Home security is an essential need for every modern household, and sooner or later in life, even the most altruistic ones have to seriously consider it. And when that time comes, making a wise choice is a must. And finding the best home security system doesn’t have to be a difficult homework. Let’s lay down the basic information how to properly approach the research process.
The Selection Process
1. Basic types
There are two main types of home security systems, based on the type of connection they utilize:
The whole communication between the devices in the system happens via wired connection. Other than the detailed technical differences, which are usually confusing for the common user, the main advantagesand disadvantages of using wired systems are:
Reliability: The communication is reliable since it’s not vulnerable to outside interference. That’s why this type is perfect for big properties and large areas.
Quality: Wired connection provides a lot better flow of data, thus offering high definition preview in as many different locations as needed. Also, the equipment for this type of systems is usually very easy to maintain, and it is more feature-rich.
Cost: This is one of the bad sides of this type of systems. The installation is pretty messy and costly, since it involves drilling for setting up cables. This also means that it will most likely be a permanent solution.
Vulnerability: All of the benefits come with one caveat: single point of failure. The criminals need to cut one phone cable in order to disable the whole system. The cables are also responsible for low flexibility, meaning not being able to be controlled from multiple locations and devices.
With this type of systems, the connection is established through wireless devices equipped with sensors, radio signal transmitters and receivers. This is a more recent technology, and as such employs interesting combination of advantages, but drawbacks as well.
Reliability: In this context, the wireless system would be more suitable in the opposite situation as the wired. It is not as reliable as the cable connection, since it’s a lot more susceptible to outside influence, which can come from a variety of sources: electromagnetic devices, home appliances, structural obstacles like walls and doors, hacking, power loss due to battery discharge and so on. All of these can interrupt or weaken the signal. That’s why wireless system is a better choice for smaller places.
Quality: Because of its nature, wireless connection can’t provide the same data flow like cable does, so the quality will depend on the factors mentioned in the reliability section.
Cost: Wireless home security systems usually cost less to install, since there’s no need to drill and install cables. So, they are quite easy to upgrade, or even replace.
Vulnerability: The main threat is of course, hacking. Every security measure must be taken in order to minimize this risk.
Based on the first step, evaluating the needs is what comes next. The most influential factor is the size of the place, which will determine the type of system that’s best for it. Of course, there are no strict definitions, just best practice tips, and/or personal preferences. Every home security system provider offers different plans and contracts, so planning the needs for the best home security system must include:
Brand: Choosing the brand is not a key factor, however it’s still worth asking for user experience or reading some reviews online. Brands with long tradition in the business, companies with clear and honest policies, excellent customer support and affordable price plans are worth the search.
Features: Nobody needs all the additional features that companies usually offer. It’s important to attend to the basic needs first in order to assure best coverage and installation and avoid unnecessary costs.
Confidence: It doesn’t come with price only. Bloated prices can be as shady as the extremely cheap options. Look for approachable representatives and technical staff that answers even simple questions in an honest and professional manner. Be careful with providers who offer own, proprietary software solutions, since these can come as quite costly, but also sometimes can be very insecure.
Costs: The overall costs of a home security system don’t come only from its initial price. Taxes, regular maintenance costs and on-demand services will be charged separately, so it’s very important to think of the costs as a long-term – or permanent – investment, rather than a one-time fee.
3. The Wise Choice
At the end of this journey, the final decision should come as the best combination of all of the factors from above. The best home security system is the one that is designed in details according to them. Careful analysis and research is the only way to choosing the best way to protect the home.