Making your home safer using smart home security begins with the decision to protect your world. This is followed by careful consideration of the layers of protection — or multi-layered deterrents — that keep your home safe, smart, and secure.
Next step? Find the right company that can help you bring your home security dreams to reality! If you’re looking to become one of the 38% of Americans who are protected by a home security product or service, there are many questions to consider before deciding which provider would be the best fit. We’ve put together a checklist of 10 questions to ask yourself about any security provider you are considering.
Hint: The answers to all of these questions should be “Yes!”
1. Does the security company manufacture its own equipment?
Does the company providing the service make its own equipment or is it getting equipment from another place? This is not necessarily a bad thing. If a company isn’t manufacturing its own devices, that means its focus isn’t split between all the intricacies of producing that equipment and actually providing services that keep you safe.
2. If not, does it get its equipment from a reputable source?
It’s pretty common for security providers to install equipment manufactured by another company (again, not a bad thing). Just make sure the company you choose uses reputable brand manufacturers with top-quality equipment. Keep in mind that security is the wrong place to cut corners.
3. Does the equipment use the latest encryption technology?
Encryption is a powerful way to protect private information by turning it into unique code. Just like you would want to restrict access to your cell phone or laptop, you’ll want to take precautions to keep unauthorized people from accessing your home security devices.
Learn about PowerG, which uses advanced two-way encryption to help protect your home security system against hackers.
4. Do your smart devices allow integration so everything works together?
With a custom integrated alarm system, all of your smart devices “talk to each other” or work together. This is how you can control multiple devices around your home (such as your smart thermostats, smart plugs, and indoor and outdoor cameras) from one place. It’s a far better experience overall and the definition of “smart.”
5. Can they design a custom home security system just for me or is it one-size-fits-all?
Is your house identical to every house on your block? In your neighborhood? How about in your city? Definitely not! That’s why all homes shouldn’t have identical security systems.
Even if you have a similar home to others on your street, that doesn’t mean you have the same family and lifestyle as all of those other people. Maybe you have kids in school and a video doorbell will reassure you that they’ve arrived home safely in the afternoon. You might travel 50% of the year and need video surveillance for your entire property. Or maybe you use your side door as much as your front door and need more door sensors than your neighbor.
Life isn’t one-size-fits-all. Your security system shouldn’t be, either.
6. If my needs change, can I add more equipment later?
You may know exactly what you need now, but what about in five years? Your security needs may change over time, and you’ll want the freedom to add new devices to your home security system later if you need them. Find a company that provides a security system that can grow with you.
7. Can the equipment be controlled from a mobile app?
Part of the beauty of smart home security is being able to check in and have access to your smart devices anytime, from anywhere. This is easier and more convenient with a mobile app. Having a single mobile app that can do everything from arming your alarm system to opening your smart garage door no matter where you are in the world makes life much easier.
8. Is the equipment compatible with my favorite devices?
Consider all the devices you keep on your person and around your house. You’ll want them to play nicely with your security system. For example, if you use Alexa, ask if the security company’s equipment is Alexa-compatible so you can use voice commands to control your system.
9. Will they install my equipment for me or do I have to do it myself?
Find out if the security company offers professional installation. This is a bigger question than who is physically mounting your equipment. You don’t want to run into avoidable issues. For instance, improper placement of motion detectors can lead to costly accidental alarms. Beyond the installation and the wiring, a professional installation means a security expert will be on-site to evaluate your home’s specific needs and make informed recommendations that can make a huge difference. Save yourself the stress!
10. Is the equipment user-friendly or will there be a big learning curve?
Even with the best team behind it, a home security system still needs to be used regularly to be effective. The harder it is to learn and understand, the less likely you are to use it — especially if you’re not extremely tech-savvy. Good equipment should be simple and intuitive for everyone.
What’s the best home security system in my area?
Shopping for a security company? Our guide below has everything you need to choose the perfect security provider for you. Check it out:
Grab our essential guide for choosing a home security system!Download PDF