Are you trying to pick the right security system? It can be a frustrating process, especially when you're busy with a new home, or a new arrival in the family.
Don't be tempted to rush. It's more important than you may realize.
Choosing the right system will set you up for years of peace of mind, with a huge range of benefits you may not expect. Choose badly, however, and you can leave yourself unprotected, or lumbered with an expensive inconvenience for years.
To make the best choice, use this checklist of essential home security features.
1: Professional monitoring for emergencies
You'll encounter plenty of off-the-shelf home security devices with smartphone apps that alert you to activity at home.
It's an exciting new way of staying connected to home, and also a bad approach to home security. You cannot be—and probably don't wish to be—"on call" around the clock, ready to respond to an emergency alert from your home.
For real home security, professional security monitoring—included with all Alarm.com-powered systems—is essential.
In an emergency, the system proactively alerts a 24-7 monitoring station, where security professionals are on hand—day and night—to contact your local police or fire department immediately.
2: Smarter alerting that doesn't overwhelm you
Don't get us wrong: smartphone alerts are great – especially security alerts and reminders.
With an ecosystem of security sensors, and a cloud ‘brain' to process the information they gather, our technology understands what's happening at home and whether you need to know about it. That way, you don't get swamped with alerts about everyday activity.
For example, if you want an alert when your son arrives home from school—but not every time someone opens your front door—you can create a ‘disarm' alert for your security system that only your son's four-digit user code can trigger.
3: Security with added convenience
While old-fashioned security systems can inconvenience you, a modern system makes life easier.
Look for features like smart access control. A smart lock, connected to your system, makes it easy to let the right people in without compromising security.
Your kids can have a permanent user code, while trusted visitors can have restricted user codes that only work between certain times, or which expire after a set time. No more keeping track of spare keys!
You can also automate things for convenience. For example, you can have your system disarm and your hallway lights come on when you open your smart lock. You can even create an ‘arriving home' scene button in your app that does it all with one command.
4: Security with smart deterrence
It's better to deter a crime than to solve one after the fact. The right security system makes your home a highly unattractive target to a burglar.
Look for a system that incorporates visible deterrents like outdoor security cameras and a doorbell camera. Most burglars check for security systems and avoid homes that have them.
You can also include smart lighting on your front porch, programmed to turn on when the sun sets every day. It can also turn on when your doorbell camera detects motion, ensuring that after-dark intruders find themselves in the spotlight.
5: Proactive safety features for your family
The best security systems don't just protect you from crime: they protect your family from everyday dangers too.
Contact sensors inside your home can give you early awareness when kids get into forbidden areas like the garage. Even if you don't set up alerts for these areas, Alarm.com can still protect you. The Insights Engine learns activity patterns over time and sends you Unexpected Activity alerts when unusual events occur.
6: A tamper-resistant cellular connection
When assessing a security system, pay close attention to how it communicates and sends emergency signals.
Some systems use phone lines, or piggyback on your home's broadband connection. These are vulnerable to a falling tree branch or a pair of wire-cutters.
For better security, look for a system with a dedicated cellular connection and battery backup. This type of security system can signal for help even if your phone lines are down and your power is out.
In fact, alarm panels can even defeat an intruder who smashes the security panel.
7: A complete smart home setup
There's one more, very important reason why getting the right security system matters. Smart technology is fast becoming a must-have, and you'll soon want to upgrade your home.
Gotcha Security can equip your home with the smart home platform you need for a frustration-free smart home, controlled by a single app. You can easily incorporate new smart devices as you need them, such as:
- A smart thermostat to save energy and stay more comfortable
- A video doorbell that lets you answer your door from anywhere
- Indoor video cameras to keep an eye on a future arrival
- Smart garage door openers for easy access
- Water sensors to protect you from burst and leaking pipes
Our app combines all of these devices into one harmonious system with everything working together, controlled through a single command center on your smartphone or computer screen.
Not everyone knows it yet, but the right security system is your frustration-free shortcut to a smart home.