Reading the Fine Print of Home Security System Contracts
Before buying a home security system read the fine print. Some security providers require a binding contract for a number of years for the lowest pricing or discounts. There are a few points to keep in mind when reviewing your home security provider’s contract:
- Some providers may charge you a termination fee costing hundreds of dollars if you break your contract early – some cost more than $700.
- Contracts may include installation and equipment fees. If you’re not satisfied with the equipment, you may not get a refund.
- Understand what your provider will and won’t cover If you experience a burglary or damages with your home security system installed. Some offer a money-back guarantee for burglaries, while others state in their contract that they will not be held liable.
- Your home security provider may allow you to rent or lease the equipment instead of owning it regardless of how long your contract is. And if it’s not working properly after returning it, you may incur a fee.
If you don’t understand or have questions regarding your contract, reach out to your security provider before signing. After all, it’s a legally binding and long-term investment to help protect your home. Home Security Installation
- A DIY installation home security system requires you to set up your equipment yourself. A DIY home security system typically doesn’t require drilling or wiring and are easy to set up with removable adhesive or plugs into your standard wall outlet and completing the setup on your smartphone or Internet. With DIY installation, you’ll also be more able to pack up the system and reinstall it in your new home without needing a professional technician.
- Some home security systems require professional installation to set up your home’s security equipment correctly. As an advantage, this means you’ll save time and headaches of handling wiring and drilling, however, you’ll want to factor in the cost of professional installation when purchasing the home security system and equipment – as some cost over $200, but there may be a discounted rate depending on the security equipment or package purchased.
Expectations for Home Security System Customer Service
To learn more about home security system providers, consider giving them a quick phone call to get all of your questions answered. Purchasing a home security system is a long-term investment so don’t just rely on their website and reviews to protect your home. Here are a few questions to ask about any home security system. By the end of the call, you should have a better understanding of the security provider, their offerings and how they help keep your home safe.
- What security measures does your company take to help protect my home?
- How much does the security equipment cost? Is there a warranty?
- What customer service or tech support is available?
- How is your home security system installed?
- How does your equipment work in the event of a power outage?
- Can I add more equipment to my home security system over time?
- Do I have to sign a contract for equipment or professional monitoring?
Home Security System FAQs
Our Take on SimpliSafe Home Security
Keep those pesky burglars away with a SimpliSafe security system. Choose from a range of packages and equipment, and get inexpensive professional monitoring.
★ Recommended Plan
We recommend The Barrington if you’re interested in SimpliSafe. This package combines intrusion detection and video surveillance. Equipment starts at $388.93. Professional monitoring starts at $14.99 per month. Self-monitoring is free.
- Inexpensive professional monitoring
- Wireless equipment
- Cellular monitoring
- Free self-monitoring
- Mobile alerts not available in the basic monitoring plan
- No selection of smart home devices
- Smart home capabilities not available in basic monitoring plan
- Research SimpliSafe
SimpliSafe Home Security: Our Pick for DIY Installation
For those seeking a DIY solution, we’d recommend SimpliSafe for its easy installation. The SimpliSafe Base Station can be set on a level surface, and the keypad and sensors can be adhered to level surfaces. Another benefit you’ll find with SimpliSafe is that you can choose between self and professional monitoring. SimpliSafe profesional monitoring starts at $19/mo., while self-monitoring is free. SimpliSafe’s least expensive package starts at $229.96, and they range upward from there.
Our Take on ADT Home Security
ADT is a well-recognized name in the home security business thanks to its top-notch equipment, award-winning monitoring centers and commitment to customer service. For people who feel like you get what you pay for, it’s hard to beat ADT.
ADT prefers to provide a brief consultation before quoting a custom package. Contact ADT to get started.
★ Recommended Plan
ADT’s Video Lite Plan is nothing minor — you’ll get motion detection, smart home capabilities, and video surveillance. Equipment starts at $599. Professional monitoring starts at $54.99 per month.
- 6-month money-back guarantee
- $500 theft protection guarantee
- High-quality equipment
- Must pay for an extended warranty
- Lengthy contracts
- More expensive than competitors
ADT Home Security: Our Pick for Professional Installation and Monitoring
If you’re in the market for a professionally installed and monitored security system, we’d recommend ADT. With over 6 million people trusting ADT’s home security service and the provider’s 6-month money-back guarantee, the provider aims to please by making sure you’re happy with their system and service. You can choose from four packages: Protection Plus, Smart Protection, Video Lite and Complete. The cost ADT equipment is $599. ADT monitoring starts at $45.99/mo. and ranges up to $57.99/mo.
Our Take on Vivint Home Security
Vivint really shines when it comes to equipment. Perhaps no other provider has such an extensive catalog, which makes it an excellent provider for those who plan to install new equipment over time.
★ Recommended Plan
Vivint’s Smart Home Service is our recommended plan because it unlocks a larger selection of smart home devices, as well as video monitoring.
- Month-to-month contract option if equipment is purchased up front
- Backup battery included with the Sky Control panel
- Extensive equipment features, including Vivint Car Guard
- Long contract if equipment is financed
- Installation can take 3-4 hours
- Short (120-day) equipment warranty and service guarantee (unless you purchase Premium)
- Short (3-day) trial period
Vivint Home Security: Our Pick for Proprietary Equipment
If uniqueness is what you’re looking for in a security system, we’d recommend Vivint. Not only will you get proprietary equipment, but you’ll also have your security system professionally installed and monitored. One factor to take note of with Vivint, however, is that the equipment is pricey. You’ll have to spend at least $599 in equipment to use the provider’s service. Vivint monitoring ranges from $38.99/mo. – $39.99/mo., and it’s based on the devices you choose for your package.
Homeowner’s insurance can cost up to $1,000 annually, but you may be able to reduce the cost with a home security system. Installing home security equipment can save you up to 20 percent depending on your home security and insurance providers.
Neither option is better than the other, both have pros and cons depending on your home security needs. To determine which option is better for you, determine whether you’re owning or renting your home, what security equipment you need most and the cost. If you’re renting property, you’ll want to consider wireless home security depending on your leasing terms and conditions in regards to wiring any hardware.
It depends on your circumstances. If you’re renting an apartment, you may find it easier to self-install your equipment. Most DIY installation is installed using standard wall outlets and removable adhesive instead of wiring and drilling. However, if you’re worried about not installing your equipment correctly, ask the home security provider about professional installation options, videos or guides to assist.
Oftentimes, most home security systems include a backup battery to keep the system and equipment on during power outages. However, some features may not be available without connections to send the signals.