Choosing Between Unmonitored and Monitored Home Security Systems

Like most consumer electronics, the market for home security systems has practically been filled to the brim. In terms of variety, home security systems have no shortage of product variations – the of product variations – the security cameras alone come with all manner of specifications from recording resolution and frame rate to additional features such as automatic object tracking and night vision capabilities. And although this means that homeowners with all sorts of houses and budgets will be able to find exactly the one they need, first time shoppers might have a bit of trouble sifting through the massive catalogue of home security systems available today.

Besides the security system itself, home security providers may also include other useful features as part of a more complete package. In this article we will discuss one such feature – system monitoring – and why you may or may want it for your home's security system.

What is Security System Monitoring?

Systems monitoring is an additional service in which the job of monitoring and maintaining your home's security system is off-loaded to your security systems provider. The provider will see to it that your security system is regularly checked and updated, and will continually monitor and immediately notify you of any security breach, water leak, fire, or other emergencies that they find through the camera footage or the alarm systems.

Why Choose Monitored Systems?

Convenience: One of the biggest benefits of a monitored security system is the convenience of not having to install and maintain the system by yourself, as you will have a team of professional home security experts to do the job for you. In fact, monitored security systems are typically sold with the alarm monitoring service as the core product and the actual cameras, alarms, and other components simply included with the package. This is because you are really paying the security systems provider to effectively watch over your home through their security system.

Emergency Response: There are many homeowners that tend to spend extended periods of time out of town or out of the country, leaving their homes vulnerable to burglars and other unwanted visitors. A professionally monitored security system will give your home eyes and ears that can look out for threats and immediately notify you of them through available channels even while you're away, so you can be left with additional peace of mind knowing your home is watched over by professionals you can trust.

Why Choose Unmonitored Systems?

Affordable: Of course, that professional trust will come at a price – a price that is typically paid as a recurring fee for as long as you need a security system in your home. And because most homeowners will want to have a security system indefinitely, that investment can very quickly pile up over the course of a few years. An unmonitored security system, although it does have a higher cost up-front, is something you purchase once and own for life, which makes them a lot cheaper than monitored systems in the long run.

Flexible: Unlike monitored systems that typically have a fixed set of components that come along with the package, building a security system on your own allows you to choose exactly what components you want to have installed in your home. Do you want high-resolution cameras, motion detectors, electronic locks, smart thermostats, and video-recording doorbells? The market will no doubt have what you need. Are you a bit tight in your home security budget and want only the basics? You can buy the essentials and eventually upgrade later if and when you want.

Private: Besides having full control over the components of your home's security system, an unmonitored security system will also give you full control of the data that it collects. Some of the more tech-savvy homeowners might find this a real advantage if they want to make sure that their home is kept away from prying eyes – even from those of home security providers.

Conclusion – What Is Right for Me?

Modern home security systems come in all shapes, sizes, and price tags, so it can be very hard for a first-time buyer to know what would work best for their home. But when it comes to choosing between a monitored and an unmonitored security system, the key tradeoff is really between convenience and control.

Monitored home security systems are geared more for user convenience. The recurring fee is what keeps the entire system running – as long as you keep paying, your security system provider will install, maintain, and monitor the security system without you needing to do anything else. If you want to take a more proactive approach to your home's security, an unmonitored system will allow you to take full control. From the choice of components to installation to later maintenance, you will know exactly what goes through your security system and make changes as you see fit.

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