You're in the market looking to buy a security system, but aren't quite sure which one to buy? It can be confusing and hard to know which type would be the best for your home. Here's an easy guide to tell which one to buy for your security needs.
Pro's and Con's....
A hard-wired system has long been known for it's quality. While hard wired systems are more expensive, it's wireless counterparts must sacrifice a little in quality to be as competitive with hard wire systems, offering motion detectors and combination units to be competitive with hard wired systems. Wired security systems are also more reliable and will required less maintenance as they don't rely on batteries for their sole functioning power. Most hard wired systems rely on batteries as a back up power source only. Wireless system batteries and components will break down more often and will require replacing. Battery replacement costs can range in price from $50-100 on wireless units depending on how many units need battery replacement.
Wireless system do have their advantages though. Overall installation is usually less expensive in comparison with their hard wired counterparts. Often, you can find many deals offering free installation and free parts. Wireless systems also offer some of the most cutting edge technology--motion sensors, combination units, smaller window and door sensors, and more. However, they can also have their drawbacks. It can be harder to find the necessary replacement components should your unit break, and in the event of a break in, the sensors can be easily broken off. And you need to monitor the batteries and make sure they are working on a regular basis--a security system isn't much use if the batteries are dead.
Wireless system installs can be very quick too and not require large amounts of wires to be snaked through your home, and holes to be bored through your walls. Most wireless installs will take only 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete. Wireless security systems are also easy for the do-it-yourselfer. The ease of install makes it simple for even a novice to put a system together in no time.
That said, which system is better to install?
Hard wired systems are better installed if you are in the process of construction of a new home. It's easy to run wires and setup the system if the home is already being wired for other electrical components. Also consider purchasing a hard wired system if your home was previously wired for one. Your security alarm installer can usually check for security caps or wires to determine if you already have had a security system in your home at a previous time. This makes it much easier to install a hard wired security alarm system. Consider a wireless system if you are one that has to have the latest and greatest system. Wireless systems usually offer the most cutting edge technology. If cost is no object, consider installing a hard wired system. If it is, consider going with the wireless version. Often you can find low cost or even free parts and installation on wireless systems.
Security companies make their money off of monthly monitoring and contract lengths. Before choosing any company to service your needs, make sure you thoroughly check out several companies before making a decision. Look first at how long you must stay with them. Do they require a 6 month, 1 year, or several year contract? Second, look at moving clauses. Do you get charged a cancellation fee if you have to move before your contract deadline is up? Will the company allow you a 'free' move? (Meaning, can they remove your system from your old home and reinstall your system in your new home without you being charged large fees to do so, or without considering it a cancellation of your contract? Or, will they require you to fill out a brand new contract?) Third, look at monthly monitoring fees. What is the overall cost to monitor your home on a monthly basis? Fourth, look for hidden fees. Are their early cancellation fees, late payment fees, reconnect fees, or any other hidden fees? Fifth: What are the repair and installation costs? The install may be free, but are the repair costs insanely pricey? This might be a sign that equipment may break down often and costly repairs are a way for the company to make up for the cost of the installation. Lastly, look who the company chooses to be their central monitor centre. There are many small security installation companies that use larger companies to do the actual monitoring. If you are okay with possibly making two different calls if you have a monitoring question or equipment question, than choosing a smaller company might be your best option. If you are the one-stop shopper, consider going with a larger company that also handles your monitoring.
The bottom line is, security companies typically offer similar monitoring equipment. However, before purchasing the best choice is to always look closely at your contract. That is where the security companies make their money.