What is the difference between a Home Surveillance System and a Home Security System?
I have found out that a Home Surveillance System is when you pay a company to come in and wire your house with all kinds of equipment but then charge you a monthly fee to monitor this system.
They would install cameras and alarm bells on the outside of the building and magnets on the inside windows and doors. If the alarm goes off, a telephone dialing system alerts them, they then call you to make sure it’s not a false alarm, and if necessary call the police or fire department.
With a Home Security System, most items can be installed nowadays by anyone with a screwdriver, because they make a multitude of wireless systems. If this alarm system go off, they are monitored right inside your closet on a DVR or computer. Then it can be sent to your cell phone wherever you may be.
It even can have a voice system that you can yell out to a person that may be trying to break into your house. If that doesn’t work, then you just call the police from wherever you are.
Home Surveillance Systems
There are different companies that will install a system in your home, even some for free, and then charge a fee every month to monitor the system. Some of these companies out there have a low installation fee. Offering a control panel, motion detectors, door sensors, window sensors, alarm gongs on the outside of the building and then a professional monitoring service for a monthly fee. The video surveillance is usually only offered with the advanced packages.
Most of these companies have a Theft Protection Guarantee where they will pay for a $500 deductible toward your homeowners insurance in the event of a burglary. If you are going to move, some companies will offer a 25% discount on any extra equipment that would be used when signing a 60-month agreement.
Some of the better companies offer an advanced home automation items like a door-bell camera or items like smoke detectors, in home medical buttons, small mini camera’s or garage door controls.
Some of these companies are:
Protect America – located in Austin, TX
Guardian Protection – located in 21 states, mostly mid-west to east
ADT – They can be found on Google almost anywhere
Frontpoint – located in Vienna, VA
These are just some of the companies around the country, they can be easily found through the Internet. If you would need any help, just leave me a note at the comments box on the bottom of this page.
Some Things That Are Not So Good
You have to find a good and reputable company in the area where you live. A lot of companies will advertise all around the country and then you find out they only cover a couple of surrounding States. They are not available for Apartment Owners at all. There are limits on door and window sensors, so you may have an out-of-pocket expense or have to go for a more expensive package.
Also be careful of a lengthy hidden terms in the contract agreement like cancellation penalties or warranty agreements. Make sure you always read contracts all the way to the bottom before signing. Most of these contracts are for 5 years, and if you break the contract, it could cost you for the remainder of the contract.
Home Security Systems
To me a Home Security System does not have to involve a company to install the equipment in or outside of your house. Most of the equipment can be installed by the home-owner. Since an alarm company will not install security in an Apartment, nowadays it would be just as easy for the residents of the apartment to install mini cameras themselves.
A lot of this equipment can be purchased and be monitored with a smart phone, even with voice control. This way you can shout at any intruder and if they don’t run, you just call the police right away. I would call the police anyway to secure my belongings till I could get back to the house or apartment.
There are always things that can be done, even without buying expensive equipment. This post, DIY Projects for Home Safety can give you some ideas on what can be done, at very little cost. Another deterrent would be to have signs outside, like an ADT, Slomins Shield or Protect America, but make sure they are up to date. A burglar can tell if they are legit or not.
Some Excuses Not To Install Home Security Items
I cannot afford it or I can afford it but I just don’t need it (pennypincher). Other excuses are “I have a dog” or “I own a gun”. Most of the time a burglar can enter the house and be on you within 10 seconds. Or most of the time you are sleeping. If you had just installed a few quick things on the windows you would be alerted and maybe able to get to the gun.
As far as a “Good Guard Dog” goes, your dog would probably LICK the burglar to death. Most dogs are very good, because they would bark and alert the homeowner of an intruder. Another excuse would be, sounds too complex, I am not tech savvy. I feel this is just an excuse to be lazy. These small projects are very simple to install.
Oh, I don’t need that, I am home all the time or I live in a safe area. Well a burglar is not going to break into a home in his own neighborhood, not only because everyone probably knows him/her but he wants a neighborhood that is worth breaking into.
So does he really look like a great guard dog? I feel with a milk bone, he would be my best friend.
How Technology Is Changing Home Security
Moden day technology has dramatically changed the way we want to protect our homes and families. Like Dick Tracy years ago, talking into his wrist watch, today this is a reality. The digital revolution has come to our homes as well.
We now have:
Remote Monitoring is a great way to watch your home when you are at school or work, or to even watch a second home. When you are vacationing somewhere else, you can still receive real time video’s and photo’s of anything going on at home. There are some features with the modern day monitoring systems which provide the ability to turn your security system on and off, send fire or police alerts and stream security camera feeds.
Smart Door Locks
One of the best new features in home security technology is the invention of the smart lock. Some of these locks’ can detect your presence automatically using Bluetooth in your smartphone or with the use of a key farb to open the door upon your arrival. The better door locks will also connect with your home automation system and inform other devices such as a smart thermostat that you are away and let the device go into an energy-saving mode.
While the Bluetooth locks are more secure, they have fewer features. The WiFi locks have more functionality, such as to see if the door is locked in real time. Te connection to the internet WiFi makes these locks’ more vulnerable to online security breaches.
There are a number of premium home security kits available today that can sense your presence and open or close the door automatically. There are magnetic sensors that can be installed on doors and windows that would use motion detection and ways to determine your identity. They can be controlled from a smart phone or tablet easily.
Also having sensor kits that can detect movement in halls and rooms. If they go off, a message will be sent to your smart phone with a text or an email. With this, if someone tries to break-in you would be alerted right away. Many of these home sensors have a siren that would provide a visual and audio warning when a triggering event occurs.
Smart Garage Systems
The wireless garage door opener is much older than the internet, but with todays technology it has added new capabilities for monitoring and sharing access to you garage form anywhere in the world. With the help of all our mobile apps nowadays, your smartphone can replace your garage remote control.
It can also alert you if you’ve left the door open. Easily manage who can access your garage, get notified whenever your door is used. Set rules for automatic openings and closings or even monitor the garage via a video stream from an interior camera.
Another feature from the 50’s and 60’s in the comic book era is not a reality. With all the new technology nowadays it is becoming available to anyone with a social economic background, as long as you have a smartphone or tablet.
While the technology is still very fresh, fingerprint scanning devices are quickly gaining momentum. The new fingerprint door locks are also becoming very popular in neighborhoods. These would be an alternative to the Bluetooth and WiFi systems from above.
When people say Smart Cameras or Home Security Cameras, they know that they have become cheaper and easier to install. So being smarter than ever since these cameras come with an app to connect to the WiFi, you can receive a live feed at any time, almost any place, to see what is going on at home. These feeds can also be saved to the cloud and be reviewed later if necessary.
Complete Home Automation Systems
Home Automation has been around for a little while, but with the technology that they have today, brings it to another level. I can remember years ago they would advertise home automation and someone would come to your house and tell you, well we can do this and we can do that. Today we do not need these people, most of the things can be installed by ourselves.
A camera built into the door bell, a front and rear door locks, controlling lighting, thermostats and small mini cameras are just some of the items out there. The best part of this is you don’t have to be home to activate any of these things. You can do it from a smartphone or tablet almost anywhere that has a WiFi setup.