Topics:Home Automation Home Security 101 Home Security Tips Personal Safety Tips Home Security Companies Security News Security Equipment Alarm Monitoring home security diy home security systems simplisafe guardian protection home security reviews Best Home Security Company
May 24th, 2022
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Do-it-yourself home security has come a long way. What used to amount to little more than installing an additional deadbolt and guard dog in the late nineties, now accounts for nearly 50 percent of the $78.5 billion home security market. This shift is in large part due to growing consumer preference for an online-first shopping experience, one-time payments over long-term subscriptions, and smart home integration. Home security companies have adapted accordingly, with some major professional installers adding a DIY package to their existing product lineups and others making individual products like video doorbells available a la carte. Security providers like Cove, meanwhile, are flipping the traditional home security model on its head, and focusing wholly on developing reliable, state-of-the-art technology that, as Cove mentions on its website, “even a kid can install.” Online-First Approach Door-to-door salespeople have long been a hallmark of the residential security industry. Comb through most negative home security reviews online, and you’ll easily find accounts of push sales reps employing sometimes deceptive tactics to sell security systems, often leaving homeowners scratching their heads as they try to figure out not only what they just paid for, but also how much they’re paying, and for how long. The traditional sales model is just one of the ways in which Cove is breaking from the pack. In place of a pushy salesperson, Cove provides a helpful online questionnaire that takes all of the guesswork out of what a given homeowner might need to secure the home. The questionnaire asks what kind of structure is being covered, how many doors and windows it has, and what other security features might be needed. Customer Review: D Kenneth from Saint Clair Shores, MI “Easy to deal with, not pushy sales people like other companies. The speaker through the alarm was a bit spotty talking to the rep, but it was clear as could be over the phone.” Once the user completes the questionnaire, Cove generates an expert recommendation, complete with a priced, itemized list of suggested home security equipment. This list can be shortened or expanded to feature other security products (more on these below). In short, customers will know exactly what they’re getting, and exactly how much they’re paying before they even submit their credit card information. Freedom over Contracts One common complaint among home security customers centers on companies’ stringent contract policies. In many cases, customers signed up for services without realizing they were committing to a long-term (e.g. 36- to 60-month) contract. Others reported difficulty in cancelling their services or returning their products without paying hefty early termination or restocking fees. Customer Review: Jordan Wright from El Dorado Hills, CA “We recently moved and wanted to install an alarm system. I didn’t want to get stuck with a long-term contract or have an exorbitant up front cost. Cove hit all the things we wanted in an alarm system, and it was super easy to setup.” Cove has thought of this as well. Not only does Cove not require customers to sign a contract for services, but customers also receive a generous, 60-day free trial in which they can receive a full refund of the products they paid for, including shipping fees. So while some providers are in a rush to sign homeowners up to long-term contracts and a fraught return window, Cove gives customers up to two months to use their gear, risk-free. Robust, Easy-to-Install Technology Every piece of home security equipment Cove produces is designed to be installed and set up within minutes. From the central control panel to the HD outdoor security camera, each security device operates on a reliable wireless network — meaning no drilling, no wires — and comes with a lifetime warranty. The Cove Touch Alarm Panel at the heart of every system features a simple, intuitive user interface that makes everything from arming and disarming the system, to adding and naming sensors and cameras, as easy as clicking a button. This ease of use is similarly reflected in Cove’s remote key fob and mobile app. And if homeowners need additional support, they can communicate with a service rep directly through the control panel, over the phone, or through Cove’s 24/7 online chat feature. Customer Review: Janay Peters “It's been amazing! From the setup, which was surprisingly easy (My younger siblings could absolutely set this system up)! To the functions of the daily arming and disarming is basically flawless! We've had a couple accidents forgetting to disarm the system and as soon as the alarm goes off, not even 30 seconds later, Cove calls to make sure everything is alright. If I just so happen to not answer, a police is at my door in about 10 minutes. I love Cove!” All Cove sensors feature a durable adhesive backing and five-year battery life, meaning motion detectors, door/window sensors, and glass break detectors can be installed safely and easily. And because sensors are programmed to check in with the control panel once every hour, if communication lapses at any point, the homeowner will be notified immediately. A recent addition to Cove’s security offering is its indoor and outdoor security cameras, which are both wifi compatible and can store up to 30 days of continuous streaming through Cove’s cloud storage program. Both cameras feature enhanced night vision and employ AI technology to distinguish familiar faces from intruders. Although Cove lacks some smart home integrations like smart locks, lighting, and thermostats, the company does provide some home safety devices like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, flood sensors, and personal medical alerts — all of which are designed to trigger the system in the event of an emergency. Granted, Cove’s line of home security products may not be as extensive or diverse as some leading professional installation companies. For example, the company does not as yet offer video doorbell cameras, which are quickly becoming a staple among industry leaders. But what Cove may lack in product types and diversity it makes up for in simple, effective design and set up. Cove’s DIY approach to home security may not be ideal for everyone. Sensors operating on a closed wireless network come with limited ranges in larger houses, and customers will still need to pay extra if they want added features like professional installation or monthly monitoring. The good news is that the DIY home security industry is still growing and developing. While they may not fully supplant traditional home security companies in terms of market share, DIY home security providers like Cove will continue to provide transparent prices and user-friendly products. Full Cove Review To learn more about Cove and to read verified Cove reviews from actual customers, check out our full Cove review. Learn More
Of the nearly 21,000 verified home security reviews posted to Best Company between January 2017 and February 2021, approximately 15.99 percent were one-star reviews; 4.85 were two stars; 7.40 percent were three stars; 18.37 percent were four stars; and 53.40 percent were five stars. While this breakdown may reveal only a superficial glance at the overall home security customer experience, analyzing the content of the reviews themselves unearths some very important motivations of customers who leave a given star rating. 1-star reviews: False alarms and lengthy contracts More than 3,000 home security customers left a one-star review for their respective provider — though a significant portion of them wished they could “give zero stars,” or even negative stars if they could. And they expressed their discontent in a number of ways: “This is the worst company I have ever had to deal with.” “Do not sign a contract with this company.” “I would not recommend this company to anyone.” But once you look past the hyperbole and extreme rhetoric, you get to some of the real, tangible reasons why customers rated these companies so poorly, and the reasons fall into three main buckets: “Goes off in the middle of the night.” One of the most frequent home security complaints among the one-star reviews is the alarm system going off “in the middle of the night,” and often for no reason: ★☆☆☆☆ “Three times now, in the middle of the night, the alarm goes off. It is terrifying being woken up to a blaring alarm.” “The door sensors were going off in the middle of the night and we had NOT even placed them yet.” “Since I ordered [the system], the alarm system pad on the bedroom wall continues to chirp (beep) randomly ... usually in the middle of the night.” Home security systems can go off in the middle of the night for numerous reasons: low battery on system components, signal interruption, defective equipment, or improper installation. But false alarms alone are not the reason for the one-star review; it’s the lack of company support following the false alarm. Some customers complained they were unable to speak to a human customer service representative after a false alarm, while others were relegated to exchanging emails with the company without coming to a swift resolution. Takeaway: For the reasons mentioned above, some false alarms are unavoidable; but home security customers can prevent alarms from going off in the middle of the night by taking the following precautions: Opt for a professionally installed system Test the system regularly (e.g. check the batteries and connection points) Look for systems with a simple arm/disarm feature Choose a company with accessible, responsive customer service “I am stuck in a five-year contract.” The other chief complaint among the one-star group revolves around the lengthy contracts offered by some home security providers: ★☆☆☆☆ “I have had trouble since the start up of my service. Can't get a hold of original people who set it up. Hard talking to customer service. You get transfered multiple times and have to explain each time. Can't cancel cause you are stuck with the contract.” “We were not told we were signing up for 5 years as we never would have done that with a new system. We moved a year later after giving up on their system after multiple repairs that never repaired the system. So we are stuck with 4 years of paying for a system we no longer own.” “The bottom line is that I was told I signed a 5 year contract (which a contract never was talked about).” “[The company] sent the contract over, we signed it (should have read it better I guess), and now a year later when I try to cancel I am being told we are locked into a 3 year contract.” The prevailing sentiment of these one-star reviews is the feeling that the customer was deceived into signing a long-term home security contract that was not overtly discussed during the initial sales pitch. Long home security contracts are often accompanied by lower monthly rates or low upfront costs. Takeaway: As cliche as it may sound, read the fine print. Don’t let low monthly monitoring fees or free equipment be the main reason you sign a home security contract. Before signing, ask the home security representative directly about the terms and length of the contract being offered. You may discover the company wants to sign you to a five-year contract, or maybe the company has more flexible terms like a month-to-month system; in either case, you won’t know for certain unless you ask. “I have been trying to cancel my service.” Secondary to the contract issues many home security customers face, is a home security provider’s inflexible cancellation policy. Roughly a third of one-star reviews (approximately 1,000 reviews) mention issues with canceling their home security services: ★☆☆☆☆ “No written notice after you cancel so you have to take their word that the contract truly has been cancelled. Had to keep calling them every other week for 3 months to get out of it and money refunded.” “In order to cancel my account [the company] has to email me a form which I have to complete and return. Then the service will be canceled in 1-2 weeks.” “They email you a form but you have to physically mail it back to them. And THEN it takes 60 days.” “Apparently, in order to cancel the account, you have to ask to be transferred to their "Customer Loyalty Department" and request that they email you a form.“ The consensus among one-star reviewers is that home security companies intentionally make the cancellation process difficult; in short, they often describe the home security company’s cancellation policy as the following: Unclear — terms of cancellation are not easy to find on the service contract, company website, or through customer service. Complicated — cancellation often involved multiple phone calls and redirects to different departments, and physical forms that must be mailed. Time-Consuming — cancellation may take several days or even weeks to be fulfilled, and only if proper protocol is followed. Unreliable — automatic payments may still be withdrawn during the cancellation period, and if the right department is not notified, they may continue indefinitely. Takeaway: Most home security companies offer some type of money-back guarantee for new customers that come with a 30-day no-risk window. While this may not be enough time for some customers to truly test the capabilities (and limitations) of their systems, it is the best time to cancel if the company isn’t a good fit. Otherwise, the customer will find himself committed to seeing the contract through (or paying expensive fees for early termination). 2-star reviews: Hours on hold While the one-star review acts as the repository for all the anger and vitriol a customer can possibly direct at a given establishment, the two-star review is often more measured, but just as damning as their one-star counterparts. Most two-star reviewers tend to acknowledge some positive attributes about the company, but find themselves unable to look past the glaring flaws that led them to leave a review in the first place (e.g., “the equipment is good, but the service is bad.”). And although fewer home security customers left a two-star rating than a one-star rating, the content of their reviews revealed some important trends: “I have spent hours on the phone.” More than 100 two-star reviewers mentioned troubles with contacting customer service over the phone either reach tech support or ask a policy question: ★★☆☆☆ “3 hours on the phone and still not working right.” “Not great. It has taken 7 tech visits and over 10 hours on the phone in 6 months to finally get everything set up properly.” “Customer service is unresponsive. Calling for technical support gets you hold music for about 10 minutes, then the phone will ring once before disconnecting you.” Customer service remains one of the most important assets of any retail industry, home security included. A recent article by Hubspot identified customer service as the deciding factor for 73 percent of customers when it comes to brand loyalty. The article also mentions the need for businesses to move in an omnichannel direction by providing multiple ways for customers to contact them (e.g. phone and video calls, live chat, and social media). Takeaway: Before choosing a home security provider, determine what contact channels are available for customers. Most companies offer a general customer service hotline or email address; but the ones that truly champion responsive customer service provide more options. 3-star reviews: Sales? Great! Follow-through? Meh. Three-star reviewers are an interesting group because the three-star rating is subject to the widest variance in interpretation. For example, one three-star review describes the company as “Very good. Quick efficient service. There when I need them,” while another three-star review for the same company attests that the “sales and installation was horrible and deceiving.” But the majority of three-star reviews express lukewarm feelings toward the companies, calling various stages of the sales, installation, and monitoring process as simply “okay,” “alright,” or even “mediocre.” “My doorbell camera works maybe half the time.” Three-star reviewers, in general, seem to appreciate various aspects of the home security experience; many laud the sales team for being friendly and customer service for being helpful; however, a significant portion of three-star reviews identify issues with the equipment itself: ★★★☆☆ “It's ok. Often the doors don't sensor. Sometimes the app doesn't work. Overall it's ok.” “ok...not great. Always have issues with connection and the cameras and doorbell have connectivity problems whenever i connect.” “I love the doorbell camera but it seems as if it has a delay. People will be knocking at my door before it notifies me.” “Sales team was really good. Install team was okay at best. Left a mess and some of the equipment that was installed like the door sensors fell out. Had to reinstall them.” “They could have better follow-up.” Other customers complained about poor follow-through: ★★★☆☆ “Good so far, but I think the follow up after the sale has been sub standard. No one called to follow up on product performance.” “Customer support is very friendly when you call them but they don't have any follow up. I don't like the long service contracts, it isn't anything you can't purchase in a big bow store.” Takeaway: No home security company is perfect, neither is the equipment they sell; that said, companies need to deliver on the customer expectations they themselves set up — and provide solutions whenever they fall short. Several three-star customers complained that companies did not provide adequate support or follow-through post-installation. As you compare home security companies, try to find out which ones are the best at responding to issues quickly. 4-star reviews: Suggestions, not complaints Four-star reviewers generally approve of the home security companies they do business with — with minor caveats. The group is second only to five-star reviews in terms of volume (almost 4,000 strong), and represent one of the most informative groups for the home security industry because unlike the one- and two-star reviewers, most four-star reviewers are offering suggestions rather than complaints. “I like this security system, except . . .” Not surprisingly, four-star reviewers have good things to say about their home security provider; but many reviews offer specific ways in which the security system (or company at large) could be improved: ★★★★☆ “I like this security system except that when I want to view a video for a specific time of day it does not allow me to do that.” “Service has been good. However, I feel it is unnecessary to purchase the hardware on a line of credit. I felt I was misled but by then it was too late.” “Our experience has been good for the most part except for the fact it took 4 months to finally receive an email statement of how much our bill is.” “All is good except I don't get an email or text when there is an upgrade.” Takeaway: You can have a positive experience with a home security company and still recommend suggestions to improve the company’s service or products. As online reviews become more and more important to businesses, home security companies are developing a vested interest in gaining as many five-star reviews as possible. Verified four-star reviews highlighting specific, solvable issues can be an effective way for the company to make its products and services better for everyone. 5-star reviews: The simple things More than half the home security reviews posted to Best Company gave companies a five-star rating. The main reasons? Cheap prices? Fancy new equipment? While those factors definitely resonate with all home security customers regardless of star rating, the main reasons customers give home security companies a five-star rating include responsive customer service, and easy-to-use security systems. “The system is easy to use.” It may seem like an over-simplification, but making a home security system easy to navigate is one of the most effective ways for providers to secure customer loyalty: ★★★★★ “Great company. Friendly salesman. The system is easy to use. I love that I can arm my house from anywhere.” “It's been very good so far. Installation in two hours and easy to use and understand. Also, the company is receptive to inquiry and approachable.” “Super customizable and easy to use! I love that I can use the phone app to check on my cameras.” “Great customer service!” As mentioned before, excellent customer service should be at the forefront of every home security company’s mission statement: ★★★★★ “The best thing is the customer service. They have been very responsive and have taken their time to make sure I have been satisfied rather than just trying to get me off the phone.” “Fast customer service, and incredibly innovative products that are easy to use.” “Excellent customer service has been extremely helpful, courteous, and unbelievably good.” Takeaway: At this point, home security shouldn’t be complicated. Neither should getting a hold of customer service be. As home security and home automation technology becomes increasingly intuitive, homeowners should feel confident enough to navigate their way around their security systems without much trouble. And when they have questions, they should expect their customer service representatives and home security technicians to provide helpful, specific answers. No two home security companies are the same (that’s why we rank them), and some security providers are so large, that two customers of the same company can have completely different experiences from one another. But based on the reviews, customers searching for the best home security company for them should look for the following qualities: Knowledgeable staff that can explain the home security system in simple terms Intuitive home security technology that anyone can learn to use Transparent contract and policy terms, especially cancellation and moving policies A listening ear that applies customer suggestions to create a better product To find the best home security company in your state, visit our home security home page!
2020 has been a chaotic year. Besides the global pandemic, widespread social upheaval, and an unpredictable stock market, the year was also marked by months of contentious political campaigning culminating in a heated presidential election. And there’s still a month left! Amid the chaos, however, one factor has remained ever present in the minds of homeowners and renters alike: the need to keep their families, homes, and possessions safe. Although the home security industry as a whole took a major hit during the initial outbreak back in March 2020, leading companies have rebounded during the ensuing months by adjusting their policies and practices to address the changing residential security landscape. Companies that have promoted virtual appointments, COVID-19 safety protocols, touchless technology, and DIY home security installations have thrived — and customers are taking notice. Per Best Company’s extensive customer review database, we’ve compiled the top five home security companies of 2020, based primarily on customer experience: 5. Brinks Home Security4. Frontpoint3. Cove2. Guardian Protection1. Vivint 5. Brinks Home Security As of November 2020, Brinks Home Security has earned our fifth spot with a 7.4 overall score and a 3.9-star rating across 3,767 reviews. With more than 900,000 residential and commercial home security clients, the Texas-based company added more than 17,000 new customers between June and September of 2020. Despite acquiring more than 110,000 new subscribers from Protect America, engagement with customers has remained strong in large part due to installing new leadership and spending fewer resources on ineffective marketing efforts. Brinks Home Security Reviews Considering the sheer amount of Protect America subscribers who were recently added to the Brinks Home Security family (nearly 10 percent of its total customer base), growing pains are bound to follow, with some customers complaining that Brinks Home has been slow to respond to certain requests. That said, 576 former Protect America customers rated Brinks Home Security’s service an average of 3.8 stars, in near lockstep with its 3.9 star rating for all customers. Customers frequently mention how easy Brinks Home’s DIY home security system was to install and set up, report few problems with the equipment itself, and praise the customer support team: "They really work with you and they are very patient to help you figure out how to set it up and mark the panel and stuff. The alarm is easy to use and works immediately." – Sheehan "So far I have had no problems with their equipment, and they did a great job on the installation and set up of my security system. Everything's working great, and customer support is very thorough and their process of set up is very easy." – Craig Vanpembrook "The customer support answered all of my questions and they stayed on the line and talked to me for a long time to make me feel comfortable with what they were proposing and they did a good job. It was very easy to set up and it went together exactly the way that they said it should." – Don 4. Frontpoint DIY home security giant Frontpoint has earned the number four spot on our list. The company has maintained an 8.9 overall score and a 4.2 star rating across 2,591 verified customer reviews. Frontpoint offers customers an advanced technology platform that is easy to monitor and manage through its proprietary mobile app. In October 2020, Frontpoint sold its controlling interest to investment firm Twin Point Capital. Per a statement from Frontpoint CEO Syed K. Zaidi, this strategic partnership will introduce a greater level of “reliability, technological innovation, and outstanding customer service” to the company’s already solid home security offering. Frontpoint Reviews Despite a limited sample size of reviews since this acquisition (87), Frontpoint customers have continued to give the company high marks, awarding Frontpoint an average score of 4.1 stars since the beginning of October 2020. As for the company’s overall customer review profile, customers enjoyed the ease of getting a hold of a customer service rep or home security professional, the straightforward installation process, and the ease of home security system operation: "Frontpoint is pretty easy to get a hold of and they always do their best to handle problems quickly and efficiently. The system is very easy to install and monitor yourself. I am very happy with the product." – Natalie "The security equipment for me was easy to install so that was a real plus. Also every time that I learned it had accidentally been set off, Frontpoint called me immediately. We have been very pleased with everything." – Frank "I picked Frontpoint for the reliability. Everybody is extremely helpful when I talk to them. The system is easy to use." – Cecil 3. Cove Even though Cove has only been in business since 2018, and has amassed only a fraction of the customer reviews garnered by the other companies on this list, the home security provider has quickly made a name for itself in the DIY home security space, earning an 8.5 overall score with an impressive 4.8 star rating across 220 customer reviews. Cove Reviews To put Cove’s impressive rise into a better context, we examined the 220 most recent reviews of each of the top five home security companies on our list and calculated their average score: Vivint: 3.6 stars Guardian Protection: 4.4 stars Cove: 4.8 stars Frontpoint: 4.1 stars Brinks Home Security: 3.1 stars As you can see, Cove’s 2020 star rating stays on top. Nearly 10 percent of Cove customers who posted on Best Company said they would “highly recommend” the company, while several others noted the great customer service and easy installation process the company prides itself on. "Excellent pricing and customer service. Easy to install. Very pleased so far. Looking forward to integrated cameras (indoor and out) as well as the ability to "name" sensors. I would highly recommend to anyone." – Bill W. "Great customer service, you always get prompt attention when calling in with questions. There products are easy to install and understand." – Peter "My family uses Cove for our home security, and we haven't had a problem since. It was very easy to install, and the workers were very nice and helpful with getting us the right option for our home." – Brayden Ibert 2. Guardian Protection As one of the most experienced home security firms in the industry, and recipient of Best Company’s $100 Satisfaction Guarantee, it should come as little surprise that Guardian Protection has secured the number two spot on our list. The company sports an impressive 9.0 overall score and a 4.5 star rating across 3,922 verified customer reviews. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Guardian Protection has taken additional steps to ensure its customers’ needs are being met. In a recent interview, the home security company’s VP of Care and Monitoring Operations Jason Bradley mentioned simplifying customer engagement, frequent communication, "and working even harder to be upbeat and positive on [customer service] calls.” Guardian Protection Reviews Since the initial coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, Guardian Protection has largely followed through on these initiatives and maintained positive customer interactions. For the 1,567 reviews posted between March and November 2020, 85 percent of them gave Guardian Protection either four or five stars! Several customers praised Guardian Protection for the peace of mind the company’s systems provided them and their families, while others expressed appreciation for the safety protocols demonstrated by technicians. Customers also remarked on how responsive Guardian Protection’s team was. "Everyone has been on time, professional, friendly, and helpful in customer services. I love the app. The whole system is easy to use and gives me peace of mind. I like having a solid company protecting my house." – Brian "Our technician was amazing. He was very efficient and answered all of our questions. He was extremely personable and great at his job. He also took great care to follow all the COVID protocols, which we appreciated immensely. He was awesome!" – Matthew Hoff "Guardian Protection was recommended by my utility concierge. I don't have to worry about my home when I am traveling. They have been very responsive to whatever I needed." – Donnie 1. Vivint With a 9.1 overall score and a 4.0 star rating across 4,994 reviews, Vivint has earned our top spot. Vivint’s feature-rich home security offering has attracted more than 1.6 million subscribers, and the company has successfully lowered average monitoring costs and attrition rates over the past year. A pioneer in smart home and home security technology, the company is always evolving, and is one of the few home security providers to offer a branded, fully integrated AI platform. Vivint Reviews Several customers identified Vivint’s camera monitoring and mobile app integration as their favorite home security feature. Meanwhile, others applauded the system’s ease of use, and nearly 75 percent of all reviews mentioning “customer service” awarded Vivint either four or five stars. "The best thing about Vivint is the convenience of the app and the price. Everything seems to be working the way it is supposed to and every time I've called with a problem, it has been taken care of." – Chad "It's easy to use. The equipment is good and the cameras are good quality. I like being able to arm and disarm my home from anywhere and being able to keep an eye on who comes in and out of my house." – Dustin "The service is excellent and so is customer service. The devices are easy to use. I love the app and being able to use it everywhere." – Tammye As we prepare to put 2020 in our collective rearview mirror and welcome in the new year, remember that the leading home security companies are working hard to deliver affordable security systems, safe installation practices, and prompt response times to customers throughout the country. To see the top home security companies in your state, visit the Best Company home security home page.
The mission of the home security industry is simple: to keep people safe. And in a year marred by uncertainty, social upheaval, and a public health crisis, the demand for reliable home security has never been greater. Since the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, the home security industry has experienced a major uptick in sales. SimpliSafe CEO Christian Cerda cited a few reasons for this spike, including business owners wanting a way to keep an eye on their closed shops from a safe distance, and family members wanting fast emergency access for elderly loved ones in need. Market research firm Parks Associates reports that the limited disposable income and heightened concern for loved ones brought on by the pandemic has driven customers toward spending more time at home and searching for more affordable home security systems. These findings have been corroborated by Best Company’s review data, which suggests the pandemic is affecting current and prospective home security customers in two specific ways: First is in the heightened concern for personal health, and the degree to which home security technicians are following safety protocols (e.g. physical distancing, wearing PPE like masks and gloves, etc.) when they are visiting customers to either survey their home or install/service their home security systems. Second is regarding loss of income and navigating the financial burden associated with professional monitoring — more specifically, company cancellation policies, moving fees, and potential discounts or payment deferrals for affected customers. The home security industry as a whole represents a complex network of technology manufacturers, monitoring stations, installers, and licensed subcontractors. With so many moving pieces, messages from the top can get lost or misinterpreted. Also, customer reviews are by definition anecdotal; the customer experiences listed below are not meant to imply sweeping industry trends but rather individual experiences. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the coronavirus pandemic has affected some home security customers, and what companies are doing to address their concerns. Pandemic safety protocols Like most consumer-facing companies, home security providers large and small have issued statements affirming their commitment to keeping their customers safe. Per various press releases, professional installation and monitoring companies refer to the aggressive steps they’re taking to ensure their customers are protected, including personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for installers and technicians, employee health checks, and uninterrupted system support and monitoring. In most cases, companies are following through on this commitment: Smith Thompson Home Security The technician was in and out in less than an hour. And given the current pandemic, he wore a face mask, [shoe] coverings and kept a safe distance the whole time. I highly recommend Smith Thompson for all of your home security needs. – Paul A Di Leo, Cibolo, TX Charleston Security Systems Leon was on time, very courteous, and installed our security system in a professional manner. He was also sensitive to the covid issue and wore a mask while installing inside our [home]. Great service. Highly recommend. – E Biggers, Charlotte, NC Guardian Protection Our technician was amazing. He was very efficient and answered all of our questions. He was extremely personable and great at his job. He also took great care to follow all the COVID protocols, which we appreciated immensely. He was awesome! – Matthew Hoff, Annapolis, MD Other companies, however, have some ground to cover — both in their ability to adapt and respond to customers’ needs, as well as follow safety protocols: Vivint Good product, equipment and service. Fast response and interactions, but slower due to coronavirus – Kenneth, Locust Grove, GA Fort Knox Security When I called Fort Knox promised me that all safety precautions will be followed and Technician will come accordingly but, though the installation was good, the technician did not follow the safety precautions like wearing a glove or wearing a mask. We were scared because of COVID – Kishore V, Pflugerville, TX Door-to-door sales and on-site installation represent a major source of income for these companies. Consequently, equipping sales reps and installation technicians with PPE and respecting physical distancing guidelines should be a no-brainer. Bending policies to aid customers The second, and perhaps more pressing concern home security customers and consumers at large are facing is the sometimes drastic reduction in disposable income resulting from job loss, furloughs, and other pandemic-related measures. Per the Parks Associates report, this shift bodes poorly for professional installation companies that attach lengthy contracts and pricey monitoring services to their home security packages; customers are looking for greater financial flexibility, and are more often than not seeking out DIY home security providers that can protect their home without a contract — and often for less money. Enforcing health and hygiene among employees to protect customers is vital to industry success: selling and installing home security systems, regardless of climate, keeps these companies afloat. But what are home security providers doing to help customers who can no longer afford to pay for their services, or whose paying power is severely diminished? In other words, what, if anything, are these companies doing to keep their customers afloat? Unfortunately, the stories involving income loss or unexpected moves tend to reflect poorly on certain home security providers: Vivint Nothing in place to help those dealing with Covid-19 issues. Contract is horrible and does not allow for "special circumstance" as they proclaim. – Christie Rogers, Everett, WA Brinks Home Security I have to move due to Covid and live temporarily with my sister in another state. And Brinks tells me I will owe them $1900 if I don't transfer the service. I tell them I don't have a house to transfer it to. And they continue to charge me monthly. – Faith Wishnie Both Vivint and Brinks Home Security responded quickly to these customers' complaints expressing sympathy for their plight as well as inviting them to reach out to customer service; however, neither customer has updated their reviews, so whether they reached an actual resolution with the companies in question remains unclear. Fort Knox Security COVID caused us to close our business and we were late making payments. They closed our account and billed us for the remaining contract amount. Even sent it to collections. They would not budge on reinstating us even after the past due amount had been paid in full. – C Hayes, Ottawa, ON Fort Knox Security responded to this review later that same day citing that the customer’s issue was with the “monitoring company, Alert360,” as opposed to Fort Knox, the installation company. Again, with no review update on the customer’s end, whether this complaint was satisfactorily resolved is unknown. But not all the stories are bad ones. At least in one case, the home security company responded immediately to the customer’s covid-related income loss, and delivered a solution that may have secured his long-term business: Cove I love my system. The order process was amazing. I [chose] the $35 plan and all the equipment was free. Due to covid 19 my income has stopped and they gave me the last 2 months free. They have an incredible staff. – Ryan Hawley, Grants Pass, OR Easing the financial burden for all customers negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic may not be tenable for all home security providers; many companies are already struggling from the loss of new business. But home security companies large and small should view these customer experiences as opportunities to improve how they do business. Yes, continue protecting the health and well-being customers and employees alike. Yes, maintain fast response times to customer questions and complaints. And yes, reexamine how contracts are drawn up, and actively explore ways to create goodwill for customers in need.
Since 2003, SimpliSafe has been providing homeowners with a simple, do-it-yourself approach to home security. The company charges low monthly monitoring fees and was one of the first home security providers to eliminate long-term contracts and moving fees. But how do SimpliSafe customers actually feel about the company? What are they saying? Using data from more than 180 verified customer reviews on our site, we’ve identified important trends such as the most common phrases across all reviews, reviewers’ home states, and SimpliSafe’s average star rating across each state it’s been reviewed in. Here’s what we found: More than 60 percent of SimpliSafe customers awarded the company a score of 4 stars or better. The most common phrases found across all reviews included “easy to install” and “customer service.” SimpliSafe scored above its gross review average of 3.5 stars in more than half the states where reviews were posted. SimpliSafe’s status as one of the best DIY home security systems on the market appears to check out with our customer reviews; customers love how easy its systems are to install. Furthermore, customers living in the Southwest, Midwest, and East Coast regions of the United States rated the company higher than its 3.5-star average, while customers in the Northwest and the South gave lower than average ratings. Have you had an experience with SimpliSafe that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a review, and let your voice be heard!
5 Things to Know Before Signing Up with Guardian Protection by BestCompany.com The demand for home security is only growing — the market is expected to increase to a whopping $4.3 billion globally by 2022. Are you one of the thousands of people looking for a security solution for your home right now? If you are, you might have heard of Guardian Protection. In business since 1950, the company serves residents of Delaware, D.C., Florida, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia. And through its decades of experience, it has thousands of positive reviews. But what else should you know about Guardian Protection before you buy? Let’s take a look at some points that may move the needle for you. Guardian Protection uses an arsenal of high-tech tools from quality manufacturers Guardian uses some state-of-the-art tech. Some competitors are still using outdated products that feel clunky and don’t operate effectively, or worse yet, devices that are more susceptible to hacking. Guardian sources its tech for third-party manufacturers and includes products like the SkyBell, which has received many positive reviews. It’s one of the most secure video doorbells money can buy. If you’re looking into its video doorbell, Guardian uses the 888 SmartCode Electronic Deadbolt with Z-Wave Technology by Kwikset, known for its easy setup and re-keying system. For the backbone of your Guardian Protection system, the security itself, the company uses products from trusted manufacturers like Qolsys and DSC. While you’ll find most Alarm.com service providers using the same brands, Guardian has picked some of the best products from these companies’ product lines. Guardian Protection is an Alarm.com service provider Guardian Protection supplies this ecosystem of high-tech tools by being a service provider for Alarm.com. Alarm.com is a white-label service that powers other companies like Link Interactive and Uxari, as well as many small-business home security companies that work in a local region. In addition to access to Alarm.com’s product ecosystem, its service providers also have access to co-branded marketing material and a mobile app. Guardian Protection is one of the biggest providers of Alarm.com services. The company boasts a 30-second response time Guardian Protection’s monitoring center responds to an alarm within 30 seconds. You have the option to cancel a false alarm, but if you really need the help, Guardian Protection’s response time is fast when every second counts. It takes an average of seven minutes from when an alarm is initially triggered to the time a monitoring center alerts authorities, so the quicker the monitoring center is, the better. You can choose from 9 package options You may be holding out on home security because many providers set you up with a plan that includes products you don’t need. On the other hand, you may want to create an automated smart home in addition to creating a security system, or you’re looking for extra products to secure your home and some companies don’t have enough options. Thankfully, Guardian Protection has several packages to choose from that can match your budget and household needs: Security Products Smart Home Products Monitoring Products Bachelor(ette) Pad 3 window/door sensors1 motion detector1 smoke detector N/A 1 video doorbell1 Guardian IQ2 panel Burglar Buster 3 window/door sensors1 motion detector1 glass break detector1 110db siren 1 smart light module 1 indoor camera1 outdoor camera1 Guardian IQ2 panel Family First 5 window/door sensors1 motion detector1 smoke detector1 CO detector 1 smart door lock 1 indoor camera1 outdoor camera1 video doorbell1 Guardian IQ2 panel Frequent Flyer 3 window/door sensors1 motion detector1 smoke detector 1 smart light module1 smart door lock1 smart thermostat1 smart garage opener 1 indoor camera1 video doorbell1 Guardian IQ2 panel Healthy (Green) Home 3 window/door sensors1 motion detector1 smoke detector1 CO detector1 room temp sensor 1 smart light module1 smart thermostat 1 Guardian IQ2 panel Home Security Essentials 3 window/door sensors1 motion detector1 smoke detector N/A 1 Guardian IQ2 panel Pet Parent 3 window/door sensors1 motion detector2 smoke detectors1 CO detector1 room temp sensor 1 smart light module1 smart thermostat1 smart door lock 1 indoor camera1 Guardian IQ2 panel Protect My Parents 1 medical pendant5 window/door sensors2 motion detectors1 smoke detector1 CO detector N/A 1 Guardian IQ2 panel The Works 5 window/door sensors1 motion detector1 smoke detector1 CO detector1 room temp sensor1 glass break detector1 medical pendant1 siren 1 smart light module1 smart door lock1 smart thermostat1 smart garage opener 1 streaming video recorder1 indoor camera1 outdoor camera1 video doorbell1 Guardian IQ2 panel Guardian averages 4.4 stars over 4,700 reviews To give you an idea of how difficult this is to achieve, be aware that most industries average nearly a third of their reviews being one star. With 66 percent of Guardian Protection reviews being five stars, and another 19 percent being four stars, it’s clear that this home security company is producing happy customers. Customer Review: Lori Ann "We did some homework on it and the ratings from people that use Guardian seem to just love it. We thought we would give it a try and I've really been very pleased. The customer service is outstanding and the support so far is really good. The other equipment I've used in the past has been very antiquated and this one is more up-to-date and that's why I like it. It fits me for my lifestyle." Customers rank Guardian Protection highly for service quality, company trustworthiness, and customer service. Customer Review: Philip from Greensboro, North Carolina "Very reasonably priced for the service we get. The technician that worked on our system was really helpful, clear, pleasant, and efficient. We've had really great and immediate service when we've accidentally set the alarm off. It seems to be working really well. The system has not had any problems, it's easy to use and the response time has been incredible in terms of when the alarm was set." And what about how Guardian Protection responds to negative reviews? ReviewTracker found that 53 percent of customers want businesses to respond to reviews within a week. If you read through more of Guardian Protection's customer reviews, you can see that they respond promptly to nearly every review they get, which is an essential part of customer service. Learn More about Guardian Protection Check out Guardian Protection’s profile to learn more about the company, read customer reviews, find contract and cost information, and decide whether Guardian is right for you. Is Guardian Protection Right for Me?
Protect America is a well-known company that offers security and smart home products and services. Although it's based in Texas, the company services all 50 states. For years, the company has ranked number one on our Best Home Security Companies list, and we're here to talk about why. What keeps the company at its consistent number one spot, even with the security market becoming increasingly more competitive? Customer reviews put the company above its competition. With numbers reaching the thousands, Protect America reviews hold a high average of over 4 stars per review, with 79 percent of all reviews assigned 4 or 5 stars. Five-star reviews alone account for 55 percent of all Protect America reviews. With so many factors that go into customer reviews, it's impressive Protect America holds such a high standard of reviews. When customers leave a review, they rate the company on individual qualities, such as value for your money, company trustworthiness, and customer service. Protect America has an average of at least 3.5 stars for each of these categories. The company is clearly doing something right. So let's break it down. What qualities make Protect America stand out above other home security companies? We took a sample of the company's reviews and determined the common feedback among reviewers. As seen in the infographic above, when we took a sample of Protect America's reviews, there were four positive qualities continually mentioned: Superior customer service High-quality equipment and ease of use Simple DIY installation Affordable pricing Two-thirds of all sampled reviewers cited at least two positive experiences that prompted their review. So the majority of the time, it's not just one of these positive experiences reviewers want to highlight; it's multiple. Superior Customer Service High-Quality Equipment and Ease of Use Simple DIY Installation Affordable Pricing Quick Response Times Detailed Review Responses To better explain customer feedback and why they are impressed with these areas specifically, we'll drill down into each one, as well as add additional points we noticed when studying Protect America reviews. Superior customer service Fifty-seven percent of reviewers mentioned Protect America's superior customer service — that's more than half of every review we sampled. Diving into specific customer reviews, it's apparent the company has an attentive staff, especially during the installation process. Because Protect America has do-it-yourself security systems, customers have to install the system on their own. However, this is not difficult for most customers since the company has a representative guide you through the installation process step by step. On countless occasions, customer reviews noted they appreciated the friendly and patient guidance. Looking at additional Protect America reviews, we noticed customers appreciating Protect America's honesty. Superior customer service means not tricking customers into buying more than they need or want. The ultimate goal for companies should be providing you with all the information you need to make the best purchasing decision for your situation. And based on customer reviews, that's exactly what Protect America does. "She walked me through every step and made sure I understood what I was getting. She wasn't selling me stuff I didn't need. She helped me determine what equipment I needed and if the bandwidth of what I had was sufficient." — Mike, January 6, 2020 If you have a one-bedroom apartment, you aren't going to need as robust of a security system as you would if you had a two-family house. It's refreshing to hear that Protect America isn't the type of company that tries to upsell you even if it's not in your best interest. High-performing customer service also goes hand-in-hand with being transparent with your customers. How many times have you heard someone complain about a company because they didn't provide all of the necessary information before they let the customer purchase the product or service? Unfortunately, this happens too often. Thankfully, the review above presents the opposite situation. A customer noted that Protect America provided more information than necessary, but it was helpful to have the transparency. Most customers would agree that too much information is better than not enough information, and it's an impressive sign that Protect America makes this a priority. High-quality equipment and ease of use Thirty-nine percent of reviewers praised Protect America for not only its high-performing equipment but also its ease of use. You don't need to worry about the technology being too complex because evidently so many of the company's customers appreciate the easy-to-use equipment. Too often you have to sacrifice the quality of equipment for a decent price point, but that doesn't seem to be the case with Protect America. Customers appreciate the high-tech equipment that also includes an affordable price. The company's variety of equipment is also a perk. To give you a better idea of what the company has to offer, here is a breakdown of Protect America's equipment and home security packages. Protect America security system plans Protect America offers three main security plans with the option to upgrade to complete smart home automation. Packages start at $19.99–$42.99 per month and will vary based on the package you select. Copper Plan Silver Plan Platinum Plan Complete Smart Home Automation Standard control panel Standard control panel Standard control panel HD video service 3 Door/window sensors 9 Door/window sensors 14 Door/window sensors Smoke and fire monitoring 1 Motion detector 1 Motion detector 1 Motion detector Smart door lock control 1 Yard sign 1 Yard sign 1 Yard sign Garage door lock control 4 Door/window stickers 4 Door/window stickers 4 Door/window stickers Smart lighting control Protect America equipment Touchscreen control panel that allows you to control your home security system with a sleek design and a touchscreen base. The system is icon-based for ease of use. Sensors you place at the opening of your doors or windows. They are wireless and offer easy installation as well as a five-year battery life. The sensors are also pre-programmed. If a door or window is opened or closed, the sensor will alert your home security system, triggering the alarm. Indoor motion detector that is wireless and easily installable with wall-mount adhesives. The detector includes 25-feet of horizontal coverage and functions through heat emissions but is pet friendly as long as your pet doesn't weigh more than 40 pounds. Doorbell Camera that has 24/7 live HD video feed with infrared night vision and motion-activated alerts. Smoke detector to detect smoke 24 hours a day. Wireless video camera with 720p HD feed that has 30 frames per second and a 60-degree view. The camera also includes night vision with four infrared LEDs that can light up the surrounding 16 feet in front of the camera. The camera also has two-way audio so you can hear through the built-in microphone and talk through the speaker. You can access this with the Protect America app. Medical alert pendant that is worn as a necklace or bracelet and will send an emergency signal to the police if there is an accident. Home automation equipment that includes smart door locks, garage door locks, smart outlets, and smart thermostats. Simple DIY installation Do-it-yourself installation means no installation fees. So while some people prefer professional installation, many Protect America customers seem to enjoy DIY installation, especially since installation is free, simple, and straightforward. Twenty-seven percent of reviewers said simple DIY installation is one of the notable positives of the security company. Home security companies will typically just send written instructions and not supply a customer service representative to assist you through the installation process. This isn't the case with Protect America. The company walks you through the entire installation process so you don't have to figure it out on your own. A number of reviews also mention appreciating the representative's patience. Technology isn't always the easiest, and it's comforting to know Protect America has a team that will assist you without getting frustrated if you're having a difficult time. Affordable pricing Home security pricing varies dramatically. How much you pay largely depends on the equipment you want, which security package or monitoring option fits your needs, if you want DIY or professional installation, if you want a contract, etc. Although Protect America requires a three-year contract, that's common within the home security industry and makes it possible for a cheaper monthly fee and free equipment. Protect America's pricing starts at $19.99 per month with no upfront fees and no-cost installation. Sixteen percent of reviewers noted affordable pricing as one of the perks of Protect America. With multiple options to choose from, it makes it easier to select a plan that will work for your home security needs and your budget. The company also has a 14-day, money-back guarantee, which gives customers peace of mind in the purchasing process. Quick response times Although you hope to have home security just for precautionary measures, break-ins are more common than you would think. On average, break-ins happen every 23 seconds in the United States. And according to Alarm.org, break-ins are 6 percent more likely to occur during the day between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Most homeowners are out of the house during these hours, whether they're running errands, going to work, or other miscellaneous reasons. Some burglars will even watch a house before attempting to break in, so if you have a routine of being out of the house during certain hours of the day, it makes you a possible target. This is why alarm response time is an important factor when selecting a home security company. Thankfully, various Protect America reviews note quick response times as a benefit of the company. Especially since home security companies include home automation capabilities, such as carbon monoxide and smoke monitoring, now more than ever security systems can protect your family from potentially tragic accidents. If your home security company has a slow response time and doesn't alert you of a break-in or fire until long after the fact, that could put you and your family in immense danger. The reviewer below says his smoke alarm sounded off and less than five seconds later, Protect America was contacting the user to see if everything was okay. Even with smoke detectors operating with their own alarm sound, something could go wrong. Having a home security company monitor these things for you is just one other precaution you can take to protect you and your family. Detailed review responses With a company's online presence being so important in this day in age, it's impressive that Protect America takes the time to respond to the majority of its customer reviews. Many companies leave their customer reviews untouched and won't address them or make plans to improve the customers' issues, but Protect America shows initiative with its customer feedback. Whether the review is positive or negative, Protect America responds to it and includes an action item. If it's a positive review, the company will encourage the customer to reach out in the future if anything comes up, acknowledging the feedback and thanking the customer. If the review is negative, the company won't just avoid the review or sugarcoat its response. Protect America reaches out asking for information about the account to see how they can fix the proposed problem. That way, the company can privately message the customer and come to a conclusion. This shows that customer feedback is a priority, and not all companies take the time to make it one. Protect America frequently asked questions If the above information didn't answer all of your questions about Protect America, we answer some frequently asked questions below. How much does Protect America cost? Protect America's monthly cost ranges from $19.99–$42.99, depending on the monitoring package you choose. If you want a basic security package, pricing starts at $19.99 per month. If you prefer a more robust security package with home automation capabilities, you'll pay closer to $42.99 per month. What's the price point for Protect America equipment? Protect America does not charge for equipment. Equipment comes with the security package you select. Your overall price will only fluctuate based on the security package and monitoring plan you select. Does Protect America equipment have a warranty? Yes, Protect America has a lifetime equipment warranty. Is Protect America a professional or do-it-yourself home security provider? Protect America is a do-it-yourself home security provider. Equipment is user friendly and is simple to install yourself. Does Protect America require a contract? Yes, Protect America requires a three-year contract for its home security services. However, after the three years are up, you can opt into a month-to-month plan. How do you cancel Protect America? Like many home security companies, Protect America requires a three-year contract to keep its prices down. If you want to cancel the company's services, here are your options: Return the equipment and cancel your contract within 14 days of receiving your Protect America shipment. Transfer your contract to a friend or family member with Protect America's transfer option. Wait out the three-year contract and then transition to Protect America's month-to-month service that allows you to cancel anytime. Are Protect America reviews positive? Yes, 79 percent of Protect America reviews are 4 or 5 stars. The majority of Protect America reviews highlight the company's superior customer service, high-quality and easy-to-use equipment, simple DIY installation, and affordable pricing. Is Protect America customer service satisfactory? Yes, Protect America's customer service is the number one positive feedback that customers give the company. When taking a sample of Protect America reviews, 57 percent of reviewers noted the company's quality customer service. How does Protect America compare to other home security companies? Protect America ranks number one out of nearly 200 security companies. Here are a few company highlights that earn the company its high rating: Reasonable monthly monitoring fee of $19.99–$42.99 DIY installation No installation, equipment, or activation fees 3 monitoring options: wireless/broadband, landline, and cellular High-tech equipment Nationwide service 27 years in business Positive customer reviews Protect America Home Security Learn more about Protect America and its home security offerings, as well as read additional customer reviews. Learn More
Guest Post by Juned Ghanchi For some years, advanced technology and innovative mechanisms have been increasingly used for fields that were otherwise considered out of context for tech innovation. From poverty alleviation to enhanced public safety to agriculture production, modern technologies are being used with increased efficiency. From mobile app development for real-time remote monitoring to fully fledged intelligent surveillance systems, security continues to get smarter. Now, for safety and security in a smart city environment, high-tech innovations are playing a significant role. From saving public property and people's lives from global terrorist threats to preventing natural calamities from taking a toll on the livelihood of people and cities, technology has many roles to play. Smart security technologies are primarily making cities smarter. As saving natural wealth and environment is increasingly important for the human race to survive upon the planet earth in the years to come, administrators and governments in many parts of the globe are after technological innovations that can help protect forests or make oceans less polluted and safer. From protecting the wildlife and green cover to encouraging sustainable livelihood, modern technologies are now being used in a multitude of ways to make life better. Considering the increasing role of technological innovations for smart security in the cities, it is essential to know some important examples of modern technologies for all these purposes. Here we explain some of the latest tech options: Pre-crime cameras Pre-crime cameras for detection of the signs of a crime before it is actually committed are no longer something out of a science-fiction writer's imagination. In China, researchers have already developed a system by using thermal imaging cameras for detecting all the signs that typically appear before people commit a crime. The changes in body temperature and expressions in the face can easily be detected by such cameras that can send prior alerts to the security company. Signs exhibiting anxiety and stress for many people can help security personnel to monitor the potential criminals and people in the brink of committing something scary with close attention. There are other such technologies in the offing as well. A new surveillance camera system developed by BRS Lab can now monitor human behavior and can detect irregularities and deviations from the normal behavior. These cameras study hundreds of hours of footage to learn about normal human behavior. They can then predict potentially threatening behavior of a person. BRS Lab has used artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to build this unique surveillance system. Drainware For many large business corporations around the world, preventing espionage and leak of information remains a constant concern. In spite of taking the utmost care and having the most sophisticated mechanisms and measures, information leaks can not always be prevented. This becomes particularly alarming when the leaks exposes the company's future plans, product pipelines, and security solutions to outsiders. Drainware came with a full length of software solutions that, by using artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, can easily detect threats to sensitive company information and files. The system can also help governments and administrators keep track of the confidential information, their storage location, and how and where they are shared. The system will also detect applications vulnerable to security breaches and unsolicited data access. Laser microphones Laser microphone surveillance technology can bring revolution to smart city security. This system uses unique laser systems that can quickly detect any little vibration in a room and record the tiniest of sounds. The security impact of technology on surveillance systems is vast. Thanks to this technology, a spy camera equipped with a laser microphone can hear and record a hushed conversation within a room by merely focusing the laser on the window. Consider how top military intelligence agencies and city security professionals now can use this technology to nab security threats before they even come out of their closet. Rudder Every one of us likes shortcuts to save time when going somewhere. Well, we have Rudder, an intelligent algorithm-based mapping app to help us find shortcuts while taking any road to our destination. By simply calculating the shortest possible path to the destination, this app helps us save time. In a smart city environment, this can decrease traffic congestion, improve productivity, and enhance security at certain times when individuals need to rush home for an emergency. Rudder achieves this surprising accuracy of finding the shortest paths with an intelligent algorithm that can compare various routes as per the database. The app can even use your smartphone camera to help you evaluate the distance with the inbuilt light meter to evaluate how well-lit the road is. Driver's Little Helper In a smart city environment, we now have some useful apps like Driver's Little Helper for helping children to get home safely and without worries. Since children can disobey directions and create security concerns, this app uses a wireless monitoring system and a host of connected car seat technologies to inform guardians whether their kids are getting out of car seats or whether the seat belts are not fastened. The bottom line Security has become smarter than ever before, thanks to technological innovations. In the years to come, we can expect more security vulnerabilities in our life to be addressed by new and innovative security solutions. In the meantime, if you're looking for security innovations to protect your home and family now, check out the top-rated home security companies in your area. Juned Ghanchi is a marketing strategist at IndianAppDevelopers, a high-quality Android and IOS platform-based Android app Development Company that he co-founded. He guides a range of organizations from big brand companies to startups for developing top-notch mobile applications.
Guest Post by Taylor Starc In recent years, the awareness about personal security has increased considerably, and as the crime rates increase around the country, more and more people are opting to install surveillance cameras in their homes. Though installing a security camera system can be advantageous due to its ease and affordibility, many people don't install surveillance systems because they don't know how to choose the right kind of surveillance cameras for their specific needs. So let's discuss some important things you need to know before purchasing a surveillance camera system. After reading this guide, you will be able to get the best kind of surveillance cameras according to your requirements. 1. What kind of camera do you need? There is a wide range of surveillance cameras available in the market, and one of the first things you need to know before you install a security camera system in your home is the kind of camera you should install. Different kinds of cameras have their specific advantages and flaws, so if you are going to choose the right one, you need to understand what your requirements are. If you are installing indoor cameras, you should go for something like dome cameras, while for outside security you can choose bullet cameras. You also need to choose between wired and wireless security cameras. For a small home security system with only two or three cameras, you should go for wireless cameras, because they are easier to install and operate. But, if you are installing a large scale surveillance system, then you should definitely use a wired system. 2. Which lens and resolution are suitable? Once you have determined what kind of security cameras you need, you will have to understand what kind of lens it should have and what resolution is suitable for you. The kind of lens you need will depend upon what you are using the camera for. If you want to monitor a large outdoor area, like a parking lot, you should opt for a wide-angle camera. On the other hand, if you are using the camera to monitor a room, then a camera with a shorter focal length is required. Similarly, for a long corridor, you will require a lens with a shorter angle and a longer focal length. As far as resolution is concerned, any modern security cameras system should be able to record HD footage at a minimum of 720p. Most cameras can do this. Still, some security cameras can record at 1080p or even 4K, so before you choose a camera, consult a CCTV video resolution comparison chart. This will allow you to make the right decision. 3. What is your monitoring and storage plan? Once you have bought the security cameras, you need to decide on a storage and monitoring plan. This also depends upon your specific requirements. For a simple home security system, you don't need to store too much footage. A backup of even a couple of days can be enough for a home security system. On the other hand, if you are implementing a security system in an office building or a shop, you should consider having a larger backup of footage. For a business environment, you should have at least one week of footage backed up. There are many different kinds of storage methods that you can employ. Some modern wireless cameras have micro SD storage capabilities, while some use cloud storage. For a larger wired system, you will need to use a DVR. Cloud storage and local SD backups are best for home security systems, while a DVR with local hard disks is better for a larger business. 4. Where should you install the cameras? The position in which you install the security cameras is also vitally important. Now, you should know that it would be completely impractical to monitor every inch of your property through security cameras. It would be super expensive, and it will be very hard to monitor all those cameras. Instead, you should install the cameras at the main locations like entrance and exit points, lounges, lobbies, elevators and corridors. For a simple home security system, one camera covering the front door and the porch, and another covering the backyard is enough. Also, when you install a wired security camera, make sure that you can easily manage the wires at the installation spot. You should also make sure that the cameras are high enough that they can't be tampered with easily. 5. How many cameras will you need? Before you implement a security system, you also need to know how many security cameras you are going to need. The number of security cameras again depends a lot on your requirements and the building you are trying to secure. For a small home, two or three cameras are more than enough; even a single camera covering the front door may be enough. But, if you are implementing a security system for a larger office building which has multiple entry and exit points and multiple floors with elevators and separate staircases going to those floors, you will need a lot of cameras. The number of cameras you need will affect every aspect of a security system installation, so make the decision carefully and considerably. 6. What will the system cost? Finally, you also need to consider the cost of the security system. This includes the initial purchase cost, the installation cost, and the monthly or yearly cost you have to pay for the maintenance and monitoring of the cameras. For a home security system, you can mostly monitor the footage of wireless cameras on your phone, and you only have to pay a small yearly fee for the subscription of the cloud storage. But, for a larger security system with multiple cameras, you may even have to hire a crew to monitor your cameras and maintain security. All these costs need to be considered when you are deciding whether a security system is financially viable or not. Taylor Starc is a student of software technology, in his first year at Columbia State University. His obsession with security gadgets and new technologies has made him research more and more on the respective topic. In his free time, he likes to take up writing projects to support his education. He regularly writes blogs at Mammoth Security.
Guest Post by Ethan Lichtenberg Homeowners insurance is one of the most important parts of owning a home. It can cost a lot of money if you aren’t doing the right things to ensure you’re getting the best rate. Many factors determine home insurance rates, from where you live to your credit score. But how do you get these discounts? One of the most significant ways insurers will give discounts on home insurance is by protecting your home. When insurance companies see that your home is equipped with security cameras and a security system, you are in the best position to receive a substantial discount. Just think about it for a minute. One of the main goals for insurance providers is to avoid claims at all costs. Anytime they have to pay out money, it’s a bad thing in their eyes. If you have something like a security system, which tends to result in less theft and fewer claims, they’re probably going to give you a discount. Whether it’s security cameras or smoke detectors, having your home protected is an enormous positive in the eyes of insurance companies. Here is why insurance companies love security systems, and how they can save you money on your insurance rates. Why have a security system? Many people believe that a home security system may not be necessary, or that it may not be worth the “cost of admission.” I mean, if you live in a good neighborhood, why bother? This is the opposite of the truth. There are many reasons, including the price, to have security cameras and a home security system. The most obvious reason is safety. Protecting yourself is a no-brainer in the twenty-first century. The world is a scary place where tragic things happen daily. Bad people do terrible things in every corner of the world, even in the nice neighborhoods. Homes are being burglarized and package thieves, mail snoopers, and vandals can all wreak havoc on your property. Security systems can deter that. One of the best ways to keep peace of mind and protect yourself is through a home security system. Security systems can also give you convenient access to your home as well. Everyone forgets to lock their doors or windows now and then. With the right home security system, if you forget to lock something or set the alarm, you can do it right from your smartphone. In many ways, home security systems can save you money in the long run. How much do you save? You may be thinking, “Can I save a worthwhile amount of money on home insurance by buying a security system?” This is a common question that is quickly answered: YES! While some home security systems can get pricey, the money you will be saving on your monthly premium will pay for that security system in no time, sometimes within just a year. As mentioned before, insurance companies hate claims. The last thing any insurance company wants to do is pay out a massive claim for a burglarized home. To cover themselves, they charge consumers more on their premiums. However, if a company knows you have a home security system, they know the chances for a break in are far less. Thieves know that when homes have security systems, they have a high chance of getting caught, so they often avoid homes equipped with those handy signs in the front yard. Insurance companies then give you a considerable discount, some reaching 25 percent, because they know that you probably won’t be filing a claim for burglary. Saving 25 percent a month will add up to hundreds of dollars a year, paying for your home security system. What is the true cost of a break-in? Burglaries and thefts are extremely expensive, even if you do have home insurance. On average, home security systems cost about $378 per year, which is a low price to pay for peace of mind. On the other end of the spectrum, on average, one break-in costs about $2,250. That number doesn’t include what your insurance may not cover in the instance of a break-in, not to mention the insecurity and uneasiness your family then has to live with for years to come. Most insurance companies cover 99.99 percent of break-ins, but they have to make their money back somehow. Similar to the increase you see in your auto insurance when you get in an accident, your home insurance rates also go up when your home is burglarized. Insurance companies have to get their money somehow, and it will be at your family’s expense. Compared to the true cost of a break-in, a home security system monthly payment seems pretty small in comparison. Home security systems can prevent break-ins altogether. Criminals know the warning sign of alarm systems and security cameras. If you have a home security system, the chances are you will never have to worry about a break-in at all. Which security systems are the best? Now that you know why you should have a security system, and the benefits they have on your home insurance rates, how do you know which systems are the best to purchase? This is a tough question that is answered by different factors. What you want to look for as a consumer is what features you get for the price. Security systems can be incredibly intricate. New features that you probably want to look for include fire alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, 24/7 remote surveillance, and medical assistance. Some high-end security systems can even keep your home more energy-efficient. Once you know what features seem necessary to you and your lifestyle, see what companies offer the most competitive prices. Here is a list of the best home security system carriers. This list includes average cost and customer reviews from all over the country. The bottom line Home security systems have come a long way with today’s technology. From carbon monoxide alarms to medical alerts, the features home security systems possess is staggering. The cost of a break-in compared to the average annual price of a security system is also eye-opening. Home insurance is vital to have. It could keep your money in your pocket in the long run, and save you a lot of money if a break-in did happen. But a home security system can also give you a significant discount on your monthly insurance premium. So keep yourself protected and save money at the same time. Ethan Lichtenberg is a writer for insuranceproviders.com. He enjoys Edgar Allan Poe and sneaking off to the beach every chance he gets.
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