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April 18, 2017
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Think Protection

DIY Home Alarms vs Traditional Alarms

You're looking to get a home alarm system. You're deciding between a DIY home alarm and a traditional alarm that requires an installer. You want top-level security without any headaches. Which can protect you best? Choosing between DIY and traditionally installed systems depends on a few factors.

Choosing between DIY and traditionally installed systems depends on a few factors.

First, what is a DIY home alarm? A DIY security system is one that the customer installs themselves. There are various types of DIY alarms. Some are professionally monitored, others are self-monitored. Installation times take between half an hour to two hours depending on the equipment and the company providing service. The installation is done by the customer, but the company usually helps over the phone.

The installation can be done at your time. You're not reliant on an installer coming to your home, so you have the freedom to do the installation whenever you want. DIY home alarms are wireless. Your walls won't get ruined by drilling. With new technology, DIY alarms are feature rich. They are able to do virtually everything a traditional alarm can do. Some DIY alarms can even do more.

Think Protection, Simplisafe and Frontpoint are companies having success with DIY. Think Protection charges $12.99/month for a professionally monitored alarm, the lowest price in the industry. Both Think Protection and Simplisafe come with no annual contract and a lengthy money back guarantee. All three companies will provide an insurance certificate. This will give the homeowner a discount on their home insurance since the alarm is professionally monitored.

For example, a Think Protection alarm system takes 30 minutes to install. Think Protection can troubleshoot fully over the phone. And the system is completely wireless. Plus the system is scalable where you can add to your system anytime. Home automation and cameras are available. And the Think Protection mobile app is included free.

There are some DIY alarms that are self-monitored. Canary and Guardzilla are two examples of self-monitored DIY systems. While easy to install, these systems don't adequately protect a home. They're a single unit, that lacks the ability to truly protect your home. You will not receive a reduction on your insurance with these systems. This is because home insurance providers know that these systems pale in comparison to the ones above. Canary and Guardzilla are toys. They don't provide proper protection.

Now that we understand DIY home alarms, let's compare them with traditional ones. These are one that is installed done by an installer. The installer comes to the home for the installation and takes anywhere from an hour to a full day doing the install.

An installer used to be necessary. This was because systems are complicated. 20 years ago it would have been impossible to have a DIY system. They were confusing and required specialized skill. This isn't the case anymore though. And because of this in truth installers are no longer necessary.

Companies like ADT, CPI, AlarmForce, and Ackerman send installers to your home for installation. This requires the homeowner to be home during the install. Usually, the customer is given a window and needs to take a day off work to accommodate the time. The installer will then come inside your home and drill holes in your wall to set up the system. This process is inconvenient. Plus more often than not the company ends up having to reschedule the installation time or comes late, both further inconveniencing the customer.

Another thing to understand is that the installer comes at a cost. Usually, the company offers a "zero down" system, but they roll the cost of the installer into the monthly monitoring. This ends up inflating the monitoring rate. This is shown with ADT at $40/month on average.

Plus these traditional companies lock customers into long-term contracts. ADT, AlarmForce, and CPI make customers agree to a 3-year contract. So if you're unhappy you still have to pay your monthly rates.

When comparing DIY vs. Installer, DIY wins. New technology makes it easy to get a monitored alarm system, that is simple to install. Service ends up being better, as you can troubleshoot everything over the phone anytime you'd like. Plus the customer saves thousands of dollars by choosing a quality DIY system. If you're choosing between DIY and a traditionally installed system, choose DIY. It just makes sense and will save you money!