Security SystemsHome security systems can offer peace of mind and protect your family and belongings from intruders. Today’s advanced systems offer a wide array of features to help keep your household safe whether you’re home or away.

If you’re considering an alarm system to protect the people and things you care about most, here’s what you need to know.

First, whether choosing a professionally-installed or do-it-yourself system, both can provide round-the-clock monitoring, remote access from mobile devices, home automation features, text and email alerts, as well as video surveillance options. Obviously, you will invest more as you move from basic packages to the bells and whistles. The bottom line is it pays to comparison shop based on your unique needs.

Second, while some security systems can be hard-wired into landlines, many are tied to cellular phones, wireless signals and Internet services, so signal strength and reliability is crucial.

Finally, homeowners often receive a discount on home insurance once a system is installed. Check with your insurance provider for details.

Here are a few other items to consider.

Your HomeProfessionally-installed systems charge monthly fees and typically require multiyear contracts. These often include early-termination penalties as well. Installation and equipment fees can be reduced during promotional incentives. National providers include ADT, AT&T and Vivint.

DIY systems are usually lower cost because you are not paying installation or setup fees. While some do require a term contract, you can often select a security equipment package that is right for your needs. SimpliSafe and iSmartAlarm are two of the most popular DIY systems, and neither requires a contract.

Looking for peace of mind without a full-blown security system? Nest offers indoor and outdoor video monitoring, programmable thermostats, and CO and smoke monitoring. Ring replaces your doorbell with video surveillance, allowing you to answer the door from anywhere in the world. The motion detector triggers an alert on your phone, so you can communicate with visitors through two-way audio.

Now you’re armed with everything you need to make a great decision on a home security system!

Sources: Clark Howard, A Secure Life

This article was taken from my November 2016 issue of YOU Magazine. Click here to view the full newsletter.

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