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Traditional vs. DYI vs. Bundled Home Security

Homeowners have more options than ever when it comes to home security protection. From DIY to smart home packages offered by cable companies to professionally installed security systems. Customers of all budgets, housing situations, and now even renters can find a security system that fits their needs and helps keep their family safer. It ultimately comes down to how much value you put on making sure your family is safe and secure. No two situations are exactly alike, that is why we at the Richmond Alarm Companies would like to help you navigate through your options.

As with anything, there are strengths and weaknesses associated with each type of system. We hope to better educate customers to find a solution that’s right for them.

Weighing the Strengths & Weaknesses

It would be easy for a traditional alarm company to simply rule out DIY alarms or cable add-on packages as inferior to professionally installed home security options, but it’s our belief that each of these three options has it’s own place in the market. Factors like location, roommates, budget, ownership, family, and many others should all come into play when deciding which system is right at a particular moment in time. Situations change, so a system that’s right for one customer now might not be the best option a few years down the road. Above all, remember that the purpose of a security system is to provide you and your family with the protection you deserve.

DIY Alarm Systems

Canary Security System on a Desk

There has been a rise in awareness and popularity of the DIY Security Solution over the last couple of years. One of the unique trends in this market has been the use of WIFI video cameras and doorbell cameras as the DIY solution. Companies like Canary, Piper, Arlo, Ring, and SkyBell have made a pretty impressive case for the viability of this type of solution. These types of systems provide the end user with both real time viewing and notifications to help them stay connected with what is happening at home. These solutions typically do not have recurring monthly charges, but the trade off is that you are left to self monitor the system. Although this sounds appealing, in reality it is difficult and sometimes impossible to monitor from you smart device 24/7.

Companies like SimpliSafe and FrontPoint, offer more traditional DIY security solutions that come with professionally monitored options. This is far better from a security standpoint as it ensures a response when needed most. Many consumers are still on limited budgets and are just starting out. If you’re a renter, single, share a home with roommates, or on a limited budget, a DIY alarm system could be a good solution. A few of the key strengths to DIY alarms are low cost and easy installation. Some come with home automation features, warranties, backups monitoring options, and even cameras.

Reported weaknesses of DIY vary from system to system. This may include small or no backup battery, low quality product, unencrypted communications, and insufficient support. Also, no one is there to verify the installation, point out weaknesses or vulnerabilities.

Cable Company Security Bundling

Who is the first company that most people call when they move or buy a home? In most cases it is the Cable/Internet provider. The two primary cable companies in Richmond, Virginia are Comcast and Verizon. At this point in time, only Comcast is offering a bundled security option. This option is called Xfinity Home.

According to various sources, Comcast’s baseline system starts at about “$24.99 for a two year contract, followed by $39.95 for the remaining 13-24 months.” They have a UL-Listed monitoring center, home automation features, and actually send professionals to install a system that may include fire detection equipment, door/window sensors, motion sensors, cameras, and more. So what’s the catch?

Customers can get tied up into lengthy contracts that are difficult to cancel. There have been complaints of early termination fees ranging from $700 to $1,100. What happens if your family moves somewhere that doesn’t have Comcast before your contract expires? While introductory offers save a little bit of money in the first year, total cost of ownership is comparable to traditional security systems. Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not you trust your cable company to be experts in the security field.

XFinity Home Sign for Comcast Security

Traditional Home Security System

So how does a traditional alarm system differ from the other options? Again, there are pros and cons to any choice, but your safety is the most important. A professionally installed home security system, actually only carries a marginally higher initial investment. In fact, many professional installation companies, like Richmond Alarm offer low cost packages that start less than $100 installed! With these solutions, we offer state of the art components that include the most complete fire/intrusion detection, home automation, video technology, monitoring capabilities, and backup options available on the market. When you become part of the Richmond Alarm family, you’re hiring our family, a part of the Richmond community, and a team of professionals trained in designing and installing great alarm systems that will help keep you and your family safe.

If you want to speak with the owner of Richmond Alarm Company, his contact information is available right on our website. If you have a problem or concerns, he's happy to take your call and help come up with a solution. Can the competition offer that?

If you’d like to learn more about installing a home security system or need pricing for installation, monitoring or service, contact us online or at 804-571-0301.

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