Vector Security Pros/Cons
- Wireless equipment
- 24/7 fire and intrusion monitoring
- Smartphone access
- Home automation & Alexa compatibility
- 1-year warranty with optional extended warranty plan
- Limited service area
- Requires a three to five-year commitment
- Automatic contract renewal
- Home automation offers are expensive
Who Is Vector Security Most Ideal For?
- Military Families
Vector Security only offers its services to Washington D.C. and select states across the U.S. On top of that, it only caters to homeowners.
The company's equipment packages are highly customizable. You can start with a basic system and add more devices if the need arises, making it an ideal system for young families. Expanding a Vector Security system to cater to your family's growing security needs doesn't only mean adding more equipment; you can also expand the system by upgrading features. For instance, you can add home automation and video monitoring that will allow you to be more in control of managing your home.
Vector Security also gives special treatment to military families. As part of its Military Policy, the company's sales department can lower the initial installation cost to military families in exchange for a longer-term contract. In addition, if you receive a permanent change of station order (PCS), Vector Security is willing to waive the contract as long as you meet the requirements outlined on this page.
Finally, Vector Security offers professionally monitored Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS). A PERS is a system that helps seniors and family members who have medical conditions live independently by offering a quick and easy way to call for help should the need arises. With a simple push of a button worn as a wristband, necklace, or keychain, Vector Security can send help to your home and notify emergency contacts.
Who Is Vector Security Not Ideal For?
- Frequent Movers
Currently, Vector Security doesn't offers services to renters. Even if it does, it's still not renter-friendly because it requires a minimum three-year contract.
Vector Security is also not ideal for frequent movers. The company does have a moving policy to help their customers relocate their security system with them, but only if the customer is moving to an area serviceable by Vector Security. If you move outside of Vector Security's serviceable area while still under contract, you're likely going to pay a hefty early-termination penalty fee. On top of that, you'll need to start over the process of looking for and installing a security system in your new residence. If your lifestyle requires frequent relocation, I suggest getting a security system from a company with a nationwide coverage and a customer-friendly moving policy.
Getting Started With Vector Security
Vector Security adopts a hybrid sales process. You can either provide your contact information so a sales representative can discuss your options or order equipment directly on its website. Either way, a professional installer will come to your home to set up everything.
Depending on your preference, professional installation can either be a pro or con. Many find the idea of having a professional install their security system reassuring. Others think it's a hassle, especially because you have to block off an entire day from your schedule and pay extra for the installation. Installers from some security companies are also notoriously known for not showing up on time.
Fortunately, Vector Security has a good reputation of taking care of its customers from the sales process to the installation and onward. In fact, Vector Security was hailed 2016 Installer of the Year by the Security Sales & Integration magazine.1 The company emphasizes that it requires professional installation so they can ensure every security system they sell is working optimally and in accordance with local building codes.
Choosing A Vector Security Monitoring Plan
The easiest way to get started with a Vector Security system is choosing a monitoring plan. A basic equipment package consisting of a Qolsys IQ 2 control panel, three door/window sensors, a motion sensor, a yard sign, and window decals is included in every monitoring plan. These equipment are free and won't cost you any upfront fee. However, during the sales process, you can buy additional equipment that will ultimately decide how much you'll have to pay upfront. Adding certain devices, like security cameras and smart locks, might also increase your plan's monthly fee.
The Basic Security plan, starting at $39.95 includes the basic equipment package but nothing more. It also lacks smartphone access and is void of any smart home feature. If you want to expand the equipment package, you can buy additional door/window sensors and motion sensors or add glass break sensors, smoke sensors, CO sensors, freeze sensors, secondary keypads, and key fobs to your system. Adding any of these devices won't affect your monthly subscription fee, but you'll have to pay for all of them upfront. You can also add a home disaster sensor to your system, which is a multi-sensor that can detect flooding, furnace or air conditioning failure, and other disasters that might cause costly repairs. However, adding this sensor will increase your monthly dues by $5.
The Home Automation plan is a more advanced monitoring plan that gives you access to limited smart home features and smartphone control via the Alarm.com-powered Vector Security app. It also includes an appliance/lamp module for free on top of the basic equipment package. The module allows you to control an appliance or lamp plugged into it using the app. Home Automation plan subscribers also have the option to avail an indoor camera and a smart lock for free. The catch is adding each device will increase your monthly dues by $10. If you add both devices, the Home Automation plan's $49.95/month base fee will quickly shoot up to $69.95/month.
Like the Basic Security plan, the Home Automation plan is customizable. In addition to the security, fire safety, and environment sensors supported by the Basic Security plan, the Home Automation plan supports basic and advanced smart home products. You can add devices like garage door controllers, smart doorbells, indoor and outdoor security cameras, video doorbells, smart thermostats, and smart locks to your system. Unfortunately, most of these add-on products will increase your monthly monitoring fee. For example, getting a smart thermostat will cost you $99 for the equipment and add $10 to your monthly fee.
If you really want to get into home automation, the Connected Home plan is the most practical option offered by Vector Security. Starting at $69.95 per month, it includes the basic equipment package, an appliance/lamp module, a smart thermostat, a smart lock, and an indoor camera. The only catch is that it requires a minimum $99 upfront payment for the equipment. Still, it's a pretty good deal. If the same package is availed through the Home Automation plan, it will cost you $99 upfront and $79.95/month. That's a $10/month difference. Unfortunately, buying additional smart home products will still stack up your monthly fee, even if you're on Vector Security's most expensive monitoring plan.
Vector Security Equipment Review
Vector Security doesn't offer a lot of equipment, but they have enough to cover the basics.
Qolsys IQ Panel 2
In security systems, everything starts with a control panel. A control panel is a device that ties together your entire system and allows you to control, access, and monitor your devices using its built-in interface.
Vector Security partnered with Qolsys to offer one of the most modern-looking control panels in the market, the Qolysis IQ Panel 2. It's a tablet-like wireless control panel with a 7-inch touchscreen interface. Because it's wireless, it plays right into Vector Security's lineup of wireless sensors. It's also capable of controlling home automation products powered by Z-Wave.
IQ Panel 2 is feature-rich, but one of the most standout features is its ability to capture Disarm Photos using its built-in 5MP camera. Basically, whenever someone attempts to disarm your security system, the camera will snap a photo and send it to your Vector Security smartphone app along with details such as the time and date the system was disarmed and whose PIN code was used.
IQ Panel 2 also has a built-in glass break detector, 2-way talk feature so the monitoring center can call you straight through the control panel, an integrated siren, and 24-hour battery backup. It can also be set up to communicate with the monitoring center via cellular signal and Wi-Fi.
Sensors are imperative in any security system. Vector Security's security sensors cover all the basics: door/window sensors for monitoring entry-ways, glass break detectors to detect break-ins, and motion sensors for watching over your indoor space.
Vector Security also offers a Dual Technology variant of their motion sensor. The regular motion sensor, which is included in the basic equipment package, uses PIR technology. The Dual Technology variant uses both PIR and microwave technology. The addition of microwave technology supposedly makes it more reliable and accurate because its sensitive to a variety of microwave-reflective objects. Its readings are also not affected by ambient temperature, which is one of the downsides of PIR technology.
Aside from security sensors, Vector Security offers environment sensors. These sensors detect and measure different environmental factors that can cause damage, costly repairs, or even loss of live if left unchecked.
The Low Temperature Sensor and Home Disaster Sensor both aim to detect hazards that can potentially lead to costly repairs. The Low Temperature Sensor can be placed near pipes to monitor their temperature especially during winter when frozen pipes can really become a problem. It also doubles as a high-temperature sensor, which helps in early detection of fire. On the other hand, the Home Disaster Sensor is a multi-sensor. It's basically a water leak sensor, freezing sensor, and heat sensor in one device.
The Smoke/Heat Sensor and Carbon Monoxide Sensor both serve as early warning of fire and carbon monoxide, respectively. Fire and carbon monoxide are potentially fatal if undetected or detected late. With the Smoke/Heat Sensor and Carbon Monoxide Sensor, you can rest assured that your system continuously monitors for early signs of such fatal elements.
Home Automation Devices
A huge chunk of Vector Security's product lineup consists of home automation products. These products make it possible for you to automate your door, temperature, garage door, and appliances. Unfortunately, Vector Security's home automation solution is quite expensive compared to solutions from other security companies.
Vector Security's automation products tie into the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 control panel, which means you can control, monitor, and set up automation scenes using the control panel. In addition, you can use the Vector Security mobile app to control your smart home from anywhere as long as your phone is connected to the internet.
Video Surveillance & Monitoring
Vector Security also offers security cameras. The Indoor Camera, Outdoor "Entry Way" Camera, and Doorbell Camera are all cameras you can use to surveil and monitor your home from inside out. However, there's a limit on how many cameras you can add to your Vector Security system even if you're on the highest monitoring plan. You can only use up to two Indoor Cameras, up to two Outdoor Cameras, and only one Doorbell Camera. On top of that, each Vector Security account only allows up to four cameras of any kind, so you'll have to choose and place your cameras wisely for maximum coverage.
Vector Security also sells an Image Sensor. Although it's equipped with a camera, it's not designed for video monitoring. Instead, it captures still images of motion events and sends them to you via email or text alert. It's a quick and convenient way to verify motion alerts.
Alarm.com-Powered Vector Security App
Although technically not an equipment, the Vector Security mobile app plays a vital role in the system. The app uses the Alarm.com security and automation platform, which is the same platform used by some of the biggest alarm companies in the U.S. It uses cutting-edge technology and integrations to put seamless and intuitive control of your security system and automation products on the palm of your hand.
The Vector Security App gives you access to the same level of control the IQ Panel 2 offers, which means wherever you are, you can fully manage your security system. The app also offers alert notifications and supports live video streaming from your security cameras.
Vector Security Monitoring Review
Equipping your home with the right security system is just the first step towards making your home more secure. The second step is monitoring. Vector Security offers 24/7 professional monitoring against break-ins, fire, and carbon monoxide. 24/7 professional monitoring means having a team of professionals keeping an eye on alerts coming from your security system. If your system detects a break-in, for example, the monitoring center will be notified. They, in turn, will try to contact you and ask if any help is needed. If they can't reach you, they will dispatch the right authorities to your address.
Vector Security owns and operates three monitoring centers in different locations. In the alarm industry, this is called redundancy. If one of the monitoring center is unable to operate because of acts of nature or technical difficulties, the other two can takeover. Aside from that, each monitoring center is equipped with an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), generators, and back-up cellular communication to ensure continuous operation during power or landline failures. On the customer's end, the control panel responsible for sending alerts to the monitoring center has a 24-hour battery backup and cellular + Wi-Fi radios.
False Alarm Reduction & Video Verification
False alarms are common in security systems. It's a problem that costs local enforcement a great deal of time and money and causes unnecessary panic to homeowners, which is why Vector Security is working with local authorities to reduce false alarms. For one, its monitoring centers employ a 12-step verification process to ensure alerts are real before dispatching help. This includes calling the homeowner's number and asking for a verbal password.
Customers who add security cameras to their system can also opt to give the monitoring center permission to use video verification. With video verification, the monitoring center can access live camera feeds during an alert to verify the emergency. This is optional and customers are encouraged to only give access for outdoor security cameras.
Besides the monitoring process, it's also vital to understand how alerts get sent to the monitoring center. Alarm companies often use landline, broadband, or cellular monitoring. Landline monitoring relies on your telephone line. It's an old form of monitoring that is known to be prone to landline disruptions. It's also the least secure because simply cutting the telephone line can deactivate your system. Broadband monitoring is more advanced and faster when compared to landline. However, it's susceptible to internet failures. If your internet signal is disrupted, your alarm system won't be able to send alerts. Cellular monitoring, relies on cellular signal, making it the most reliable of the three. There are no lines to cut, the signal rarely gets interrupted, and the signal speed is competitive.
Vector Security offers all three monitoring methods. However, as the advantage of cellular monitoring becomes more apparent, it is now more inclined to using cellular monitoring. Customers can still ask to use landline or broadband/Wi-Fi as their system's primary communication method, but Vector Security insists on adding cellular backup to such systems.
Vector Security Customer Service & Support
A security company's customer service and support can make or break its reputation. That said, Vector Security's reputation is mixed. On the plus side, they offer SecureCare Plus warranty to all paying customers. This lifetime warranty program covers equipment replacement and servicing at no additional cost to the customer. It also covers free equipment inspection every two years, battery replacement services at no additional cost, and free installation if the client relocates to a new home within Vector Security's serviceable area.
On the downside, several online reviews claim slow response rate from their customer support. For faster response, I recommend calling their local branch that services your area rather than their corporate number. You can find local branch numbers on Vector Security's website.