How to Shop for Home Security Systems

Over the past ten years, there have been many major advances in home security systems which have come with technology in general. When you are looking for a home security system for your Palm Springs home a lot of the decisions now come down to customization. What are the specific details that you would like for your home security system?

When we are looking at the different options that you may have with a home security system there are three main details that you will be looking into.

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How your specific security system communicates with its monitoring system.


The means in which you install your home alarm system. Having a professional security systems company install your system or purchasing the system and installing it yourself.

Home Automation

Different items in your home that you would like to control remotely. For example, the ability to turn on and off lights, security video cameras, etc.


The most important thing to do with your monitoring system is that it should be able to communicate with a monitoring center or police at all times.

Landline Connection – One of the most original ways for your monitoring system to relay information is via a landline connection. If there is a break in your landline phone connection will communicate with services if there is a break-in.

Cellular – With this means of connection your alarm system will communicate with monitors via cell services. This is often considered the most reliable form of monitoring because it will not become disabled if telephone lines are suspended.

Broadband – Your alarm system communicates with monitoring services via your wireless connection. This system is considerably faster than that of a landline connection. The system is considered less reliable than that of a cellular monitoring system however it is less costly.


When choosing the “Do It Yourself” (DIY) method of installing, this means that a professional installer of the equipment will not be coming to your house. The home security system will be sent to home through the mail. It will then arrive with general instructions on how to install the equipment. A professional installer will not come to your home and someone will not explain the actual system in person.

The majority of DIY systems take approximately an hour to install depending on the extent of contents to your system.

The downside of a DIY system is that you do not have someone to explain all the contents and functionalities of your system in person. One of the advantages may be that it is easier for you to take it to a new address if you are to move homes. However talk with your home security system company if you do want a system professionally installed but may be moving in the near future.

When having a system professionally installed the benefit is that you can be 100% sure that the system will work just as it is supposed to. Also, you can watch the installation process and ask questions as they may occur to you.

Home Automation

This is one of the most recent advances in technologies and home security systems. With home automation systems you can manage many different factors in your home from a smartphone or tablet type platform.

One of the most widely used home automation features is the ability to view your video cameras while away from home. Doing this you can choose to view live footage or play recorded events from the pass on your smartphone or tablet.

Additional things you can do with home automation include dimming/controlling lighting, turning on/off your thermostat, locking doors, and many other things.

Outside of these main points to think of there are also some specific questions you should ask yourself to help fine tune your home security purchase

Do you rent or own your home?

If you rent your home you may want to think about a wireless type system. With a wireless system, it is very easy to move it to another location in the event that you move. Also, a wireless system is one of the easiest to install yourself.

If you own your property it may make more sense to have a professional come in and make the installation. You can fine tune and customize many features with a more permanent security system and have the benefit of having direct communication with the person installing the device.

How long do you plan on staying in your home?

If you only plan on staying in your home for a short while longer, one or two years, make sure you can own the equipment. Remember to read the contract to see what the security company expects of you. Some companies may be expecting you to sign a long-term contract. If you plan on moving soon this will not work for you. If this is your situation confirm with the company that you will be owning the equipment or find out how long of a contract you are in before it becomes yours.

Do you want remote access?

Keep in mind that many security systems are customizable. Keep in mind that if you do want the little things you can probably have them:

  • See what doors are open
  • Live notifications
  • Security Alerts

There are many different features that you can add including the means in which your security system communicates with you, SMS, email, phone call. Remember to ask your provider what remote access options exist in order to customize your home to your needs.

Security Cameras, yes or no?

Having a security camera is not necessarily just to catch an intruder in the act. There are many smaller details and benefits that you may not have even thought of. With security cameras, you can check things such as if the neighbor took out your trash, or if your kids are not throwing a party while you are away.

Remember to check with your provider to see what options they have with video cameras. They can be a great addition to your system.


These are some great main points and questions to think about when reviewing your home’s security system. Remember to think about your specific needs for the short and long term. The idea is to have a system that makes you feel safe and secure as well as have some control over your home even while you are away.

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