Different Types of Home Alarm System Equipment
Not only should you look for a great alarm company to provide affordable home monitoring and great customer service but you should also choose a provider who uses trusted alarm equipment. Some alarm companies use a number of different alarm equipment manufacturers while others use only one. So, what are the different types of alarm equipment? And why does it make a difference when choosing an alarm company? Let’s find out.
The first two manufacturers that come to mind when thinking of home alarm equipment are General Electric (GE) and Honeywell. These two offer some of the more advanced and easy to use alarm equipment in the industry today. GE Security’s (now known as Interlogix) most popular series of alarm control panel’s are the Simon series and the Concord series. The most widely used GE control panel is the Simon XT. The Simon XT offers advanced wireless technology in a small package. The Simon XT can sit on your tabletop or can be wall mounted and simply needs a plug for power.
The Simon XT can handle well over 100 Z-Wave home automation devices and up to 40 alarm sensors which makes it a favorite amongst most homeowners. It’s perfect for the Do It Yourself installation alarm systems and is a breeze for anyone to set up. Not to mention the Simon XT is extremely affordable. Everyone loves alarm equipment that is easy on the wallet.
It has been rumored that GE will be releasing a new touchscreen version of the Simon XT with some very cool new technology and features sometime in the fall. GE was also one of the first companies to adopt the Z-Wave home automation technology for its wireless home alarm systems. Z-Wave is slowly becoming a standard in homes that want easy to use and sophisticated home automation affordably. Some companies that use GE include FrontPoint, ADT, SafeMart and Protect America.
Honeywell’s security products including home alarm systems are some of the industries finest as well. Honeywell was a staple for companies likes Brinks (now Broadview) for many years. It offers a range of products inlcuding its Lynx system and its 6280 Touchsystem. Honeywell boasts TouchScreen keypads that allow you to view high quality video and pictures including none other than a home photo album! Don’t want your neighbors to know your alarm keypad is on the wall. Fool them with photos of your family instead! We’re not sure if we would pay extra for a feature such as this but it certainly is cool nonetheless.
Honeywell has some progressive ideas with its Lynx home alarm system. Like we said before the wireless keypad also acts as a digital viewer. Not only is this cool when you’re home for viewing outdoor cameras etc but from what was described to use you could also view your home from a built in camera in the keypad itself! Honeywell’s TotalConnect system is its name for remote/mobile access. You can use mobile apps for the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry phones to connect with your home on the go, much like many other companies who now offer mobile/remote access. Companies known to use Honeywell are ADT, Brinks/Broadview and Protection One.
Another major alarm equipment manufacturer is DSC – a company owned by Tyco International – who is currently touting its DSC PowerSeries TouchScreen which is compatible with a number of their control panels. Like the Honeywell panels the DSC also has digital picture frame capability as well as SD card functionality. Again, not sure why we would need that but cool nonetheless. It has an intuitive user interface that allows you to customize wallpapers, an LED notification system that easily allows users to see alarm system status as well as a uniquely slim design. The DSC PowerSeries TouchScreen also boasts output controls as well as alarm controls in three different languages. DSC is used by ADT and Broadview mainly.
The companies mentioned above are the most widely used in the alarm industry and are are the favorites of most of the alarm companies on our Best Alarm Company list. However, there are a few companies that are offering equipment not seen elsewhere.
There are a few companies out there who use proprietary alarm equipment. One company, LifeShield, offers equipment that can only be used with their company and service. While the equipment hasn’t been around long and isn’t made by some of the major manufacturers it does offer a bit of sensibility. If a company only uses their own equipment they should know everything about it. This would make it easy to troubleshoot problems and easily upgrade their offerings without having to wait for the manufacturer. The problem with these companies is that if you don’t like the monitoring service you’re stuck with the equipment that can’t be used anywhere else. Sometimes it’s tough to know what you’ll be doing with your alarm system four or five years down the line, or sooner. While the equipment is often less expensive the quality could be sacrificed – and again you wouldn’t be able to use it with anyone else. If the company goes out of business, you’re out of luck. With many of the other alarm manufacturers you can use the equipment with another monitoring company – whether it’s by necessity or by choice.
When choosing alarm equipment the first thing to think about is whether you want wireless home security or hard wired. GE and Honeywell are great for both and offer some of the most sophisticated alarm systems at very affordable prices. Think about whether you only want to use something for the short term or the long term. If long term you’ll want something you can use with many companies in the future, giving you option and easily being able to upgrade no matter what company you are with. If you’re looking for the short term you can’t really go wrong with universal or proprietary alarm equipment.
Talking with a representative from the alarm company will allow you to learn more about the features of each companies alarm systems and equipment.