How to Find Deals on Home Alarm Systems?
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: There is a lot of information out there about alarm systems and alarm companies. How do you know when you’ve found the best deal on alarm system? Once again, Alarm System Report is here to help.
First we should explore makes an offer for an alarm system a “good deal”. There is a lot more to getting value for your alarm purchase than the price you pay for it. These days, you often get what you pay for – so you want to make sure you’re putting your investment towards an alarm company and a system that is worth it.
Alarm System Report has narrowed the list for you. The alarm companies on our list provide some of the best bang for your buck in the entire marketplace – especially the ones we rated highly. (See ASR’s list of Top Alarm Companies) Now, let’s see makes a “great deal”.
There are a few factors to consider when finding a great deal on an alarm system. The cost and value of the alarm equipment, the cost and value of the monthly alarm monitoring as well as customer satisfaction. How do these tie together? Let’s take a look:
When talking about cellular monitoring, which is by far the safest method of home monitoring, the pricing can vary based on what the company is offering.
- Is the company offering monitoring only?
- Are they throwing in online/remote access features?
- Home automation?
- Are they offering burglary, fire, and medical monitoring?
Many companies offer online/remote access as part of a plan or as standard. These features along with 100% cellular monitoring should run about $40-$50 a month. Any alarm company that gives it to you for less will often charge a higher up-front cost or will boost your monthly rate after you’ve signed the agreement. Also make sure the company is offering monitoring for burglary, fire and medical bundled together. Companies who up-charge for fire monitoring or other service are not worth it – this holds true for any type of alarm monitoring.
When talking about phone line monitoring the price ranges significantly. Some companies offer monitoring for less than $10 a month with a phone line, but if you think about it you’re still paying for your phone line, so there isn’t a whole lot of savings there. It doesn’t cost the alarm company a whole lot of money to hook up to YOUR home phone line. And in the end, the wire can be cut. Phone line monitoring is not recommended by Alarm System Report unless you have no other options. While it may be inexpensive, it is also unreliable. Anything that looks like a great “deal” and provides phone line monitoring really isn’t a deal at all.
As for equipment pricing, this is where things can get even more interesting. Wired vs. Wireless alarm systems will have different pricing (see our blog post on Wired vs. Wireless). A company who provides a hard wired system may give you a “free installation” or “free activation” or something of the sort, but still charge you for equipment. This is not a bad deal at all. In our opinion alarm equipment should be paid for and does have tremendous value. For so long companies simply “gave away” their alarm systems for “free” – but customers soon found out that the company had to make its money back, and would charge extra fees and boost monthly rates later in the agreement. When searching for a great deal on alarm equipment look for companies who do charge a little bit for equipment. If you want a really robust system with equipment like cameras or home automation it’s not out of the ordinary to spend $500+ on an alarm system. In the end this is what will be protecting your home and family – and when have you ever gotten something for free that was really worth anything?
You should keep that question in mind when doing your alarm research.
So what have we learned? When searching for a great deal on an alarm system make sure you look in to not only the alarm company’s pricing, but also their customer service and BBB ratings. If one company is charging nothing up-front for an alarm system but has terrible reviews, there is probably a catch. If a company is charging for their system and provides competitive pricing per month and also has great customer ratings – this means the company takes great pride in the value of their alarm product and will likely take great care of you as a customer.