home security system

Choosing a Home Security System

Thinking of adding a home security system to your property? According to the FBI, more than 2 million homes are burglarized every year in the U.S. With those numbers, it makes sense to take all necessary protective measures. But how do you know what to look for when buying security technology?

While there are many options of systems out there as well as many high tech features, we can show you what you need to look for. Before you know it, your home will be more secure and safe.

What Can I Expect from a Home Security System?

There are many options in a home security system. With advances in technology, security systems are more accessible and easier to set up and use.

Here are some features to look for:

  • professional monitoring
  • device app integration (Smartphones, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant)
  • ease of use
  • ability to arm or disarm the system
  • sound options
  • expandability
  • portability
  • design and appearance

Home Security System Equipment

All home security systems come with a basic control panel to manage the system, as well as a panic button. However, security systems offer various equipment and corresponding packages to cater to the needs of different homeowners. Most of these equipment options can be added to any security system. It is not necessary to include all of these in a single system. We’ve discussed some equipment options here:

Glass-break Sensors

These sensors are used to detect not only the window and door glasses in your own house but also any glass breakage within the sound detection area of the sensors.

Door and Window Sensors

As opposed to glass shattering, door and window sensors detect if someone enters your house. They come with a magnetic technology whereby if a door or window is opened, no matter how slowly or quietly, they send an instant alert.

Security Cameras

Often confused as a synonym for security systems, these cameras are more or less an essential part of home security systems. They can be placed both indoors and outdoors and they not only detect motion and sounds but also capture any activity taking place in or around your home. If you have such a smart integration with your security system, you may also get recorded video from these cameras on your smartphone. Some cameras also come with a two-way audio option where you can answer the door without needing to be physically present at home.

Video Doorbell

Similar in function to your front door security camera, these doorbells allow you to answer the door remotely, send a notification if someone is at your door, and may also come with a feature of a pre-recorded message telling guests of your availability or unavailability.

Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

As the name implies these are useful in case of a fire emergency. Some smoke detectors have photoelectric sensors that can detect a fire in early stages even before it has flared up or created a lot of smoke. Carbon monoxide detectors are life-saving.

Smart Door Lock

Some security systems also have a smart-lock option where you do not need to use keys or expose a keyhole to the outer side of your door. Rather you either enter a pin code or simply use your fingerprint or face recognition to open your main door.

Should I Install a Landline or a Wireless Home Security System?

Home security systems not only allow you the option of choosing your own required equipment but also allow you to choose how you want to install it. There are two main ways of installing home security systems:

  • Landline
  • Wireless

A security system installed with a landline uses a wired phone connection and radio frequency to detect and send alerts when its sensors are triggered while a wireless system relies on cellular signals to perform the same task. In case of a power outage or disruption in phone lines, the landline installed security system becomes dependent on backup batteries. These systems may also require professional installation as well. On the other hand, the risk of wireless systems comes from spotty cellular reception. However, these are pre-programmed and do not require expert help in installations.

Professional Installation VS DIY Installation

Whether you choose to install yourself or you opt to hire someone, you should consider your abilities, the features you want, as well as your budget. As explained above, if you choose a landline based security system you might require professional assistance. Wireless security systems do not require technical know-how for installation but most service providers still offer professional installation to their customers. However, with professional installations you might incur an extra cost of approximately $200, unless your service provider is offering discounting packages.

At the same time, DIY installation requires you to do all the wiring, drilling and setting up of the system yourself so professional help will reduce your effort and worries significantly. With the wireless systems, you will not need to do the wiring and drilling but you will need to set up the system on your smartphone or any other internet enabled device. For homeowners likely to move places, a wireless system is recommended as it allows for easy packing up and re-installation at a new place.


It is a big purchase and personal decision to add a home security system to your home. Depending on your specific situation, you will want to explore the many options in home security. There is not one single solution that works for all people and all situations. You now are better equipped to make the decision on what features you need to consider. No matter what you choose, you’ll appreciate the security you have added to your home and your peace of mind.