Options in Home Security Systems

By Megan Morrow
Published April 9, 2019


Whether you travel often, have noticed an uptick in neighborhood crime or simply feel greater peace of mind with an alarm you can set as needed, home security systems continue to grow in popularity thanks to reduction in price, flexible features and ease of use.

If you are considering installing or updating your home security system, there are two general categories from which to choose:

Professional Security Systems

Installed by a company such as ADT, Vivant or Xfinity, a professional security system does not require much work on your part, other than meeting the installer at your house. Naturally, upfront and monthly costs are likely higher than DIY systems, although you can often find deals or sales. If you move, you may have to pay to have the equipment moved with you.

If you appreciate the benefit of professional expertise and do not enjoy reading the fine-print of manuals, this may be your best bet. Further, if you are interested in customized options or features, ensure that you clearly communicate this with the installer.

Self-installed Security Systems

This market is expected to grow at more than 22 percent annually between 2016 and 2021, according to IHS Technology.

The only cost to installation when you do it yourself is time; you can set the system up on your own schedule (and will not have to block out multiple hours to meet someone). Likewise, you can configure it according to your specific needs and interests. In most cases, you will own the equipment, making it easy to move to another location.

Most users of self-installed security systems attest that installation process is both easier and faster than expected, particularly with wireless systems (hard-wired security systems will involve more work and complexity). Companies will also provide support as needed.

Making a Choice

When examining your options, it is wise to pay attention to price (initial installation, monthly costs, equipment costs), customer service (availability, contract requirements and customer reviews), how user-friendly the equipment is and any important special features.

If you are interested in reviews of various systems, U.S. News & World Report and PC Magazine recently released their rankings of both professional and self-installed systems.

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The material presented here is for information purposes only and is not to be considered an offer to buy or sell any security. This report was prepared from sources believed to be reliable but it is not guaranteed as to accuracy and it is not a complete summary of statement of all available data. Information and opinions are current up to the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The purchase and sale of securities should be conducted on an individual basis considering the risk tolerance and investment objective of each investor and with the advice and counsel of a professional advisor. The opinions expressed by Ms. Morrow are strictly her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Herbert J. Sims & Co., Inc. or their affiliates. This is not a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any particular investment. All investment involves risk and may result in a loss of principal. Investors should carefully consider their own circumstances before making any investment decision.

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