Home Security FAQs

Safety Team
Updated Jan 28, 2021
11 min read

Have questions about home security? We have answers. These are our most frequently asked questions about home security systems and equipment. You’ll find information on doorbell cameras, DIY security systems, apartment security systems, wireless cameras, costs and more. You can also read our reviews, comparisons and buying guides for more details.

Doorbell Cameras

Are video doorbells worth it?

Yes, we believe video doorbells are worth purchasing if you want to have more visibility of what's happening outside your home, especially the front area of your home. If you frequently purchase items online, a video doorbell will be very helpful in that you can keep tabs on when something arrives as well as if someone suspicious approaches your porch. In this case, a video doorbell with two-way audio allows you to speak and let that person know they’ve been caught.

Do doorbell cameras record all the time?

No, most doorbell cameras don't record all of the time, due to storage reasons. With continuous recording, you'll need to have enough local or cloud storage, which often requires a paid subscription. Nest offers a plan that allows you to have access to 24/7 continuous recording. While this will allow you to review what's happened throughout the day, event-triggered video doorbells are still useful in that you'll receive notifications for activity that needs attention.

Do smart doorbells get stolen?

Unfortunately, some thieves are bold enough to remove smart doorbells. One way to prevent this from happening is to keep tabs on your activity notifications. If you notice someone suspicious is at your door, you can let them know they're being recorded. 

Do you need a wired or wireless video doorbell?

A wired video doorbell is great if you already have a wired setup at your home. If you don't have a wired doorbell, then purchasing a wireless video doorbell is better as these are usually battery-powered.

What camera quality should I expect from a video doorbell?

One of the purposes of the doorbell camera is to provide a better view of your doorstep without squinting through a peephole, since most video doorbell cameras offer superior quality. Most popular video doorbells offer a 1080p high definition (HD) video for a clear view just as good as high-tech TVs.

What do smart doorbells do?

Smart doorbell cameras can be used with digital assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant. For instance, if you have an Alexa-compatible doorbell camera like the Ring Video Doorbell, you can issue voice commands to Alexa to manage your doorbell. You could ask Alexa to show you the last activity recorded by your camera and even rewind the footage.

What is a video doorbell?

Video doorbells are the latest advancements in home security, combining technology and the traditional doorbell for a more safe and secure home. Using the camera provider's mobile app, you'll be notified that someone is at your door when someone rings the doorbell or if motion is detected. Depending on the doorbell you chose, you'll have the option to send a pre-recorded message, video chat or record the activity to view later. Video doorbells connect to other smart home devices and are designed to provide both control and convenience while improving home safety.

What is the best video doorbell without a subscription?

One of the best video doorbells you can purchase without a subscription is the Skybell Video Doorbell. Currently, you can store your footage in the cloud without paying any monthly or annual fees. The SkyBell Video Doorbell gives you access to 1080p HD video, two-way audio, night vision, notifications, smart home compatibility, and a one-year warranty.

What is the cheapest doorbell camera?

One of the cheapest doorbell cameras you can currently find with at least a four star rating is the Toucan Video Doorbell for about $90. Most video doorbell cameras hover around the $100 mark, but this one is a good budget buy for its features with 1080p HD video, pre-recorded messages, a 95dB siren, and much more. 

Which doorbell camera is best?

The best doorbell camera really depends on your needs. We'd recommend a doorbell camera that provides HD video, night vision, two-way audio, deterrence features, video encryption, and activity notifications.These are some of the best features to have in a doorbell camera, supplying you with the essentials to monitor and protect your front door

Do-it-yourself Security

What is do-it-yourself home security?

Choose professional installation when you're not confident with properly installing your security system. A professional can ensure everything's set up so you're ready to go

How difficult is do-it-yourself (DIY) installation?

Installation complexity can vary by system and the size of your property. However, many companies offer phone support as well as detailed installation guides. According to most DIY providers, setup is an easy process, but you'll have to decide whether or not you're comfortable with installing your own system. Keep in mind that with DIY installation, you'll be responsible for ensuring your system works properly and address any issues that may arise.

How many door and window sensors will I need?

It's a good idea to view your home like a burglar might. Which areas are most vulnerable? Where is there easy access? Is there a basement that provides access to the home? Answering these questions will help determine how many door and window sensors you might need.

Is a DIY security system adequate for all homes?

DIY security systems may not necessarily be the best solution for larger homes. you'll have to make sure that you have enough sensors to cover essential areas, and that those sensors will be able to communicate with the control panel. While researching providers and equipment packages, make sure the package you choose has the functionality needed for your home.

Is a professional home security installation better than DIY installation?

It depends on your circumstances. If you’re renting an apartment, you may find it easier to self-install your equipment. Most DIY installations are 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.

Can I take my DIY security system with me if I move?

With most DIY security systems, you can. Most providers highlight that their systems are easy to install, and usually that's through adhesive mounting or setting on a level surface. So, in most cases, you should be able to disassemble your system and take it with you. Be sure to check the provider's website for additional details on moving.

Do most DIY security system providers have mobile apps for control?

Yes, most DIY security system providers have mobile apps that will allow you to remotely arm and disarm your security system. In some cases, this feature is not available in the basic package or monitoring plan and may require purchasing a more expensive package or monitoring plan.

You can also read 8 Best Home Security Apps

Do most DIY security system providers offer smart home devices?

Yes, most DIY security system providers offer smart home devices that either come with packages or as standalone products. You may have to pay more for packages that come with smart home devices and capabilities.

Is a DIY home security system right for me?

Would you feel comfortable with assembling, troubleshooting and possibly repairing a security system on your own? If not, then a DIY security system might not be the best solution for you. If, however, you perceive that you'll have no problem with installation, troubleshooting and repairs, then this type of system may be suitable for you. It's also important to consider your budget when considering a DIY system as well.

What is a DIY security system?

A DIY security system is one that you can install on your own. A professional installation technician won't come out and install it for you. One of the perks of a DIY system is that you won't have to pay an installation fee.

Apartment Security Systems

Should I purchase a home security system if I rent an apartment?

Signing a contract will depend on the provider. Most local and traditional providers require a contract for their services.

Can a renter get a home security system?

Your particular case will depend on your landlord, but as a blanket answer, yes. As a renter, you can get a home security system, however, we'd recommend choosing one that you can install on your own for easier portability.

Can apartment renters get an ADT security system?

Yes, as a renter you can get an ADT security system. we'd recommend choosing a Blue by ADT security system, which can be self-installed. With Blue by ADT, you'll get wireless equipment, and you can choose whether or not you want to pay for monthly monitoring. If you do opt for monthly monitoring, your first month would be free, and from that point forward, you'd only have to pay $19.99/mo.

Can I get a discount on my renter’s insurance if I install a home security system?

Some insurance providers offer insurance rate discounts to homeowners and renters with security systems. Check with your insurance provider for any potential savings.

How can I protect my rental on a budget?

If you’re on a budget, you can protect your rental at minimum with a security camera. If you can't afford a full home security system, look into video doorbell and indoor security camera options that will allow you to get notifications when activity is detected inside or outside of your apartment.

How can I secure my apartment?

One of the best ways to secure your apartment is to purchase a DIY home security system with motion sensor, door/window sensors and a security camera. you'll have well-rounded protection with video surveillance, giving you the ability to view live footage or watch recordings.

Should my landlord be responsible for installing my security system?

Some apartment complexes have security systems pre-installed and if you would like to use it, you’ll be responsible for activation, monthly costs and any additional fees. Consult with your landlord about negotiating any fees, but bear in mind they are not required.

What can renters expect to pay for a home security system?

Renters can expect to pay at least $100 worth in equipment and at least $8/mo. (and that’s on the low end) for professional monitoring. If you want additional features like security cameras, smart home devices, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, glass break sensors, and others, then you’ll definitely pay more.

Can seniors that rent get home security systems?

Yes, seniors can get home security systems for their rental homes. We recommend a DIY security solution to easy self-install it without drilling and wires. it's also easy to pack up and reinstall if you move. 

Home Security Systems

Are permits required for home security systems?

The best alarm system will fit your budget and also include the devices and features you need and want to help protect your home.

How to choose the best home security system?

We chose SimpliSafe as our top pick for its easy-to-install and affordable home security systems. The other security systems we recommend are also great options that might work well depending on your home security needs. When choosing a home security system, always consider what you need first and then go with the provider that aligns with what you're looking for and can afford.

What is professional monitoring and do I need it?

Professional monitoring can cost as low as $14.99 per month to around $60 per month depending on the provider.

What is the best home security system without a monthly fee?

If you're looking to avoid a monthly fee, SimpliSafe is our top pick. We also recommend Abode, Nest and Ring as additional self-monitoring options.

What makes home security systems smart?

Most security alarm systems come with a mobile app, giving you the ability to arm, disarm, manage smart devices, and more by the touch of a finger.

Who has the best home security system?

The most affordable providers from our list are Cove and Ring. With Cove, you can choose additional equipment as you need it, allowing you to purchase a security system for less than $150 based on your selections. Ring’s least expensive security system costs around $199, and you can get professional monitoring for as low as $10 per month.

Will I be able to control my home security system with a mobile app?

The need for a permit will depend on the provider. Some local areas require permits to help reduce the number of false alarms and unnecessary emergency response.

You can also read 8 Best Home Security Apps

Do wireless alarms need internet?

Not all wireless security systems require an internet connection for your alarm to function. SimpliSafe, Frontpoint and Nest do not require an internet connection for your security system to monitor your home. For notifications, however, you may need an Internet connection, depending on the provider.

Do wireless security systems work during power outages?

Most wireless home security systems include a rechargeable 24-hour backup battery for your alarm system to stay powered and working properly.

How is my information protected with wireless security systems?

The best wireless security starts with a private and secure Internet connection. Wireless home security systems often protect your home’s security information, passcodes, and footage using an encrypted network and control panel. To make sure your data is protected, ask your wireless security provider how they keep your data safe.

What is the difference between wired and wireless security? 

The difference between wired and wireless security isn't as cut as dry as it seems, but here's a breakdown of some differences between the two.

You can also read Wired vs Wireless Security

What's the difference between a wired and wireless home security system?

The big difference between wired and wireless systems is how signals are received. While wired systems rely on radio frequency, wireless security uses cellular signals.

You can also read Wired vs Wireless Security

Are professionally installed security systems recommended over self-installed security systems?

This really depends on your needs and what you're looking for in a home security system. A security system with professional installation is better if you don't feel like you'll be able to properly install your system. On the other hand, a DIY security system may be the better solution if cost is your main concern, as most of those options are less expensive.

Which is the best home security provider with professional installation for me?

This will depend on what you're looking for, but here's a good analysis of each to help you with your decision. Choose ADT for a provider who has a well-known reputation, and if you want a lengthy trial period. We would recommend Vivint if you're looking for unique equipment and don't mind paying more for your equipment. If you don't want to pay anything upfront for your equipment and would like to have a locked monitoring rate over the life of your contract, we'd recommend Protect America. For access to Bluetooth arming & disarming, we'd recommend Guardian Protection. And finally, if you want flexible installation options and access to Google Nest's security system, we'd recommend Brinks.

Can you have an alarm system with a pet?

Yes, you definitely can! Having a pet will not stop you from protecting your home with a security system. Most providers have pet-immune sensors that are designed to avoid detecting pets up to a certain weight.

How do alarm systems work with pets?

Alarm systems function as normal if you have pets. With pet-immune sensors, you shouldn't have to worry about false alarms if your sensors are placed properly in your home.

Can I use my home security system without monitoring?

Many providers offer self-monitored home security solutions, including SimpliSafe, Blue by ADT, Ring, Abode and Arlo.

How does my home security system work during outages?        

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

Can caregivers install security systems for seniors?

Yes, you can have a trusted caregiver install your DIY security system. If your caregiver doesn't feel comfortable, consider professional installation options for hassle-free set-up and an in-person tutorial. 

Can seniors connect their medical alert to their security system?

Check with your security provider to see if your medical alert can connect to your security system and smartphone. If not, ask your provider what senior equipment they offer for your safety and security. 

Is a wired home security system better than a wireless one?

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.

You can also read Wired vs Wireless Security

Should I choose a DIY or professionally installed security system? 

DIY systems are more convenient to take with you when you move because they are not hardwired into your home's electrical system. However, if you don't feel comfortable with new technology, we recommend looking for a professionally installed system so that a representative can teach you how to use each feature. 

Should I choose a self-monitored or professionally monitored security system?

Although many cheap security system providers offer self-monitoring to help you find an option that suits your budget, self-monitoring isn't always practical. There are moments in your life when you can't check your phone for alerts. A professionally monitored security system is highly recommended because your home will be monitored 24/7 and police will be dispatched when needed, even if you aren't aware of the problem yet.

Security Cameras

Are wireless security cameras worth it?

Yes. Even if you can't afford a full home security system, we still recommend adding a wireless security camera to your home. It will allow you to monitor the interior or exterior of your home and receive notifications.

Do all home security systems come with a security camera?

Yes, we recommend purchasing a security system even if you rent an apartment for added safety measures. There are a number of do-it-yourself options with affordable prices that you can choose from.

What should I look for when buying a home security system?

Do-it-yourself home security gives you the option to self-install and or self-monitor your alarm system, cutting out additional fees for installation and or alarm response.

What was the best smart home security system?

Like Vivint, with the Nest Secure System you can also use multiple home automation products like the Nest x Yale Smart Lock, Nest Hub, Google Home and much more.

When should I go with professional installation?

Professional monitoring ensures that an agent is standing by ready to respond to your alarm. Typically, an agent will contact you if your alarm system is triggered and ask if the authorities or emergency services are needed.

Which is better, wired or wireless security cameras?

The best security camera for your home will depend on your home. If you're renting, we recommend choosing a wireless or completely wire-free security camera that runs on battery power or has a power cable. Additionally, choose a camera that doesn't require any drilling for installation.

Are home security cameras worth it?

We believe that having a home security camera can bolster your family's safety. A security camera can let you know if there's activity outside or inside your home while you're away.

Can home security cameras be hacked?

Yes, the short answer is security cameras can be hacked, but there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening. First, make sure that your home Wi-Fi is secured with a hard-to-decipher password. From there, look for security camera options that offer video encryption and privacy features.

Can home security cameras record sound?

Yes, some security cameras may be able to record audio. As far as legality of sound recording, this varies by state. If you don't want any audio to be recorded, you should check the camera's specifications before purchasing.

Do wireless cameras need wifi?

Yes, most wireless cameras will require a Wi-Fi connection so that you can get notifications and use features in the mobile app.

How does home security camera video storage work?

If you want to playback your home's outdoor activity, you'll need a camera with onboard video storage or cloud recording capabilities. Most cameras with recording capabilities have a built-in secure digital (SD) or microSD slot that allows for sufficient recording space. Once the memory card is full, you'll need to delete footage or store it elsewhere. Some popular cameras automatically override expired videos, which may not be most ideal if you need to keep a video. On the contrary, some security camera providers offer cloud storage monthly plans to securely store videos on the cloud. You can easily access them anytime, anywhere by signing into your account on your mobile device or using a mobile app.

How does video surveillance security work?

In the past, a surveillance security system typically consisted of several cameras connected either hardwired or wireless to a digital video recorder (DVR), which recorded the images and displayed them on a closed circuit television (CCTV) or monitor. Nowadays, it's much easier to have a standalone security camera. Whether you have one camera or several, they work with your home's internet network to send footage right to your computer or mobile device. Most consumer cameras store data internally, on a removable microSD card, or remotely on the cloud.

How many home security cameras do I need?

The number of cameras you need will depend on how many areas you want to monitor. Always consider the camera's field of view to help you determine how many cameras you'll need for monitoring large areas. If the camera pans or tilts, you may be able to cover an entire room or area with only one.

How much home security camera coverage is needed?

The camera's viewing angle determines how much space the camera will cover. Wide-angle lenses reduce the number of cameras required to monitor your home. Some outdoor security cameras have a wide-angle lens that may show a 360-degree view, but the best security cameras have a view of at least 100 degrees or better.

What energy saving features are available?

Surveillance cameras can eat up a lot of energy. It's important to find an outdoor security camera that only records when motion is detected to cut electricity costs or battery usage. Some security cameras are also powered by solar panels to reduce energy costs but include a rechargeable battery and adapter to use as needed.

What's the best outdoor security camera shape?

There are two outdoor security camera designs dome or bullet-shaped. The dome-shaped outdoor security camera is known to be less obvious to unwelcome visitors because they offer a 360 swivel that makes it difficult to determine their direction. On the other hand, bullet-shaped cameras are more common. They have a cylinder shape that clearly stands out to alert thieves that your home is under surveillance.

Where to place home security cameras?

The best places to install a home security camera are at entrances and areas of high traffic. Having a video doorbell can help you monitor your front door, while having an outdoor camera can help you monitor an area around your home. For the interior, consider placing a security camera in your living room or den.

Do I need Wi-Fi for wireless security cameras?

A wireless security camera's functionality depends on a strong wireless connection to capture and record footage. Most wireless security cameras require either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to record footage, detect motion and send instant alerts remotely. Keep in mind that adding your camera to your Wi-Fi with other equipment can result in a weaker connection.

How is my home security footage protected?

Your home's security footage and data can be protected using encryption to protect the footage from easily being stolen by hackers. Other security camera providers offer a protected network to protect your home's security footage. Before buying a security camera ask the provider how your data and footage will be protected. Also, ask if any data, information or footage will be used. These answers can also be found in ‘Terms & Conditions' or the ‘Privacy Policy.'

Is a wireless security camera better than a wired security camera?

Many wireless security cameras are easier to install without the hassle of wires, however, they rely on a wireless signal that may be easily interfered with other wireless devices. On the other hand, security cameras that require wired installation have a stronger signal between the camera and router. While there are many pros and cons for each, your choice depends on your security needs. For instance, if you're renting a home, you'll want to consider a wireless security camera that doesn't interfere with your home's wiring.

How far can wireless security cameras transmit?

Video transmission depends on your home's Wi-Fi signal strength. If you have your security cameras within range of your router, you shouldn't have any issues with transmission. See your camera's manual for technical specifications.

What equipment typically comes with a business security system?

Most business security systems come with sensors, signage, motion detection and a control panel. You can always add more equipment to meet your business security needs. 

Will I be able to control my business security system from a mobile app?

Yes, popular business security companies have a mobile app to manage and monitor your business security system from virtually anywhere. 

Will I be able to play back recorded video with these providers?

Storage and video playback options will vary by provider. you'll need to review the monitoring plans offered by the provider you're interested in to understand their terms regarding video.

Do all security systems require a phone line?

No, not all security systems require a phone line. You can choose a provider that offers cellular monitoring (which we highly recommend). However, we do understand that some rural areas may not be able to receive strong cellular signals, so if you choose a security system with a landline, we'd recommend getting cellular backup in case of a power outage or if you have spotty WiFi.

Do you need WIFI for home security?

No, for most providers you do not need a WIFI connection to use a home security system. The only instances in which WIFI is typically used with a home security system is for monitoring and smart home devices.

Does SimpliSafe work in rural areas?

Generally, you can choose between a landline, broadband, or cellular connection for monitoring. Most providers offer cellular monitoring, eliminating the need for WIFI. If, however, you want to use smart home devices, the need for WIFI will depend on the devices you choose.

What are some good farm security systems?

Yes, SimpliSafe can work in rural areas. SimpliSafe partners with Verizon and T-Mobile to use their cellular networks.

What equipment can I get with an affordable home security system?

Yes, most cheap home security systems have a monthly monitoring fee unless you decide to monitor your own system. In that case, you may be able to avoid this fee.

Home Security Costs

How much does a home security system cost? 

Home security equipment can cost as low as $99 to over $1,000 depending on the provider.

How much does professional monitoring cost?

No, all home alarm systems do not come with a camera. you'll usually pay more for a system that includes an indoor, outdoor, or video doorbell camera.

What is the most affordable home security system?

For home automation combined with home security, we recommend Vivint or Nest. Vivint's price tag is higher, but there's a wider selection of smart home devices you can get with a Vivint security system. These include a lamp module, the Nest Learning Thermostat, a garage door controller and a Kwikset Smart Lock.

Will I be stuck in a long contract?

If a home security system comes with a smart device or home automation capabilities, companies may deem that system as ‘smart’. This is because you'll be able to set up custom automations or manage smart devices while using your control panel and mobile app.

Are there early termination fees?

Professionally monitored home security providers such as ADT, Vivint, and Protect America require contracts and those contracts will have early termination fees. However, DIY home security providers such as Simplisafe and Cove offer monthly subscriptions and do not have any early termination fees. Always be sure to read the fine print and double-check the specifics before making a purchase.

Do home security providers offer any additional warranties or included repair support plans?

Yes, many of the top home security providers such as ADT, Vivint, and Simplisafe offer warranties that range from 6 months to 3 years. Be sure you know the warranty details before making your purchase.

How much is professional installation for a home security system?

Professional home security system installation costs can vary from $14.99/mo to $44.99/mo.

Is a contract required for your home security system?

No, a contract is not required for every home security system provider. ADT, Vivint, and Protect America require contracts because they provide professionally monitored home security solutions. DIY home security providers such as Simplisafe and Cove do not require contracts, but rather work on a monthly subscription basis.

Will I have to lease my home security equipment or pay upfront?

Every home security provider has their own details, but upfront home security equipment costs can reach up to $200. Many providers will offer discounts, but be sure to ask whether they offer equipment leasing before you make any agreement.

Are contracts required for wireless home security?

Contracts for wired security systems will vary depending on the provider. Most homeowners enjoy the freedom of not having a contract with wireless home security systems. Most equipment is purchased upfront or using a payment plan, and additional fees are added if advanced services and features are purchased such as professional monitoring.

How much does it cost to install a security system?

This will vary by the provider. Typically, you can expect to pay anywhere from around $79 to upwards of $300 for installation. Some providers have a flat rate installation fee, while others charge based on the equipment you've chosen.

What could I expect to pay for professional monitoring?

Professional monitoring typically ranges anywhere from $20/mo. to upwards of $55/mo. for providers that require professional installation.

What should I expect to pay for home security equipment?

Home security equipment can range anywhere from $99 to upwards of $2,000 depending on the package or equipment you choose to purchase.

How much do pet friendly security systems cost?

Pet friendly security systems have a wide range in cost. If you choose a DIY home security system, you may pay less than with a professional installed security system. For monitoring, you could pay as low as $14.99/mo. for a pet-friendly system. For equipment, depending on the provider, you may not have to pay anything for equipment upfront, but typically equipment ranges anywhere between $200 to upwards of $600.

Will I have to pay a monthly fee for a pet friendly alarm system?

This depends on whether you choose a professional monitoring plan or not. If you don’t opt into professional monthly, you won’t have a monthly fee. In this case, you’ll be responsible for monitoring your security system.

Do all security cameras require a subscription?

This will depend on the provider. Some providers give you the option of subscribing to video monitoring or alarm verification, which allows a monitoring specialist to view your camera footage to verify whether or not your alarm warrants contacting local authorities.

Do no-monthly-payment security systems store your videos?

For the most part, cloud storage of your video surveillance comes with the paid version of these services and is almost always included with professional monitoring packages. Arlo, however, offers seven days of cloud storage even without a monthly fee, and you can pay for longer storage times.

How much does a DIY alarm system cost?

You can expect to pay anywhere from around $100 to upwards of $600 for a security system that doesn't require a monthly fee. These are generally your DIY security systems.

How much does a monitored security system cost?

Professional monitoring can range anywhere from as low as $8/mo. to upwards of $65/mo., depending on the provider. This spans across both DIY and professional installed security systems.

Will installing a security system help cut down on my homeowners insurance?

It can, you'll need to talk to your homeowners insurance agent, but in most cases, having a security system will earn you a discount on your insurance policy.

Are there any catches to no-contract security systems?

While some providers may offer home security systems that don't require a contract, it's important to be aware of other factors. One factor you'll want to keep in mind is that the security system may have to be self-installed, meaning that you'll have to set it up yourself. If you don't feel comfortable with installing the system on your own, see if the provider offers optional professional installation. Also check in on upfront costs, trial periods, warranties, and additional features before making your decision.

Do security cameras come with no-contract security systems?

Most no-contract home security providers offer at least one security camera. 

Does professional monitoring come with no-contract security systems?

This will depend on the provider, but most no-contract home security systems come with professional monitoring. If the provider has DIY security systems, in most cases, the monitoring will be on the inexpensive end compared to professionally installed security systems. This is a perk and can allow customers to save money in the long-term.

Is a DIY installed system better than a professionally installed system?       

Not necessarily. One of the perks of a DIY installed (or self-installed) security system is that you'll be able to avoid any installation fees. If you don't feel confident about installing your own security system, it would be better to check for optional professional installation or choose a professionally installed security system.

What is the average contact length for most home security systems?

Most contracts or service agreements you'll find with providers are 36-month agreements. 

How much can I save on my homeowner’s insurance with a home security system?

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.

Can seniors get discounts on security systems?

It's best to check with your home security provider for any special senior discounts and offers.

Do cheap home security systems have a monthly fee?

Yes, most cheap home security systems have a monthly monitoring fee unless you decide to monitor your own system. In that case, you may be able to avoid this fee.

Do cheap home security systems require a contract?

If you're looking at DIY providers, the answer is no. Most DIY home security providers do not require a contract. You'll typically be responsible for the cost of equipment and monitoring. If you want a professional to install your system, you'll also have to pay an installation fee.

What is the best low cost home security system?

We think that the right home security system for you will heavily depend on your needs, and it might not necessarily be the cheapest. If you only want the basics for intrusion detection (control panel, sensors, and signage) at a low cost price, then we'd recommend choosing a basic package with a provider like SimpliSafe, Cove, Blue by ADT, and Ring.

Can I purchase security cameras with no credit check security systems?

Yes, most of the providers above have security camera options you can choose from to help with monitoring your home. Abode is the only exception. Although Abode currently doesn't have a camera you can purchase, the company is planning to release the Abode Cam in April 2020.

Can I purchase smart home devices with no credit check security systems?

Yes, each of the providers above have smart home devices you can choose from to automate certain functions of your home.

Do security companies run credit checks?

Typically, security companies will run a credit check if you're seeking to finance your security system. In some cases, this is a soft credit check. If you're only making a one-time purchase, such as in paying for all of your equipment upfront, then companies usually won't check your credit.

Will I have to pay a monthly fee for my security system?

If you get professional monitoring, yes you'll have to pay a monthly fee. Even if you're on a budget, there are affordable home security systems and monitoring plans. Each of the providers above have lower monthly monitoring prices than what you could expect to see with other providers, such as those that require professional installation.

How much does a business security system cost?

The cost of a business security system varies. Most business security companies let you customize your system to get everything you need. 

Some of the packages appear to be the same as those you can use for residential home security. Will this system work for a commercial property?   

Yes, some of the recommended packages listed here can be used for residential or commercial security. Certain providers have different offerings for residential and commercial security like ADT and Vivint.

Will I have to sign a contract?

It depends on the security provider you choose. Some DIY business security companies offer month-to-month services that don't require a contract, but you'll have to buy all the equipment upfront. Others require a contract for professional installation, professional monitoring, equipment leasing and other services. These companies often cost less upfront.

How much does a doorbell camera cost?

Doorbell cameras can range anywhere from as low as $60 to as high as $500. Typically, customers can purchase the video doorbell camera as a standalone product or as a part of a full home security system.

You can also read Best Video Doorbell cameras

Is there a monthly charge for Ring doorbell?   

If your smart doorbell is stolen, provide any footage as possible to the police and contact customer service for the brand to see if they might provide a replacement. Ring and Nest are two brands that offer replacements.

Home Security Experts

Safety Team

The Safety Team is a group of experts that handle provider research, product reviews and recalls to make your home safety and security search as easy as 1-2-3.

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