Whether you want to keep a vigilant eye on your premises day and night or you simply are looking for a way to beef up home security while you are away on vacation, a wireless home security system is a powerful and cost-effective way to ensure that your property, valuables and loved ones are kept safe. While there is a wide price range for wireless home security systems, the days when home security cost an arm and a leg are gone. You can now get a high quality system for under $200. Let’s learn all about home security systems and how to shop for the best features.
Planning to buy a home security system, but not sure where to begin? Below you can compare features and prices for top-selling, highly rated home security systems on Amazon.com.
If you still are not sure how to choose the best home security system, read on to learn more about how these systems work and what types of features and options are available.
What is a Wireless Home Security System?
A wireless home security system is a kit which you can set up to monitor your home. You can run the system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You install sensors on your doors and windows, and the system detects if someone breaks in. Motion sensors can detect body heat as well, tracking the movements of intruders inside your rooms. If a breach is detected, the system can be programmed to call a number you designate. That could be your number or an emergency number. Some systems even let you call in and listen to what is happening in your house.
You can often save money on your homeowner’s insurance if you have a wireless home security system installed.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Wireless Home Security System
What will you use the home security system for, and how often will you have it monitoring your premises?
This is probably the most important question you can ask yourself when you are shopping. If you plan to use the system only when you are away on vacation, you are going to need very different features (especially when it comes to monthly subscriptions) than you would if you were going to use it every day on an ongoing basis. If you will only use the system occasionally, you would not want to get locked into a subscription plan which you pay for 24/7.
How many people will use the system?
If there will be multiple users, you may want a system that supports multiple PIN codes.
How large is your home?
Check to see how many sensors you can install, and what your options are for expanding the configuration.
Features and Add-Ons to Look For When Shopping for a Wireless Home Security System
Cellular functionality (no landline required)
Some home security systems require a landline, but it is best to shop for one which can work through VoIP. That way if an intruder cuts your phone line or power line, the system can still work (assuming it also has a battery backup).
Subscription fees and plans
This is a major consideration. While many home security systems do not cost a lot to install these days, they can add up quite a bit in terms of monthly monitoring fees. Look for a low-cost plan which offers you the flexibility you need. Many companies lock you into contracts lasting a year or more. Others will let you pay month-to-month as needed.
While you are at it, be sure to look at the fine print regarding expansion for your system. Will you be charged extra money each month if you add more components? Some companies will raise your rates. Others will not.
This comes back to the concern that an intruder might cut your power—or take advantage of a power cut when it happens. The best home security systems include battery backups and can function even during a blackout.
Fast and easy setup
A security system shouldn’t be complicated to set up. Ideally, it should be easy enough that even a child could do it given an hour or so. Look for a system which will be easy to install and which will not require you to drill into your walls or hard-wire.
Sensor range and installation
Depending on the size of your home, you may need to shop for a system which has a longer sensor range or which accommodates more sensors. Thankfully these days a lot of home security systems can link together dozens of sensors. So even if you live in a huge house with numerous doors and windows, you can watch every single entrance.
Panic buttons and more
Some systems include extra features which can expand the functionality of your alarm system. For example, a home security system may include a panic button you can push if an intruder breaks into your home. Pushing the button will dial the authorities. Most systems also include an audible blaring alarm which will sound in case an intruder is detected. That way neighbors can respond even if you are still waiting for the authorities to arrive.
Customer service is particularly important with a home security system because there are so many components which can fail—and you may have questions during the installation process. The right team will make sure you have everything you need to get your system working and keep it that way.
Now you understand the basics of home security systems, as well as some of the options and features which you can shop for. Whether you live in a small house or a large one, there is a perfect system out there to suit your needs. If you are ready to shop, scroll back up to the top of the page to take a closer look at our comparison chart. There you can check out features and prices for popular home security systems at a glance.
Simplisafe2 Plus: Complete Low Budget Home Security
The Simplisafe2 Plus home security system offers low cost, high quality intrusion detection functionality. Like expensive security systems, it sets off an alarm if an intruder triggers one of its electronic sensors. Once you get the basic kit, you can buy expansion sensors from the Simplisafe website to expand its capabilities.
- Super affordable. With no long term contracts and low monthly fees, Simplisafe2 is a great all-around deal.
- DIY installation. Even people with little or no computer experience will have no trouble installing this system on their own.
- Mobile access. Simplisafe2’s excellent mobile app allows you to control your home security system from afar.
- Smashproof security. Even if an intruder smashes the access keypad, the system will continue to function and trigger alerts.
- Earn an insurance discount. Tell your home insurance agent that you’ve installed Simplisafe2 and get a premium reduction.
- Fully expandable. Start with the basic kit and add extra sensors when it’s time to upgrade.
- Keychain remote. If your alarm system goes off accidentally, just use the included keychain remote to turn it off instantly.
- Because Simplisafe sensors are not available on Amazon, you have to go directly to the Simplisafe website to upgrade.
Fortress S02-A: Super Easy DIY Installation
Out of all the home security systems on the market today, the S02-A by Fortress might be the easiest to set up. Even someone with little to no computer skills can set it up in under an hour. All you have to do is pair the sensors with the main receiver and then set them up around your house. If an intruder comes in, alerts go out to up to 6 phone numbers.
- Simultaneous alerts. In the event of an intrusion, the Fortress S02-A can send notifications out to up to 6 different numbers.
- Accurate motion sensors. This system’s cutting edge motion sensors are smart enough to distinguish between real intruders and false alarms.
- Monitor doors and windows. The Fortress S02-A’s magnetic mountable sensors go off in the event of a forceful break in.
- Customizable. If you’re not happy with the built-in alarm, you can record your own message or sound.
- Manual trigger. If you ever feel the need to set off your alarm manually, you can by activating the panic alarm.
- Simple setup. If you follow the included easy-to-follow setup instructions in the Fortress S02-A’s well-written manual, you’ll have the entire system setup in under an hour.
- Pre-programmed configuration. If you want to fine tune the Fortress S02-A’s configuration you can, but you probably don’t need to because its factory settings will suit most homes.
- A hardwired delay limit gives you a maximum of 90 seconds to prevent a false alarm when you arm this security system.
Samsung SmartThings: IoT Integrated
If you’re interested in installing a Internet of Things compatible security system in your home, SmartThings by Samsung provides everything you need to get started. One of the best things about the SmartThings system is that it’s compatible with sensors built by all kinds of different electronics manufacturers.
- All-in-one kit. This package has everything you need to quickly and easily connect your home to the Internet of Things (IoT).
- Conserve electricity. You can easily program SmartThings to turn the lights on when you enter a room and off when you leave it.
- Control appliances. The SmartThings Outlet allows you to turn your electrical appliances on and off from a distance.
- Enhanced home security. You’ll be the first to know if an intruder breaks into your home while you’re away.
- Super expandable. The SmartThings system is compatible with smarthome products from Samsung, Bose, Schlage, Yale, Cree, Osram Lightify, Honeywell, First Alert and many other brands.
- Monitor anything. With the included multipurpose sensor, you can set up an alert on any door, drawer or window in your home.
- No wires. Just plug in the hub and place the sensors around your house to get started.
- The SmartThings app works well and rarely crashes, but it’s confusing menu system is not very intuitive.