When buying a home security system, there are many choices that need to be made regarding equipment, cost, contracts and companies. Whether or not to purchase you security equipment outright is one of them. Many home security system companies will offer their clients “free” security equipment and installation in exchange for a long-term monitoring contract. While this is may at first seem like a good value, the cost of security system equipment is often added into your monthly fees, causing you to pay more for it over the course of your contract than you would if it had been purchased upfront. Owning your home security system equipment instead of effectively “renting” it from your security system provider has a number of benefits that should be considered before committing to a security system.
As mentioned above, the “free” equipment that security systems offer often isn’t actually free. If a security system provider offers this, make sure to read the fine print and find out how much you’ll be paying each month throughout your contract, which typically will last for a minimum of three years. Most contracts that lure buyers with discounted equipment will have a higher monthly monitoring fee. If you’re paying $60 per month for three years, that’s a total of $2,160 for your equipment and its monitoring.
On the other hand, if you purchase your equipment outright, which on average costs anywhere between $100 to $800 depending on what features you include, you can typically secure a lower monthly monitoring fee, since your security system company will not be covering the cost of security system equipment. If you buy $800 in equipment and sign up for a $30 per month monitoring contract for three years, that’s $1,880 total, saving you $280 over the course of your contract, even with the most expensive equipment.
Owning your home security system equipment also allows you to forgo monitoring entirely if you choose to do so, eliminating all monthly costs and saving you thousands of dollars. Security systems today often include mobile monitoring options through a smartphone, tablet or computer, allowing you to arm and disarm your system remotely. You can also customize your security system alerts, ensuring that you receive a text, phone call, push notification, email or all of the above in the event that your system is triggered. Following an alert, it is up to you whether to write it off as a false alarm or contact the police. While many consumers still prefer to have a team of professionals monitoring their system 24/7/365, owning your home security equipment presents an affordable alternative for those willing to keep an eye on it themselves. When you purchase your equipment with a security system provider, they most likely, if not most definitely, are going to require you to sign up for a monthly contract, as this is where providers make most of their revenue.
Take it with you
In addition to saving you money, owning your home security system equipment also enables you to take it with you when you change locations. That means that when you move from one apartment or home to another, you won’t have to pay any additional installation fees or set up an appointment with a professional to re-install your equipment. This not only saves you money in the long run, but also adds a layer of convenience amidst the often-stressful situation of a move.
While equipment supplied by a security system company may be restricted to certain brands and features, equipment purchased on your own is free of these restrictions. This gives you a great amount of flexibility when it comes to your budget and security needs.
There are all-in-one systems available for as little as $200, or extensive multi-sensor systems that go up in cost. You can add security cameras, keyless entry systems, home automation features and extra sensors wherever needed, and are free to shop around for the best price on any of these items. While many security system providers may also be able to provide these extra features at an additional cost, it’s likely that they might not have all of the options available on the market due to existing partnerships with certain brands. You will also be locked into whatever price they name, instead of having the freedom to get multiple quotes or find the best brand that fits your budget.
When shopping for these added features, just be sure that they are compatible with your control panel technology. Many wireless security systems integrate with other technology, making it easy to add additional sensors and automation kits to your existing system, but confirm that this is the case before purchasing extra equipment.
With the technology available today, it’s a good idea to consider owning your home security system equipment before signing up for a contract instead of acquiring it through your security system provider. Or, if you do want to purchase it through your preferred provider, research potential security system discounts that offer lower cost equipment before buying. By owning your home security system, you’ll not only save on the cost of the equipment, but you’ll also find greater flexibility and convenience in the long run.