Put these 7 home security myths to rest once and for all
Put these 7 home security myths to rest once and for all
This story is part Tips for the houseCNET’s collection of handy tips for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.
You may have heard, or just always thought, that home security systems are expensive, they don’t work, and they’re a chore to manage – a chore you’ll have to endure for years because you’re locked into a contract. These and other persistent myths are largely no longer true and shouldn’t stop you from improving your home security setup.
Many home security system myths stem from the way professional services like ADTLived and Xfinity work, but the drawbacks that once gave these services a bad name are now largely obsolete. The arrival of DIY systems — Wifi cameras, video doorbellsmotion sensors and more – have helped dispel many more misconceptions about home security.
Yet there may be the persistent, unfounded, and outdated home security myth that keeps you from engaging in a professionally installed or do-it-yourself system. Here’s a look at seven common home security myths and what exactly makes them mythical. (For more home security tips, see three places you should never put a security cameraand how to use an old smartphone as a security camera.)
Myth: Home security systems are expensive
What’s the point of a home security system if the initial and ongoing costs outweigh the value of what was damaged or stolen? It’s a fair point, but home security may be more affordable than you think, especially if you’re going the DIY route.
While it’s true that the costs of a professional home security system can quickly add up, it’s not uncommon for home security companies to offer special deals that could save you hundreds of dollars on home security. equipment and installation. Depending on the provider and available promotions, it’s entirely possible to get a basic system for free with installation included (yes, you’ll need to sign a contract, but more on that in the next section).
On the other hand, you will need to purchase all your own equipment for a do-it-yourself home security setup. Yet you can get everything you need to monitor your home inside and out, with cameras and motion sensors, to a few hundred dollars or less.
Professional monitoring isn’t available with all DIY devices, but if it’s an option with your camera or security system, expect an additional monthly fee of $10-$25 for generally unlimited numbers of devices. Fees are often lower if you pay annually instead of monthly.
Myth: You have to sign a contract, or at least have a subscription
Again, this one is from professional home security service providers, and yes, it’s still true in some cases. Most home security companies require a one- or two-year contract, especially if you opt for promotional offers such as free equipment or installation. However, a contract is not always required: some suppliers such as SimpliSafe and Xfinity don’t make you sign one.
And you won’t have to worry about a contract with DIY setups at all, because the systems of Arlo, Ring, wyze and others are still without a contract. Likewise, monthly subscriptions aren’t necessary, although you may want to add one for professional monitoring or more storage options. Subscriptions can cost as little as $10 per month (or even free, as is the case with Wyze and its “name your price” option with a CamPlus Lite Subscription) and cover an unlimited number of devices.
If you don’t want to pay for a subscription, no problem. Do-it-yourself cameras, motion detectors, and other home security devices come with an app that lets you do your own monitoring. It can even help with your home security efforts by sending push notifications when a motion or sound event is detected.
Conclusion: Home security doesn’t come automatically with a contract, subscription, or anything else that requires an ongoing fee.
Myth: Home security systems are complicated
I completely understand this potential hesitation. Whenever a home project involves wiring, I immediately categorize it as “Have someone else do it.”
Luckily, when you opt for a professionally installed home security system, someone else (a professional installer) will do the hard work for you. They’ll also walk you through how to use the system during setup, and 24/7 technical support and online resources are available for any issues you may encounter.
As far as DIY security devices go, there shouldn’t be any wiring other than just plugging it in and connecting it to your Wi-Fi. Wired video doorbells are an exception, but I can say first hand that the installation is still quite quick and simple. In any case, an application will guide you through all phases of installation, configuration and use.
Myth: I need a landline for a home security system
Go ahead and follow this myth with “and burglars can cut it to disable my system”. A landline is no longer a requirement for home security systems, even those installed and monitored by professionals.
ADT, SimpliSafe, Vivant and Xfinity, among other business systems, don’t require a landline, meaning no extra cost for phone service you wouldn’t otherwise use, and no risk of an intruder cutting the line.
You also won’t need a landline for DIY devices, but you will need to connect them to your Wi-Fi. An intruder is unlikely to cut your internet cable and disable your system, but networks Wi-Fi and connected devices are indeed vulnerable to hacking. Make sure you get the right one precautions to secure your Wi-Fi connection.
Myth: I’m a tenant, so I can’t get a home security system
Your property and your safety are important whether you own or rent, and there are many home security solutions for tenants. These devices are often non-invasive (no holes in the wall, permanent wiring or mounting) and can come with all the home security features you would need, including access to live camera feeds and recordings. , push notifications, professional monitoring options and emergency response assistance. .
Check with your rental office or the landlord before installing a system and be sure to avoid any device that may infringe on your neighbour’s privacy.
Myth: Home security systems are not effective
It depends on what you mean by “efficient”. If someone is determined to enter your home, even the best security system won’t stop them. That said, if someone is considering break into your home or drag a bundle onto your porchthe presence of a security system or a surveillance camera is a good deterrent.
A University of North Carolina study found that about 83% of professional criminals surveyed said they would try to find out if a home or business had a security alarm before attempting a burglary. About 60% said they would look for another target if an alarm was detected.
Burglaries and thefts will unfortunately continue to happen, but a home security system can make intruders less comfortable in your home. The activation of alarms or searchlights and the use of two-way audio to let an intruder know that the authorities are on the way can be enough to thwart any further criminal activity.
Even if the burglar is successful, your security devices may capture images, videos, or sounds leading to their identification and arrest. At the very least, you can use the information to alert your neighbors and help prevent future occurrences.
Myth: My insurance will cover a burglary
Most home and renter’s insurance plans will cover all or part of the cost of replacing stolen property or covering damage to your home, such as a broken window or broken door. However, many insurers place caps or sub-limits on the amount they will pay, so your total loss may not be fully covered by your insurance.
Also, remember that insurance companies will reimburse you for the monetary value of replacing the physical item, but not for any intangible or sentimental value that may come with it. The family photos on your laptop, the personal attachment to a piece of jewelry, even all those hours you’ve spent on a saved video game file, can’t be replaced by the insurance company.
The Basics of Common Home Security Myths
If you’re considering upgrading your home security or starting from scratch, don’t let that little voice in your head saying “it’s going to cost too much, you’ll need a landline phone” stop you.
While the negative perceptions of home security services and devices have some merit, many of them are either outdated or just plain wrong. As with any home addition or service, do your research to find the best fit for your needs. You’ll probably find that there’s a device and an accompanying app or service to demystify all the inconveniences you’ve heard or thought about home security.
For more, read above home security mistakes you can make. Learn to stop the porch pirates, reduce the risk of car break-ins and what to keep in a safe.