Today’s Top Security Companies Compared

Frontpoint

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Frontpoint is a relative newcomer in the security industry, with only 8 years of experience. However, the highly professional customer service, flexible plans and cost-effectiveness indicate that this company knows its business. When you sign up with Frontpoint, you purchase the equipment up front and install it yourself, with over-the-phone guidance from a technician. Because you now own the components, monitoring fees stay relatively low. Frontpoint packages include security, carbon monoxide, fire, personal alert, freezing and flood monitoring. A major advantage is the flexibility of their contracts. You can choose among several term lengths and transfer or stop service fairly easily.

iSmartAlarm

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iSmartAlarm caters to consumers who look for a streamlined, no-frills wireless system. The company provides the equipment and technical support, as well as a one-year warranty. You then monitor your system using iSmartAlarm’s smartphone app, which communicates with the cameras in real time. Because your transaction is limited to your purchase of the equipment and phone app, you avoid getting bound with a contract. iSmartAlarm’s customer service representatives go above and beyond to make sure your equipment is working properly. You can customize your equipment package, choosing your desired number of contact sensors, motions sensors, cameras, remote tags and satellite sirens.

Simplisafe

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Simplisafe provides wireless alarm systems that give you the best of both worlds. You can choose to purchase their equipment and then do your own monitoring through a phone app, or you can sign up for a central monitoring package. Simplisafe offers a variety of equipment packages, from the very basic to the comprehensive. You can also choose to expand your system and purchase additional components gradually. Customers also like the 3-year warranty on the equipment and the battery backup that ensures your system will keep working through power outages. In addition to its packages, Simplisafe also allows customers to select personalized systems tailored to their needs.

Scout

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Scout includes a range of top-of-the-line wireless alarm equipment along with required monitoring services. This is a plus for customers who want professional monitoring as an included service rather than an optional add-on. With Scout, you can choose from among four monitoring plans. When you purchase equipment from Scout, you make your own selections of sensors, signs key fobs and RFID stickers, as Scout does not offer equipment packages. The equipment is up-to-date and integrates with several smart home systems such as Nest. You can also remain secure that your system will stay up during internet or power outages, thanks to the 3G backup.

What You Need From Your Security Company



It can be hard to figure out which company offers what you need. A good place to start is to think about the tech you need and to make sure the company offers it. Do not count on future upgrades that may or may not happen. A major consideration is the quality of customer service, tech support and equipment warranties. Even one malfunctioning component can seriously compromise your entire system. You need to know you can rely on your home security company to address any issues promptly and effectively. Ask representatives about the company’s protocol for ensuring your system remains operational in outage or emergency conditions. Look for a company with helpful representatives who address your specific needs. Finally, security technology is in a state of continual development. A company that keeps up with emerging tech and upgrades accordingly offers the best and widest range of services for your protection.

Types of Monitoring



If you pay your company for professional monitoring services, you need to know how your system will communicate with the monitoring center. Most systems use one of the following three ways to let the monitoring center know when a trigger goes off on door and window alarms. Both older and newer systems, including wireless, can use your landline telephone to reach the monitoring center, a good option if you have unreliable cell or broadband reception. Newer wireless systems use cellular signals, which travel faster than landline communications and avoid failure due to landline damage. A broadband-based system uses your broadband internet connection to reach the center quickly.


How Home Security Monitoring Works


sample-image Most home security systems today consist of an array of sensors and cameras. Door and window sensors detect attempts to open them, while fire and carbon monoxide sensors detect the presence of certain chemicals to determine danger. Additional equipment may include motions sensors, lights, and sensors for home safes. When a sensor goes off, the system sends an alarm to the monitoring center or to your designated device, if you are doing your own monitoring. Typically, an alarm company that receives a signal contacts the customer to notify him or her and ask if emergency services should be contacted. If the customer is unreachable, the company may contact emergency services on its own.

Installation Options


sample-image As you select your security company and alarm system package, consider your preferred method of installation. Some companies offer the choice of installing your system yourself or having a professional installer handle it. Other companies only offer one of these options. If you opt to install your system, the company ships you the components along with instructions. Many also provide phone support from a technician. Systems with DIY options tend to be easy to install even if you are not very handy. Typically, you will own the equipment and be able to take it with you if you move, making DIY a great option for renters. Having a professional installer set up your system can save you the anxiety of wondering if you installed everything correctly, especially if you are not very experienced with DIY home projects. However, moving a professionally installed system to another location may be impossible, difficult or expensive.