So, you’ve decided it’s time for a change. Maybe you’re looking for a lower (or no) monthly monitoring fee. Or, you may have decided that the company you’re with doesn’t provide the offerings you need to protect your home. To help you with the transition, we’ll walk through several common reasons for switching home security systems as well as eight questions to ask before you make the switch.
Reasons to Switch Home Security Systems
If you’re wondering whether you’re making a smart move in looking for a new home security provider and system, here are a few common reasons to make the switch:
- Your monthly monitoring fee is too high. Monthly monitoring can add up quickly, especially when considering the cost of equipment. While this fee covers a professional service, it may not be working well for your family’s budget right now, and it’s totally okay to start looking for other options.
- The company doesn’t offer the equipment you want/need. Are you looking for a video doorbell with your security company? Do you need water leak sensors? Not all providers have an extensive lineup of peripherals, and you may need to change providers to access certain devices. Compatibility is another factor to consider — will the new device you want work with your security system?
- You want to be able to install new equipment yourself. Some companies require professional installation. If you’re the type of person who likes to add on new products, like cameras or smart home devices, you may want to switch to a DIY-friendly provider.
- You want to monitor your own system without paying a monthly fee. Several home security companies today make self-monitoring an option, allowing you to skip on paying a monthly fee.
- You don’t want to pay a fee for your security cameras. If you want security cameras but don’t want to pay for video storage, sharing, and additional features, there are options that come without additional fees.
- Bad customer service. The main point of a home security system is to ensure you get the assistance you need. If customer support hasn’t been the most helpful with your service, it’s probably time to switch.
8 Questions to Ask Before You Switch Alarm Monitoring Companies
1. Are you under contract?
One of the first questions you should ask is: Are you under contract? It’s important to understand the costs and repercussions if you do choose to go forward with canceling your contract. Find out from your provider how much it will cost to end the contract early or if you can cancel without paying a fee. If you find that moving forward right now on making the switch isn’t feasible, then consider alternative routes to meet your security needs.
2. Will I have to return my equipment?
If you’ve paid for your home security system in full, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to send back your equipment. But, you’ll probably have to return any leased equipment. Find out from your provider what you’re expected to do with your equipment.
3. Have I found any new options that fit my budget?
This is a biggie. You don’t want to jump into another agreement or make a big investment without doing your research first. Are you looking for a security system with a lower monthly cost? Or are you okay with paying more money for more advanced features? Also, do the packages you’re considering offer the correct number of door/window sensors you’ll need? These questions are important when considering your budget.
4. Do I want a professionally installed system or a DIY security system?
Decide if you want a professional to take care of installation for you or if you feel confident with setting up your security system. In some cases, professional installation is an option for DIY security systems. Some DIY providers that offer professional installation are SimpliSafe, Ring, Abode, and Brinks Home Security.
5. Do I want professional monitoring or self-monitoring?
Similarly, do you want professionals to monitor your security system, or do you want to monitor it on your own? Professional monitoring generally requires a fee, but takes surveillance off your hands. You may be able to avoid a fee with self-monitoring, but you’re responsible for monitoring your system and alerting authorities in the case of an emergency.
6. Have I found any new options that fit my security wants/needs?
Do your prospects have cameras, additional sensors, smart home devices, and any other products that you’re looking for to protect your home? Optimally, covering your needs and wants with one provider can prevent compatibility issues from using multiple brands.
7. Do I want to use my current equipment and just change the monitoring service?
If you’re able to keep your equipment and just want a new monitoring service, some providers, like ADT, may be able to activate an existing system — meaning they’ll be able to apply their monitoring service to a system you already have. Note: This may not work for all security systems, so you’ll need to check with your prospective providers first to make sure.
8. Should I purchase standalone products instead of a security system?
Sometimes you don’t need a complete home security system — maybe you just want security cameras to see inside or around your house. If that’s the case, you should look into brands that offer standalone cameras and services, like Arlo, Lorex, Swann, and others.
Each of these questions help you to address particular issues that could arise if not anticipated ahead of time. Ultimately, the best home security system for you and your family will be the one that can cater to your needs and wants. Today, professional and DIY security companies are making their options more flexible, so you’re bound to find a company with solutions that are helpful for you.