Home Security System / Burglar Alarm Company recommendation?
Finally thinking about getting a burglar alarm/home security system.
Any recommendations of companies.
Looking for honest, affordable, etc.
I just did a consultation today with VECTOR. They are installing my cameras and wiring them. I'm getting a flush-mounted system.
Also, if you're a good do-it-yourselfer there are a ton of camera sites out there. There's a distributor in Willow Grove who sells to the alarm companies here in the Del Val.
Complete security camera system with 6 vandal proof dome cameras and 6 bullet cameras , LH116LED66
I'm using Guardian for my alarm + monitoring. So far I like them a lot. You can arm/disarm from your smart phone, iPad, or website. That helped out when I was already at the airport and I had forgot to arm the system. Whipped out my phone and armed it from the airport.
I've had Vivint for about 1-1/2 years and am very happy. You can arm, disarm remotely -- and you can also adjust your thermostat or turn on/off certain lights remotely as well.
Originally Posted by ArcticSplash
If you don't mind my asking what do you pay per month for the remote access?
Originally Posted by ShoshTrvls
We have had ADT for 3 years, just a basic system without the fancy bells and whistles mentioned by everyone else.
Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association Town Watch is holding a Camera Security workshop January 24. I don't know what the capacity of their room is, but I've been trying to drag as many people as I can to this thing even though I don't live in NoLibs. I want more people around here with cameras up on their properties:
Cameras | Northern Liberties Town Watch
If you think you want to go to this, please email:
Mine includes web and iPhone/Android/iPad access and a keyfob (where you can set your alarm like the remote for your car):
Originally Posted by Sean
I just went to my bank's website just now to re-check it. This is what I'm getting charged monthly:
GUARDIAN PROTECT SVCS 888-2796971 PA $39.95
Please remember with a camera system--it's a 1-and-done thing. Once its up and running there's no monthly fee UNLESS you choose to LEASE your cameras through your installer. The only advantage with leasing cameras is if you are a renter or you *must* upgrade to the latest and greatest thing as soon as it comes out. Otherwise it's best to just purchase them. Some installers do financing plans (but not all of them).
However, some alarm companies do cameras as well and some will also offer to monitor them for you if your alarm trips. That service costs a LOT more and it's not practical for most homeowners; that's more for commercial installations.
And if you know how to use Ethernet cable, like the kind that goes to your computer... you can buy your own cameras and DVR yourself and hire an electrician to help run the cabling for you, and mount the cameras yourself. You have to buy the mounts you need, the cameras, the DVR and you need to check how the cameras communicate. Some cameras are all-wireless, some are Ethernet and require POWER-OVER-ETHERNET switches because they draw their electricity over the Ethernet cable. If you go all-wireless you should still get a DVR otherwise you won't be recording anything which won't be all that useful.
Last edited by ArcticSplash; 01-11-2012 at 08:18 AM.
The cheapest cameras on the market by the way, like the kind you see at Radio Shack and Wal-Mart, are analog cameras. They transmit a picture usually in standard definition or medium definition for the better ones. However the recording device you select can accept an analog or a digital input.
For the very high resolution HD cameras, they are all digital and they require a very high speed network to communicate back to your DVR unit. They do have HD wireless cameras. This option is more expensive.
Most of the standard def cameras that are inexpensive do have a limited ability for night vision. Color is still hard to make out when the camera is using infrared to pick up an image. The HD IR cameras are a little better at it, but not by much.
HD + night vision + vandal-proof cameras are the most expensive things out there. Those cameras start at $900 and go all the way up to $5,000 for the space-age Big Brother models.
Keep in mind, just the presence of ANYTHING that looks like a camera helps deter property crime and lowers your risk. That's why there is a market for "dummy" cameras which are just a plastic dome. They are good enough to fool people into thinking you have surveillance.
I believe it was $52.99 without the thermostat and lighting; $57.99 with the thermostat and lighting. (By connecting the thermostat to the alarm, I have it set to turn off the heat or the a/c whenever the system is alarmed "away" -- I believe this is saving me far more than the extra $5/mo. I pay to the monitoring co.).
Originally Posted by Sean
Actually what I'm in the market for is something that makes a terrifyingly loud noise when the doors or windows are opened. (and the alarm is set). I'm not interested in a camera. I just want to know the moment someone enters my house while I'm there so I have the chance to get out. It would be an added bonus if it made a loud noise and called the police at the same time. I have a dog, so an inside alarm that is motion sensitive would not be appropriate, but doors and windows need to be alarmed. Thanks
I have the most basic ADT service ($35.00/month), and it works really well. The alarm SCREAMS if you accidentally set it off. You and any intruder will definitely hear it. The first time I accidentally set it off, I forgot the code to stop it. The cops were at my door in a few seconds, so it really does work. There's a penalty fee, though, if you set it off like that more than once a year.
Originally Posted by Marvel
I've had Vector for 4 years and have been pleased with the service. I have a wireless system so I don't have to pay for a home phone line. The downside is that they get you into a 3-year contract like a cell-phone company. If you need to sell the house or back out of it, you either have to transfer it to the new homeowner, take the service with you to your new place, or pay them a lump sum. I now wish I'd gone with a month-to-month plan. Also, their website is the worst thing I have EVER seen. You can't do anything on there, you have to call a person and talk to them. Otherwise I like Vector.
For those who are interested in cameras but don't need anything too fancy: I like the Logitech Alert wireless system. After a neighbor claimed she tripped on my property and decided to try to defraud my insurance company, I put up a camera inside my front window to keep an eye out on my front property. They're wireless so there's not much installation to speak of. I can watch live footage remotely from my phone or tablet or review older footage on my PC. I've had two outdoor cameras up since June and am pretty pleased. It's motion activated and you can set the zones you want to trigger recording so for instance, the guy walking down the sidewalk gets recorded, but the car going down the street doesn't (or whatever).
So far I've caught the neighbor's family trying to reenact her supposed trip and fall "accident," her son repeatedly ripping up my garden fence (he takes after his mom), the guy who lets his dog hop the fence into my garden and pee on stuff, and some kid ripping branches off my tree. Nothing crazy but it's nice to solve those "how the hell did THAT happen while I was at work??" mysteries. It's also nice when I'm expecting FedEx and I'm all the way up on the 3rd floor where I can't hear them knocking. I can just leave the Alert software open on my desktop and watch them approach.
The downside is that the cameras are large, and in my neck of the woods, having a camera up doesn't make you a concerned citizen--it makes you a snitch. Oh well!
I will say I've had very mixed experiences with the cops showing up on time. Once it happened right away, the second time I rushed home when I got the call from my alarm company that the front door had been tampered with (but not opened). The cops showed up TWO HOURS later. I couldn't believe how slow they were to get there. They claimed there had been a "shift change."
Originally Posted by DeeBee
Hi Marvel, I have ADT and have had it for a year now. I did some research online to chose and it paid off. Mine has 10 windows/doors included and also has motion detectors. It's a great idea to go online and google for how to research alarm systems. I learned a lot.
One of the things that I learned is that many of these guys will install the alarm system but lock it down with a code so that they will be the only ones who can service it. You can never fire them because no other company can use the system then. Most companies do this and don't tell you. ADT does not.
My system actually came with my house and I just wanted monitoring. I've had it go off a couple of times and ADT was right on the ball. As were the cops.
The other thing that you should know is that this is a VERY competitive marketplace and that the price is negotiable. I'm paying only $104 a quarter. This part of the business is a little sleazy in that they will try to get you for what they can. It's best to get a few bids, select a company that you want to do business with and then get them to match the best price you have. Also talk directly about the "maintenance program". If you get one (I think they're around 11 a month) then you're covered for a service call which you will need at some point. If you don't get one, a single visit usually begins at around $125.
Lastly, decide whether you want a cellular or hardwire connection. Most are cellular these days but that relay is a little more expensive. The montoring company cant turn off your alarm remotely or help in programming either unless its hardwired. If you don't have a landline, you would have to get one. I went with cellular and I'm fine. It's a little more expensive but not horrible.
ADT offers online bill pay and a good interface for changing your passwords and adding folks to your system list, etc.
I found the techs were not great at the training piece tho. You have to have specific questions for them to get what you need.
Hope this helps. If I can give you the name of my rep with ADT let me know. He was great. I can also give you tips about what to draw out of your installer so that you have good systems knowledge after install.
With the level of state-of-the-art technologies available these days, we have plenty of hi-tech options for protecting our home. Home security option that has really stood out from the crowd is none other than the wireless home alarm system. Now-a-days, Many products are available for our home security such as alarms, wireless phones and many more. Please produce some more attachments about the topic for view detail information.
Check out Robotek. It's a 1 man operation. The guy that runs it is an electrical engineer and will spend hours at your house showing you how it works and making sure it is tip top. He is actually a bit annoying with this and it's hard to get him to leave, but he is exactly the type of anal retentive person you want in charge of your home security. Service is cheap - about $275 per year. Not sure what installation costs - I bought my house with the system already in it.
All of it depends on what you're willing to pay up front vs. monthly vs. what you can do on your own.
If you want a simple system, NextAlarm.com works great. They can use any existing system in a place, or sell you an incredibly easy cordless system that goes up in minutes. Their monthly is only $9 prepaid or $15/ month billed.
Want someone to do everything? ADT, Brinks, etc. usually have free install deals and average about $30/month.
Want GSM support if you don't have a phone line? Simplesafe works through cellular channels for only $15/mo and can be easily moved or added on to.
Comcast now has advanced services for $30/mo in our area.
Sorry-been researching new options lately...hehehehe
And I just realized this post got restarted because of an f'n spammer.
Be very very aware of who you are signing up with. ADT, Guardian and Vector crooks. Really read your plan when viewing it. They all house a multi-year contract with massive pay-offs to break it. You can't move the service you either have to con it off on the next owner or tenant and then buy the whole contract over at the new place.
I after weeks of research went with safemart.com. You buy your system outright, install it yourself and it's yours. You can move it, sell it or set it on fire. No contracts to break. It sounds expensive but at the same time you never need to get another one like you would if you switch from brand name company to company. We have the Simon XT by GE w/ cellular uplink system, crash and smash signal protection (their an smash the panel and the signal will still go out) 3 140db sirens, glass break sensors in all floors, all the doors covered including the garage and an LCD touch screen in one bed room as a second controller for the alarm which conveniently has the weather and other data on it.
It was $500 for the whole alarm set up and $25 a month for monitoring w/Obie phone support. I can control all aspects of the system and see when and who are leaving at certain times.
The Simon XT is also compatible with Home Automation by GE's Z-Wave line and cameras are also supported by the system with mobile device monitoring. I'm adding more to the system as time goes on.
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While this thread is going and has some attention:
I have an existing ADT system, and due to their robber-baron nature, I have ZERO interest in using them. I'm told, however, that the board can be replaced in the control unit, and this system can then be used by any monitoring service.
I'm a tech guy, I'm sure I can make that swap myself, but can't seem to find any good, reliable info. Any suggestions?
Mitchell Lodge #296
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