You can’t go a day without seeing or hearing the latest ads from countless home security monitoring systems. Having one can lower your homeowners’ insurance rates, deter crime, and give you peace of mind when you are not at home. Video surveillance systems are becoming very routine throughout our lives at home, at work, and in public venues. We are being watched when out in public or in a residential neighborhood. So what’s the purpose of the security system, anyway? And how do you really decipher what’s a good option for you? Here are some quick pointers to aid you in your buying decision.
The first step is to determine what you want to monitor. Is it the access to the exterior of your entire property? Your house? Your front door? Or just the inside environment? Do you want to monitor your home only when you’re not at home? Do you have pets inside when you are gone that may trip a motion sensor? Do you want to check in from your mobile device? Are you confident with the do-it-yourself set up? Most security systems today come with everything you need out-of-the-box. Taking into consideration what you really want to monitor will help you determine the right system for you.
The top priority for me is being able to access my monitoring system when I am away from home. If you use video surveillance equipment, make sure your system has a large enough hard drive capacity to record and store data without overwriting it too soon. If you are using a wired vs. wireless system make sure you have enough cable to place the devices in all of the essential areas of your home. For me, that includes all points of entry into the home – doors, windows, garage door. Set up motion detectors to alert you when movement is detected – especially when windows or doors are opened. Most video systems will send you a snapshot and start recording when they sense movement.
Other considerations to think about are cost of equipment – are you renting or do you own what you buy? Can you take it with you when you move to a new location? Does the system rely on a hard-wired phone line, or is it wireless? What are your monitoring costs per month? Can you cancel your account if you change your mind? There are plenty of home security monitoring reviews on the Internet that will give you a side by side comparison of various companies. A little homework on your part will save you time, money and aggravation down the road. One site I find really helpful is Here
Once you decide what system to install, don’t ever use the out-of-the-box security/password settings. This is one area you do not want to overlook to save time. Most devices from the same company will have identical settings and are easy to break in to if left unchanged. This is one of the most important things to customize. To ensure your security, change your master password immediately and if there are unique ports change those as well. Work with your Internet provider or your cable service provider to create unique access points and passwords for your security system and to help you configure your home router so you can view your video away from home on your mobile device.
Once set-up, you will have the peace of mind to check in on your home when you are away, and can even change monitoring settings from your mobile device. Or you might just find out what your dog does when you aren’t at home!