from $10 to $100 a month depending on the company and level of service.

Abode and Ring are the most affordable options in our ratings for either DIY or professional installation. They have similarly priced base packages, but there are some differences in equipment packages, monitoring fees, and compatibility with smart home devices.

Obviously, cost -- both upfront for equipment and potential ongoing subscription fees for monitoring or storage -- is one of the main factors when choosing a home security setup. Some systems, like the Wyze Home Monitoring System featured above, are available for less than $100. Others can set you back $200 to $300 or more, and the price could inflate even higher with each sensor, camera or alarm you add. Adding another layer of complication to the equation: Many of these systems see significant discounts throughout the year.

Higher-priced DIY security systems are likely to come with more devices, plus lots of useful features and compatibility with other smart home devices, which is something else you'll want to consider when choosing a DIY home security system. The Ring Alarm Pro, our top pick for DIY security systems, features cellular-powered backup, local processing and storage for Ring devices along with easy integration with Alexa Guard Plus service.

Finally, you'll want to consider local-versus-subscription storage and monitoring options. A DIY Ring system, for example, could offer a number of monitoring and data storage options for an added monthly cost that are not available with other devices. On the other hand, if you'd rather monitor your home security system and handle data storage yourself, many devices allow you to do so at no extra cost.

A DIY home security system certainly has its advantages, like lower pricing and simple self-installation, but professional security has its perks. While DIY systems are typically easy to install and set up, you won't have to worry about any of that when a professional system is installed by an experienced technician.

A DIY security system can cost $60 to $400 or more depending on the brand and model you buy and where you purchase it. The Wyze home monitoring system is a great value at $80, for example. On the other end of the spectrum, SimpliSafe's 10-piece DIY home security system that lists for $479 on their website -- and those prices can go much higher if you opt for all the bells and whistles the service offers.

Like with any addition or upgrade to your home, you'll want to evaluate the costs, and what you get for the money, when choosing a DIY security system for your home. It's easy for the cost of a DIY system to add up, but keep in mind that choosing a cheaper system that doesn't meet your needs may not be worth your while either.

The Ring Alarm Pro system has shaken the DIY home security market, wrapping a Wi-Fi 6 Eero router into its base device. That means you get all the basic security you'd expect from, say, SimpliSafe or Abode, but you'll also get access to all sorts of extra features, including cellular-powered backup Wi-Fi in case of power outages, network security monitoring, local processing and storage for all of your Ring devices and integration with Alexa's Guard Plus service (provided you have an Echo speaker or display).

Ring still has a troubling history when it comes to its privacy practices and policies, but the Ring Alarm Pro is undeniably one of the smartest DIY home security systems I've ever tested, and it's surprisingly well priced in a crowded market. The base system with four entry sensors, one motion detector, one Z-Wave extender, a keypad and a base station costs $300, and you can add other devices a la carte for reasonable prices.

SimpliSafe was one of the first DIY home security system options to hit the market and is a reasonable alternative to ADT and other professional alarm company firms. That's due in large part to this home security system's affordable cost and wide variety of accessories. SimpliSafe makes a variety of different starter kits that usually start at around $250, and you can often get them for less through discounts. 041b061a72

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