Need recommendation for home alarm system

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ugaDAWGS09
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Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by ugaDAWGS09 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:39 pm

I've decided to get a home alarm system. My dad and one of my best friends both had their homes broke into this week. I need a recommendation for a good company that doesn't charge a ridiculous monthly fee. I'll most likely need 1 keypad type unit, a few glass breaks, and maybe a motion sensor. Thanks for the help.

wilshuer
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by wilshuer » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:44 pm

SimpliSafe fit my needs best, no contract, smartphone app, easily expandable and fairly good customer service.

Larger upfront cost, but some coupons can be found. I would say they have much more pricing transparency. Previously had ADT for 10 years.

michaeljc70
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:53 pm

wilshuer wrote:SimpliSafe fit my needs best, no contract, smartphone app, easily expandable and fairly good customer service.

Larger upfront cost, but some coupons can be found. I would say they have much more pricing transparency. Previously had ADT for 10 years.
Yes. Many of the companies (ADT, Brinks, Comcast, etc.) give you a big discount on the equipment and then you are stuck on a contract paying around $40+ a month.

Simplisafe also uses cellular tech so if you don't have a home phone or they cut the phone line it still works. I don't have Simplisafe so I cannot wholeheartedly recommend it, but when I researched systems it struck me as the best with monitoring. That assumes you can figure out what you need yourself and install it yourself (Which I think is pretty easy). If you want to go unmonitored, that is a whole different category.

Mr. Gatti
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by Mr. Gatti » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:26 pm

We have had Simplisafe for a little over a year and are pleased. The module has a cellular chip that is inside of it. Ours originally came with a T-Mobile chip and T-Mobile service here stinks so they replaced it with a Verizon chip and we haven't really had any trouble with it since.

blu-ray
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by blu-ray » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:49 pm

Ours is a Honeywell system. It works well, no problems. It was installed by a local company about 10 years ago

Loik098
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by Loik098 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:19 pm

wilshuer wrote:SimpliSafe fit my needs best, no contract, smartphone app, easily expandable and fairly good customer service.

Larger upfront cost, but some coupons can be found. I would say they have much more pricing transparency. Previously had ADT for 10 years.
+1 for Simplisafe.

But post a different company's stickers and yard sign out front: https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrew ... 76a9183b00

CppCoder
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by CppCoder » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:03 pm

We've been very happy with Smith Thompson, but I think they are geographically limited:

https://smiththompson.com/

Topic Author
ugaDAWGS09
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by ugaDAWGS09 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:28 pm

How do you all have the simply safe system installed? Do you put a sensor on every door and window, and a motion sensor or two in the main rooms in your house?

Mr. Gatti
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by Mr. Gatti » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:51 pm

ugaDAWGS09 wrote:How do you all have the simply safe system installed? Do you put a sensor on every door and window, and a motion sensor or two in the main rooms in your house?
Pretty much...All doors, most windows, 3 motion sensors throughout house, a couple of panic buttons, and a Springfield waiting for them if they keep going through all that.

Atilla
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by Atilla » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:11 pm

The best home alarm - and deterrent - system I ever has was a pure black male German Shepherd. He was a big sweetie if you belonged in the house and a complete a-hole if you didn't. :D He deterred a crazy at the front door once who was coming after my wife. Late at night in a snow storm. Frank (the dog) was with me when I answered the door. Crazy never stepped one foot in the house. A lunging barking 90 pound black Shepherd up on his back legs held back only by his collar does wonders.
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Loik098
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by Loik098 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:30 pm

ugaDAWGS09 wrote:How do you all have the simply safe system installed? Do you put a sensor on every door and window, and a motion sensor or two in the main rooms in your house?
Yes, except we don't use the motion sensors (redundant, if you're already using the entry sensors and they're correctly installed).

We also have a glassbreak sensor for our patio door, a fire alarm sensor, and a couple of their water sensors (placed in the laundry room and on the first floor near the kitchen sink). We like that the latter two sensors aren't just alarms that could blare all day when we're at work, but rather are tied into the system so we're alerted of smoke or water damage right away.

wilshuer
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by wilshuer » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:18 am

ugaDAWGS09 wrote:How do you all have the simply safe system installed? Do you put a sensor on every door and window, and a motion sensor or two in the main rooms in your house?
In rooms with multiple windows, I've just gone with the motion sensor and glass break sensor. Opening sensors on all doors. We have dogs, so have to be cautious about placement of the motion sensors - with a lot of calibration the first week.

The user interface of the simplysafe website is quite good, can choose how the different sensors respond to different alarms - i.e. home, away, and silent settings. Receive text messages for different settings. For example, I have a motion sensor set up in my shed that will send me a text message if it detects something - useful in case someone is trying to get at my tools, etc stored within. There are also CO/Smoke and water sensors that you can expand to if desired. The beauty of the system is you can easily add sensors as you wish - not something that is very easy with traditional alarm companies.

There is advice out there to ensure the base station is kept in a difficult place for an intruder to get to. Theory is that a person could break and immediately go for the base unit, smash it or otherwise incapacitate it, potentially preventing a call-out. Simplysafe says otherwise, but I would rather not test. The other thing to consider is the auxiliary alarm, much louder and separate from the base unit.

If you do go that route, be sure to look at coupon codes, easy to find.

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ugaDAWGS09
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by ugaDAWGS09 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:34 am

If the alarm is triggered does the sound come from the keypad or base unit. If the base unit, it seems it would be easy for the intruder to find the unit and smash it.

michaeljc70
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:31 am

ugaDAWGS09 wrote:If the alarm is triggered does the sound come from the keypad or base unit. If the base unit, it seems it would be easy for the intruder to find the unit and smash it.
They have extra sirens you can put anywhere including outside (not in direct rain though).

http://simplisafe.com/105-decibel-alarm-siren

If they found the base and destroyed it, I am not sure if that would turn off the external siren or not.

wilshuer
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by wilshuer » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:58 am

The alarm comes from the base unit, in terms of it being smashed and the auxiliary siren continuing, per Simplisafe forum their official answer is yes.

Keep in mind with any traditional alarm system that all an intruder has to do is knock the siren off the wall and it will be silenced as well. The key is probably multiple, and in hard to reach locations. For instance, my auxiliary siren is in the entry way, above the front door, and at a ceiling height of ~20ft. Not very easy for an intruder to silence quickly.

michaeljc70
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:05 am

wilshuer wrote:The alarm comes from the base unit, in terms of it being smashed and the auxiliary siren continuing, per Simplisafe forum their official answer is yes.

Keep in mind with any traditional alarm system that all an intruder has to do is knock the siren off the wall and it will be silenced as well. The key is probably multiple, and in hard to reach locations. For instance, my auxiliary siren is in the entry way, above the front door, and at a ceiling height of ~20ft. Not very easy for an intruder to silence quickly.
Knowing the alarm company (and presumbly the police) and neighbors have been alerted, I doubt anyone is going to stick around long.

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queso
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by queso » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:16 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
wilshuer wrote:The alarm comes from the base unit, in terms of it being smashed and the auxiliary siren continuing, per Simplisafe forum their official answer is yes.

Keep in mind with any traditional alarm system that all an intruder has to do is knock the siren off the wall and it will be silenced as well. The key is probably multiple, and in hard to reach locations. For instance, my auxiliary siren is in the entry way, above the front door, and at a ceiling height of ~20ft. Not very easy for an intruder to silence quickly.
Knowing the alarm company (and presumbly the police) and neighbors have been alerted, I doubt anyone is going to stick around long.
+1. We have ADT and just the one wimpy siren that comes with it. That's fine for our purposes since the only time the siren is useful is if we are home asleep and someone breaks in. Even if they know right where it is and smash it the dogs will know and will alert everybody in the house and come running to investigate. If we're not home we don't care about the siren. Our house is too far away from neighbors and nobody pays attention to alarms/sirens anymore these days anyway. That's what monitoring is for. Make sure you get monitored fire/smoke detectors as well. A smash and grab thief may get a couple of nice things, but if a fire starts and you aren't home and your neighbors don't notice you are in bigger trouble than a break in. A house fire can do much more damage much more quickly than any thief.

DelcoEE
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by DelcoEE » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:14 pm

ugaDAWGS09 wrote:I've decided to get a home alarm system. My dad and one of my best friends both had their homes broke into this week. I need a recommendation for a good company that doesn't charge a ridiculous monthly fee. I'll most likely need 1 keypad type unit, a few glass breaks, and maybe a motion sensor. Thanks for the help.
I am checking out Ooma home security for myself. It is reasonably priced and easy to scale out.

As a basic user, you get service with 1 sensor for free, or unlimited sensors for $5.99/month

"As a Premier customer, you get home security with unlimited sensors with NO additional monthly fees"

http://www.ooma.com/home-security/

JimmyD
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by JimmyD » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:16 pm

Another satisfied SimpliSafe customer here.

I will say though, the motion sensors are way too sensitive if you have pets. I tried all the tricks to get them to ignore pet activity, but gave up in the end and just took them down. We now just use the entry and glass break sensors.

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tc101
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by tc101 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:50 pm

Do you have to install SimpleSafe yourself or are there local installers?
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bertilak
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by bertilak » Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:28 pm

I use ADT. Had 'em for years. Recently upgraded from land line to cellular-type call-in.

They did the cellular upgrade for free even though it took two techs several hours to do it. The even added a camera for free. I did have to start a 1 year commitment. My old commitment ran out years ago but I don't plan on dropping them so the new commitment is no big deal.

How much is the monitoring service from SimpliSafe? ADT is $27/month. Seems reasonable.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:40 pm

SimpliSafe has a website with all these answers. www.simplisafe.com

Sensors attach with 3M double sided tape. Remove easily. This is a fully wireless system. Battery life a year on keypad, a year on many sensors. Batteries for many of the components are $2.50 a piece bought in ten packs on Amazon. Newer hardware came out recent!y, smaller sensors and longer battery life claimed.

Monitoring is 14.99 a month, $24.99 a month if you want cellular access on your phone, text messages, etc. You must use SimpliSafe hardware to have their monitoring.

We have SimpliSafe on our cottage.

Our house had an alarm. We utilize Alarm Relay for monitoring. $8.99 a month (annual contract) year one, $9.99 year two, $10.49 years three and on.

SimpliSafe responds by phone faster.
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by mervinj7 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:48 pm

bertilak wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:28 pm
How much is the monitoring service from SimpliSafe? ADT is $27/month. Seems reasonable.
Simplisafe is $14.99/month. Seems more reasonable to me but I would prefer $10/month.
No love for Nest Secure here? We installed it a few weeks ago and like it so far but we don't subscribe to the monthly monitoring. My wife mostly wanted the chimes for opening/closing doors and an alert on the phone if someone did break in while we were out.

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bertilak
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by bertilak » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:04 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:40 pm
Monitoring is 14.99 a month, $24.99 a month if you want cellular access on your phone, text messages, etc. You must use SimpliSafe hardware to have their monitoring.
ADT cellular, at $27, is trivially more expensive. That includes the ability to check in on the system remotely via a phone app or over the internet. I can see status and history, including live video of camera and any recorded video clips. 30 second clips are recorded when any motion is sensed. I can disable/re-enable the system, for example if I want to let a neighbor (or police) in to check on something.
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by spectec » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:12 pm

After 20 years or so with CPI, I switched to SimpliSafe about a year ago. So far there's no contest - I'm sticking with SimpliSafe.
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by dia » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:12 pm

So far I have been happy with Abode. You can turn professional monitoring on/off as needed which is what I like.
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Dakotah
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by Dakotah » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:28 pm

Simplisafe for 5 years now. Zero complaints.

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tc101
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by tc101 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:58 pm

So with SimpleSafe you need to replace all the batteries once a year?
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tc101
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by tc101 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:01 pm

SimpliSafe has this deal going on until Tuesday

https://simplisafe.com/home-security-system-summerfort

I have a huge house and would probably have to buy some additional equipment, but does this seem like a good deal on a big package for a large house? Is there any reason not to buy this particular package?
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FreemanB
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by FreemanB » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:34 am

tc101 wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:58 pm
So with SimpleSafe you need to replace all the batteries once a year?
I've had SimpliSafe for 3-4 years now, and I think I've only replaced the batteries in the two keypads I have and possibly the smoke or CO2 sensor.(I'm not 100% certain, since we have several non-alarmed smoke detectors as well) All of the actual sensors I purchased are still on their original batteries.(Multiple motion and entry sensors) The keypads just slide off the wall mount, so changing the batteries takes about 30 seconds. I'd definitely recommend it, especially since the newer versions look much better than the equipment we have.

I've had no issues with the system, and they've always responded rapidly to any so far all false alarms(Cleaning service occasionally doesn't get it disarmed in time, cat climbed in front of a motion sensor, etc. Nothing caused by the system itself). Their customer service has been extremely helpful every time we've called. We had a faulty CO2 sensor that they replaced immediately, and they switched our base station from TMobile to Verizon when the TMobile signal in our area deteriorated enough to make communications unreliable. The base station started frequently reporting that it had no link to the dispatcher. After calling customer service, they overnighted a new cellular module. It took about 15 minutes to replace, mostly due to my 5 year old's help(I could have done it in less than 5 minutes), and we haven't had an issues since.

As for the package, just figure out what you need and price it out. The keypads(At least the ones I have) also have a panic button, so depending on placement, you may not need additional panic buttons. Other than that, just figure out the most cost effective package for the pieces you want.

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DanMahowny
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by DanMahowny » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:46 am

Home alarm systems provide a false sense of security.

Get a dog.
Funding secured

FreemanB
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by FreemanB » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:50 am

DanMahowny wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:46 am
Home alarm systems provide a false sense of security.

Get a dog.
LOL, check out some of the videos where they recorded what dogs do when the homeowner isn't home and a stranger comes into the house. A dog may be protective of you, but they generally aren't going to care about the valuables being carted off if you aren't home. Besides, I haven't had a dog yet that could call the fire department for me.

frankmorris
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by frankmorris » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:57 am

Does anyone have experience with self-monitoring, meaning not hiring a company to do the monitoring, but using tech to feed data back to you, send alerts, etc.

Honestly, it seems foolish in 2018 for someone to monitor some data and call the police.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:26 pm

frankmorris wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:57 am
Does anyone have experience with self-monitoring, meaning not hiring a company to do the monitoring, but using tech to feed data back to you, send alerts, etc.

Honestly, it seems foolish in 2018 for someone to monitor some data and call the police.
Monitoring gives you insurance discounts...

One discount for burglary and fire. More discounts for water (hot water heater, well, water softener) and freeze. No discount for CO2.

I added smoke (mine were installed in house but not connected to alarm), water, and freeze. Discount increase in less than a year paid for sensors. Annual discount on insurance exceeds monitoring cost.

What are you going to do when you get the alert, call the police? They could have been enroute already. Fire too. Seconds matter in a fire.
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queso
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by queso » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:36 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:26 pm
frankmorris wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:57 am
Does anyone have experience with self-monitoring, meaning not hiring a company to do the monitoring, but using tech to feed data back to you, send alerts, etc.

Honestly, it seems foolish in 2018 for someone to monitor some data and call the police.
Monitoring gives you insurance discounts...

One discount for burglary and fire. More discounts for water (hot water heater, well, water softener) and freeze. No discount for CO2.

I added smoke (mine were installed in house but not connected to alarm), water, and freeze. Discount increase in less than a year paid for sensors. Annual discount on insurance exceeds monitoring cost.

What are you going to do when you get the alert, call the police? They could have been enroute already. Fire too. Seconds matter in a fire.
I'm too unreliable to self monitor. What if we're in the air flying overseas and something happens?

Thegame14
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:46 pm

I have ADT, it is like $33 a month and I get a discount on my homeowners insurance for having a home alarm.

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queso
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by queso » Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:35 am

FreemanB wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:50 am
DanMahowny wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:46 am
Home alarm systems provide a false sense of security.

Get a dog.
LOL, check out some of the videos where they recorded what dogs do when the homeowner isn't home and a stranger comes into the house. A dog may be protective of you, but they generally aren't going to care about the valuables being carted off if you aren't home. Besides, I haven't had a dog yet that could call the fire department for me.
DanMahowny wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:46 am
Home alarm systems provide a false sense of security.

Get a dog.
You guys are both right, IMHO. A good security system has many layers. We've talked about it in previous threads so I don't want to rehash it, but ideally you have multiple layers that serve as both a deterrent as well as a failsafe in case one of your layers is breached (lights, dogs, alarms, video, etc. etc.).

frankmorris
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by frankmorris » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:05 am

Interesting about the discount on the homeowners insurance - hard to believe folks are getting discounts of $400+ on their yearly premium on homeowners insurance - may need to call USAA again and see what the difference is

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CardinalRule
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by CardinalRule » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:15 am

We were already with Comcast for phone, TV, and internet, and adding home security caused our price to go down. Typical of Comcast's weird pricing - we once asked how much our bill would go down if we were to drop the phone service, and they told us it would actually go up. :oops:

We only use the door and window sensors, and not cameras or motion detectors. I like being able to turn the alarm off and on remotely with the Xfinity app on my phone. No problems so far, and it gives us a little more peace of mind.

We're thinking of getting an Xfinity-compatible Kwikset front door lock.

mike127
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by mike127 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:36 am

Pretty good review of the options here, and they liked SimpliSafe if you don’t need home automation: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-b ... ty-system/.

We have used FrontPoint (Alarm.com reseller) for years and have been satisfied with the responsiveness and quality relative to SmartThings, which we used before and was super flaky and prone to erroneous alerts. The main drawback for FrontPoint (which is making me start to look around) is the high cost relative to some of the more recent options.

The problem with any of these is that the equipment is a lock-in: if they go out of business or get too expensive you have to spend $200-1k on someone else’s equipment.

The one thing to look out for, which may not matter to you but did to me for home security, is that some of the alarm companies had physical addresses which were obvious dumps when you looked at them on Google StreetView, or had no physical address at all. Totally psychological I know, but I feel better knowing there is a real business behind my alarm vs a dude in his garage with a rented mailbox.

frankmorris
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by frankmorris » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:58 am

Good article in the WSJ this week about DIY home security systems, some that came with the option of having a company monitor them. I haven't looked into those options, but I wonder if insurance would treat them the same.

Paywall notice, but here's the link:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/home-secur ... 1535288400

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:34 pm

frankmorris wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:58 am
Good article in the WSJ this week about DIY home security systems, some that came with the option of having a company monitor them. I haven't looked into those options, but I wonder if insurance would treat them the same.

Paywall notice, but here's the link:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/home-secur ... 1535288400
There is no discount for you monitoring yourself. It needs to be a central station, and depending on the insurance company may need to be a UL central monitoring solution (which most are).

You may need to ask for them to check on what you get discounts for - burglary and fire is usually one discount, freeze is another (temp sensor), and water is another (leakage from water heater / softener / well pump / burst washer hose). You won't get any discount for a threat that doesn't damage the property, like a carbon monoxide sensor. Some discounts may seem small (like the additional discount for a temp sensor), but if the sensor is paid for in less than a year and the monitoring cost is the same, it's a no-brainer to get it. That's why I added temp and leakage sensors.

My smoke sensors in the house were NOT part of the alarm system (came with the house, alarm installed later) and were not compatible with my alarm system, so I simply bought two that were and added them for the additional discount (and peace of mind that the alarm company knew if my house was on fire.
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Cheyenne
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Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by Cheyenne » Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:40 pm

JimmyD wrote:
Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:16 pm
Another satisfied SimpliSafe customer here.

I will say though, the motion sensors are way too sensitive if you have pets. I tried all the tricks to get them to ignore pet activity, but gave up in the end and just took them down. We now just use the entry and glass break sensors.
We have an old hardwired/wireless system and about 10 months ago we wanted to move to cellular dialing. The old company wanted $35.00/mo. for that so I installed SimpliSafe based upon the ease installation and the $14.99/mo. bare bones monitoring thinking that it would pay for itself over time. A few months ago the motion sensor tripped when we were away sending the police (no pets in the room), and a little while later the smoke detector tripped (no smoke in the house) while we were home (thankfully). I didn't want to fire department responding. So I removed both of those devices, and the door magnetics remain but occasionally they won't arm and I have to remove and replace the batteries to fix them. I haven't had a false alarm for years with the old installed system. I think SimpliSafe's hardware is cheap. It's my understanding that since I purchased their system (10 months ago) they have come out with new hardware. They offered to sell it to me for 40% off. Thanks, but no thanks. I already paid once. Fool me once, shame on.....

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RickBoglehead
Posts: 1666
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am

Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:20 pm

Cheyenne wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:40 pm
JimmyD wrote:
Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:16 pm
Another satisfied SimpliSafe customer here.

I will say though, the motion sensors are way too sensitive if you have pets. I tried all the tricks to get them to ignore pet activity, but gave up in the end and just took them down. We now just use the entry and glass break sensors.
We have an old hardwired/wireless system and about 10 months ago we wanted to move to cellular dialing. The old company wanted $35.00/mo. for that so I installed SimpliSafe based upon the ease installation and the $14.99/mo. bare bones monitoring thinking that it would pay for itself over time. A few months ago the motion sensor tripped when we were away sending the police (no pets in the room), and a little while later the smoke detector tripped (no smoke in the house) while we were home (thankfully). I didn't want to fire department responding. So I removed both of those devices, and the door magnetics remain but occasionally they won't arm and I have to remove and replace the batteries to fix them. I haven't had a false alarm for years with the old installed system. I think SimpliSafe's hardware is cheap. It's my understanding that since I purchased their system (10 months ago) they have come out with new hardware. They offered to sell it to me for 40% off. Thanks, but no thanks. I already paid once. Fool me once, shame on.....
We had some bad sensors initially, which they immediately replaced. With the $24.99 monitoring, you can see exactly which sensor has tripped. We have an occasional animal in our boathouse, so when that motion sensor trips I tell them to NOT respond and I rearm and wait. A person will trip it time and time again, or open the door setting off that sensor.

We never got a 40% off upgrade offer, but I wouldn't spend the money again, the previous generation works fine.

In our front sunroom, if we leave the windows or blinds open we need to turn off the motion sensor if we arm, because otherwise the blinds may blow or my neighbor can set it off by walking in front of the windows and being seen by the motion sensor.
Avid user of forums on a variety of interests - financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair and more. Enjoy learning and passing on knowledge.

frankmorris
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:34 pm

Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by frankmorris » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:25 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:34 pm
frankmorris wrote:
Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:58 am
Good article in the WSJ this week about DIY home security systems, some that came with the option of having a company monitor them. I haven't looked into those options, but I wonder if insurance would treat them the same.

Paywall notice, but here's the link:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/home-secur ... 1535288400
There is no discount for you monitoring yourself. It needs to be a central station, and depending on the insurance company may need to be a UL central monitoring solution (which most are).

You may need to ask for them to check on what you get discounts for - burglary and fire is usually one discount, freeze is another (temp sensor), and water is another (leakage from water heater / softener / well pump / burst washer hose). You won't get any discount for a threat that doesn't damage the property, like a carbon monoxide sensor. Some discounts may seem small (like the additional discount for a temp sensor), but if the sensor is paid for in less than a year and the monitoring cost is the same, it's a no-brainer to get it. That's why I added temp and leakage sensors.

My smoke sensors in the house were NOT part of the alarm system (came with the house, alarm installed later) and were not compatible with my alarm system, so I simply bought two that were and added them for the additional discount (and peace of mind that the alarm company knew if my house was on fire.
Thanks Rick - this is helpful. I'll be sure to look into this.

tm3
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:16 pm

Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by tm3 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:06 pm

I strongly recommend against ADT.

ADT was in place when I bought my current home. I had a fire alarm go off (fortunately, a false alarm) and ADT dispatched the fire department to a similar sounding address in a nearby city. Soon after I got rid of the ADT system and went with a local vendor.

Despite my admonition, my inlaws installed an ADT system. Their home caught fire in the middle of the night, and the ADT alarm did not function. They lost everything but fortunately no one was hurt.

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Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 6:17 am

Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by Pancakes-Eggs-Bacon » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:27 pm

We've had SimpliSafe's $14.99/month base package for several years now and no problems. For those buying new equipment, go with SimpliSafe's 2nd generation of sensors and keypad -- the original generation sends the PIN wirelessly from the keypad to the base station unencrypted, so a sophisticated professional burglar can sniff out your PIN remotely.

I recently discovered Abode, and it looks to be a worthy competitor to SimpliSafe. Similar price points, including a free price point for self-monitoring but has an app with Wi-Fi access, which SimpliSafe doesn't have until you use their $24.99/month package. I like how Abode also integrates with home automation systems.

Disclaimer: We're current SimpliSafe customers with no plans on switching.

Wannaretireearly
Posts: 656
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by Wannaretireearly » Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:19 am

Any nest secure reviews??
Buy Low, Sell High

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papiper
Posts: 112
Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 10:36 am

Re: Need recommendation for home alarm system

Post by papiper » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:51 am

I self installed the Lowe's IRIS units. Runs off our wireless system with battery backup. Very easy - while you can pay monthly fees if you want, I get instant messages to my phones if anything goes off as well as in house alarms, so I'm my own monitoring agency for free. You buy each module so you can customize as much as you want. Camera for baby room and a water detect in the basement for my case. You can also check on the status (and see the camera) from anywhere in the world with wifi.

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