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Technology has pervaded every facet of our lives over the last decade. Gadgets and appliances are increasingly capable of performing tasks that add convenience and safety to our lives and properties. Home security systems are now a common feature of many homes in the United States. It is no secret that property crime trends have been on the decline across the country, yet it is precisely because of home security systems that criminals are unable to break in. If you are considering installing a home security system, you can reap many benefits associated with the product.

Home security systems used to be comprised of primitive devices capable only of sounding an alarm when they detected the presence of substances or persons in their zone of operation. Today, home security systems have advanced substantially. You are never truly away from your home, as you can check in at any time to ascertain the status of your property and its inhabitants.

Let us list the myriad benefits of installing a home security system in your home.

Top Advantages of Home Security Systems

The utility of smart home security systems falls into three broad categories: personal and property safety, financial security and savings, and convenience. These benefits playout for the consumer of smart home security systems in the following ways.

Deterrent to Criminals

According to scientific research conducted by Dr. Joseph B. Kuhns of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, most burglars are impulsive offenders. Only 12% of criminals pre-planned their break-ins by observing the target. For a vast majority of criminals, burglary is a “spur of the moment” crime, and indicators of enhanced security, such as home security system signage and stickers, outdoor cameras and other surveillance equipment dissuade 60% of burglars from targeting a property.

Thus, there is no doubt a home security system protects your home by its mere presence. It is a powerful reason for you to ensure your property is under the protection of such a system. Prevention is better than cure, right?

Lower Homeowners Insurance Premiums

Current or aspiring homeowners are well aware of the dynamics of homeowners insurance. Financial institutions will not mortgage any property transaction sans full insurance coverage for the full fair value of the property, which is most often its purchase price. Even some landlords require their tenants to acquire renters insurance.

As the insurance companies cover damage to the interior and exterior of the house, rates are determined by the insurers perceived risk.  You may be able to lower your homeowner insurance premium by up to 5% by providing proof of an active, well-monitored home security system. The systems integration with sensor-equipped smart home fixtures can further lower your homeowner insurance premium.

Detect Dangerous Carbon Monoxide

Throwback to high school chemistry class. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas that is toxic to humans. It is produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal, or other carbon containing fuels. When there is a concentration of carbon monoxide in the environment, your body replaces oxygen with this deadly gas in your red blood cells.

Home security systems can link up with smart carbon monoxide detectors around your home. As soon as carbon monoxide is detected at your residence, you get an instant alert. This can save your life and those of your family members.

Alert to Smoke

Smoke detectors have been a fixture in American homes for decades now. However, this technology has also advanced substantially. Home security systems can integrate with smart smoke alarms to ensure early detection of home fires. A number of smoke alarms installed around the home can communicate with each other to pinpoint the location of a fire.

There are two types of home smoke sensors. Photoelectric smoke sensors use light to detect smoke. Smoke particles suspended in the air disrupt a beam of light in the sensing chamber, to set off the alarm. This type of sensor is better at detecting smoldering fires.

The second type of smoke sensor is the ionization type. A tiny bit of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates ionizes the air, establishing a current between the plates. When smoke is in the air, it disrupts the ions, thus changing the current flow and activating the alarm. This type of smoke sensor is better for flaming fires.

Home security systems can work with smoke alarms that incorporate both types of smoke sensors. No type of fire can elude these smart smoke alarms. Be assured your family is safe from becoming victim of a fire.

Customizable

A good home security system allows you options for customization. You can connect several kinds of smart home devices to your security system, like smart lights, smart locks, security cameras, smart plugs or outlets, smart thermostats, voice assistants, and more.

Besides allowing you a catalog of smart devices to choose from, you will also be able to pick from a host of smart home brands. So your smart light and smart thermostat may be from two different brands, but they would work with your home security system.

Other than this, you get flexibility and customization options when it comes to home security system plans. You can omit some features to lower your monthly or annual security bill.

Around-the-clock Protection

According to property offense analysis by the FBI, a majority of burglaries occur during the daytime when home occupants are out for work, school, or shopping. Conventional logic would go against criminals forcing their way into properties during sunlight hours when they may be more easily spotted by witnesses, but the data indicates otherwise. Nighttime burglaries are also a significant chunk of the crime statistics.

For this reason, you do need an around-the-clock home security system because you never know whether the bad guys will attempt a break-in when you are away or when you are asleep. Luckily for you, contemporary home security systems are designed to be always on.

As Wi-Fi is the primary carrier of communication between home security system components, you may be wondering what happens in case of a power outage. The solution engineers came up with is cellular backup. Regardless of whether your internet or electric power is down, your home security system continues to function on battery power. The system can alert you or local authorities via cellular signals.

Are Home Security Systems Good for Home Protection and Family Safety?

The purpose of home security systems is to enable convenience and safety for families residing in urban, suburban, or rural areas. If a security system is deployed and active at a property, it is unlikely to be targeted by criminals. Even if a property crime should occur, your possessions and family members would be much safer as the emergency situation would be immediately apparent to you, and authorities can be notified automatically.

Here are some factors that make home security systems ideal for family protection and safety.

Yard Signs and Window Decals

Believe it or not, the mere presence of a home security system is enough to dissuade most would-be burglars from picking your home to steal from.

No criminal wants to get caught in the act of committing a serious crime, so they usually avoid security system-protected properties. When you are not home but your family members are, you can rest assured the yard signs and window decals you would get as part of your security system package would be effective at keeping them safe.

Evidence for Law Enforcement

Should you be the victim of an attempted burglary, trespass, or any other property crime, your home security system will capture evidence to help catch the bad guys.

Depending on your plan, you may have access to storage of evidence for several days, or you might be able to immediately save evidence on your phone or hard drive. Criminals know even if they get away after raiding your property initially, the cops will be seeking them based on evidence the homeowner will provide. Another win for your familys safety.

Keyless Entry

Being a parent or guardian is a hectic and responsible duty. You have got to keep an eye on the kids as you fulfill your other adult responsibilities like a job, grocery shopping, socializing, etc. One of the best safety features of smart home security systems is keyless entry. Your children can return home from school, and you can grant them access to the house remotely, all without the need for a physical key.

This prevents the horror scenario of the child losing the key, a creepy criminal stalker picking it up, and following the child into the property while you are not present.

This is not all. The entire gamut of home security system features is meant to enhance your ability to protect your family. Let us check out the best features in systems today.

What Are the Most Important Home Security System Features?

We have discussed the benefits of home security systems. But now, let us dive into the specific features that will enable you to realize those benefits. Using a home security system gets you peace of mind to the extent of knowing you are doing all you can to protect your home and loved ones.

Remote Control via App

Nearly everyone has swanky, powerful smartphones. We all know how mobile apps work. Every home security system has its dedicated mobile app. You can control all aspects of your home system with it. Forgot to arm your security system before leaving home? No problem, do it via the app. Do you want to turn off specific smart home devices while you are away? Do it via the app.

Should there be any security breach, the app will alert you via push notifications. This way, you are never oblivious to what is going on around your property. iOS and Android users can download the apps via the respective app stores for their operating systems.

HD Video Feeds

The video camera has always been one of the most essential security tools. Now you are able to view high-definition video feeds from your home cameras, wherever you are in the world. Depending on your security plan with the provider, you can store the video footage for up to 30 days, or even longer if you want to keep it on your private server or hard drive.

The camera units are immensely powerful and feature-packed. From night vision to wide pan angles, there is not much they will miss. You can choose to connect via your home Wi-Fi or get a cellular 4G backup model.

The camera models are also weatherproof.  You can easily use them around the exterior of the house without worrying about damage from routine inclement weather conditions. Even doorbells now come equipped with high-quality cameras.

Motion Sensors

By installing motion sensors indoors as well as outdoors, you can be alerted any time there is unusual movement in or around your home. You can set up your video cameras to also turn on as soon as the motion sensor detects movement.

The devices are smart enough to distinguish between your pets, and a human being walking around. Speaking technically, the sensors usually deploy passive infrared (PIR) technology. Light sensors detect infrared light emitted by a human body. The range for these motion sensors is up to 33 feet. 

Another type of motion sensor is based on microwave technology. This can get you greater area coverage but is also susceptible to electrical interference. It is best to install sensors with dual technology to minimize false alarms as well as maximize coverage area.

Detectors for CO2, Smoke, Flood

Besides criminals, appliances and fixtures at home could malfunction and cause a build-up of dangerous carbon monoxide gas, a fire could cause excessive smoke, and broken pipes could cause flooding at your home. Home security systems enable you to connect with sensors for these calamities and prevent a disaster that could be life-threatening or damage your furniture or other valuables.

Latest Wireless Technologies

The home security systems available on the market today function on modern wireless technologies with high throughput and reliable connectivity.

One of the communication protocols utilized by such systems for communication between devices is Z-Wave. It is a low-energy consumption, radio wave communication method that establishes a mesh network of your devices. It means, should there be a failure of one device, the other devices connectivity and communication are not affected. The range of the Z-Wave technology is nearly 330 feet outdoors, and about 80 feet indoors.

The Security 2 (or S2) standards ensure robust encryption is used to transmit data between nodes. It also ensures pairing procedures for each device are nearly impregnable, with unique PIN or QR codes for each device. This makes it that much harder for hackers to compromise your home security system.

An alternative technology used by home security systems is Zigbee. It is similar in its function and features to Z-Wave. It is built for battery-powered devices such as those used in home automation networks.

Regardless of which of these technologies your home security system utilizes, you know you are getting the best science has to offer in the 21st century.

Professional Monitoring

It is all well and good to get real-time alerts from your home security system on your smartphone. But what if you are away from home and unable to check your phone? Maybe you are on a flight or you are hiking in a remote forest when your property is under threat.

Home security system plans offer optional professional monitoring for an additional cost. Highly trained security professionals monitor your home systems 24/7 to ensure your property and family safety. Should an emergency arise, they promptly notify the authorities so that the fire department, ambulance, or police may be dispatched to your home.

Voice Control

It is possible to manage your home security system via voice control. Do not feel like tapping on your smartphone or the central hub screen to make changes to your devices? Just order the system to do what you want via voice commands. Your system may be compatible with popular home assistant devices to achieve this.

What Are the Privacy Concerns of Home Security Systems?

As with any technology connected to the internet, customers are naturally concerned about the privacy implications. Although much work has been done to improve home security systems integrity, the following are aspects that should be kept in mind by customers:

  • Sharing User Data with Third Parties – Ring, a popular doorbell camera brand has partnered with hundreds of police forces across the US to provide video from specific areas and times for investigation purposes. Although users can refuse such requests, the company has been accused of creating a surveillance network for profit. Be mindful of how your data will be used by your home security system provider. Read the Terms of Use carefully before committing to the service.
  • Hacking – A research paper found that merely by observing home security camera data passively, hackers can infer privacy-breaching information about the occupants of a home. Hackers can tell whether there is movement within a home, and even distinguish between types of movements. Without looking at the camera video itself, simply by observing the rate of data transfer, hackers may be able to predict your personal schedule and determine when to strike for a burglary. To avoid this, make sure your home security system data is transmitted in encrypted form.
  • Server Data Breaches – Although most home security companies have robust data security, it is not unheard of that servers hosting information about customers could get compromised, exposing your residential address, credit card details, and other sensitive data to hackers. There is not much you can do about this, as it can happen to any company or service. The good news is companies spend billions of dollars on cybersecurity, so data breaches are rare.

List of Home Security Providers in the US

These are the major home security system providers in the United States.

System Initial Cost Monthly Fees Contract Length Installation Options
Cove $150 $14.99 None DIY
Vivint $599 $29.99 42 months Professional
ADT $599 $45.99 36 months DIY or Professional
Xfinity Home $360 $30 Monthly Professional
Simplisafe $229 $14.99 None DIY
Frontpoint $392.40 $49.99 None DIY
Brinks Home Security $199 $39.99 36 months DIY or Professional
Abode $229 $8.33 None DIY
Ring Alarm Security Kit $179 $3 None DIY
Deep Sentinel $399 $60 1-year service contract DIY

 

Recommended Home Security Providers

Not all home security system providers are equal. When it comes to product performance, service quality, pricing, and the overall reputation of companies, a couple of brands stand out. After extensive research and personal experience with the services, our staff recommends ADT home security and Xfinity home security. Let us dive into the details of each service.

ADT Home

ADT is one of the oldest companies in the home security industry. Today, it is a market leader in home security services. ADT alarm security is trusted by 6 million Americans and backed by 17,000 professionals. The company deploys its staff at over 200 locations to ensure proper coverage for most US states.

ADT Home Security Customer Service

ADT Security delivers customer service of incomparable levels. You will never feel like your concerns are not being addressed. Here is what you can expect from ADT Home.

  • Call ADT home security now at 1-844-343-1168 for a free quote & custom security deals designed around your home floorplan and your family schedule.
  • Trained professionals at hundreds of offices across the U.S. are available 24/7 to assist you.
  • You get a 6-month guarantee (with professionally installed systems). If you are not happy, ADT security will refund your installation and monitoring fees.
  • Call 1-844-343-1168 for same-day or next-day installation and activation of your ADT package.
  • Moving to a new home or different state? ADT Home helps with its Movers Savings Package!

 

ADT Home Security Packages

Features ADT SECURE HOME ADT SMART HOME ADT VIDEO & SMART HOME
PRO MONITORING PRICE $45.99/mo. $49.99/mo. $59.99/mo.
EQUIPMENT LEASE/UPFRONT PRICE $9.98/mo.
for 60 months*
$15.32 /mo.
for 60 months*
$17.82 /mo
for 60 months*
 
INTRUSION DETECTION ? ? ?
TOUCHSCREEN CONTROL PANEL ? ? ?
VOICE CONTROL ? ? ?
REMOTE ACCESS MOBILE APP X ? ?
SMART HOME AUTOMATION X ? ?
VIDEO SECURITY X X ?
STORED VIDEO CLIPS X X ?

 

*  Requires monitoring contract for term you select. Early term fees apply. Well-qualified credit. Financing requires 0% APR installment contract for term you select.

 

Xfinity Home Security

Xfinity is a household name in the US. Besides providing excellent cable TV, internet, and home phone services, Xfinity security systems are a popular choice for people who want a secure residence. Comcast, the parent company of the Xfinity brand, counts around 31 million Americans as its loyal broadband internet customers. And by 2017 Xfinity Home had already earned an estimated 1.3 million customers in the 5 years since launch.

Xfinity Home Features

Xfinity security systems are best deployed when powered by Xfinity Internet. These are the salient features you can enjoy as an Xfinity security products user.

  • 24/7 professional monitoring
  • Battery and cellular backup
  • Video monitoring
  • Remote control of third-party smart home devices
  • Xfinity home touchscreen
  • X1 Voice remote

Xfinity Home Security Packages

Xfinity security plans are 2-tiered. You can either rely on the Self Protection plan or go for the full-fledged Home Security package. Compare what you would get with either plan. Order online now.

FEATURES XFINITY SELF PROTECTION XFINITY HOME SECURITY XFINITY HOME SECURITY PLUS
PRICE $10/mo.* $30/mo.* $40/mo.*
SERVICE CONTRACT TERM None None None  
xFi GATEWAY REQUIRED ? ? ?
CUSTOMIZATION ? ? ?
REMOTE CONNECTIVITY ? ? ?
24/7 RECORDING (6 CAMERAS) ? ? ?
PRO MONITORING X ? ?
1 WEEK OF VIDEO CLOUD STORAGE X X ?
SEARCH VIDEO BY PEOPLE, PET, VEHICLE X X ?

* Pricing for service only. Equipment sold separately.

 

Latest Generation Xfinity Home Camera

The Xfinity security systems work exclusively with Xfinity latest generation surveillance camera. You can purchase it for $5/mo. per camera for 24 months. Here is how this nifty gadget provides you great protection.

  • HD-quality feed
  • Designed for indoor and outdoor use
  • Equipped with night vision
  • Easy self-installation
  • Connects automatically to xFi Gateway
  • Connects automatically to Xfinity app
  • Plug and play

 

Stay Safe, Stay Protected

We hope you found this guide helpful in your endeavor to learn about home security systems, and the top two brands offering residential protection services. Whether you live in the city, the outskirts of a metropolitan area, or in a rural town, you need a modern system to warn you of danger before the situation turns into a major emergency. Take care of your family, and stay safe!