Home Security Shootout: Which Watchdog is Leader of the Pack?



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Really in-depth article and great timing... My wife and I are looking into home security systems for our newly purchased home. We're either getting one or getting a pit bull with a Glock 45. The latter options sound more fun, but I would hate to make a mess on my carpet or wallpaper!



I have been in the security system business for 12 years now and seen many technology changes in that time.  I personally believe the industry is painfully behind the times as far as integrating new technology but I have noticed a sharp change in that in the last 2 years.  From my experience of working with these systems I can tell you we gave the Simon XT a good shot and were severely embarrassed by its performance and have promplty stopped any furthur sales and installations of that product line.  GE has stagnated the development of their security line while other manufactureres such as DMP and Honeywell have surged forward.  Be careful when using a big name company like APX (Vivint), Brinks, ADT, etc.  They tend to install proprietary equipment that gets you locked in with them.   Try instead some of the smaller companies whom use trusted and non-proprietary systems.  They usually offer much more competitive pricing and better service as well.  If you are not happy with them, then simply go with another company.  With the bigger names, you may find yourself with proprietary equipment no one else can work with which is exactly what those big names want. 



I'd like to see more home automation stuff on MPC. Would love to see what you have to say.

Also, it looks like all the above products use Z-Wave; I'd like to see more information regarding the use of other technologies, specifically Insteon.

Good writeup, thanks :)



I sell for Vivint and the reps are somewhat flexible on what they can give you. Just depends on how generous the rep is.. Having been in security for awhile, I've been aware of what's being offered on the market.. I've stayed with Vivint because they actually do have the best value for what you're paying.



I would be very careful about using Vivint, there have been a large number of complaints about them made to the BBB (search the web you'll find plenty). I myself had a Vivint alarm and over the course of the three years I had it (contract) it only worked maybe 6 months. I had a difficult time getting them to come and repair it. They literally kept closing out my trouble calls as resolved via a letter without a technican ever coming to look at the problem. Turns out you have to submit your intent to cancel 30 days in advance and in writing as well. Be cautious when dealing with Vivint.



I went through this about 6 months ago, agonizing and researching.  I didn't want to go with an installer-vendor like ADT and the others you mentioned because of the rediculous monthly expense of it all.  And, their installers are generally thought of as idiots.  My neighbors got suckered into their systems and have damage and shoddy work in the home.

Like I'm sure most here are, I'm a DIY guy.  So after a few months, bought a Visonic system from home security store, installed it all myself and got monitoring for 9.99 a month.

More expensive to install up front, but $30 a month cheaper means I'll make up the difference eventually.  And I'm in full control and ownership of everything in my home.





Im looking to do a similer system, How do you get the monitoring for 9.99?




Well, there are a bunch of places out there, like AlarmRelay.  You install your own system, then give them a call and they walk through the process with you of connecting your system to their monitoring service.



I have adt and for the record, if the phone line is cut, adt will call an alternate number to see if there is a problem (such as storms, power outages..etc)



Here is a question, can the Frontpoint Security support a secondary panel from a different company?

Put the Simon XT in the closet, only used for siren, and say a TS1 Touch Screen remote panel from 2GIG.

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