Are you educated about the crime that happens in your own area here in Austin? As in many cities, the biggest point of concern here in Austin is property crime. Property crime, as the name implies, is any crime that harms your property in some way. This may include burglary, theft, larceny, arson, vandalism, and even motor crimes. Is your home protected against these types of threats? It is an important question for all homeowners to ask themselves.
In even recent years, home security companies have provided systems that cover a customer’s basic needs. Luckily, advances in technology have allowed for much more protection than was even possible in the past. Now, a customer has several options to choose from with a security system, ranging from simplistic to complex. Benefits of a security system include increased protection of your home, family, and belongings. Other benefits include more peace of mind and comfort, simple cellular monitoring while you are away, and a better rate on your homeowner’s insurance.
Here in Houston you have some great options for protecting your home. We’ve analyzed the top companies to check out. See our analysis below.
The Benefits of Owning a Home Security System
There are many benefits of owning a home security system. Here are some of our favorites.
Overall Protection: Homeowners with a home security system enjoy an overall increased sense of protection, as several features of the system work to ensure maximum safety. Some features included are door and window alarms, emergency call buttons, panic pendants, and codes that can easily be provided if it is necessary to disarm an alarm. Light and motion sensors warn any potential intruders that the house is alarmed and would be a difficult “score,” while the security company also works to monitor your home and belongings from its remote location.
Peace of Mind: Do you feel safe within the walls of your own home? Knowing that you, and your belongings, are protected allow you to live more comfortably and with an added sense of freedom. Those who take advantage of the benefits of a home security system enjoy a greater sense of peace, knowing that if an issue were to arise, they would not be left to deal with it on their own. Whether you are at home or miles away, you know your belongings are protected.
Cellular Monitoring: Technology is all around us in modern life. Whether we are using it at work, watching television, or spending time on social media, we always have technology at our fingertips. This advanced technology extends to home security systems as well, and allows homeowners to ensure the safety of their homes even when they are at the office or on vacation. You can monitor different areas of your home and property from your phone, iPad, or other device when cameras are set up on the premises. You can also adjust the features of your home’s security while you are away, such as locking and unlocking doors and activating, or deactivating, alarms. Professional monitoring services can also alert you when the system is triggered.
Monitor Children: One advantage you may not have considered with a home security system is that you can also check in on your children while you are away, whether they are with a babysitter or on their own. Through the use of the cameras and your cellular monitoring capabilities, you can actually see them without their knowledge to make sure they are safe and behaving as they should be.
Discounts on Homeowner’s Insurance: Another perk of having a security system is that you can actually reduce the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. Check with your insurance agent to see what kind of discounts may be offered.
Security systems can be tailored to a customer’s specific needs and concerns. The question you need to explore, and ultimately answer, is “Which system is right for me and my home, based on my unique situation, location, and concerns?” It is essential that you “do your homework” and become informed about the many home security options, so you can make the best decision for your specific situation. Here is some helpful information to get started with that education process.
The two main types of security system for the home are Full Service and Do-It-Yourself, otherwise known as DIY. Finding out which type of system is best for you is a good place to start in deciding what you want in your own security system. Researching the pros and cons of each will help you to understand what type of system might work for you.
Type 1: Full Service
The Full Service approach is for customers who are not interested in, or are too busy to, install their own system. Basically, it is a “no-hassle” approach to home security. From beginning to end, a professional technician will ensure that your entire system is installed and running correctly, ensuring your home is protected effectively. This is also a great option for those who are, let us say, not as talented with technology and installation as they may like to be. The benefit of having a technician install your system is that he or she can ensure that your system is the right fit for your home and assess any possible risks you may not have previously considered. They conveniently walk you through the entire process of your new system, educating you on the “ins and outs” of your system, so you don’t have to worry about being confused or overwhelmed.
In addition to having expert knowledge on the security system itself, the security company and technician will also have a handle on what is going on in your particular neighborhood and can help make you more aware of possible criminal activity in your area. They provide the training and expertise you may not have and can set up your system, ensuring that it works perfectly.
Because the customer does not have to be a part of the installment hassle, the Full Service home security approach is understandably more expensive than the Do-It-Yourself option. This option is often preferred for a variety of reasons – some customers spend long hours at the office, while others simply enjoy their free time and would rather not spend it figuring out how to install their own system. Again, others may simply not have the capabilities or “know-how” to do so.
The higher cost does translate into additional features for customers, including professional monitoring on a 24×7 basis. One of the most valued reasons to have a security system is the fact that they are no longer alone, should a threat of danger present itself. Monitoring from the security company allows the customer to feel completely safe, knowing that if something were to happen, authorities would be alerted immediately. The security company also regularly checks the system remotely to ensure that the system is working and up-to-date to provide additional peace of mind that the system is working the way it is intended to work.
Type 2: Do-It-Yourself
For those who prefer to have more of a hand in the installation process, there is the DIY, or Do-It-Yourself option. You can still get the help from the security company that you may need, if a question or issue arises that you cannot fix on your own. Most companies offer online tutorials on their websites for additional guidance, as well as allow for scheduled appointments or online chat sessions.
Many customers opt for the DIY approach because it proves to be more flexible than some other systems. You can often choose the features you do, or do not, want included in your system. This allows you to more effectively tailor your system to your specific family’s needs. You can choose cellular monitoring services or opt out of it. You can add more cameras, lighting options, or sensors depending on the particular layout of your home. Depending on what you choose will also help tailor the cost you are willing to pay for the system.
A possible negative to the DIY approach is simply that it could prove frustrating for those who do not have a lot of experience in the area of installment. Questions may arise that could be difficult to answer on one’s own and may require professional assistance. Fortunately, security companies know that questions are common, and they are more than willing to accommodate the “do-it-yourselfer” in any way they can to ensure that you have a good experience with their company.
Now that you understand a bit more about the types of system that is available to you, the next step is to learn about the leading companies that provide quality home security services in Austin to see which might be the best fit for you.
Frontpoint Security System
FrontPoint won the #1 spot for ASecureLife.com’s “Best and Most Affordable Security System in 2016” contest. In addition, Texas Yelp reviewers offer multiple praises of this company, which has an above-average rating. In an online review, one happy FrontPoint customer wrote “From placing the order to adding already existing sensors, the customer service department was excellent. I had issues with a water detection sensor due to my own error when installing it. The CSR talked me through the correct settings and even followed up with me 2 days later to confirm that all issues had been resolved and that everything was still working properly.”
What is it that customers like most about FrontPoint? In online reviews, many raved about the easy-to-understand pricing, and even more than that, the quality customer service they received. Many said that if they had a problem, a customer service member answered their questions with kindness and knowledge. They were able to help them resolve the issue quickly over the phone, without the need of having a technician at the home. They also mentioned being able to ask upfront questions about products and the plan that would work best for their unique situation.
“If you're on the fence about what security company to use, Frontpoint really should be at the top of the list.”
The system offered by Frontpoint is a Do-It-Yourself one. It has been said to be quite easy to install, without the need for several tools and hours of work. This makes setup relatively simple and mess-free, which is a bonus for any homeowner. The system comes with a variety of controls, sensors, and cameras. One point customers should be aware of is that, unlike some competing companies, FrontPoint does not offer a lifetime warranty on equipment purchased. The warranty covers three years of service.
FrontPoint offers controls such as a keychain remote that can lock and unlock home doors from 100 feet away, as well as turn on your porch light to avoid having to walk inside in the dark. It also offers a panic pendant, designed specifically with elderly customers or those with special needs in mind, so that if any emergency should occur, they have easy access to additional help.
Sensors for doors, windows, garage entries, and cameras are also available options, as well as sensors that ensure that issues such as carbon monoxide, smoke, and flood threats are easily detected. Should you choose certain additional features, you may have some upfront costs. You can add to and take away equipment according to your needs, and the customer service representatives are well-trained and able to answer any question that arises.
While a FrontPoint system may cost a bit more than some competing systems, a customer who chooses this company can expect excellent customer service and a high quality system. As can be seen by their reviews, it seems clear that FrontPoint cares for its customers and will work to earn their good reputation.
Protect America Security Systems
Protect America won the #2 spot in the contest for “Best and Most Affordable Home Security System in 2016.” They offer a DIY approach that is affordable for most customers. In reviewing Protect America’s services, one Yelp reviewer wrote: “I love this company! They have been great from the beginning. They have the cheapest pricing with the most protection. They have wireless protection, touch panels, cameras, garage sensors, glass break sensors. The best part for me was no hard-wiring anything and you set the system up yourself!”
“I love this company! They have been great from the beginning. They have the cheapest pricing with the most protection. They have wireless protection, touch panels, cameras, garage sensors, glass break sensors. The best part for me was no hard-wiring anything and you set the system up yourself!”
Perhaps the most popular feature of a Protect America system is its low price. A customer can get a home security system at the low price of $19.99 per month for the Copper Landline package. As a customer, you have five options to choose from with plans named Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The Copper plan starts with one console, one motion detector, and three window or door sensors. The number of window and door sensors increases with the more comprehensive plans. The Platinum package offers 14 window and door sensors. You have the choice to get landline, broadband, or cellular monitoring.
Other features offered by Protect America include a mini pin pad and 2-button panic alarm. These are secondary consoles to place around your home, adding protection should a threat occur. They are in addition to your main console, so that you could access another point in the home to call for help should it be needed and the first is out of reach. This allows for an additional feeling of safety and protection for homeowners.
It is good for a potential Protect America customer to be aware that the company does not offer a free trial and allows for a short 14-day purchased trial. If you are not concerned with a free trial, Protect America is a great choice for a customer who values a price that cannot be beat by competing companies.
Vivint Home Security
Vivint is well known for being a leading, established home security company throughout the nation. In online reviews, happy customers have written “Vivint, by far, has the superior product for home security” and “Vivint is the absolute most user friendly system of home automation.” The features and equipment offered by Vivint are hard to beat. In addition, Vivint offers the professional installation approach, meaning a technician will do all the install work for you. This is a big plus for many customers, who are either too busy or uninterested in putting the system in themselves. From A-Z, Vivint ensures the system is working from the very beginning, which helps a customer feel protected.
Vivint offers three main plans, which include the Smart Protect, Smart Protect and Control, and Smart Complete. In the Smart Protect package, a customer will receive 24×7 monitoring, a touchscreen panel, 3 door or window sensors, 1 motion detector, 1 smoke detector, and a Vivint yard sign. Going from there, the Smart Protect and Control plan offers the previous features and 2 smart home devices, while the Smart Complete offers an additional 1TB cloud storage and 2 smart home features. It is easy to see that Vivint has a wide range of services and equipment that is not easily matched by competing companies.
Because of the many advanced features and professional installation, a customer will pay more for Vivint’s services. The Smart Protect package starts at $53.99 per month. For those customers who are willing to pay more for the added protective, convenient features, Vivint is a good choice.
Which System Best Fits You and Your Home?
While there are many plans offered to customers, it is important to tailor your security system to your specific home, concerns, and needs. Now that you understand a bit more about what types of systems are available, and the leading companies that offer these services in Austin, you simply need to ask yourself which will likely work best for you and your home. Whether you are most concerned with FrontPoint’s “no guesswork” pricing and quality customer service, Protect America’s hard-to-beat pricing, or Vivint’s advanced technology and professional installation services, there is a company and plan that will best serve your needs. Having a safe, secure home is a luxury that is hard to beat. The peace of mind of a protected home is truly priceless.