With all of the options available today, it’s easy to find a security system that works for your budget. It’s no longer necessary to sign cumbersome contracts, pay for third party monitoring or have your equipment installed by a professional. Here are a few tips on how to find an affordable home security system:
1. Go Wireless
Hard-wired security systems requiring intensive electrical work and connection to landlines are a thing of the past, and for good reason. Not only is phone line backup virtually unnecessary with the rise of cellular technology, but a traditional wired security system will also cost you a pretty penny. Installation and equipment can total more than $500, not to mention the monthly monitoring costs and lengthy contracts that come along with them.
Instead, if you’re on a budget, opt for an all-in-one, wireless security system that can provide the same, if not better, level of security than a traditional system can. There are many devices on the market today that allow you to monitor your home remotely from your laptop or smartphone, eliminating the need for a third party or a professional installation. Some even learn the habits of your home over time, alerting you when something happens outside of the norm. These wireless security systems often have more features than you realize, including motion, sound, temperature and air quality sensors, two-way voice capabilities, so you can talk to intruders or family members when they enter the house, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Some also have HD cameras installed so you can watch your home from afar.
A simple search will turn up many options for affordable wireless security systems that don’t require a contract, as you’ll be doing all of the monitoring through your mobile device.
2. Install it yourself
Even if you do decide to purchase a traditional security system with a keypad console and third party monitoring, you can save significant money by installing the system yourself. This is an option with most major security system providers, as they typically will have a wireless console option that can be easily set up at home without the help of a professional. While you will still need to purchase the equipment, you won’t be paying any installation fees and your monthly subscription costs will typically be lower since you won’t be effectively “renting” the equipment from your security system provider – you’ll own it outright. Check your contract to iron out the details, but it’s likely that this ownership means that you can take your security equipment with you if you change locations, and, provided you install it yourself at your new home, you won’t owe any additional setup costs or moving fees.
3. Ditch your contract
Typically, the major reason a security system contract is necessary is for access to live monitoring through your security system provider. If you can find a way to monitor the system yourself, or if you feel comfortable not monitoring it all, it’s easy to find a way around signing a binding, expensive contract.
Purchasing a completely wireless system like the ones mentioned above is a good way to do this, but you can also generally enable a traditional security system to allow for self-monitoring through mobile apps or cellular backup. It’s worth it to ask your security system provider if this is an option, as many companies offer mobile monitoring as an option.
Alternatively, you can forgo monitoring all together and hope that your security system siren and signage is enough to ward off an intruder. This is a risky option, as many intruders know that homeowners often decline monitoring to save money, and will wait to hear a response from the police or the homeowner before they vacate the premises. Plus, with all of the wireless options today, it’s just as affordable to purchase a system that is app-enabled as it is to purchase unmonitored equipment. However, if you’re really on a budget, having a security system that sounds when one of the sensors is triggered but won’t alert you or the authorities is better than not having one at all.
4. Automate Your Home
Automating your home’s lighting and entry systems makes it easy to not only monitor your belongings from afar but also to give the illusion that your home is occupied when it isn’t. It’s fairly simple and inexpensive to put your lights and television on timers, either through your wireless security system, so they’ll come on at night even if you’re not at home. This not only will save you money on your energy bill (provided you also program them to turn off at a certain time), but is also an easy way to deter intruders without expensive equipment.
Keyless entry devices are also an inexpensive way to monitor your family’s comings and goings and take notice of anything out of the ordinary. While an electronic deadbolt will be more expensive up front than a traditional one, having one can virtually eliminate the need for an additional security system, as many track motion, alert you when your door is open or closed, and can be locked and unlocked remotely from your smartphone.
5. Advertise your security
This may seem like a no-brainer, but an easy, free way to protect your home from a break in is to put up a sign in your front yard. Whether it’s a sign with your security system provider’s logo or a “beware of dog” sign, signs have proven to be a major barrier to home invasions; no one wants to be chased by a guard dog or suffer the consequences of being caught by a monitored security system.
6. Shop Around
Most importantly, make sure that you contact multiple security system providers to compare pricing, plans and features. Many providers offer special rates or coupons depending on the equipment, the length of the contract, level of monitoring, and many other factors, so be sure to research potential discounts available when you’re ready to purchase. You’d be surprised how many options are out there, and many companies will work with you and your budget to find the security system that’s right for you.
An affordable home security system can be a reality for you and your family when considering these different tips, so stop risking your home and your belongings by going unprotected and reach out to a security system provider today.