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Consider available options when selecting home security systems

Updated February 25, 2011

When choosing a home security system, it is important to consider all of the available options. This also holds true for those who may already have a home security system in place, but may be thinking about upgrading their system.

All home security systems provide added protection to a residence and serve as an excellent deterrent to potential burglars and trespassers. There are several different types of systems now available.

The most standard type of security system utilizes a landline telephone connection to communicate with a monitoring facility. When an alarm is triggered, the system sends a signal through the landline to the monitoring facility, which then responds to the alarm and dispatches authorities to the home if necessary. Landline, or wired, systems are good for homes that have poor cell phone reception or lack high speed Internet services. They are also typically the lowest cost monitoring solution available.

Another type of security system utilizes a broadband Internet connection to communicate with a monitoring facility when an alarm is triggered. This type of system provides a much faster connection compared to a landline system. It is also a good option for those who no longer have landline telephones in their home. This type of system typically allows individuals to check on the status of and arm or disarm the system online or through the use of smart phone applications. However, if you experience an Internet or power outage, this could potentially disable or delay the security system features.

A third type of home security system requires no landline phone or Internet connection, and utilizes cellular monitoring. Because the connection is cellular, installation is relatively simple and the alarm system is wireless. With this type of system, you can also monitor your home's security status using a mobile application or Internet connection.

This option eliminates the opportunity for thieves to bypass standard security systems by simply cutting the wires that lead to your home. This type of system requires adequate cellular phone coverage in your area, and you must establish some type of cellular service in order for it to operate.

Wireless security systems are gaining popularity due to their easy installation, versatility and portability. However, when deciding on what type of home security system is right for you, consider that wireless systems usually have a limited range of effectiveness in terms of where they are able to easily transmit information back to the receiving device. They also tend to be a bit more expensive than wired security systems.

Another security option to consider is a home security camera system. Cameras provide extra protection by acting as a deterrent for burglars who do not want to be caught on camera. They also supply recorded information that can be used if needed, and allow remote monitoring of your property from any location. Security cameras can increase the value of a home, and some insurance companies give discounts to those whose property is equipped with a good security system.

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