(More ignore the election posting). Ok, in the old days, a security system meant calling someone, paying them to tear up the house and install little wires everywhere and then paying $30 a month for monitoring over the phone line.
But if you want something today and nothing is installed what should you do. Well one note is to avoid all those high pressure sales people (and there are alot of them or long contracts (looking at you vivint). Avoid those systems that are completely bundled, you don't need to do that anymore.
So some tips from PC Magazine, the Wirecutter and everyone else for a security system that modern:
- Self installation. Everything is wireless these days and part of the Wifi network which means you don't have to layout alot of wires.
- Cameras instead of motion sensors and door opening sensors. Since cameras are so cheap, you don't need to wire your entire house with wires. Motion sensors are still a little cheaper (and more private), but the difference is really minimal these days.
- Battery powered door and window sensors if you must. And since batteries last so long, if you do want a window open system, you can use a battery powered one (although you will be spending.
- Unlocking and security panels on your phone and not the wall. With all this, you don't need a dedicated alarm panel anymore, it could be an iPad or sit on the wall with a battery.
With that said, what are some good choices here?
- SimpliSafe. This is a dedicated system with its own hub and management that also work with Alexa and Google (but not Homekit). You can get an indoor camera, a doorbell camera, smart lock (via August), smoke detectors, and other sensors. And you can sign up for a month to month plan.
- Abode. Of course when you look at systems, you can also find something that works with everything including HomeKit, etc. In many ways, integration is the key here, so you can flash the smart lights, you can get voice control and you can program your own automation.
- DYI Homekit. All of this helps me realize that there is another way to do this, rather than buying a dedicated system, you could construct your own alarm system because it is really three pieces, the sensors, the automation logic that raises an alarm and then the way you alert and monitor. So a simpler solution is to just buy your own HomeKit Secure Video for monitoring everything and getting notifications which you can then process with automation to raise alarms and program. So while not now, the point is that soon, you won't need a dedicate alarm system. It would be really nice to have a real programming environment for smart homes rather than this semi-automation stuff that's available now.
In the mean time if you need something right now, will try Simplisafe.